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.

Road trips

So last week we headed up to collect Carol’s brother Colin from Lancashire and then headed over, for a few days away, to a little place called Crookham Eastfield up in Northumberland. It’s very close to the River Tweed on the English-Scottish Borders and it’s a lovely, fertile and peaceful part of the world, rich in places to visit.

Continue reading

From the ridiculous to the simply brilliant

Well here’s a little twist on the theme of yesterdays’s piece. First up the ridiculous; this time it’s about a car, a very rare one. The car isn’t the ridiculous item, in fact it’s rather beautiful…

Continue reading

Sublime to the downright ridiculous

So before we went away, a lot of the beech trees along our driveway were just in bud  but we have returned to see them in ful leaf and they look lovely…

This box-shaped effect is done through a technique called pleaching which you see a lot in France. It helps to create a natural screening and my lovely daughter Ems has beech trees pleached like this in her garden to do just that. In the case of the trees along our drive it’s just arboreal decoration but doesn’t it look great? You can see the grass on the main field was quite long earlier in the week but yesterday the garden specialists came and mowed it all so it now look super and that smell of newly-cut grass is just so evocative….

What it meant was that  I could spot loads of wildlife out on the main field early this morning when I went out for my newspaper – deer, rabbits, crows, squirrels, doves all in evidence. It’s such an attractive setting and we feel very grateful to live in such a lovely place.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading