The Beginning

My name is Val Patel and I worked in the States for over 50 years until I recently retired to this part of Italy where I share my home with my loving wife, Ann. We've been married for 23 years.

We've been here now for 9 months and I decided to start writing about my experiences living in Italy with only a smattering of Italian between us and also of our previous lives, living in several States back in America.

I was born to a very poor family and I didn't have much when I was growing up, but I was surrounded by the love of my family. My father, Ernest was a farmer in Kansas and had a few cows and fields of wheat and maize. I always remember the colour of the golden stalks blowing in the hot summer breeze.

My mother, Katherine was a faithful loving wife to my father and I never saw them quarrel once.

My sister, Beth, who is two years older than me, and was recently living on our last farm in Wichita, was always jealous of everything I had, but now our lives are very different and sometimes I'm envious of hers. I remember the time when she hid my new bicycle so I couldn't ride it to school.

She married a famous attorney in America and now she lives a fantastic life in Florida in an enormous house where I don't know where she finds the time to keep everything clean.

Sometimes they journey back to Wichita to vist our relatives and friends and her children, but that's not very often.

She has two children called Jake and Tabitha, Jake works for an affordable locksmith in Wichita called Star Locksmith and Tabitha is a nurse in the local hospital.

They always seem to be too busy to call me, but such is life.

I hope that they will vist Ann and myself in the stunning Aosta Valley soon.

Ann has ordered a locally made pizza and we'll be eating soon. The smell is wafting into my study where I'm writing this.

Time to go I think



Wedding Anniversary

Today is our wedding anniversary.

We have been marrried 22 years and it seems like yesterday that we were in that church in Wichita getting hitched.

I would like to thank my wife for the best years of my life​.

I hope we have many more together.

I love you


Looking Forward To The Winter

Well the Summer has nearly gone and Autumn is rapidly approaching. But my favorite time of year is Winter. It's a time when I can start skiing again and also skating.

Skating is a hobby that I took up last year. I'm always falling down and bruising myself but I never give up​:

I'm always trying new things ... How about you?

Do you just continue in the same old rut or are you always discovering new activities that you can try out?​

My wife is always thinking of new recipes.

I took a picture of our latest meal

It looks like a stock photo, doesn't it.

But believe me, it's real ;)​

We Had To Buy Air Conditioning

Even though our house is fairly cool, at times it becomes a little stuffy. Especially today when the weather is a little muggy outside. I think thunderstorms are predicted later today.

I went waling this morning with my wife and our newly acquired dog. We found this stray mutt scavenging around a rubbish bin in the center of town. I'm a little soft hearted when it comes to animals and soon he was at home eating our scraps​.

Any way, I've gone off track and I started this post by chatting about our need for an air conditioning unit. I've always bought Fujitsu and we found a local plumber that was able to install a small unit in our bedroom.

Giuseppe the plumber assured us that it would be strong enough for the whole of the first floor, but I have my doubts​.

Pizza Napoli {Pizza With Anchovies}

Deborah wrote:

Pizza Napoli {Pizza With Anchovies}

Pizza is a big deal in my house. We have pizza ovens in both our house in Umbria, Italy as well as our house in Florida and enjoy making our own pizza at home at least once a week. Over the holidays with all of our family here visiting, we ended up having pizza twice […]

I’ve really taken an interest in cooking pizza since I found this website. Once or twice a week I make a fresh pizza and we eat it in our olive grove that is next to our house. We are truly living in heaven some days.

Introduction to Myself

val patel

As you can see from my photo. I'm no spring chicken.

Hope your Christmas was great. Mine and Ann's was fantastic and we certainly have made many friends since we moved here. Our Italian neighbours are always popping in and out of our house.

This Christmas I think we must have had more than 40 guests in our home. Giovanni is my best friend. He was once a violin maker but now is also retired like me.

Sometimes we hit the ski slopes together. I used to be a great skier but now age has caught up with me and my arthritic right knee slows me down.Maybe I'll have a new one, one day, but I'll go by what my doctor recommends.

When I was young and at Wichita State University I used to be a great runner and won many trophies. How I remember how I won the 100m in a time less than 11 seconds. I could run like the wind in those days.

Now I find it hard to walk 100m sometimes.I really hate the ageing process, but you have to accept it, don't you??

My favorite runner, by the way is Usain Bolt.

Time to go now. My wife wants to use the computer.