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Truly, Madly, Moving on…

Yes. It’s time to share the news. I’ve been formulating this post in my wee head for several days, along with several imaginary Facebook posts, that attempt to say in a snappy, positive, yet calm way that we’re leaving Italy and moving to the UK – without prompting a tidal-wave type response. Have I considered that this may not be that big a deal for my friends and family? Well, yes I have, but given that my recent Facebook post about ‘how do I shift a bad cold?’ prompted about 12 kind & considered responses from friends and acquaintances, I think I can be reasonably sure that Helen is leaving Italy, folks! may well prompt, if not a tidal-wave, then certainly a considerable swell. So I’m breaking the news on here and I will share this post on Facebook as I normally do, and when I start sharing pictures of  Sunday afternoons at National Trust properties come February and friends tell me they didn’t know I’d moved I will say ‘Should have read the blog!’

So I could go on about the whys and wherefores, but actually that’s the boring stuff, and most of it has already been said and explored on this blog. Suffice to say that by this summer we had worked out that the future wasn’t looking too rosy, that the chances of us ever making a decent living here were slim. It took me a while to get my head around the concept of another move as despite all the struggles we’ve had,  I’d never considered that we could make a go of things elsewhere. I think I was still inwardly twitching slightly from the last big move, a memory I can’t dwell on too long without starting to sweat.  But once I’d calmed down, we started to explore our options. Mr M started looking around and applying for jobs, and after a slow start of few responses, or even acknowledgments (are there no manners left in the gruelling business of job applications?) he eventually found a job in Wiltshire. So that is where we are headed. I shall be packing up the microphone, headphones and yoga mats to seek new customers – and yogis,  in this leafy corner of England. I’m very happy with the location (Dubai was mentioned at one point, so frankly I’m ecstatic) as we’re not too far from good friends, my brother is nearby in Salisbury and we’re not a million miles from my home-sweet-home of Cornwall. And Dublin will be a short hop across the water! Happy days:)

But, yes. Another change. What will become of this blog? What will become of my Italian? Will the British seems as bonkers as the Italians after 13 years away? One thing I do know is that it is almost impossible to prepare oneself, really, for this kind of move. I remember when I was packing up our house in Ireland thinking that I didn’t seem to have a moment to consider what actually lay in wait for us in Italy, (and as it turned out, wasn’t that a jolly good thing!) It’s like trying to put yourself in two places at once. It took me to live here before I discovered the wealth of information available about living in Italy, all of which would have been frightfully useful to know prior to packing those boxes. I guess I’m just not a researcher…I always have been a fly-by-the-seat-of-one’s-pants kind of a girl.

What I really wanted to write about in this post is all the things I’m looking forward to, because these things are foremost in my mind at the moment, and I want to take a moment to savour them…

Please allow for some serious wearing of rose-tinted spectacles and a good dose of the-grass-is-always-greener, as after all, I’m going home.

In no particular order, I’m whole-heartedly looking forward to:

  1. Coffee of such proportions that it cannot be drunk from a thimble.
  2. White lines on roads.
  3. Butter on toast.
  4. Loo seats on loos.
  5. Paying for a few small items with a twenty, and the shopkeeper not having to ask all the other customers if they’ve got any change for me.
  6. Maintenance. Schools that have had a lick of paint in the last 20 years, gym-machines that aren’t permanently out of order, roads that don’t give the sensation of a recent shelling.
  7. Community. Jumble sales, coffee mornings, playgrounds, school fetes, fundraisers, parks…
  8. Public footpaths and access to the glorious English countryside.
  9. Yoga classes, attending them and teaching them (fingers crossed)
  10. Living in a house, not an apartment.  Y’know – shaking off that battery-hen feeling.
  11. A bath. A condition of said house, is the existence of a bath-tub therein. I am dreaming of long hot soaks versus quick hot showers.
  12. Cake. The pasticceria here are amazing, but I do miss the texture of English cake. Carrot cake, lemon drizzle, Victoria sponge…
  13. Terrible service. This is what happens to you, you crave the bad as well as the good. I want to be able to browse, uninterrupted, for as long as I like, becoming steadily more invisible as the minutes tick by and I lose myself in retail therapy…never in Italy! There will always be an alarmingly made-up sales assistant breathing down your neck.
  14. Cafés. With my full-size not fun-size cup of coffee and a generous (if vastly over-priced)slice of carrot cake I look forward to that most civilised English activity of whiling away a pleasant half-hour in a café or even better, a tea-room (no doubt our National Trust properties will come up trumps in this department).
  15. Litter in bins. As opposed to on the road, pavement, heaped in the middle of a field, washed up on the beach, scattered liberally along the hard-shoulder and all around the car-park.
  16. Transparency. Knowing about stuff. Being able to find out about stuff without having to butter-up the cousin of a friend-of-a-friend of your hairdresser.  Which leads me to..
  17. Finding out even more stuff on the internet. Because everyone uses it. Even the government!
  18. Convenience. Being able to stroll into a shop at lunchtime and buy a sandwich, you know because it’s lunchtime, and the shop is OPEN.
  19. Not having to search my mental dictionary for the correct words as I simultaneously try to form them into a coherent sentence.  Not lying awake at night worrying about the gender of my articles…
  20.  Leisure, pleasure…going to the cinema (to see a non-dubbed film), going to the theatre (for old time’s sake), and watching the BBC. I’m already in paradise.

Your suggestions for the future of Truly, Madly, Italy are welcome. A new name, or simply a “re-brand?” to use a little marketing speak. What will I find to witter about next?

This is the lovely beach close to our holiday house

A trip along the Pontine Coast, Lazio

Lest anyone accuse me of being ‘grumpy-expat’ (moi?) I thought it time to share with you some of the beautiful sights of the Pontine Coast (and its islands, too) where we are fortunate enough to have a family holiday house. If this doesn’t encourage you… Read More