Ciao! I’m Ms Marche. Otherwise known as Fran. It’s nice to meet you. Or ‘piacere‘, as they say in this part of the world. Since you might be dropping by from time to time to see what I’m up to – and I certainly hope you will be – I thought I’d start by telling you a little bit about myself and what has brought me to this point.
In fact, I’ll let you into a secret. I’ve been having an affair for years. It’s OK, my husband, the lovely Mr Blue-Shirt (you’ll be getting to know him better over time too) is fine with it. For my love affair has been with Italy. Like many an affair (I imagine) it started with being ‘just good friends’ with lots of getting-to-know-each-other holidays. These led to dreams of spending ever more time together – a cosy little hideaway somewhere, perhaps. But as the relationship deepened, the notion of a more permanent arrangement took root. And – after numerous ups and downs, twists and turns, obstacles and setbacks (which I will fill you in on along the way) – we have now moved in together. So my plan is to share with you the reality of living with the gorgeous, noisy, seductive, maddening, timeless, romantic, chaotic, fascinating, complicated and utterly captivating love of my life.
My life: that’s what I was telling you about. Well, when not dreaming of living in Italy, I’ve spent about half of my adult life pursuing ‘my thing’, working with words, languages and communication. Mostly as a teacher of English as a foreign language in industry and commerce in UK and overseas, but also as a part-time features and copy writer. The other half I’ve spent helping Mr Blue-Shirt run a blacksmith’s forge in deepest Lincolnshire, which was much more Mr Blue-Shirt’s thing than mine, but I did my bit. My heart always belonged to words and to Italy, though. And to Mr Blue-Shirt, of course.
So here we are, now enjoying the best of all worlds in a restored farmhouse in Le Marche, between the Sibillini Mountains and the Adriatic Sea…