A couple of years later, just before my son Phil was born, we moved from where we were living in the mountains of Switzerland to just across the border to Italy, to a house right on the lakeside. A big house, three storeys and a big garden leading down to Lake Lugano. Seems quite idyllic when said like that, which I suppose in ways it was, but we were renting and it was a bit of a stressful moment in our lives and so it wasn’t such a wonderful time as it sounds now.
Anyway, I remember just as we were moving in a stout blond lady came and introduced herself to my wife, and made herself available as a babysitter having seen that we had one toddler and we were expecting another in a matter of weeks. Mrs Pia was a real salt of the earth type and lived two hundred yards down the road.