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.
So after more than 10 years writing Pasta Paulie it’s probably about time I tried something new. With the move to the Big Apple it seemed appropriate to start a new blog and I’m humbled to say it’s a sensitive and poignant account of our stay in the US entitled A Fat Bald Bloke Takes on New York. Click on it to find your way there.
Well the move to New York draws ever nearer and we’re getting to the frantic stages of the moving arrangements. However one task has been marked off the ‘to finish’ list and that’s been seeing my lovely daughter Emma complete her new website for her home accessories business, called Emma’s Finds. It’s a cute name because it perfectly describes how Emma searches out interesting things for the home/garden and markets them to a growing client base via FB, Instagram and now on her very own website, emmasfinds.com. Go have a look. I’m very proud because it’s very cool, is a proper payment platform and Emma built this completely by herself, with just a bit of editorial help from me early on.
That’s the second business website I’ve worked on now following the build of a dedicated site for my lovely clients H&E to market their delightful villa in Kalkan, Turkey. If you haven’t seen that one yet do please have a click through and check it out.
The next piece of website work to complete is my new personal blog site covering our time in New York. I’ve registered a domain name so far (still under wraps) though I couldn’t have the one I wanted, These Vagabond Shoes…. damn. Never mind the new one should be up and running in the next week. Till then hope you have time to have a quick browse around the above sites.
Regular readers will know our last visit to Italy was quite traumatic. In fact just about every visit we make there has its dramatic moments. But C and I are clearly Italo-mishap junkies and so decided that we needed to test the Gods of Fun once more by making a flying visit to check on the house etc before our move to New York. Would there be any possibility we could just go there and return without some drama befalling us as this shot of daughter R awaiting our flight home with a beautiful Italian sunset in the background implies?
Hello again blogosphere….it’s been quite a while since I last did a posting. I kind of lost my writing mojo after my youngest brother passed away. Trying to produce some amusing and opinionated pieces just didn’t seem important for a while. But time heals as they say, my brother’s children are getting on with life brilliantly and several kind folks have asked me to get back on the ranting horse. So here I am back in the saddle with some fantastic news for a change….
So yesterday we finally got to say goodbye to my youngest brother Mark. It’s been a long wait but he was laid to rest not so far from my mum and sister. And despite a couple of glitches it was a lovely service and committal. I was especially proud to see so many people turn up for the service and to talk to so many folk who knew him and just loved his kind gentle character. It was great to catch up with so many old friends and family, some of whom I haven’t seen in absolute years. Several family members had travelled half the length of the country (and I mean Britain) to say goodbye to the most decent chap I’ve ever known. But on a day which started out thoroughly miserable but brightened up beautifully for the interment, my fondest memory will be of my father Bob who delivered a stunning few closing words at the service. He chided those of us who had criticised Mark over the years for his ‘softness’ by declaring his utter pride for a son who had demonstrated nothing but goodness and selflessness to all throughout his life. He wanted nothing more than to be in that bloody heavy coffin rather than his beautiful boy. Poor Bob. We all felt wretched at losing a brother but heaven knows how he must have felt yesterday and these last few weeks. I can’t imagine his hurt and never want to experience it.
But life moves on. His kids were sad, of course, but full of life and his grandson, who we saw for the first time, was just beautiful. And you could see Mark’s lovely features in him. Here’s one of the shots of Mark selected for the service sheet. He was around 2 years old at the time and I must have been about 9 and my younger brother Dave around 5/6. I remember the day the photographer came round like it was yesterday and he must have taken 100 pictures of us. But this was the one and only shot that everyone remembers…
Last week in August we headed down to Italy for a week’s break to get some hard work done on the house before the winter. Regular readers will know there’s usually a bloody drama with our visits but this time there was no sense of looking back afterwards and smiling wistfully.
I spotted something in the news the other day which made me hoot. It appears that Sherie Hewson, who regular visitors to this parish will know I regard as La Dipstick Grande, has decided to leave the TV show Loose Women. Apparently this is in consequence of it becoming too dumbed-down, by having the likes of Katie Price on the panel. I haven’t watched the show in ages but it must be about as engaging as CBeebies if Sherie thinks the quality is slipping beneath her intellectual threshold. Now that takes the biscuit! Blimey I’ve heard it all now.