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I decided to leave BT at the party they’d organised for me at the top of the BT Tower. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t that the party was awful – it was a fantastic event, and a complete surprise. It was just that they’d thrown it to celebrate the 30 years I’d spent in the company. 30 years! I kept casting my mind back to all those dreadful farewell parties in the past for those really old buggers. Was I like just like them – old, exhausted and past it? I had a really good job as Head of Sponsorship and could look back on some great times and be proud of certain achievements. But I felt like I needed to do something else with my life.

That was in July 2005 and it took another 9 months before I actually left the company. Around the same time, my wife C and I had been toying with the idea of moving house now that 2 of our 3 daughters were settled and living their own lives elsewhere. We didn’t really have an ambition to move to a particular place within the UK and one night C said, why don’t we move abroad?

We’d been spending more and more time holidaying in Italy and were just in love with the place. The idea of living there began to take root. C started trawling the net for potential houses and locations and that’s when we found our home to be in le Marche. We moved there in March 2006 and, whilst there have been many ups and downs, we enjoyed the life there enormously.

Inevitably we missed family and friends and, once our broadband line was connected, I started to send regular e-mail updates to them just to let them know how things were working out and, of course, it also meant we could keep in touch with things in the UK.

I have really enjoyed writing about the side of Italian life where things don’t go exactly to plan since that’s what creates the charm of the place and the people. Anyway a number of friends said they found them un usually honest and mildly amusing, except when they filled up their inboxes. One of our oldest friends, who ran a creative marketing company Knapp Goodwin, then generously offered to create this weblog site for me to host the pieces and maybe generate some wider interest. Another top friend Pat, a wizard of all things online,  did all the set up – a link to his webitse is on the blogroll.

The name ‘Pasta Paulie’ came out of one of my earliest messages and it kind of stuck, just like the pasta round my waist. I hope you enjoy these ramblings from a man who is searching for la dolce vita, and thinks he may get there one day……even though we now find ourselves mostly back in the UK . But I still rant and rave about stuff and I hope you enjoy some of it.

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Why me Burt?

When the kids were younger we used to spend a couple of weeks of their summer holidays with Eurocamp in France. It was rustic and a bit basic but over 3-4 years we had some of our very best family breaks at sites in and around the Dordogne and not one drop of rain in all our trips! And we met some great friends with whom we’re still in touch 30 years later. There was a Dutch family who we befriended with 5 beautiful daughters and mum and dad Dini & Burt. They were great fun and we and another family of all girls headed up by lovely Dennis and Julie were as pally as can be. Burt, Dennis and I used to keep an eye on the kids in and around the pool area whilst playing boules and drinking the odd beer or trois. And whenever Dennis or I had an unlucky bounce of the ball on the gravelly strip we’d turn to Burt and ask ‘Why me Burt?’. It became something of a catchphrase amongst us and I’ve often thought it’s a line that could easily be chiselled onto my gravestone, given the drama that always seems to dog my simple existence.

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