It’s actually not the first time I’ve attempted to go off to Italy and live La Dolce Vita for a while. Oh no. I have dabbled.
During that perky period right after university, I thought it would be the perfect time to pop off to Italy for a few weeks to work as an English teacher. I had visions of myself as a sort of Maria von Trapp/ Zooey Deschannel hybrid. The reality involved me, stuck out in hundreds of acres of Tuscan fields, acting as what can only be described as ‘slave’ to a crazy Italian millionaire with an irrational fear of Chinese people.
His son (my pupil), a really robust 11 year old with an unhealthy obsession with mayonnaise who I refer to with NO FONDNESS AT ALL as Augustus Gloop, was off to boarding school somewhere in the home counties in the Autumn. And he was one of four other Augustus Gloops. Four little sods who spent their time their time calling me a putana and running away from me.
The only other person I had to speak to was the the South American nanny who spent most of her time swearing at me in Spanish and would steal off in the night to meet her lover, Rocco, who sold ice creams from a golf cart along the beach (incidentally Augustus LOVED this arrangement)
I was supposed to stay for two months and I made it two weeks, then spent a hell of a long time hibernating in my parents kitchen.
So it is fair to say that it is with some trepidation I have decided to leave everything in London (temporarily) to return to Italy and give it another go.