I’m thinking of all the things I’ll miss when I have to leave, after all, there’s nothing like rehearsing regrets 😉  and here are the first seven… (1) I suppose this isn’t a surprise. I miss reliably good coffee. In Italy it isn’t a hit or miss whether you’ll get a good cup of coffee – you will. In the UK coffee is brewed to be weak and slightly bitter and going to a new coffee shop is a gamble but in Italy it’s safe. If I want a coffee in Italy and I don’t want to walk to a…

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Today has been all work except for an early morning walk and one espresso. Just one espresso. I can’t believe I’m back in Italy and the first thing that happened was a headache that is only going to get worse if I feed it caffeine. (Italy is a land full of beauty – and cute little dogs) In the early afternoon when it was bright although only around 12c I went to the Caffe Vergnano near the Basilica San Zeno. It’s the same company as the Caffe Vergnano 1882 at Charing Cross in London but the decor is traditional, almost…

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Or Breakfast With Gussie Finknottle (a condensed version of something from my old blog) To be fair Gussie Finknottle* has no more to do with this post than the fact I had my breakfast sitting on the edge of a small pond watching newts appear and disappear. While I was there and Gussie, Augustus, and Gus were popping up to the surface catching bugs for their own breakfast (at least that’s what I assume they were doing although they may have been trying to get to my cheese on toast) I started thinking about my 80/20 purchasing rule. 80/20 purchasing…

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For many women doing what we want can be unnerving. It’s like crossing a road except we’re not looking left and right and left again we’re looking for a child, or a husband, or a patient, or a student… anyone who might need us before we can step forward. Girls are trained to put other people first and professions like motherhood (it is one) or nursing or secretarying hone that training to the point that even when there’s no-one else for a fifty mile radius we still struggle with feelings of selfishness if we do what we like. If that’s you…

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(don’t wait till you’re this old to enjoy the flowers) I believe absolutely in happiness despite age or size or singleness. I read an interview a while back with eighty-four year old Joyce Carpati, one of Advanced Style’s leading ladies, and she said she never balks at telling anyone her age because ageing is a privilege denied to many and that was a thunderbolt for me. I had had a decade of a demanding job and almost a lifetime of bending myself into a pretzel to accommodate other people ending in the mother and auntie of breakdowns. At 50 my physical health was broken, my…

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