the latest -  January 2022


the latest - March 29th 2022


Three months have passed since I last updated this site - where does the time go. It has taken me back to Canada, Italy and home and a visit to the UK. Also, I got and recovered from Covid, got my Covid booster, and a subsequent ‘super’ green pass for Italy.


The view from my sister’s window over the frozen lake in Fenelon Falls, ON Canada. It was only -30C. Getting there from Pearson International required driving through the snow at night, something I have not had to do for the 17years since I retired to Umbria. But arriving back home in Umbria, I was rewarded with this view. The Umbrian hilltop town of Todi from the main piazza of my town.


Shortly thereafter, we decided that wine was getting low in my household and that of my friends, so we set off to visit three local cantini (wineries). Local in that they are located within the required distance of Montefalco to produce Sagrantino. The wineries were:

And last, but definitely not least.

The image below is the wine tasting room at Terre de la Custodia. The wine is equally impressive!



Having filled the car with cases of wine, we had worked up an appetite so where better to head than Montefalco itself. There are numerous excellent restaurants there, but on this day we decided on Re Tartù. We were initially crestfallen to find its former location abandoned but regrouped in the main square for a local beer and found its new site, Piazza Mustafà, 2, 06036 Montefalco PG

And were rewarded with a beautiful meal and a great bottle of wine.



After a few weeks, I felt the need to visit my daughter, who lives in Glasgow and a couple who live on the outskirts of London. They had befriended my wife and me when we originally bought in this town. While they are Italian, they reside near Dulwich, and it had been a few years since I had seen them.


Glasgow first - No actually, the airport first.



I was flying British Airways, but their system would not accept my previously mentioned super green pass. I needed to show it to somebody to be allowed on the plane. So a queue at the terminal. Nobody said it was easy flying internationally during covid. Your passport is the least you need (I should note - it has all changed in the three weeks since!)


My daughter, you will find on Instagram as Mapleleaf Bakery - ( where she is listed as a Home-based micro-bakery in South Glasgow. She supplies several locations, and if you are lucky, you will have tried some of her baking. I couldn’t resist and had to take a couple of images in her kitchen



While there, we took the opportunity for several walks. Here is a view of Glasgow from the south of the river



And, of course, we had to take Ripley. She is not very happy about the home baking as she has been banished from the kitchen, but the water she found during the walks appeared to be some compensation.


While there, my daughter introduced me to an author and artist I did not know: Charlie Mackesy and his book:

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse (



It won’t take you long to read, and I was charmed. The author is also on Instagram, and the book is apparently being made into a movie.

(My daughters’ other career is as a Clinical Psychologist - and it was her colleagues who had suggested the book to her)


Flying to London was easy - same country (well… Scotland/England might be some argument there but both in the UK). Boy, are there ever a lot of security cameras in that city!



As I usually do - I went to the British Museum - the contents are remarkable but the building itself - even better.



Which this time was the saving grace. The exhibit I went to see, ‘Stonhenge,’ in my opinion, was a bust - a complete waste of time.


I did have more luck at the Roral Academy (, where I went to a small show called ‘Whistler’s Woman in White: Joanna Hiffernan” which was terrific. It had works of his and others, ending with Klimts’ Lady in White’, one of my favourites.


While on a roll, I also went to the National History Museum ( to see this year’s exhibition of Wildlife Photographer of the Year. It was laid out in the same format as previous years, which I have visited and was excellent. But again, the building is itself, a draw



Other than walk, the other thing I did while in London was going to see ‘Hamilton’, which I would describe as an American version of Les Mis. It was well done, fast-moving and quite enjoyable. I say ‘quite’ as I had to depart at the interval. The seating and my back did not agree, and I had to leave - the seating was not particularly bad - my back is! Again the building, in fact, most London theatres was fascinating



And two final images from London. I decided to visit Canary Wharf - a place I have never been to before, although I did live in London for a couple of years. And I went by bus - beware in this time of Covid - the Underground is still packed these days, with maybe only half of the passengers following the suggested practice of wearing a mask- It is not mandatory. Still, given current Covid figures in the UK, it is wise! - Better still take the bus, and if you are lucky, get the top front seat - Great view of London. The 1st image, taken near Liverpool St Station is so typical on the new and old in London. The 2nd is an iconic escalator at Canary Wharf - usually photographed straight on - I had to do something different!




I have been travelling and I have been reading: In addition to the book I mentioned above and keeping up with the news, I have finished the following two books and am plowing slowly through the six book series below:


The Apollo Murders Hardcover – Oct. 12 2021








This is the second book written by a former classmate of mine - a great read.


And I continue to read my way through the six-part Kindle version of Dune



So that is it for this entry. Back home now and doing some cooking so I can entertain some friends - always great fun-filled evenings and an occasion to try out new recipes. Recently ordered a book by the Australian chef Donna Hay which looks really good - (



Heck, if I could only dirty one pan - I would be in heaven

I end with a couple of recent dishes.


Our local Butcher makes wonderful sausages, and I have taken to making sausage rolls from the contents - they don’t. Stay around for long. And then for something a bit more filling, Salmon Wellington - slices of orange, mayo, dill, cappers and more slices of lemon cooked in pastry - Yum



That is it for this entry - I hope to do another in a month or so - Ross