1. A cloud shaped like a cat. Unfortunately I took too long and it was dissolving but I still thought it was cute.
2. Boredom. I want to get so bored with being on holiday to kickstart myself into action. I’m getting there.
3. Nobody died in London today. I wish I could say the same about the tragedy in Genoa. The collapses bridge. Apparently they had been warned it wasn’t safe.
4. A rental car. It’s a very cute Fiat 500 and I get to zoom around along the coast as much as I like.
5. My neck pain is getting better.
1. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje. Very excited to be reading this one especially since it was named the winner of the Golden Man Booker Prize. I hope it’s as good as everyone says it is. The Summer Book was ok but nothing to write home about.
2. The bell in the village church chiming every fifteen minutes.
3. My new middle name: the One Who Lives in London. I feel very much like a character in Harry Potter.
4. Missing my husband and home in general. I’ve started wondering if I’ve made a mistake going away for so long.
5. Pour Moi online shop. Cute swimwear for busty girls. Most of the styles are modern and fun. Years ago I found a bikini called Aloha in spearmint. It was so good that I wanted to buy it again but they’ve discontinued it.
I’m away without my husband to see my family. I needed some time to recharge on my own as I have the tendency to worry about other people including him when he’s with me and this time I really needed time to take care of myself. But I miss home and I miss my cat.
1. FRIENDS. When I feel down there’s nothing better.
2. This dog.
3. Pasta cresciuta con la sardella. It’s a Calabrian thing and you won’t find it anywhere else in Italy but it’s worth a trip just to try it.
4. Teenage crushes that turn out to be lame. When I was a kid I had a bit of a crush on a friend of my older cousins. I met him again today. Oh my god, he’s so annoying. He would not shut up. I’m grateful because it means I’ve grown up.
5. The Summer Book by Tove Jansson. I’m reading it for book group next week. It’s totally not what I expected. And sweet and funny.
1. A pretty yellow dress with sunflowers I bought in Whitstable last week.
2. A starry night. I’m hoping to see some shooting stars. I have a wish to make.
3. Family. I might have not seen them in years but they were as welcoming as if I had left yesterday.
4. My stepmum’s jam tart. Normally she uses sour cherry jam but today she used apricot jam. It’s heaven.
5. The sunrise on the sea (behind the mosquito net)
I’m so antisocial at the moment that just half hour chatting to people is tiring me out.
1. Pasta con le acciughe, olive e pomodoro fresco in the restaurant of a very unassuming lido on the beach. Yes, it was as delicious as it sounds.
2. White Hibiscus flower.
3. An evening spent reading and writing. How do I feel so exhausted? But at least the book I’m reading is getting better.
4. Solitude and differentiation. How difficult it is for two people who spent as much time together as we do to remember or not to forget who we are as individual, not to forget how to take care of our own individual emotional needs without relying so heavily on each other.
5. Late-afternoon light. So languid. So peaceful. So meditative.
There are days when you’re grateful for nothing in particular but simply for being: being alive, being here in this magnificent place, being home, being quiet, being healthy, being loved.
1. A dog playing on the beach. A beautiful cross between a chocolate labrador and a dalmatian.
2. The breeze through my hair and the perfect nap while reading on the beach.
3. A friend at the end of the phone to remind me that I’m not alone, that I’m loved and cherished.
4. A mediocre book to make me appreciate the great ones like the Maggie O’Farrell which was superbly observed.
5. The chance to try again. Until I have air in my lungs I can get back up and try again.
Here’s what I’m reading now.
1. An afternoon on the beach. As you can see it’s really crowded.
2. A very good review for one of my clients’ books. I’m so delighted for her.
3. Having time to put nail polish. My feet are happy in red.
4. My dinner. Figs, tomatoes, basil and red onions from our garden, and prosciutto.
5. Pierce Brosnan’s character in Laws of Attraction with Julianne Moore. The movie itself is nothing special and I find really hard to connect with her style of acting but I’ve decided I like him in comedies. He’s good or maybe I’m getting old. I remember once while working at the box office of Mamma Mia! the West End musical, a woman got really upset that Pierce Brosnan was going to be in the film rather than the stage show so she asked for a ticket refund.