Italy, specifically Piemonte, where the pasta is al dente and the coffee tastes like a milkshake

When the world opens up for travel they will want to come to Piemonte, where there’s a season for everything. Italy’s fine wine country, nestled up against the Alps, in the region they call Piemonte; the secret that needs to be told.

The home of slow food and cooking schools where joy is served and shared because food and wine are made with love. It’s what they do and it’s where they still have a season, and a sense of time for everything.

Three funerals in Piemonte

Unfortunately, another funeral; always in 3’s, indeed. First Zio Giacomo, last week, then Franco, now Stefano, today. I will finish my caffe shakerato, made by Massimiliano Poggio at Machi’s Bar here in Bubbio, then follow Stefano’s coffin on foot with the other Bubbiese, to the elegant cemetery in Bubbio…

Stefano’s son, Max, was my first friend here in Piemonte. I’ve no idea why, but Bubbio was where I went, in need. Our first year was fraught with minor drama, things broke, stuff happened, and my guy was often away, on a project. Loazzolo, our commune was too small, no store, not even a bar…

Michel Barnier: Trade deal ‘unlikely’

Michel Barnier wraps up his statement by paraphrasing Sainte-Exupery: “A negotiation is not just looking at and talking to one another. It is to look together in the same direction”

I’ve always assumed they will crash out, it does not look good, and in a way; it is a relief. The English gov’t is fundamentally adversarial – Maggie thumping her bag, Cameron’s ‘my way or the highway’ attitude.

Unfortunate, yet fate is at play. And the EU is fundamentally the essence of compromise; hence the length of time it takes to get anything done. But there you are, and in case you’re curious, because I was, my guy told me Antoine Saint-Exupery wrote “The Little Prince” and he was a philosopher, and major aviator. He was born in Lyon, and they named an aiport after him.

I feel better for knowing this….

I will take you to dark places, like Auschwitz…

…yes, we shall go dark, along my odyssey, full of travel and pilgrimages, but I will also take you sailing to the Azores in the middle of the Atlantic, and to live with me in Paris, on the street with the longest name in la ville lumiere called rue de la Montagne-Sainte-Genevieve. You will find it all in my book called “A European Odyssey; How a boxer’s daughter found grace”

Essence

Gary Lachman often turns me on to what I need to read, and what they’re writing about, like Maurice Nicoll, he wrote about our ‘essence’ as opposed to our personality. It reminded me of reading Joyce Carol Oates “Blonde” when she wrote about the essence of Marilyn and Ava Gardner; it was an extraordinary experience.