At sixty I sold my business in the UK, parted on the best terms I could from my family, and moved to Italy, alone. There was no plan, just a knowing that there was more to life than the one I’d lived so far, and it called to me. Over the following twelve years I moved on three times, from Italy to France, every few years feeling the need for another fresh start. Those who knew me found it hard to understand, and sometimes so did I.
Italy broke through my British reserve, challenging me to get my heart right out there on my sleeve, less thinking, more feeling. In France I gradually withdrew, living ever closer to nature and more distant from the world. It allowed a slow and random unraveling of who I thought I was, and revealed a lifetime spent concealing who I wanted to be. We tell ourselves such stories. And it has brought me to a deeper, richer understanding of myself and of life, and a new and compelling sense of purpose.
Part of that purpose is to write. It always was, I just never allowed it to happen. And now I’ve let go of all those identities we carefully craft over the years, I can see, feel and express with far greater clarity. So I’ve arrived at the heart of what I’ve always wanted to do at the perfect time. And a long, diverse and interesting life is what I have to share, so far.