Well, not exactly. When I arranged to meet fellow blogger Catherine McNamara, aka Cat, I felt certain the day would revolve around large glasses of prosecco – a drink that features prominently in her recently released book, The Divorced Lady’s Companion to Living In Italy. But, peccato, we were not in Milan, but Londra where the weather was cold and the rain relentless. The conditions demanded soothing food and scalding coffee. They also begged for umbrellas, which neither of us had . . .
But the torrential rain could not dampen my delight at spending four hours with Cat. She is funny, engaging, encouraging and passionate about her writing. A true cosmopolitan, she retains a light Australian accent, but unconsciously dropped occasional Italian words into the conversation – si, si . . . ecco . . . basta. I could have listened to her all day. We talked about topics as diverse as writing, reading, travelling, mothers and daughters, blogging, marketing, the ex-pat experience, Silvio Berlusconi, skiing, foreign languages and of course her book:
Cat’s debut novel charts the progress of Marilyn Wade, a 40 something Englishwoman who flees to Italy when her husband leaves her for a younger woman. Newly made over and fueled by prosecco and grappa laced coffee, Marilyn sets out to conquer Italy, finding love and adventure along the way. The book opens with a killer first line – An old friend of mine named Jean fell through a tear in her marriage and landed on her feet. – and continues in a light and sparkling manner, like a glass of prosecco; a perfect pick me up.
As our time in the cafe drew to a close, I asked the young man sitting next to us, with his nose in a physics book, to take our picture. I was holding my copy of Cat’s book and felt compelled to blurt Look! This is her book. She wrote it. Then I showed him the author photo. See?! It’s her! I’m sure this serious student thought I was one crazy kookoopants, but he smiled and said Cool. And she is – one cool Cat.