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It’s still dark outside the gaping train window as I speed toward Bern – Brig – Milan – Torino. I kissed the children goodbye after having stocked the fridge with homemade zucchini bread and vacuumed the house. I feel comfortable in my jeans, white tee and little black jacket; deceptively stylish. I need to feel stylish today. On the other end of the line waits the celebrated costume maker who designed (and won Oscars for) two Hollywood films. They’re also designing for Sofia Coppola’s Borgia TV Series. And then there’s me… world champion whoopie pie maker.

There is a surge that’s pushing me into a world where I feel good, if somewhat afraid. The world of the arts; of music, design, opera, history. Many times it is Italian.

Nearly two years ago (we’ll celebrate that) I was embraced and espoused by Italy. Growing up feeling somewhat out of synch with my environment, I’d spent years trying to suppress that side of me that is most real: the artist. A little off-colour, decidedly off-center, walking every line there is. Italy accepts that. The Italian arts say it’s ok to be unique.

Every time I think my career is over (I get like that, you’ll come to know), someone shows up and says, “We like you. Come work with us.” I’ll probably never be theĀ journalist who takes that for granted; I’m surprised every time. The challenge is whether or not I am willing to take the risk. And the risk is not only a professional one (am I skilled enough to write this piece), it is a personal one (am I brave enough to drop the facades). Someone once told me: “Your own voice has done okay by you so far, right? Be yourself.”

Grazie, Italia. Arrivo subito!


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