Well here I am writing a blog. Thanks to my daughter Laura who set it up for me. I chose the colour for the background and she chose the name.
The term expat has always left me a bit perplexed and I'm never sure if I want to be one. Being an "ex" anything doesn't sound very positive to me.
When my son enrolled me on Twitter and I had to write my profile I put English woman who came to live in Italy for love. That was 36 years ago and a lot has changed in Europe since then. Up until then the fact that I was English seemed to be the most insignificant thing about me and suddenly it was the most important. I was a foreigner, just passing through. It took me a long time to come to terms with my new identity, an English woman living in Italy and married to an Italian. All this might seem laughable now, there is much more freedom of movement, customs, where we queued for ages to show our passports, and many other boundaries are quickly disappearing.
This can only be a good thing in the long run. If we want free trade we should surely also be in favour of freedom of movement for people.
Nobody should have to leave their country for anything other than love.
Technology has changed the way we communicate in an astounding way. When I first came to Italy I had to go through the operator and book a phone call to England, and this often resulted in frustration and disappointment if the person you were calling was out. Whenever the phone bill arrived my father would phone in a fury saying that my mother could have flown to see me three times over for the same amount, my husband would angrily comment about our trivial conversations.
All flights were very expensive and needed careful planning through a travel agent and were either charter flights at awkward times of the day and very unreliable or extremely expensive British Airways or Alitalia.
How different it is today with mobile phones enabling us to be instantly available. How my father would have loved to have been able to text me at his whim, "In the pub with Pete, will ring at 2pm".
This would have been magic for us and made the distance between us much easier to bear.
Actually it was Alitalia that unwittingly helped me with my identity crisis.
I was on a flight to London with my 3 small children and speaking to them in Italian in a wish to blend in and be polite. When I asked for some water one steward called to the other that it was for the woman who was pretending .