Living in Italy

August 22, 2008 16 comments

The house ‘immersed in greenery’ as they say here

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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Battenberg cake

July 26, 2016 Leave a comment
Grey repairs and new magnolia paint

Grey repairs and new magnolia paint

Part way through being painted, the house looked like a Battenberg cake.

The new paint is magnolia Sandtex from Britain.

Opening to the storm

July 25, 2016 Leave a comment
Before the storm

Just as the storm began

These so-called four o’clock flowers hadn’t opened even though it was about seven o’clock.

But when fierce winds brought in torrential rain, they spread their petals wide.

Fewer but bigger

July 24, 2016 Leave a comment
The relatively few Santa Rosa plums

The relatively few Santa Rosa plums

The Santa Rosa plum tree doesn’t have much fruit this year compared with some years.

However such plums as it does have are quite sizeable.

Galileo’s ear

July 23, 2016 Leave a comment
Lover of the big outdoors

In the wars again

Today the vet managed to extract a grass-seed dart from Galileo’s ear.

It’s a common problem and also very dangerous as the seeds can pierce the ear drum and even the brain.

The seed itself isn’t very photogenic so I’ve used a picture of Galileo running towards me up the steps, just before it happened.

Black and pink

July 22, 2016 Leave a comment
Florence beside Taylor

Taylor and Florence

In total contrast to Taylor, here is Florence, all black apart from her tongue.

She has double dew-claws, very long thin legs, and lopsided ears (the left one never goes up in a point), but she can present quite a striking figure.

Blue rain

July 21, 2016 2 comments
The flower spike

The flower spike

For our twenty-sixth wedding anniversary, Giovanni gave us a plant I’ve never seen before.

Thanks to the Facebook Plant Identification Group I belong to, I’ve been able to identify it as an Aechmea Blue Rain, a kind of bromeliad.

It’s quite stunning. I just wish there were some hummingbirds to visit it as there would be where it grows wild.

Cooling off

July 20, 2016 Leave a comment
Blurred image of Galileo in the pool

Blurred image of Galileo in the pool

This blurred photo is of Galileo on the top step in the swimming pool.

He dips himself several times a day in this heat but somehow I never have the camera handy to catch him doing it.

Till now, that is, when dusk was falling and I was some distance away.

He really is the picture of a water-loving dog – mouth open, tongue hanging out, eyes closed in ecstasy.

When he gets out he ships a load of water with him like a scruffy sponge.