it’s been a long time

Hi Folks!

Maybe I should make that Folk! because after so much time without a posting I’d be lucky to have one reader left. But thinking about it ‘folk’ cannot mean one person. So I’d better re-introduce myself more appropriately. Perhaps ‘hi me’ would be closer to the truth. So be it.

Fact is this is is my first posting in over a year. Why the gap? Well it’s been a difficult period, at least for the first 6 months. My mum, who’s already battling all sorts of stuff, had a massive stroke and we nearly lost her. My dad, bless him, elected to be her primary carer and he’s become exhausted through the process and became hospitalised as a result. In the middle of this we embarked on the process of working with our local authority to prepare our eldest daughter R for independent living. Against our better judgement we sided with the ‘experts’ who suggested we allow her to live with a so-called carer family as a stepping stone arrangement. There’s a whole book to be written on what happened but we almost lost our daughter in a ghastly experience. R’s over it now, as are we, but calling it traumatic would be an understatement. Put all that stuff together and I kinda lost my writing mojo. It’s hard to be light and amusing when almost everything that matters to you is dark and so very unfunny. But thankfully things are a whole lot better in many, many respects but I’ve still been missing my muse. Then here I was tonight faced with watching Sex and the City the movie on TV with my wife and I thought…. you know what, it’s time to do a new posting.

So here we are. I’ve no real idea what the topic is going to be. I’ve missed all the Olympic stuff (and for someone involved in the Bid process that’s something) and the rest of the glorious summer of sport. Then my wife C had a major knee operation in the summer which I’ve failed to cover off, and there was all the Jimmy Saville/BBC stuff which was aching for me to rant about (I’m sure I must have told you about Saville’s pleas not to cut him off from the VIP list of mobile phone loanees in return for which he promised access to the friendlier nurses at Stoke Mandeville – it’s true).  Plus a few weeks ago I received my TfL freedom pass which means I’m of a really, really significant age. And I never wrote about it. I’ve missed Strictly, XF and IACGMOOH. We’ve moved to a new apartment overlooking the fabulous Bushy Park and also collected two olive crops since the last posting which gave me loads of rich content and it’s all poured through my typing fingers like the delicious oil we pressed.

So the point of this renaissance posting I’ve decided, is to remind myself how lucky I am. Not financially, or career-wise or anything like that but just personally. I’ve emerged from a black hole and know that my family, to whom I’m  devoted, are all doing OK and that I have some truly great friends. Life is never perfect and lovely for very long but right now I feel a very lucky guy. OK this is a bit reflective but it’s been a long time. The next posting will be back to my ranty best I promise.



another milestone

Well I know my writing on the blog has slowed in the last year. It’s not that I’ve lost interest, far from it, nor that I’ve run out of subject matter – I’ve got more stuff half-written and saved in the draft facility than you can shake a stick at. It’s just that my time seems to be taken up on family and work matters now that we’ve moved back here more or less permanently. But I’m delighted to know that whilst the postings have slowed the blog continues to attract a constant audience of loyal readers which is just terrific. You might have noticed that recently we went through the 200,000 views mark, which is pretty staggering. It doesn’t seem 5 minutes since I did a recorded video posting (‘and now for something completely different’) thanking readers for their 100k viewings. And now we’ve doubled that somehow. It still amazes me. Many thanks folks.

Continue reading

numbers – alert!

How long is it since I wrote one of these (probably) annoying, (certainly) self-indulgent update postings on the status of the PP blog? Not long enough? Ha! Well here’s the 350th posting and the total word count is somewhere around the 250,000 mark now. That’s a lot of uninformed opinion. But more pleasing for me is the fact that the site has attracted more than 25,000 viewings which is staggering (well it is to me). Thank you very much for checking in folks. Traffic to the site has risen every month since my good friends at Knapp Goodwin/rActive Design created the site for me. Indeed last month we got soooo close to going through the 5000 visits mark in a single month for the first time. Damn we got close.

It would be brilliant to beat that mark this month (we’re about half way there) and to see overall viewings top 30,000. Of course I need to keep (or perhaps I should say start) writing stuff which is mildly interesting and the rest is down to you I guess. To help I’ve come across a thingy which allows you to be e-mailed with an automatic alert from Google on new postings on the site. If you can bear it just click on the following link and complete the simple instructions. Even I could do it.

Many thanks folks

Google post alert for Pasta Paulie


nov’s over

Well that’s nearly November over. Interesting month; C’s mum Isobel passed away towards the end of last month and we scattered some of her ashes and interred the rest just recently. Had my 55th bithday. Where on earth is time slipping away? Still no news from the bank re the UK house sale. Hey ho. C&I made a flying visit to our home in Italy and harvested the olives and got the oil processed and pruned half the trees. Loved that, molto bene. Our main car’s engine packed up as did our cooker element on the rayburn just yesterday. Deep joy. England lost out in the Euro 2008 qualifications but I picked up two major clients in football and cricket for my sponsorship consultancy. Didn’t see enough of my family nor friends but had lovely meal with C&K and looking forward to seeing L&S tonight and G&M, J&D and M&J shortly. Life could be a lot worse. Continue reading