Well Xmas has been and gone. We had a quiet one, our first here in Italy and haven’t done an awful lot. But our daughter E, son-in-law S and grandson G arrive here hopefully tomorrow after driving down. They’re staying overnight near Lake Como and should be with us tomorrow evening all being well. Grandson S and daughter S fly in to Ancona on Tuesday and son-in-law I flies in to Rimini on Wednesday. We can’t wait to see them all but I hope they’re bringing some big jumpers and wooolly socks. Continue reading



My old friend MR called last night to wish us all a happy Xmas. It’s a tradition we’ve had for years, ever since M and I worked together at Cellnet, back in the Middle Ages. We’ve always got on well and it was good to chat, especially as we haven’t been in touch for a while. M is also a late convert to cooking and I was pleased to learn that he’d been sweating over a hot stove and cold beer or two, most of the day. Continue reading

films and xmas

One of the things about being over here at this time of year is that you miss out on all the films on the telly. Oh I know it’s mostly the zillionth showing of the Great Escape but occasionally there are one or two decent films I haven’t seen before. So to compensate C bought a few films over in the UK for us to view this Xmas. We’ve just watched the first, The Holiday, featuring Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz. Now normally these women knock my socks off but having seen them in this, I wished they’d stayed on vacation. Continue reading

xmas dinner

Well it’s 24th Dec I’m just listening to radio 5 this morning on the computer and the topic is ‘how many are you having for Xmas dinner? Gentle enough stuff, mind you it is Victoria Debyshire who’s hosting; I don’t think she’s going to knock Melvyn Bragg of his high-brow perch any time soon.Anyway the phone-in has turned into a bit of an I-can-top-that thing with the latest claiming to have 24 people to dinner tomorrow. It’s a lot. I think the most we’ve entertained is 9 or 10 – we and the kids, grandkids, sons-in-law, the odd friends etc. Where do you seat 24 people and find that number of seats? Continue reading

Beckham joins Addams Clan Milan

You’ve got to hand it to David Beckham; he’s the only footballer I know who has played for the biggest clubs in the world’s leading leagues. After his spells with Man Utd in the Premiership and Real Madrid in La Liga, yesterday he completed the perfect set by signing for AC Milan in Serie A. In the meantime he’s also picked up over 100 international caps, the majority as England’s captain.  Pity about the LA Galaxy thing but I suppose that if he also pulls off the trick of single-handedly  convincing the American sports fan to at last embrace the world’s greatest game, then you could say he’s had a bit of an impact on the game. Continue reading

driving; swiss crazy

I like driving. After many years of commuting, totting up over 40k miles a year, it’s just as well. My long-distance eyesight’s slowly deteriorating however, and increasingly I tend to suffer from a bit of eye strain when driving at night. But that apart I still enjoy the experience. Mostly. The only exceptions are driving on the M25 during rush hours and the bloody journey through Switzerland …. Continue reading

looking back

I’m conscious that I’ve done just 5 postings on the blog since late October – none at all during November. Looking back I see I did 50 postings last December alone. I know that was a personal challenge but I must have been flowing with creativity as I was regularly doing 30-40 postings a month at the time. Indeed my average of a posting a day since starting this blogsite back in May 2007 has been badly affected of late, not because I’m losing interest – far from it – but simply because online access has been haphazard and time/opportunity limited whilst we’ve been back in the UK.

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back for the hols

Well after a few weeks in the UK we are back home in Italy. I’d gone over for a week’s work for one of my clients back in early November. But that had dragged out or various reasons only coming to life within the last week. Typical. C found a nice job at a college close to S and I’s place where we were spending most of our time . I also did 4 pitches to other potential clients – we’re  waiting to see how things turn out. We caught up with our  great friends L & S and J & G (who’ve been incredibly kind) and, of course, with E and S and our great grandsons. It’s been a busy spell, slightly frustrating work-wise but enjoyable in many ways. But we’re glad to be home and looking forward to Xmas in Italy and seeing all our family over here for New Year. Let’s hope 2009 is the year everything comes good.