About us

Clive West was born in 1960, and Damaris Naylor (to use her maiden name) in 1956. Their birthdays are one day apart.

They have been married since 1990.

They moved from the UK to Italy in November 2003. After living in Gualdo Cattaneo, Umbria, they moved to their present house in Valtopina, also Umbria, in September 2007.

They get on reasonably well except when Clive tries to teach Damaris to do anything. Or vice versa.

Clive is a modernist: loves computers, electronic keyboards and other gadgets, and knows what all the buttons on the camera and the car dashboard are for.

Damaris is a traditionalist: does everything by hand wherever possible and lives in blissful ignorance of buttons and knobs unless they are absolutely necessary. She hates computer games on principle.

This is a blog about rural life and concerns, but we hope you’ll find something to interest you whatever your approach to life.

Clive Damaris
  1. October 17, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Love the site! well done.

  2. anabaptistcountryman
    April 11, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Dear Folks,

    Spending very little time on the computer, I was thrilled to have encountered your page whilst having “a little look about”! I was a schoolteacher in Spinea, outside Venezia, in 2008, and, had I been single, would have undoubtably made efforts to be allowed to remain.

    Having arrived on a Saturday, I recall my first Monday when, in my supplied flat, I needed the essentials: I had my first lesson in Italiano then and there, in la famiglia – latte scremato, panne, spaghetti, salsa pomodori – and standing at the “cassa”, realising with absolute terror … that …

    And then, the woman in front of me spoke the words I so desperately NEEDED to hear … “Una borsa, per favore”.
    Such blissful relief, as I repeated the same words thirty seconds later!

    I remember sitting in the absolutely full to capacity (as ever) ‘autobus’ at the centre position in the back row (feet extending out towards the aisle full of people) … A young woman sitting beside me, and, of course, hemmed in by the seat in front of her … tapped me on the arm and said “Excuse Me”. I smiled, stood to my feet, and let her out. And then it hit me:

    HOW did she know to speak to me in English?

    At a bus stop in Mestre, in the pouring rain, a shop assistant poked her head out of the door and shouted to me: “You can wait under here” (pointing to the awning of her shop).
    Again, I was mesmerised: HOW do they know to speak to me in English?

    Tweed jacket? pocketwatch? shape of the face? … it always fascinated me how the Italians would instinctively know.

    I shall hope to come back when time permits, to peruse your various articles and, I am certain, bask in memories.

    All the very best to you …
    Yours sincerely,
    Philip Livingstone

    • Damaris
      April 12, 2012 at 8:54 pm

      Thank you for your kind words and your amusing stories. Here in Umbria where we live people have had relatively little experience with foreigners and for some reason I’m always assumed to be German! I do hope you will visit the site often in the future and maybe find time to make further comments.

  3. October 20, 2012 at 8:05 am

    I must say I feel the love and contentment that you both have in this blog. Such an inspiration! Got here through Clive’s link posted in one of my FB groups and I am glad i clicked on the link…I’ve never traveled outside of my own country and would be great to know Italy from your perspective 🙂
    Wish you both the best..

    • Damaris
      October 20, 2012 at 6:42 pm

      Thank you so much for your best wishes. I’m glad you like the blog and I hope you’ll continue to enjoy it.

  4. prayingforoneday
    March 21, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Please accept this award.
    Well done and please, keep up the good blogging.


    • March 21, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      Thank you so much for offering me this award. It’s lovely to be appreciated. I would love to participate but sadly I’m just not able to give the necessary time to choose other sites ongoing, with the care that it deserves, and so will have to pass up on this occasion.

      • prayingforoneday
        March 21, 2013 at 9:24 pm

        Please, don’t worry about it. It can be time consuming. And my pleasure.

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