Posts Tagged ‘A Modern-Day Nomad’

One last look back…


I have spent the last week (in between toddler wrangling, domestic chores and sweating attractively due to the ghastliness of a humid summer) reading all that I have posted since this blog began in March 2010.

And as Status Viatoris was created, in part, to document my experiences on moving to Italy, this nostalgic little journey was made even more interesting by the fact that I am now beginning my preparations to leave.

Having weeded out those posts that in retrospect only existed to fill writers’ block-induced lapses in content, I am still left with almost 300 accounts of this and that. Not a massive amount for a blog over six years old, but certainly enough to keep the memories alive.

So in honour of these last six plus years – to remind me of the wonderful times I have had in Italy whilst reassuring me that leaving is the best decision for me and my little family, I have decided that I will re-post a selection of past writing for old times’ sake.

I shall call them “Tired Old Tales for Tuesdays”.

Consider yourselves warned.


Condemned to Solitude


status viatoris – being ‘on the way’/being in a state of pilgrimage

No sooner is a woman in the position to pin on her twinkly primigravida badge (yes, they give them away free with each plastic pee pee stick – didn’t you know?), a surprisingly high number of curious bystanders begin to request information regarding her future procreational intentions.

It can be a little disconcerting, especially when her mind is rather full of other things: the anxiety involved in assisting this embryo through the gestational minefield before ushering it into a healthy babyhood, for starters. Questioning her sanity at placing herself in such a responsibility-laden situation, for seconds. And lastly, the dawning realisation that she has just willingly compromised her rights to being entirely her own person for at least the next eighteen years.

But regardless of the mental gymnastics that appear to be delivered – along with nausea and a tendency to easy tears – by the victorious spermatozoon, many women do already know the answer to this rather inappropriate question and can confidently state, “I plan to have two, three, four children…” (delete as appropriate and biology willing, natch), thus apparently satisfying the informationary requirements of the question poser.

However there is an answer that does not seem to satisfy, and – typically, I suppose, given my contrariness in most matters – it is the only answer I can offer.

“I only want this child. I have no intention of having any more.”

A statement that even in Italy, where the birthrate is one of the lowest in Europe and where there are more sibling-less children than one could shake a rosemary and olive oil grissino at, is greeted with a surprising lack of respect for my capacity for rational thought.

So, just to prove to the sceptical masses (ok, to the nosy few) that I have actually given the matter some consideration, I shall now list my reasons for feeling that one child will be my lot in life:

1) Although the statistics on overpopulation vary, there can be no doubt that many of the more serious current and future world problems are/will be caused by there being far too many human beings on the planet. My conscience simply would not allow me any peace if I had more than one child.

2) I would be able to afford educational possibilities and horizon-broadening opportunities for one child, that I would not be in a position to offer to two. Important considerations (I feel) in a world that is becoming evermore competitive and complicated.

3) Similarly, as I am English my husband is Romanian and we live in Italy, much of our holiday time over the next years is going to be spent travelling hither and thither to keep sproglet in touch with far-flung relatives. Not something that we would be able to do either financially or logistically with any ease in the case of multi-sprogs.

4) A child needs to be loved, sheltered, fed, clothed, educated and tirelessly cuddled. Having a sibling is not a need, it is a circumstance. A circumstance which plenty of us have never found ourselves in and not suffered as a consequence. And as an afterthought, it is important to remember that just as there are people who have wonderfully close and supportive relationships with their brothers/sisters, there are plenty of others who would happily cross continents to avoid them.

5) I don’t actually want more than one child. Seeing women walking along with a toddler at her side, another in a pushchair and a third “on the way” (for example) makes me want to run as fast and as far as I can. Watching friends juggling two or more children with their different and often opposing requirements – baby’s having a nap, four-year old is clamouring to go to the park, got to pick her up from ballet, take him to football practice, we’re late for school but the toddler’s just filled his nappy… simply reinforces my conviction that it is not for me.

