Lots of amazing news!

Well, many things are happening!

First, we have been offered (and accepted) a beautiful house in Val Curone – halfway between Milano and Genoa, about one hours travel from Milano) – which is almost like Tuscany but without the Brits or the tourists!  Absolutely fantastic!  We have got it for the whole month of August and, originally, when we accepted it, I was going to do my last lesson on 31st July and my next lesson on 31st August – so it would be a whole month in the country!


It’s a beautiful setting.  Gently rolling Italian hills, small villages, small towns, peace and quiet like you wouldn’t believe.  A public, open air swimming pool about 5 minutes away by car, where you can go in the morning and order food from the nearby restaurant for lunch, which is delivered to the poolside.

The house is small, but gorgeous.  Just across the small valley is a farmhouse that owns all the vineyards around the area and produces a red country-wine for sale at €1 per litre (but you have to bring your own bottles) and there are wonderful views of the small, hilltop-perched villages and towns in the distance everywhere you look.

We went there for a couple of days last weekend and had a wonderful time.  Rufus too!  So we are very excited about it and really looking forward to it.  And, it’s only 1 hour away from Milano!

I am still really busy teaching.  Which is good – but I wouldnâ’t advise giving up the day job for it.  The pay is not very good (in general) although if you can get a job in a University, they do pay more, and I am getting more than I ever thought I would.

However, you don’t get paid for the prep or the travel.  So, for instance, a week last Monday, I was out of the house for 7 hours – but only got paid for 4 and 1/2 , which is crap.

However, as many of you know, my belief is always – “something always turns”.  And it has. One of the main problems with Italy is that it is a nepotistic country in many areas of life, including work.

o get a job here it is rare to have to apply for it.  It is definitely who you know and not what you know.  Plus, in order to work for an Italian company (and not a Multi-national), it is imperative to speak Italian.  So I am still flabbergasted that I have been offered a job with an Italian company as their Project Manager!

How did this happen?  Well, from September last year until May of this year, I have been running courses in English for this engineering company, in the Milan hinterland (like greater London, but on a much smaller scale).  The students were great and we went out for meals together quite a few times.  The Networks Manager there, who was one of the students, had been saying, from the beginning, that I should apply for a job there.  And I thought – yeah, whatever.

However, after Christmas, the other students all started saying the same, saying that I was just the right person for the company.  Then in May, they started to put some pressure on me to send in my CV.  I really though that they were joking and said so.  But they insisted that they were not joking and that I really should.  So, during the break in the last lesson of the course and much pressure from them, I finally agreed to send in my CV to one of them, who would then present it to the boss, a formidable (but very nice) woman called Mrs C.

That evening we all went out for a final meal and there was much discussion about which job I could do and what job the company would offer me.  I have to be honest, I didn’t really build my hopes up for the reasons explained above (not speaking Italian, nepotism, etc.).

However, the next day I did send all my different CV’s (I had explained that I didn’t just have one as it depended what job I was going for).  They then spent some time pulling it all together into one CV to present, which I okayed, to the MD. Then, apparently, two of them did the presentation and present all the CV’s to her.

I then get an email whilst we were in Hay saying that I should call the Engineering Director, which I did, when we returned.

I went for an interview and, basically was offered a job last Wednesday!

Quite incredibly, on the same day, V went for a job in Milan and also got it!  His is not quite full time, but itì’s working for Fiat’s call centre, also just outside Milan.

He goes to sign the contract on Monday and starts on Tuesday.  I’ve given my notice to the school I have been working at and should, in theory, start in two weeks (mid-July).  So, we are both chuffed at this turn of events.  It does mean that there is chance that we can afford to stay here in Italy – at least until next year, which is great.  It also means that I will not be working every weekend and evening preparing lessons AND both of us will be improving our Italian.

The only drawback is that, now, V will not have any holiday in August and I will only have the three weeks that they have on shutdown.  But, at least we will have weekends and, as the country is only an hour away, I can come and pick him up and take him down there.  And I will be being paid for August!

We can’t really believe our luck – but then my saying that “something always turns up” has come true again!

As mentioned above, we did end up going to Hay after all – but that’s the subject of another blog post and, hopefully, in a couple of weeks I’ll have the time to actually spend on keeping the blog up to date. So, more of Hay later.

For now I must go as I still have lessons to prepare for next week!..

Wish us “in bocca del lupo” (good luck) for our new adventure.



p.s. it’s currently 34 degrees C and its been like this for about 4 weeks!  Bloody great!

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