Living in Italy has distinct advantages.

It was whilst talking with a colleague, the other day, that I realised how very lucky I am in this one respect.

A couple of days before, I’d read, in one of the British papers online, about a man of about 56. He had been made redundant a year or two before and had applied for over 3,000 (yes, three thousand) jobs in the time since his redundancy. He’d had one interview and hadn’t got the job.

And, whilst talking to this colleague, I realised that, actually, by living here, in Italy, I was, in fact, always employable.

Obviously, going back to teaching is not something I crave on the basis that the work pays very badly and the hours can be crap AND, there is little or no work for about 4 months of the year (meaning also no pay).

But, if needs must, I could go back to it tomorrow. What with that, editing work and website stuff, I may, even, be able to make more or less the same money as I do now – in any event, I would be earning something.

Compared, say, to the person I was talking to, who is slightly younger than I am but, if made redundant, would be less likely to be able to find employment.

And, as I talked to him, I realised that, if I were still in the UK, I would, actually, be less employable there, at my age, than I am here! So, by coming here, I have actually increased my chances for work in the future.

Now that’s something I had never thought of before. But, I have to admit, it’s a rather nice thought, isn’t it?


Yes, I want it, of course I want it.

He came up with it.

“I think it’s Paola’s flat,” he said.

I agreed to ask Rita, our “door lady”/concierge, downstairs.

We discussed the cost and we guessed at the “spese” (building expenses). We estimated that the cost would be rather good, actually, and we’d be quite lucky to find somewhere of the same sort of size for that price.

I didn’t even know he was looking but he had found it on the internet. In fact, after we had spent so much time together over Christmas, I’d thought that, maybe, he’d gone off the idea. It seems not.

The cost of moving would be very cheap on the basis that most of my stuff would be moved across the hallway.

Of course, it’s not perfect but it has 2 bedrooms, a small studio, a very large and beautiful lounge/diner. It could work.

We’d both save money on rent and I’d still be in the area that I love.

It’s a real possibility.

Rita said that it hadn’t been “restored” after Paola had done her damage when she left. But, I guess, if they found someone to take it, they would do that quite quickly.

So, let’s see. It would be much more convenient.

And the dogs would be much happier.

It could be really good.

Some new things are just W O N D E R F U L!

To be honest, new technology generally leaves me cold. The latest gadgets include things like a fork that helps you diet, a flexible phone, etc. But I’m really not interested.

I do have to consider getting a new phone. I have a Blackberry and it’s about 4 years old now. What I WOULD like is another Blackberry but with RIM pulling out of the personal market (from what I’ve read), I have to change.

I don’t want an iPhone but I do quite like the look of the Samsung S3 – so, maybe I’ll get one of those.

But that’s not really the point of this post.

There are certain things that really do ‘get me’ when it comes to new technology.

Recently, there was a thing about getting a model of yourself printed on a 3D printer (in Tokyo, from what I remember). Now, should I go to Japan, that would be a “must”.

And then there’s this company that will take a child’s drawing, say this:

and turn it into a proper 3D model via a 3D printer so that it becomes this:

Now, this, to me, would be wonderful.

If only I had a child. Anyone fancy lending me one – just to get a drawing so I can do this thing?

Back to the grind

Monday morning.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, it’s the first Monday after over two weeks not at work.

Already, I wish it were Friday afternoon.

And, yesterday, I thought it would be quite a good idea to just start the car, which had been unused since the 21st December. Of course, it didn’t start. The battery was dead. I got a nearby garage to restart it (for a whopping €20) – but, at least I did get it started and this morning it was fine.

But, work is work and, unusually, I do feel that 2 weeks holiday is not really enough after all.

Still, one must look on the bright side. I have F, two dogs, a nice flat, I live in Italy and I have a job to come to and which pays me, enabling me to enjoy these things. There are many people who are in a far worse place than me.

We had a glorious Christmas/New Year break and, for that, I am very grateful.

And, who knows what this new year may bring?

It may be marvellous.

I hope it is for you too.

All grow’d up

Happy New Year to all my readers. I hope you had a good Christmas and New Year. We certainly did. A quiet Christmas day, friends for Boxing day (and 8 bottles of wine between 4 of us!), a reasonably quiet period between Christmas and New Year and then a feast with friends for New Year.

But that’s not really the news.

Dogs are, in some ways, a little like children. But they grow so quickly.

Piero is no exception. Their first journey outside; their first journey in the car; their first time at the seaside, etc., etc.

And, of course, the signs that they are starting to grow into a dog (rather than remain a puppy).

So, on Christmas Eve, Piero, who had started to do little pees (rather than just one long one when we went out), did the usual squat but slightly raised one leg. It was one of “those moments”, which you can only understand if you have dogs (a little like the first word or first walk for a child). And, then, yesterday, he did his first real cocked leg, squirting a little pee up a tree!

I know, not exactly what you want to read about on New Year’s Day but, still, it’s one of those transition events that show he’s starting to be a real dog rather than a puppy.

Bless him.