6) And to the wagging fingers that are accompanied by: “Just you wait and see. As soon as you’ve popped that sprog you will be swept away on an uncontrollable sea of biological impulses that will have you planning the next three before the umbilical cord is even severed!” I would say: whilst I do not doubt that at some point during what remains of my fertile years I may well have a brief hankering for a second baybeeeee, I sincerely hope that I have the strength of character to take my present concerns into account and not be dictated to by my hormones. After all, what woman would seriously consider placing her hormones in the driving seat when attempting a spot of rational decision-making?


So there we have it: the reasoning behind my inability to offer curious bystanders a satisfactory answer to their queries in six explanatory steps! Now all that is left to do is translate it into Italian and post flyers round the village 😉

This is Status Viatoris, who maybe one day will have a strongly held conviction that people actually approve of! Unlikely, I know…

The Tedium of a One-Track Mind


 status viatoris – being ‘on the way’/being in a state of pilgrimage

This post comes with a content alert: as much as I have tried and tried to steer my mind towards non-pregnancy related topics over the last months, I regret to announce that I have finally succumbed to the same dreamy preoccupation with my condition that I imagine affects most first-time mothers in this final stretch.

(Of course I quite understand that such a topic holds very little interest for many, so I wholeheartedly forgive you for going in search of more scintillating reading fodder, and hope that in turn you might eventually forgive me for my current one-track-mindedness…)

There is no doubt that I am exceedingly lucky to at last be in a position to succumb to such aforementioned dreamy preoccupation:

The shop has finally been tied up and put to eternal sleep, my Overseas Guides Company writing commitments have been passed to a lady living in Puglia, and my darling husband has taken over the thankless task of tussling with neighbours and daft Italian bureaucrats in order to replace our uninsulated and leaky roof with something entirely more satisfactory.

And me? I have been gifted with the indescribable luxury of being able to flee the frustrations and the potential builders’ dust, straight into the welcoming arms of the mothership and a relaxing month or so of doing little else but observing the perplexing, uncomfortable, fascinating, terrifying, unique and exhilarating changes to which my body and my life are currently being subjected.

That is not to say that this time has been without its challenges: barely four days after touching down in Blighty, my brand-new waddling centre of gravity tipped me off a perfectly straight stretch of path and headlong into the agony of a badly sprained ankle.

Just over a week after that, and I find myself struck down with intense round ligament pain (something to do with those stretchy parts that give the uterus a supporting hand during this, its time of toil and overwork).

But although I am still as permanently knackered and frequently snotty as ever I was, I have found a somewhat greater sense of purpose; as the parasitic little being within me steals my energy, my health (and a worryingly large portion of my heart) in order to become the strong and active individual now turning endless somersaults under my tummy button whilst pushing my spare tyres into miraculous peaks and crests with each flex of its still-tiny limbs.

Being given this opportunity to “enjoy” the last few months of my pregnancy in relative peace and tranquility is exactly what I had hoped for. Primarily in the interests of my health and that of the sproglet; but also because this is highly likely to be my only pregnancy (a tale for another time…) and I am suddenly very aware of the importance of savouring each intriguing moment; as one probably should every major life experience when offered the chance to do so.

So the next few weeks will be spent in quiet contemplation of my rather busy naval, reading it stories from my childhood, using my constant diet of Classic FM to assess its preferences for Saint-Saëns’ organ symphony over Rossini’s overtures and being utterly and undeservedly spoilt by the Mothership whilst indulging my cravings for sleep and books – both of which I suspect I shall soon have to do without for a very long time…

This is Status Viatoris, 28 weeks and hoping that the daft Italian bureaucrats pull their roof-deciding fingers out before she is forced to give birth on an Easy Jet flight somewhere over France…

Small Crises of Identity


status viatoris – being ‘on the way’/being in a state of pilgrimage

I have a very boring surname; a single-syllabled yawn-inducer of a surname.

