Star Gazing

Yesterday, it was my birthday, 55 years young and don’t feel ‘old’ as this age bracket seems to be described as… what’s that all about? I’ve never put much store by numbers I prefer to think Continue reading

My Top Three Favourite Meals

I’ve never dieted in my life. I remember my mum experimenting with all kinds of diets and fads. She believed everything she Continue reading

Happiness is…

Happiness is a Habit
Cultivate it ~ Elbert Hubbard

The habits I’m trying cultivate include… Continue reading

Self Discovery: Value and Love

The prompt this week is: Describe a time you felt especially valued and loved.

This is a no brainer. I feel especially valued and loved every single day. For me it’s my normal and I know how lucky I am compared to others. I share my life with my soul mate, Simon. 💋 That’s not to say that we don’t have our differences and can irritate each other at times, we’re only human after all (as the Rag and Bone Man sings) What more can I say?💞

Double Marriage Celebration: Part 2 (and a poem)

Niece and Nephew at our Wedding Celebration

We got married for the ‘second’ time, ten days after our first ceremony in Florence, on June 21st 1998. My parents were keen to celebrate Simon and I getting married back at home in the UK with family and friends.  We were reluctant at first, neither of us wanted Continue reading

After the Snow and Winds

Naughty Nell and I have been on our familiar walk today. Now the rain has washed all the snow away it’s revealing the devastation that lay underneath over a metre of the cold stuff. We heard the trees crashing and falling during the worst of the wintry precipitation, not helped by the thick ropes of ivy … Continue reading

Welcome 2017!

Hurrah! 2016 is finally over.  I know I’m a bit late with welcoming in the New Year but I just had to make sure that 2016 was well and truly gone. My very own personal annus horribilis (and I know the same for many) has come to an end. Even in the dying hours of the year, the washer finally gave up the ghost but that’s fairly sortable. I’m sure that I shall learn from some of the crap that has come my way, apparently life throws these curved balls so we can appreciate the good times. And good times I shall have, with the man who makes me happier every minute I spend with him – of course he’s not perfect all the time  and our wonderful menagerie of animals and lots of adventures on the road.

Dad was with me in spirit today as I took my first test drive in Bobbus, our new motorhome. His photo takes pride of place in the front of the van.  I took him (that’s the van) for a spin around an empty ‘sosta di campa’ behind the vets in Passo.  Simon was very patient – I don’t drive very much and he can be critical to say the least about my skills but we’re both learners in this particular field. I don’t feel quite confident in going out on the open road just yet though I did provide some entertainment to the old fellah who was taking in his passagiata around the very same circuit. Not sure who was more verging on madness as we went round and round, me or him but I got a gappy smile when I reversed into a slot. Easy to do when there aren’t any vehicles around. Next time I will take it on the road to Sarnarno, which is long, straight and wide enough for me to get my perspective right without upsetting any other motorists. Fingers crossed. 

So, we wish all my family and friends, near and far, a wonderful and peaceful New Year with happier times and lighter hearts.

Ciao for Now, Jo and Simon x






Operation Nomad: Phase Two

Well, it’s been a while since I posted but I have a good excuse. At the last minute we were able to secure a house sitter for our menagerie and on 11th December we flew over to the UK. The next day we bought our first motorhome and today we picked ‘him’ up. Fondly named Bobbus – after the terms of endearment Simon referred to my Dad, we drive back home tomorrow, filled with a lot of excitement and a wee tot of trepidation. It’s thanks to my parents and their geneoristy and my Dad’s forward thinking that we’ve been able to achieve this. Not a moment goes by when I still wish he was here with us every minute of the day. But looking forward to a brighter 2017, not just for us but for everyone who has had a difficult year, especially our friends and neighbours in Italy.

Ciao for now x


Spring has Sprung?


Early one Morning!

