Reflections on life

LETTING GO OF LOSS

Ana / October 1, 2019

In my early twenties I met Sami, who became my closest friend for over twenty years. It wasn’t her given name, but one she had chosen in place of Jane, which she felt was far too dull. Being a lot more conventional myself I thought this a little exotic, and I shortened it to Sam, which was as far as…

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Living in Italy

STARTING A FAMILY

Ana / September 4, 2019

Between 2008 and 2013 I lived in the hills of Northern Tuscany and wrote about my experiences. This was a post written towards the end of my first year, about how I began to gather a family of animals around me. Sadly three of those I talk about are now no longer with me, but Josie, who is in the…

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Reflections on life

LEARNING TO CONFORM

Ana / August 27, 2019

It started with the uniform. A very long list arrived from the boarding school I was to join in a couple of months time, to be bought at a certain department store. It was 1960, I had just turned thirteen, and the world was about to wake up to a fashion revolution centred on the young. And I was to…

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Living in Italy

CORNERING ON TWO WHEELS

Ana / August 19, 2019

Between 2008 and 2013 I lived in the hills of Northern Tuscany and wrote about my experiences. If you love Italy, and the Italian way of life, this may be entertaining. Receiving mail in the early days of being here was a real pleasure, someone, somewhere, knew where I was, even if it was only the bank. I was outside…

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Reflections on life

SETTING A COURSE FOR LIFE

Ana / August 13, 2019

It isn’t difficult to see some aspects of my father in a heroic light. He was a risk taker and a natural entrepreneur who went right out on a limb to follow his instincts, creating a business and a life entirely his own way.  He was the son of a monumental stone mason, and my grandfather’s yard was immediately across…

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Living in Italy

THE POLICEMAN AND THE PHOTOGRAPHER

Ana / August 7, 2019

Between 2008 and 2013 I lived in the hills of Northern Tuscany and wrote about my experiences. If you love Italy, or would like to experience it , this may be entertaining. From my house to town takes about twenty minutes in the car, winding down the hairpins of the mountain road and into the valley. Although its origins are…

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Reflections on life

THE STRAIGHT JACKET OF SELF DOUBT.

Ana / July 30, 2019

Looking back, there were many times when lack of belief in myself made a lasting impact on my life, and not least when I was coming towards the end of my five years at boarding school. I’d arrived at thirteen, from a country life of considerable freedom, and the culture shock was huge. Discipline was rigid, and hierarchy was enforced,…

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Reflections on life

NO MAN IS AN ISLAND…

Ana / July 23, 2019

…entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. John Donne Many people have left an imprint on my memory, for all kinds of reasons, and they slip into mind now and then when something triggers a recollection. An image, a conversation, a story – and there I am right back in that…

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Reflections on life

DANCING IN THE SWINGING SIXTIES

Ana / July 18, 2019

When I was thirteen we moved house, and I was sent to boarding school and only home for holidays, so there was little chance of making friends. I mooched about moodily, spending an hour choosing my clothes before walking three miles to the cinema to see Elvis in GI Blues. Someone might see me. Or on Saturdays I’d get the…

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Living in Italy

2. MY NEW SURROUNDINGS

Ana / July 15, 2019

Between 2008 and 2013 I lived in the hills of Northern Tuscany and wrote a blog about my experiences. If you love Italy, or are tempted to cut loose and start again somewhere new yourself , this may be entertaining. The hillsides here in Northern Tuscany are steep and thickly wooded. These are the foothills of mountain ranges that lie…

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