Archive for March, 2008

Three generations

3 March 2008

Everything in England, that is.

In September 2006 there was bad news from Italy. Annalisa’s father, Cosimo, died very suddenly at the age of 65. It was completely unexpected and devastating for Annalisa, and for Tosca, her mother.

Since then, Tosca has lived with us in Pimlico. It is the Italian way for the generations to stick together, and it suits even me, the Englishman. The big house in the village in Italy that Cosimo built with his own hands has stood empty except when we visit for holidays. We rely on friends and family to look after the dogs and the chickens. On top of all her other work, Annalisa now manages the land from this distance.

But we are seriously considering a permanent move to Italy. If we go, it will probably be in August. We haven’t yet made the decision. I love life in London, and so do we all. Even Tosca has taken to it, what with Annalisa taking her by bus to the Italian club in Clerkenwell and the joys of the haberdashery department at Peter Jones. But it is something like 60/40 that we will go.


Aug 2006 – Back to London

2 March 2008

In August 2006 we came back to London. There were many things to be sorted out. One that now seemed simple and obvious was that Joe should go to Pimlico. It was on our doorstep, it was probably all right, if not we would find out and could do something about it. The only question in my mind was whether there would be a place for him.

There wasn’t a place for Francesco at St Gabriel’s, so he went to Churchill Gardens Primary instead, with the understanding that he was likely to go back to St Gabriels if a place became free. That did happen after a couple of months, and in the meantime it wasn’t so awful. When I first looked at Churchill Gardens Primary over ten years ago it was in a pretty bad way. But since then it has had strong leadership from Mr Pye. He has told me that he spends up to two full working days a week researching and applying for grants and funding, and it shows in the way he has transformed the school. He also says that he gets no support from Westminster City Council. I can believe that.

For Joe at Pimlico there was no problem getting a place. We went to see the head of year 7, and in general conversation it came up that Joe plays the piano. “Oh, he should go on the Special Music Scheme, then.” And he did. As simple as that.

So in the first term, everything seemed to be going well.