Words: I’m not sure that counting words represents my productivity watch out for blog over at Louise Charles
Carbs and Cals: A week in the UK, too much wine but very emotional. Trousers are loose. 🙂
Workout: Mowing the lawn, fence building and re-siting trees
Reading: Shift by Hugh Howey
Weather: Hot and sunny to foggy and thunderstorms *see pic
Watched: Star Wars (at Stansted Airport)and Pan
Word of the Week: Majuscule:adjective, large, as either capital or uncial letters
International Day of the Week: April 13th is Bookmobile day

I had a week in the UK with my lovely Dad celebrating his 82nd birthday. Although he couldn’t participate he insisted on cake and champagne for everyone. Most of the family were there but we sadly missed, Sam, Toby and my lovely husband, Simon. I am blessed also with my wonderful son, Ben and his family who stayed with me all week.

As my flight back home to Italy was very early on Saturday morning I spent the Friday night at Stansted Airport. Although I wasn’t looking forward to it, it was quite interesting and lots of action for a serial people watcher to store for future use in my writing. It passed pretty quickly thought I did spend most of the weekend catching up on my sleep.

The garden beckons as Spring takes hold. The daisies in the garden though, I believe are very good for the bees so I was careful to leave some behind when mowing. Simon thinks I just missed them ;). And today we’ve been protecting our vegetable garden from animal pests: dogs and chickens. For some reason Freya thinks the onion patch is a place for her to chill out and Naughty Nell has been digging holes, chasing lizards in the peas! We like to let the chickens free roam but they also like the lovely worms from our compost. We’ve had some lovely warm weather and the stereotypical expat Brits are already talking about BBQ’s but I prefer to wait until summer has arrived properly and enjoy each season for it’s uniqueness. Contrary to popular belief, living abroad does not mean wall to wall sunshine, no matter what you wish!

Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer. ~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

The latest blog is up over at Louise Charles about creating a Story Bible to store all the information about my individual projects. It’s not quite the same as a paper system but our tiny house can’t take any more folders, so it’s a necessity. It also makes it more accessible from wherever I maybe as long as I have access to a computer. What’s not to like?

My latest WiP is skipping along nicely. Simon finished a read through and I went through his notes and will make the changes next week. Then on to the cover and blurb. Feeling good.


Peace is the Path

Words: Approx 3k new plus edited around 15kimage
Carbs and Cals: Fell of the track a bit this week, I blame the weather
Workout:  Walked the dogs most days, even in rain and fog
Reading: Lamentation by CJ Sansome
Weather: Wash out Wednesday… grey and miserable
Watched: Not a lot
Word of the Week: KENSPECKLE Adjective: 1. Scot. and North England. conspicuous; easily seen or recognized.
International Day of the Week: Got to be Puppy Day on 23rd March

I’ll bedove-41260_640 in the UK when this is posted having hastily scribbled and scheduled it on Thursday evening before I left, so it shall be a short entry.
The horrors of Belgium are still filling my head. I don’t understand why one human being would want to slaughter others in such a violent and senseless way. I don’t often air my personal views on these matters but it chills me to the bone. I’m at a loss for words to be honest.

There is no path to peace. Peace is the path. Ghandi

We saw a heron (twice) on the same road and virtually the same spot we saw the hare last week. Despite their size they seem to glide off with such grace and ease. Lago San Ruffino, one of our local favourite works has quite an extensive heron community, including the smaller white egrets. Walking has been something of a washout this week. On Wednesday it rained continuously hard all day, so it was designated a PJ day.

The second draft of All Will Be Well is now printed off for Simon to revisit while I’m away. I managed to complete most of the major revisions, sort out the timeline and reset some of the scenes. It feels in my head as if it’s right, but who knows?

My plans this week in the UK? Well perhaps a bit of Easter Egg hunting, celebrating my Dad’s 82nd birthday, maybe a visit to the cinema and catching up with my lovely family. Oh, and editing a few short stories, a bit of a break from the big stuff.

Buona Pasqua!


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