In fact over the years, one of the most exciting aspects of potential matrimony has been the thought that I would be presented with a perfectly legitimate reason to change it.

And yet here I am; spliced, ringed-up and officially wed, but without a single appellatory-alteration to show for it.

But, why? You might ask – as I myself do on a semi-regular basis…

Perhaps I should start with the why nots.

Well, it’s certainly not in any way because I’m a feminist (although I am, in the men-and-women-are-equals way), in fact it makes perfect sense when creating a family to give them the same surname, whoever’s it may be.

Having carried a child for nine months, squeezed it painfully out through a hole that is patently too small for such a purpose, fed it, worried about it, and taken marginally good care of it; I certainly don’t want to misplace it in the fresh produce aisle only to realise that the sole links the authorities may find to connect me to my offspring are our shared knock-knee affliction or the results of a long-winded DNA test.

I also can’t blame the lack of name change on a desire to keep the family surname alive – I am about as clannish as I am patriotic.

Could it be because the mere thought of the bureaucracy involved in changing my surname in a country where it is not the cultural practice chills me to my very vitals?

That plays a part, certainly; but in fact the primary reason I can’t seem to bring myself to alter my nominal identity is far more basic than any of the prior options:

It is simply the blinding realisation that having been plain old “me” for an entire thirty-six years, I find myself in no way inclined to get used to being someone different, even if it is solely in name.

So the very boring surname stays.

And the offspring – already facing confusion by being born to a British mother and a Romanian father, in Italy – will add to its international credentials by following the Hispanic habit of carrying its father’s surname, followed by its mother’s very boring one.

Poor creature.

This is Status Viatoris, finding out new things about herself every single day (none of them especially interesting, I might add) in Italy.

Like a Horse and Carriage


status viatoris – being ‘on the way’/being in a state of pilgrimage

Marriage is an institution that has gone severely out of fashion; there are occasional reports that it is staging a triumphant comeback, but for many people it is a step that is simply no longer relevant.

Which, I suppose, makes me old-fashioned (ditto my preference for Beethoven over Beyoncé, Pink Floyd over Pink and bog-standard trousers over those that display a spotty, g-stringed arse as soon as the wearer sits down), because I had always felt that should I ever meet a man with whom I decided to have a family, I might quite like to marry him first.

It was never about the big white wedding – horrid, fussy, expensive affairs in which being the dreaded centre of attention is apparently a must – it was more about the stated intention:

We are under no illusions that life is perfect, but we have taken the time and effort to organise a ceremonial promise to each other to try our very best to make our family work.

Giving myself and my intended that one further hoop to jump through seemed to offer an ideal opportunity for a last good think about our most heartfelt desires before we stepped into the bobbing sea of parenthood.

I have always been baffled by those (usually men, I might add) who claim marriage is too much of a commitment, but are happy to impregnate willy-nilly.

Pun, what pun?

But honestly, how on earth is marriage more of a commitment than breeding? You can’t divorce your children – although I understand they can now divorce you, if you don’t buy them the latest x-box or whatnot…

Of course there are still many who reckon love and marriage just go together like a nag and her cart. It has nothing to do with having children, it’s simply about forming a union that is built on mutual love and respect, a union they dearly hope will last forever and so wish to state that hope publicly.

And then there are those who are of the opinion that marriage is just a piece of paper. And I suppose they’re right: marriage can be just a piece of paper, if that is all you want it to be. And if that is all you see it as, then why bother? I get it.

Personally I just felt the need to officially verbalise my commitment to my partner before we went on to make an entirely more binding commitment to our offspring.

I didn’t want to call the father of my child, “my boyfriend” (too frivolous) or “my partner” (too business-like), I wanted to call him my husband and I wanted to be his wife – to me those felt like the building blocks for family.

