Living in Italy

August 22, 2008 16 comments
The house with pool and orchard in the foreground

The house with pool and orchard in the foreground

Italy has been our home for more than 12 years now, and the house in the photo for most of that time. This blog documents the joys and problems of our existence day by day.


We have our difficulties. My husband, Clive, is permanently disabled. In addition, he recently spent 9 months in French hospitals recovering first from a coma and then from an operation to remove a massive bowel tumour. He’s just finished a course of chemotherapy at home, and is learning to walk again.


Some of our difficulties derive from where we live, but I still love living here. Clive is more circumspect. By reading about our daily life, perhaps you will be able to tell whose view is the more accurate. Does the pleasure outweigh the pain? Or will my writing betray a less rose-tinted reality?


You can also see the books we’ve written and published by clicking on the image below:


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Narrow squeak

December 8, 2016 Leave a comment
Almost too dark

Almost too dark

This sunset photo shows the car (the grey one in front) of the Tiscali technician who came to change our arial and modem back on Friday 25th November.

If there hadn’t been a break in the rain of a couple of hours allowing the roof to dry, he wouldn’t have come. And then it was getting dusk …

After his visit, it was almost a week of nail-biting internet blackout before the system went live on Thursday 1st December at 8.20 pm.

Today being the Feast of the Immaculate Conception has made me think how glad I am we didn’t trip up over this particular Public Holiday, which in so many years past has seemed to get in the way.

Rose of autumn

December 7, 2016 Leave a comment
Secretive rose

Secretive rose

This small but perfectly-formed rose has hung on the bush through frosts and gales.

It has a secretive air about it, as if it contained some further inner beauty that it’s withholding.

There are little drops of water tucked among the petals.


The loaf that Florence stole

December 6, 2016 Leave a comment
This is the loaf that Florence stole

This is the loaf that Florence stole

I turned away to the sink for about 5 seconds yesterday evening.

In that time, Florence grabbed a loaf of home-made bread off the bread board on the table.

It was about a third of a loaf, but she didn’t get a chance to eat much of it because I roared her out of the kitchen.

Big dogs are great, but opportunists who can reach the table are not so great.



December 5, 2016 Leave a comment
A 'shed'

A ‘shed’

This is another of Florence’s finds.

She was chewing it in the courtyard and I managed eventually to get her to drop it.

It’s the naturally shed antler of a roe deer.

Florence does occasionally have her uses.

Taking the heat

December 4, 2016 Leave a comment
Whispering sweet nothings

Whispering sweet nothings

Florence has been on heat for two weeks now.

The day before yesterday it all went up a notch and poor Galileo was unable to either eat or sleep and paid her constant court whenever we let him.

Florence is more importuned by him than anything. Taylor would probably be more to her taste (and size) but fortunately for us he’s not in the market.

Winter chicory

December 3, 2016 Leave a comment
Bright blue flowers

Bright blue flowers

The chicory flowers are still persisting.

They’re much smaller, but also brighter.

Meanwhile back at the ranch …

December 2, 2016 Leave a comment
Peach tree nearly bare

Peach tree nearly bare

Our new internet service has finally got going.

The connection appeared last night, Thursday, at 8.20 pm when it should have been live on Monday if not before.

The photo of the peach tree was taken on Monday, with fewer leaves on the tree and more on the ground than my previous post.

Now there are no leaves on the tree at all.