A place called home

I remember when I first came to Italy being so attracted by the whole aura surrounding being a tavola or at the table. It was the thing I loved most, being at a table laid with all this wonderful food, wine flowing and everyone talking over one another. Not that I could understand any of it. I … Continue reading A place called home

Memories are made of breakfasts

When I was young, I can distinctly remember going around telling everyone: "When I grow up, I'm going to live in France," France being the only place that I'd visited outside the UK. I'd been on a school trip to Normandy when I was about ten. It was the early 80s and a big event, especially … Continue reading Memories are made of breakfasts

Being home

It changes when you move away, the perspective. The familiar is still familiar but you see it through a different lens. The old lens has long been cast aside. Or maybe it's still the old lens but it's transformed over the years. You're still holding the camera and you decide the angle. Which is why … Continue reading Being home

Nutella for grown-ups

My kids were little and we were by the lake. I was making Nutella sandwiches. "And if we ever have kids, they're not eating any of that crap," this guy sitting near(ish) to us said to his girlfriend. Now I wonder if this guy really thought I couldn't hear or thought I couldn't understand. Although … Continue reading Nutella for grown-ups

Cappuccino, brioche and the day is mine

I love Italian cafés, or bars as they're called here. Of course you can't generalise. Not all of them are such shrines to all things sweet. Some are best avoided, generally the ones where you walk in and there are a load of old men. Not that I have anything against old men, but it's … Continue reading Cappuccino, brioche and the day is mine

Things I’ve learned from living abroad

Living abroad is very different to being on holiday. Sounds obvious, but needs saying. Of course you can stretch out that holiday feeling but sooner or later reality kicks in. Upping sticks and moving abroad usually might mean leaving your job too. It might seem very romantic to go off and live with your Italian … Continue reading Things I’ve learned from living abroad

Up Grigna, Lake Como way

It was supposed to be a family affair, the four of us. "Have we got enough petrol?" "Yes, of course we have." Of course we have enough petrol. "Excuse me, how much further is it to the start of the walk?" I ask. The man cycling upwards pulls a face. "Oh, about four kilometres." Not so long after we're … Continue reading Up Grigna, Lake Como way