But I am no romantic. Not a flutter felt I at uttering “I do”, and my heart didn’t dance a jig the first time I said “my husband”, I just felt rather silly – a little girl playing at being grown-up. I had no regrets at taking the plunge, but it changed precisely nothing.


And then, once the overwhelming relief at getting the dreaded hoop-la over and done with had started to dissipate and a sense of normality returned, I began to notice that not all was as it had been: there was an added sense of contentment in the air; a togetherness and a tenderness that I hadn’t previously perceived.

Having set sail on the bobbing sea of life and parenthood – precarious novices in our untried and wobbly little boat – the feeling that we are in this together, a team composed of just the two of us, is overwhelming.

Overwhelming, but utterly and joyfully exhilarating.

And that is the part I had never expected.

This is Status Viatoris, I know I know – just wait a couple of years and all the rosiness will have rubbed off blah blah blah, in Italy.

Shopkeeper Over and Out


status viatoris – being ‘on the way’/being in a state of pilgrimage

After a tourist season that lasted approximately three weeks, I have been left with no option but to close the doors of my itty bitty emporium, In po’ de tütu.

The months of indecision and evermore tangled thought processes have been brain-scrambling in the extreme; but ultimately, all my ponderings on what to stock and how to stock it, opening hours and window displays, lead me unfailing to the same conclusion – if there is little or no footfall past the door, most everything else is futile.

I live in a village of barely a thousand inhabitants. There are three grocery shops, a butcher’s, a patisserie, a newsagent, two hairdressers, a post office, a bank and a shop selling anything from bras to olive nets – i.e. most residents’ basic requirements are met.

And understandably, in the current climate of financial uncertainty, basic requirements are all most of us are really concerned about.

Which leaves the usually fairly predictable tourist season; this year beset not only by atrocious weather, but also what has undoubtedly been a record low in pit-stopping travellers.

The second-home owners (never my best customers anyway) staged their annual arrival en masse, but there was a pronounced dearth of new faces; those that did pop up being primarily of the self-catering variety and in frustrating possession of well-honed budgets that did not apparently include serious provision for knick knacks, souvenirs and/or bric-à-brac.

Thus the final dawn of yet another SV endeavour is heralded, but as battling on in the face of such financial precariousness seems the very antithesis of a sensible parent-type, I shed no tears…

Besides, having some stress-free time to spend getting used to the terrifying connotations of impending motherhood, may be just what the dottore ordered 😉

This is Status Viatoris, bobbing plumply on a never-ending sea of change, in Italy.

Why was I never told?


status viatoris – being ‘on the way’/being in a state of pilgrimage

Pregnancy, as I am finding out, is a lucky dip.

There are those who glide through it like swans on a particularly serene lake.

And then come the rest: struggling against the waves; flailing, coughing and spluttering as we frequently lose the battle to keep heads above turbulent waters.

I never imagined growing another person would be a stroll on the beach but if I’m honest, I did think I would be able to ride out the misery by stroking my tummy and telling myself it was all worth it just to be able to meet the little life within.

Except that it’s very difficult to do that when, other than the ten minutes a month I spend being reassured by a doctor, I am not 100% convinced there is anything in there at all.

I just don’t feel pregnant.

I simply feel fat, knackered and debilitatingly under the weather.

Why was I never told?

Why was I never told that you often feel so rough that being reminded you will be rewarded with a screaming infant at the end of it feels more like a punishment than a prize?

Why was I never told that once you pass the peeing on a stick elation, and before you get to the kicking, you can spend hours, days and weeks at a time convinced that the vulnerable little being cradled in your innards has ceased to exist?

Why was I never warned that I could suddenly spend weeks 6 to 12 wishing my pregnancy gone, wishing my partner gone, and feeling as if my life had been consumed by a fearsome black cloud?

Why was I never told that I would stop being able to sleep properly many many moons before I was the size of an elephant?

Why was I never told that the sitting position would become increasingly uncomfortable many many moons before I was the size of an elephant?

