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Columnists

June Finnigan


June Finnigan
June Finnigan is an English expat who lives with her man in a lovely old monastery farmhouse overlooking the Chianti Hills, in Tuscany. She is a published Author and her novels, 'My Father, The Assassin', 'The Bolivian Connection' and ‘The Italian Connection’ are available on Amazon. She is also the lead singer of ‘The Rock Chick Band’ in Tuscany. June also shares more information about life in Italy through her blog.


June Finnigan

Autumn Arrives In Tuscany

Posted by: junefinnigan on Thursday September 19, 2019 (10:50:33)   (214 Reads)
After ten days in England, it was such a relief to get home to Beautiful Tuscany and to find that our local village of Fiano has won back the coveted banner having been victorious at the annual Calambur event! Bravi to all our lovely Italian friends who participated! This event is a bit like the UK's It's a Knockout which was televised and hugely popular in the 60's and 70's.    more ...


Dhyan Summers

Dhyan Summers

Top 3 Tips for being a Happy ESWK (Expat Spouse Without Kids)

Posted by: Jamie on Sunday September 15, 2019 (11:19:09)   (19 Reads)
Frequently I see clients in my practice who are ESWKs (pronounced ‘eswik’) or Expat Spouses Without Kids. Although they are in an enviable position by some standards, they often tell me that their spouse is working all the time, they are lonely, and are fighting, sometimes successfully and sometimes not, the tendency to hide out at home. One client mentioned that she sometimes felt like curling up and hiding in a box in her closet.

There are two sides to the coin of being an ESWK. On one side you have the freedom to do almost anything you want to do, and on the other side is an almost complete lack of structure which at times can seem overwhelming and even despairing. In addition, when you have young children it is much easier to bond with other parents, as you have a built in reason for doing so.    more ...


Dhyan Summers

Dhyan Summers

Expat Psychology; Moving from Isolation to Social Connection - 3 Top Tips

Posted by: Jamie on Sunday September 15, 2019 (11:17:54)   (15 Reads)
Erik Erikson, one of the foremost developmental psychologists of all time, outlined The Eight Stages of Human Development (Erikson 1950). In this seminal work he states that every human being passes through 8 stages of psychological development from birth to death. It is not the scope of this article to go into all the stages, but as an expat, and as a psychotherapist working with expats, I am continually reminded of the 6th stage, Isolation vs. Intimacy, which generally occurs between the ages of 19 to 40. The stage immediately preceding this is the adolescent stage of Identity vs. Role Confusion. Once one’s identity has come into clearer focus, he or she is ready to move on to the task of establishing important relationships such as spouse, children, colleagues and close friends.    more ...


Dhyan Summers

Dhyan Summers

How to Help Your Marriage Thrive Instead of (Barely) Survive While Living Abroad

Posted by: Jamie on Sunday September 15, 2019 (11:16:23)   (19 Reads)
I am an American psychotherapist in private practice in New Delhi, working primarily with the expat community. I also work with expat couples worldwide through Skype video conferencing. Many couples come to me because they see counseling as the last stop before separation and divorce. Fewer couples call for a routine “check up” when they feel their marriage isn’t functioning optimally. Fewer still seek me out when their relationship is going reasonably well and they just want to iron out a few kinks.    more ...


Dhyan Summers

Dhyan Summers

The Expat Perfectionist - Top 10 Tips for Perfectionism Withdrawal

Posted by: Jamie on Sunday September 15, 2019 (11:14:26)   (15 Reads)
As a psychotherapist in private practice with expats in New Delhi, and around the world using Skype, I have noticed what I call the perfectionist syndrome in expats the world over. First, let me distinguish between the pursuit of excellence and being a perfectionist. When I am pursuing excellence, I am happy about what I’m doing or learning, feeling good about myself and am gaining confidence in my ability.    more ...


Ben Zabulis

Ben Zabulis

Carrie On Hong Kong

Posted by: gwaijai on Monday September 09, 2019 (08:19:27)   (323 Reads)
Seen in Kowloon: Liberate HK, revolution of OUR TIME
Protest march, rally, riot, violence, revolution of our time, liberate Hong Kong, democracy, f**k the po-po, are not the sort of words or phrases I ever thought it would be necessary to learn in hitherto peaceful Hong Kong, indeed my Teach Yourself Chinese book is starkly lacking in this area. But, with the past weekends, 14 and counting, spent scrutinising a phalanx of eagerly wielded placards and graffiti, I now find my Cantonese, revolutionary vocab lies greatly enriched.    more ...


June Finnigan

June Finnigan

August In Tuscany: Taking Our Breath Away

Posted by: junefinnigan on Friday August 16, 2019 (09:57:46)   (506 Reads)
August in Tuscany can take your breath away. Yes, it's beautiful, but in reality, I am talking about the heat, humidity and lack of breathable air! Even in properties like our own, which is old and built of thick stone walls, you will struggle to stay cool. The problem is the roof, concrete under tiles, which heats up during the day and fails to cool down sufficiently over night as temperatures have not been going lower than around 21 degrees. Last week, temperatures were up to 38 degrees again and wow, by 4pm we are gasping and changing into our third set of clothes. Today, we are thankfully enjoying a drop in overnight temperature and a maximum of 32 degrees, which is much better.    more ...


June Finnigan

June Finnigan

Summer In Tuscany

Posted by: junefinnigan on Thursday July 18, 2019 (09:36:34)   (73 Reads)
Well, here we are in mid-July, enjoying a couple of fresher days after a few weeks of heat wave. Unfortunately, it won’t last long as we are expecting temperatures to rise up to 37 degrees again next week.    more ...


Ben Zabulis

Ben Zabulis

Umbrella Movement

Posted by: gwaijai on Sunday July 14, 2019 (13:04:24)   (506 Reads)
The Avengers with John Steed (Uncredited photo from internet)
Growing up in 1960s England, the term Umbrella Movement could only mean one thing: The Avengers TV series and its suave hero, secret agent John Steed, effectively disarming many an assailant with a swiftly yielded British brolly. Today, courtesy of Hong Kong spirit, the humble brolly now stands as a worldwide symbol of peaceful defiance in the face of government intransigence. Agent Steed I imagine would be duly impressed.    more ...


Rosemary Border Rabson

Rosemary Border Rabson

Yikes! Bikes! Cheering 'Em On In The Morvan

Posted by: marelebas on Tuesday July 02, 2019 (16:46:11)   (277 Reads)
They say nothing much happens at Maré le Bas. Well, on June 23 2019 a man with a bundle of tiny tricolore flags and a box of nougat rang the gate bell. Were we aware, he asked, that the TNM would pass our gate around 2 pm that very day?    more ...