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.

Flying me crazy

Well it took me 5 months to finish off the last post and I’ve just noticed it opens with HNY dear readers, ha! I’ve just been really busy with work stuff and our personal lives have been all over the place after Becksy returned home in December after regressing quite badly during lockdown. She’s had multiple issues including having a nasty accident which has left her unable to walk and weight bear. It’s been 4 months now and she’s only just taking taking baby steps again. Mostly she uses a walking frame or a wheelchair for longer journies. And we’ve moved home to accommodate her living with us. It’s a lovely old hall just outside Stratford UA. But moving in was complicated by Becksy being hospitalised. Our super eldest grandson has also had to endure some quite serious covid-related health issues. Oh and resolving my late sister’s estate has been challenging (especially for my brother). So it’s all been rather stressful and blogging’s had to take a back step.

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The holidays


HNY dear readers! Hope you had a lovely Xmas. I’ll tell you about ours later but here’s the thing; saying goodbye to my sis Helen was very tough but the only bit of silver lining was that we could head off for our booked trip to the USA to see our lovely daughter S, son-in-law E and beautiful grandsons E and N after two whole lockdown years.  Before returning back to the UK for Hel’s funeral. It was hell of a bookend vacation.

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Farewell sis

Since my last posting it’s been an roller coaster few weeks. Our trip to the US did go ahead and it was just great. I’ll write more in my next posting. But on Friday we got to say a final good bye to our sister Helen. It was a tough day with atrocious weather at the graveside adding to the grimness of the proceedings. But the wake organised by my brother and his wife Deb was really good and the celebrations of her life continued long into the night. In the end it was a happy way to say farewell.

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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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