Until now, my life as a carer has been divided into three parts. My mother developed cancer whilst I was in my early twenties. Prior to her illness my parents had retired to Italy and it was on one of her visits to London that cancer was diagnosed. As she needed care when abroad I spent many months travelling to and staying in Italy. My mother spent the last few months in London but was often in hospital.
My second phase of caring was for my father. After many years living abroad on his own he also needed assistance. This again entailed travelling between London and Italy but eventually he returned to live permanently in the UK. I had been working for the finance director of Aquascutum for many years and continued to do so though trying to run two homes.
After my father died in 1993 I had a few years of ‘normal living’ till I decided to retire early as by then my husband had sold his business. We then, too, divided our time between London and Italy until my husband’s health deteriorated to such an extent that travel became difficult. We always drove to Italy though early on my husband could no longer drive. It was never a problem for me to drive abroad especially through France which I loved. That is the part I miss most.