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The Leaving of Italy

Leaving anywhere is difficult - leaving a place like this is very hard.  The little house in the olive grove has been home to my partner Neil for 6 years and it was also mine for 3 of them.  Though I've been living back in the UK for the last 3 years the little house was always there to visit - to drink wine on the terrace looking out over the Mediterranean towards Corsica, or to look up at the rocky, white-tipped Alpi Apuane rearing more than 4,000 feet above us.

Then there were the eagles and the wild boar, ghiri, pine martens, porcupines,foxes and badgers, all managing to survive the Italian compulsion to shoot things. They don't use pesticides up here on the mountain, so the wild flowers in spring were sensational enough to make you weep for what we have lost here in the UK.

But Brexit has changed everything.  The marble sculpting industry has been in decline for a decade or more as economic forces have bitten deep into the pockets of purchasers.  It has become difficult …

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