Why was I never told that my libido would become but a distant memory, rendering the idea of sexual contact about as alluring as unblocking an overflowing lavatory?

Why was I never told that my already problematic sinuses would rebel violently against the maelstrom of hormones, and land me with 9 months of sneezing, snot, inflammation and excruciating headaches?

Why was I never told that I would spend the majority of my waking hours so bone-shatteringly exhausted, that sitting on the sofa crying feels like the only thing left to do?

Why on earth was I never told?

I think the reasons are twofold:

Firstly, it is undoubtedly a given that many women forget all about a difficult pregnancy as soon as their arms are filled with screaming infant – reassuringly proving the oft-repeated assertion that it really is all worthwhile.

Secondly and rather more complicated; complaining about pregnancy is simply not the done thing.

Discovering that one is to become a mother is supposed to be the happiest and most fulfilling moment of a woman’s life, and nobody really wants to hear any differently:

“You’re going to get a baby at the end of it, so start being smug and beatific and stop your moaning.”

is implied, if not directly verbalised.

But for many, pregnancy is a terribly difficult time, riddled with endless and debilitating ill-health, stress, confusion and gnawing worry; and as I am not convinced that the straggling strugglers amongst us are fully and accurately represented out there, I just want to say:

You are not abnormal !

You are no less of a woman !

You will be no less of a mother !



This is Status Viatoris, 19 weeks and counting, in Italy.

Au Revoir !


status viatoris – being ‘on the way’/being in a state of pilgrimage

No, not to you lot – despite the irregularity of my postings, Status Viatoris would have to be prised from my cold dead fingers before I abandoned it altogether…

No, the au revoir in this post is directed very much at my French apartment, which, after three and a half painfully long years has finally been sold. Admittedly for vastly less than if I had managed to shift it before the market nosedived, but at least I am no longer racking my brains for ways to pay the mortgage every month and staying awake night after night torturing myself with thoughts of the eventual maintenance costs incurred by an empty apartment in a damp medieval village.

The buyers were exactly the sort I had dreamt of – a young French couple who experienced a dramatic coup de coeur at first visit, and immediately set their hearts on obtaining it for their forever home.

(A huge improvement on the alternative cold-hearted Parisien or similarly detached foreigner in search of a holiday home to be used for a piddling fortnight a year, thus contributing to the ghost village phenomenon so prevalent in picturesque rural Europe.)

The price they offered me was in the region of what I had paid (purchase price plus the cost of major renovations) in 2004/2005 – investment, what investment? But desperation had my hands lassoed firmly behind my back, and after a small and purely symbolic haggle, the deal was done.

Then, having jumped once again through the burning hoops of incompetence proffered by Supercilious Turd, we were on the home straight; finally signing the Acte de Vente on the 8th of August, before departing our separate and varyingly happy ways – mine being the slightly less joyous path…

For although, after the agonies of the past three and a half years, I thought myself immune to further shock – and certainly felt the bad luck that had dogged every step of my French real estate journey couldn’t possibly find further ways to blight my life – I was wrong.

At the time I left France in 2008, I had been working for a number of months in a self-employed capacity – my boss at the time being keen to avoid the hefty taxes and social charges implied by having employees. He paid me a decent salary to compensate, so all well and good; but upon leaving both job and country, I then faced a two-year battle to convince French bureaucrats that they no longer had any right to my money.

Endless registered letters (Monsieur Le French bureaucrat’s most favouritist thing), normal letters, emails and phone calls whizzed their way, until the dreaded URSSAF finally backed down and let me be – the proverbial straw possibly being the bill for €52,000.00 in “social charges” that I sent back heavily defaced with red pen:


En français, bien sûr…

The upshot being that the French authorities were left in no doubt that I was no longer a resident of La Belle France; which in turn meant that upon the sale of my French pad, they were going to be able to sting me for over 30% of the plus value (capital gains).

