I am a somewhat eccentric, fiercely independent and unconventional former senior international real estate executive who has spent over 30 years living and working in various European countries, including Italy, Greece and Spain.
As a single woman, I lived happily alone and unencumbered, falling in love with the countries and their people, culture and food. I made lifelong friends, learnt several languages, and had lots of adventures. Among other things, I was mistaken for an opera singer (and somewhat worryingly asked to sing!) in Poland; had a terrifying encounter with Calabrian N’Drangheta (Mafia) bosses on a remote mountainside in Southern Italy and been required to drink litres of Ouzo in Greece, while trying to negotiate a real estate deal with a local crime lord. I learnt to count in Greek whilst playing Blackjack in a casino in Thessaloniki, been stopped by Russian Mafia in Poland (posing as local speed cops) who were somewhat surprised when I spoke to them in Russian – thankfully I made them laugh and thus escaped with my car and my well-being intact. My life has been anything but “normal”!
Now happily (and safely) retired back in the UK, I live alone with my rescue cat Felix in our 17th century cottage in a quintessential English market town, and I am finally able to write about my adventures. (See below for the photos that inspired them!)
My first book “Cauliflowers Through The Catflap – and Other Tales From a Solitary Lockdown”, is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek look at my time alone during the various Lockdowns of the 2020/21 Coronavirus epidemic as Felix and I self-isolated for many many months and watched from the window as the world changed around us.
“Tales from the Hamlet” – which recounts my time in Italy when I found myself unemployed and broke with nowhere to go and a houseful of antique furniture, over 800 books and an elderly Siamese cat. The Fates generously took pity on me and I found myself living in a magical Medieval Italian “Borgo” with an eccentric octogenarian and 20 semi feral cats.
My third book, which will be featuring more “Tales from the Hamlet” will be published later this year.