Sitting still with a good cup of coffee world-watching or reading sums up slowness for me but it could equally well be Painting or Hiking or Gardening depending on what lowers your blood pressures or anxiety or just makes you savour moments. Life is short. By the time we get to our 40s or 50s many of us have lost our parents, spouses, or even children.  Life is never long enough. No-one should spend it rushing around like a cat with a fluffed up tail. Believe me, when it’s you meowling on top of the fridge it won’t be cute.…

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After too long in a job that wore me out and too many one-sided friendships I had a nervous breakdown and when I came out the other side I made some decisions about my happiness that I think are worth sharing. Friendship Friends are vital. Romantic love is delicious and amazing when you find the other half of your heart and know they’ll always be there for you. But when you’re single and perhaps you don’t have your parents anymore or they’re getting on a bit, you need good friends. Good friends won’t buy you roses or look in your eyes and…

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I’ve always loved Italy since my parents took me to Florence aged six in 1971 but I didn’t discover Verona until I was thoroughly grown up. I lived in Florence for two years between 1985 and 1987. I was lucky enough to rent a flat belonging to a friend of a friend’s nonna, a treasure of a woman in a black twinset and pearls and a gold cross set with coral that had been bought for her on the Ponte Vecchio in 1919 and which she’d never taken off. She was eighty and gone to live with her daughter and…

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