Well, take a deep breath .......   today is my last day of gainful employment.  I have just stepped off a cliff of security.  From now on I'm going to have to live on what I can earn as a writer, without the safety net of university creative writing tuition and the Royal Literary Fund Fellowship I've been enjoying at Lancaster. Scary stuff.

I took my books off the shelf, my personal belongings from the filing cabinet, took one last look at the tree outside my window and locked the door. I have very good memories of friendly colleagues and polite, hard-working, interesting students. Lots of thank you cards on my table at home - some quite exotic. And little presents of flowers, chinese red tea, a carved wooden desk jotter and chocs. It's lovely to feel appreciated. But I also feel a little sad.

On the plus side, I'm now free (after a couple of weeks of organisation) to begin my new life in Italy. Risky, exciting, financially mad. It's also a challenge. Will I be able to write there? Will any of the ideas I'm working on turn into publishing contracts? I've got a year to change my life before the savings run out. Wish me luck!


  1. Dear Kathleen - brave you! Inspiring you! And yes, a wrench, too.
    I wish you the very best of everything as you step into this bright new chapter. May the adventure of it fill and fulfill you. Love, Claire.

    PS. I do hope your daughter and her family are doing alright up in Christchurch. I was relieved to read they have moved out to Prebbleton where the ground is more stable.

  2. How exciting and how terrifying at the same time. My feeling is that somehow you will make it work. I suspect you are pretty determined when you want to be!
    It will be so much nicer for you and Neil to be able to spend more time together.
    Have fun in Peralta!

  3. Kathleen,

    I wish you the very best & more ... I wish you magic!

  4. Thank you everyone! It all feels rather raw and anxious at the moment. But I'm sure that once I'm in Italy it will all feel very different.

  5. Oh yes indeed, good luck, Kathleen. Did you sell the mill then?


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