This is a short resumé of events between mid 2010, when I stopped writing blogs, and the end of 2013.
In 2010 we were planning a relaunch of The Riviera Woman to make the magazine easier to maintain. Several of the features from the earlier version were dropped, among them the User Blogs. At the time I didn’t have anywhere else to continue them so they lapsed until now (October 2013). I was also entering a difficult time; funds were running out and I was unable to sell the flat in Torri.
Then in the spring of 2011 came a job offer from Lloydspharmacy, the UK community chemist, at just the right time to banish the fear of bankruptcy that had been looming. At 63 years of age the chance of getting a programming job had seemed to be remote, but the guys in Coventry were prepared to believe in me so off I went at the start of August.
For the next two years life was a nine-to-five at Lloyds’ head office, a 15-minute walk from my rented flat. I got back to Italy as often as possible, generally about once a month, for a weekend, and Anna stayed on to hold things together at that end, coming over to Coventry frequently to see me. That and frequent use of Skype made it tolerable, especially considering the alternative; running out of funds and having to sell up and return to the UK with an uncertain future.
About a year later the efforts we’d been making to recover the house at Apricale finally bore fruit and the court confirmed my ownership of half the property. The previous owner hung on for a while but eventually realised that things were stacking up against him – even the local commune was after him for non-payment of taxes – and one day he left suddenly, leaving the house filthy and stinking with rubbish everywhere. We then spent the next nine months visiting occasionally to do some clearing up.
Then earlier this year everything happened at once. I finally had a buyer for the flat in Torri, which had been on the market for 3 years. The price, while well below what I’d hoped for, was acceptable, so in mid June we moved out and piled everything into the villa. Almost at the same time my mother passed away after a short decline with heart failure. I’m so sad she was never able to come out and see for herself what – with her help – we’d done to turn our lives around, but there’s no denying her inheritance has made it possible to do all the essentials.
So we made the decision for me to return to Italy. These pages will record events as they occur.