To complicate matters further, mine was not a straightforward property. Had I been in the possession of a cookie cutter apartment of the like so popular down on the coast, the profit calculation would have been simple: purchased for X and sold for Y.

But being a renovation project left me wide open to government interpretation of what expenditure they considered “necessary” improvements to render the property habitable, and what, in their most humble and objective opinion, was purely aesthetic.

Windows, apparently, serve no practical purpose. Plumbing for lavatories is nothing more than a luxury. Railings to stop people falling to their grisly deaths out of Juliet balconies or down stairwells are the trappings of the rich and spoilt, and electrical points to allow a property to be lit, heated or otherwise are nothing more than fancy pants accessories.

Thus it was decided – by unbiased and disinterested parties, I’m sure – that I was selling my house for over €50,000.00 more than I paid for it all those years ago, and of those 50 smackeroonies, the French government deserved €21,000.00 of them.

Just like that.

This is Status Viatoris, who has a sneaky feeling that property investment requires a wilier touch than hers, in Italy.

No Turning Back…


status viatoris – being ‘on the way’/being in a state of pilgrimage

Heavy left hands...

Heavy left hands…

For I am now officially married.




I jumped the broom, tied the knot, took the marital plunge; and do you know what? Life doesn’t feel remotely different.

Who’d a thunk it.

In the end, and like all the best bridezillas, I managed to get away with the wedding I had always wanted (if I had to have one at all, that was).

No fuss, minimal flap, a complete absence of fancy white dress and the bare necessity of guests.

Having ignored my bridal apparel for as long as possible (much to the anxiety of the much-into-forward-planning Mothership) I jumped in the bathtub for an ablute about an hour prior to the ceremony before finally allaying her fears by squeezing my ample tum into its nuptial threads without bursting any of the more obvious seams.

By ten to seven on Monday evening – apparently a most irregular choice of moments for matrimony – Tigger (resplendent in his new trainers) and I were hanging around outside the town hall with the majority of our 25 strong wedding party, waiting for the stragglers whilst being snapped in the first of far too many photos.

Civil wedding ceremonies in Italy, like many supposedly formal occasions, are nothing if not laid back; especially when the lady mayoress/celebrant happens to be a neighbour and very close friend.

With our very special marriage celebrant...

With our very special marriage celebrant…

Tigger and I were told not to bother sitting down in the chairs provided – no point, this will only take about five minutes! – so we stood obediently before her as she read out the contractual obligations we were entering in to, while our unruly party milled about taking yet more photos and umpiring a small ruckus that briefly broke out between a canine wedding guest and a curious cat that had popped in from the street midway to see what all the fuss was about.

Other than the usual exhortations to look after one’s spouse and not to get frisky with third parties, there was one final request in the wedding service that I found particularly poignant – the obligation to:

“instruct and educate offspring whilst taking into account their abilities, their natural inclinations and their own aspirations.” 

Potential Pushy Parents – you have been warned…

So, the final “sì” having been said, rings and kisses exchanged; newly weds and witnesses signed the register and Tigger and I made our way back down into the fresh air to be liberally showered with rice (and a random box of macaroni) for good luck in our new life together.

Then, horns blaring, the wedding party convoy made its noisy way along the 3km between village and pizzeria, where we settled in for an exquisite “giro pizza” and an unforgettable evening in the company of our most beloved blood relatives and our adoptive Italian family.

Non-traditional eco-flavour wedding favours...

Non-traditional eco-flavour wedding favours…

Romanians, Brits, Italians, Argentines and a random Ecuadorian – a truly international wedding.

This is Mrs Status Viatoris, who now has to decide if she has the energy to tussle with Italian bureaucracy in order to exchange her very boring surname for a marginally more exotic one, in Italy.

Revisiting the Fandango


status viatoris – being ‘on the way’/being in a state of pilgrimage

What with all the other recent goings on, I have of late been rather neglectful in checking the Amazonian progress of “An English Fandango”.

