I'm Tamsin Hickson, I live on an olive farm in Le Marche in Central Italy with my husband, sons, father, cats, dog, chickens, ducks (until Christmas).


  • Hot chocolate and chilli peppers hot-chocolate

    Until that watery sunshine gets a little stronger and we all emerge from sitting squashed in front of the wood burning fire chocolate is on our minds. The Italian type, made with cocoa, rich and satisfying, a meal in itself. With or without chilli peppers.

    Quantities for one cup

    pour milk into cup one [...]


  • Not Naples not-naples

    Well, I am not in Naples but Sam is, lucky boy. This is the time of year when schools all over Italy bus coachloads of happy children from side of the country to the other, to enjoy wild times on the coach and ignore every shred of culture offered up to them. One of the [...]

making things

  • Sketchbook venetian-sketchbook

    Many years ago I used to paint regularly, now I just do it on holiday. I found this little folding sketchbook in Venice a few years ago and have slowly filled it up with sketches, mostly drawn whilst waiting for yet another delicious platter of seafood to be placed in front of me. It is [...]

Keeping time

churchmogJasper took up the piano last year and I took these photographs while he was at his lesson this week. Mogliano is empty on weekday afternoons between lunch and five, and the misty February air and the echo of my footsteps gave the town an eerie, timeless feel.

This year I decided to take up the piano again.  I think of myself as having recently given it up so it was startling to realise that my last lesson was 37 years ago. I wondered whether this explained my struggle to keep up with the metronome as I massacred a Bach prelude; after all Jasper has been whisking through Scott Joplin with the metronome without difficulty.  But after a few weeks I downloaded a metronome app onto my phone, thus revealing Jasper’s musical flexibility, in adapting to our old metronome’s moody beat. time

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