Well I’ve done the motorway dance for the last time. From tomorrow I am officially working from home before going on maternity leave.

I’m a little sad; I loved my bright, corner office with its view of the city below, and it’s closeness to the hustle and bustle of busy anonymous minions, who pass each other on the pavement, avoiding eye and physical contact. I’ll miss those moments in the coffee houses and bars where I went to indulge my need to confess.

Now and then I find myself wondering if this is what I really want. Am I going to be fulfilled, changing nappies, having a child attached to my swollen, sore nipples, driving a push-chair around the village, listening out for the screaming as my baby demands attention? Am I going to love the little bundle enough not regret giving up the busy, fulfilling life I’ve worked so hard to achieve? It’s only for a few months I tell myself. Then…? Then what?
Is it unnatural that I am having these doubts at almost the eleventh hour?

He’s looking forward to fatherhood. No doubts there. But he’s not the one carrying the mammoth, kicking load under his skin; not the one dreading the agony of child-birth.

But enough about me.

……..Following on from CHANGES…….

“My sister told me that she’s warned you about me,” Giovani said lightly, after we’d driven in silence for about five minutes.


He laughed softly. “It’s okay. She tells everyone that I’m a black-hearted, evil, seducer, who can’t be trusted with men’s wives, sisters or daughters.”

“Is she right?”
“Of course she is. I enjoy women, and I hope they enjoy me in return.”
There followed another minutes silence, while in my head I played back exactly what Vitalia had said.

“Be careful of my brother, he’s a devil with women. There are at least three children out there who could call him daddy. Oh, he admits responsibility, and he’s very generous when it comes to providing for his bastards and their mothers. But he won’t marrying any of them. We have a saying in Italy ‘Perché acquistare la mucca quando puoi avere il latte gratis?”

*(Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?)

“Hasn’t he heard of condoms?” I asked.
“Oh he’s heard of them, I’ve come across reams of the things in the glove compartment of his car when I’ve been looking for something else. But he’s like all Italian men, lazy when it comes to birth control. Some men are just like dogs who like to spray their seed around, just to check their virility. What better proof of virility than sticking a bambino in a woman’s belly.”

It was a fifteen minute drive along the coasts twisting and sometimes narrow roads. Marco talked of his future plans for the business and the new yacht in particular.

I wasn’t surprised that women found him hard to resist. He had an easy charm, an athletic physique, a dangerous glint in his deep brown eyes, a mildly cruel curl on his full lips and a warm smile that could melt a polar ice-cap.

We were stopped at the harbour gate by a plump uniformed guard with a big, black, down-turned moustache; hairy, muscular arms extruding from his short sleeved shirt, and a big gun at his hip. He checked our credentials and then pressed the button that activated the tall aluminium sliding gate.

I’ve always considered that super-yachts were toys for insanely, disgustingly wealthy people, who couldn’t think of anything else to spend their money on. Several of my clients have owned such toys, spending as little as a week or two on them each year. A waste, when you consider that the basic cost of ownership starts at around £5,000,000  and can go as high as £50,000,000 or even a £100,000,000 plus, if you happen to be born a prince in a country with oodles of oil trapped under the sand.

There were six super yachts anchored in the bay, their hulls gleaming, chrome and glass glistening in the early sunlight.

“That’s it over there,” he said, pointing at the biggest.
My jaw dropped, my eyes popping out of my head as I took in the shiny jewel. Vitalia’s description hadn’t prepared me for the size of the craft, its blue, glass-shiny hull reflecting the almost still water.

“I can see you’re impressed,” he laughed.
“And you own this?” I gasped.
“Well….me and the bank. The original owner was in financial difficulties and needed to raise cash to save himself from bankruptcy. We picked it up for a tenth of its true value.”

I understood when he told me the name. I’d read about the case and what had happened afterward.
“The crew know we are coming,” he continued, pulling wo small bahs from the boot of the car, “so they’ll be ready to cast off as soon as we are aboard.”
“Welcome on board, Sir, Madam,” said the blonde uniformed officer in clipped educated English, as we reached the gleaming gang-plank. Which wasn’t a plank at all. “Everything is ready,” He bowled slightly at the waist.

“Thank you, Thomas,” said Giovani. “We can get underway immediately.”
“Yes sir.”

I could go into raptures of description about the boat and the décor, and the tinted glass, leather, crystal, gold and all the infinite number other things that turned me green with envy, but I won’t. But for those who are interested in such things and are dying to know something about the ship, or super-yacht – it is about 120 metres in length, and would’ve cost the original owner somewhere in the region of £75,000,000. It had a crew of fifteen. The belly was stuffed with toys and on the roof…..I think that’s enough, or someone out there will know the one I am referring to.

If you know it, keep it to yourself.

That’s a world that I lived in for a day, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be the same again. I could get used to being waited on hand and foot. To be looked on as almost a goddess. Try though I did to tell the crew that I was only a guest, and that I didn’t usually enjoy or have the use of such insanely expensive toys, I knew that from that moment I would always be, in their eyes, a member of an ultra privileged group.

Ah me. Why wasn’t I born rich?

The baby is sitting on my bladder again. Must dash……….