So on my last visit over to the site, I was thrilled and hugely grateful to see how many of you have very kindly left reviews; a few of which I have posted below:

“This is a funny, honest and well written account. It is neither too serious nor too flippant and is perfect for those “what if” moments which we sensible ones have all experienced whilst on holiday in those balmy (and sometimes too hot) southern climates.”

“What is it like to live, to make a living, in Spain?
Not the Spain of the blocks of seaside flats nor the Spain of the remote farms romanticised by their owners in a desperate attempt to get enough publicity to sell their white elephants.

This is Spain, described and experienced by a young woman who went out into the world to see what she could make of it and how she muddled, worked and learned her way through it all.

You want to know about the ways of Spanish restaurant owners…look no further.

You want to know about clingy boyfriends…likewise.

You want to know how to survive and win… it is.

I learned a lot about Spain here and a lot more about life.

I hope she writes a follow up on her time in France.”

“Il libro è scritto bene e si legge molto rapidamente, il registro utilizzato, pur con alcune peculiarità, non è troppo complesso persino per la mia conoscenza ridotta di questa lingua.
Il ritmo è sostenuto e le pagine scorrono senza fatica, mentre si segue la protagonista nel suo adattarsi a un paese e a una lingua del tutto nuovi.
Gli episodi sono sempre raccontati in modo leggero, non privo di ironia e la lettura procede spedita e fa sorridere più di una volta.
Lo sguardo riservato al mondo sconosciuto che l’autrice si trova davanti, è quello di qualcuno disposto ad imparare e “fare come i romani, quando a Roma”; nessuna pretesa di superiorità culturale o altro.
Ho molto apprezzato anche il candore che l’autrice ha nel raccontare sé stessa e le sue potenzialità e come scoprire certe cose sia stata una sorpresa anche per lei; non voglio spoilerare troppo, perché vale la pena di leggerselo per proprio conto.
Mi spiace sia durato poco e spero che l’autrice abbia in programma di parlare sia dell’esperienza in Francia che di quella in Italia.
L’autrice ha un blog, Status Viatoris, che seguo da un po’ di tempo.
In attesa dei, spero, seguiti, non posso far altro che raccomandarne la lettura; a me è piaciuto.”

Gabriele: Qua vorrei aggiungere che ho appena visto quello che hai scritto del libro su Polideuce, e ti ringrazio veramente tanto! Thank you!

“A great read! Whether you are a young person embarking on discovering the world, an older and wiser self looking back, or even their parent, its a great read – hilarious and anguishing by turn, and never dull! Also informative for anyone who likes bite sized nuggets of fascinating stuff about all things Spanish – music, dance, art, architecture, history and political double standards – all served up in a lively and digestible style. A very good first work from Kirsty Lowe – I already look forward to her next one…..”

“Kirsty Lowe writes beautifully about her world – within minutes you are pulled in and can’t wait to find out what will happen next. The book is a perfect little window on the fabulous wisdom of youth as the author finds her path in life. She writes about her exploits with members of the opposite sex along the way with such humour and honesty that it’s immediately identifiable with. I laughed out loud at how she got to grips with her rescue puppy and the challenges he brought to her life. This book will be enjoyed by anyone who’s ever been young and particularly those that love dogs.”

Being particularly useless at promotion, I haven’t managed to get the book “out there” in any real sense – sales still barely breaking double figures, so if anyone has any fabulous or inventive ideas for spreading the word, I would love to hear them!

Also, having just opted out of “KDP Select” (a Kindle lending library program that netted me zilch but which prevented me publishing elsewhere for three months) I am now free to market the book in other cyber bookshops. So if anybody has any requests/advice on which marketplaces to head to, again, I would love to hear them!

Massive thanks once again for all your support.

This is Status Viatoris, not Fandangoing all the way to the bank quite yet, but who knows what the future may bring 😉 in Italy.

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