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).

recipes

  • That time of year that time of year

    In May every year I have some version of this conversation in our local pharmacy.

    “I need some citric acid, probably a couple of hundred grams.” At this point it’s just me, and the pharmacist.

    “It’s that time of year again! Remind me what you want it for?” asks the pharmacist.

    “Elderflower cordial,” I say, [...]

Italian

  • Bocce and Befania befania bocce

    The festive season ends with Epiphany here in Italy, on January the 6th, when a witch, the Befania, comes to visit all children, giving coal to those who were bad and sweets to those who’ve been good. And here in the pine woods along the coast of Porto San Elpidio the men go out to [...]

making things

  • Fresh herbs fresh-herbs-1

    On these cold dark winter days no one feels like going outside into the jungle of a garden to pick some fresh rosemary and sage, but I was getting fed up with the jam jar on the counter which frequently tipped its contents all over my chopping board just as I sliced bread for [...]

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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