About Paul

Having decided on a change of life by moving home from the UK to Italy, this is the story and thoughts of a man on a personal journey from the Blackpool Tower to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, in search of la dolce vita. After several olive harvests he's now back in London but en route he shares his very personal perspectives on life.

Blessing

So here’s something poignant. My sister’s passing whilst dreadfully sad has meant something positive. The most important thing is that she’s no longer in pain and suffering from the cancer ravaging her body. There isn’t a person who would wish for life to be extended in those circumstances. It may be a cliche but the end was truly a blessing. And we, her family and dearest friends, are all thankful for that. For Caz and I there’s another smaller blessing.  Our trip to NYC to see my daughter S and  son-in-law E and our beautiful grandsons this w/e can go ahead. It’s not that we don’t leave with a heavy heart but if she’d survived for a few more days then our decisions would have been so difficult…

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More heartache

Regular readers may recall that 5 years ago we had a harrowing week away in Italy as we learned of the sudden death of my youngest brother M from cancer. He had been ravaged by the disease in a very short period. And I missed seeing him before we managed to get back. Now here’s a sad tale; my young sister H, the baby of the family 12 years my junior, had been dealing with a spinal cancer situation for the last few years. She’d been elected for an experimental drug programme after years of surgery and therapy but a sudden change in her condition necessitated a mastectomy a couple of weeks ago. Long story short it didn’t go well and her condition deteriorated. On Saturday night we learned she had little time left, days possibly, and headed up early Sunday morning to Blackpool Victoria Hospital. Half an hour away from Blackpool we learned my lovely sister H had passed away.

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Oh come on!

Am I the only one who gets increasingly infuriated by life’s little annoyances? I bet not. Today was a classic example of how to touch my infuriated buttons. We are desperately hoping that nothing happens to prevent us heading over to NYC in a week’s time to see our lovely daughter S and son-in-law E and adored youngest grandsons E & N.  It’s been two years since we’ve seen the guys and have missed them terribly. So we’re doing all that pre-testing malarkey etc. And we decided that today we’d get a lot of laundering done – not everyday clothes but two sets of quilts, mattress toppers, sheets’ and pillow cases etc. And we needed lots of coins. Two duvet washes at £8 and probably 4 drier sessions at £4. About £32 in total and we had a magnificent £1 coin in the kitty. Sigh.

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More random stuff

So I thought I’d do another posting of random things that have caught me eye this last week. I could do a posting on each of them but they’d be a bit thin I thought.  First up a music starter for 10… Continue reading

Jersey boy

So here’s a tale my wife Caz has become so sick of hearing this last week or so. A  little over 60 years ago when I was a lad of about 6 my parents took me and my younger 2 year old brother Dave away to Jersey on our first ever flight and trip outside the British mainland. I was a boy from PlF near Blackpool in Lancashire and the general scenery was flat and rainy and red brick Victorian/early c20th. We boarded a propeller-powered Dakota at Blackpool’s own airport  – I can’t remember if it was a Jersey or Channel Airways flight or an early BA/BEA one. But what an adventure, my first flight on something like this…

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London journies

We are making a lot of trips to London at the moment supporting our daughter Becksy who’s going through something of a dental drama which I’ll cover off in a later post. You won’t believe it. But this is about the journey. It’s about a 7 hours return time so pretty draining but that doesn’t matter to us. Heading down we listen to BBC Radio 2. We take part in Ken Bruce’s Popmaster and do around 14 points but I find R2 a v dull listen. Caz isn’t keen on Talksport and on R5 it’s that dipstick Adrian Chiles so we tend to stick to the music.

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Who wants smelly nuts?

So a few weeks ago I had my annual review with my local GP where I go for a blood test (no horror stories this time) and they check all my levels etc. He called me up – it’s always a phone consultation these days –  and we discussed the results. The only thing he had an issue with was that my blood sugar levels were higher than he would have liked so we agreed I could lose some weight to counter a possible drift towards diabetes. I readily agreed that I would cut out red meat consumption (it doesn’t do my digestive system – or what’s left of it – much good anyway) plus cutting out as many carbs as possible. It actually has been ok though looking at my tummy I’m not sure I’ve lost too much weight as yet. The said my wedding ring’s started to slip off when I wash my hands so I’m shedding fat from my fingers. Well that’s a huge relief. Continue reading

Ugliest car

Well I was driving down the road the other day and this weird looking car passed me by as we both seeked (sought?) to turn right at the traffic lights. I won’t tell you now what it was but it had an impressive front end and the ugliest arse of any SUV I’ve any seen. In side-on profile it looked like a cross between a London taxi and a hearse. It’s named after a famous diamond I think (which seems like a huge stretch). I’ve never seen it before in my life. Any ideas?

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