Catch up on previous ‘observations’ here.
30. Nothing is more exciting than a double decker train. Nothing. I took about 17 photos to mail to Richard Branson when I get back. (Travelling on trains in England at rush hour is horrible, thanks Richard).
31. A group of Americans who randomly sit near each other will invariably have the ‘so where y’all from’ conversation. After everybody has established where everybody else is from, they’ll talk about where their parents are from. And then grandparents. At which point the urge to shoot myself in the head becomes too strong, and I have to stop listening.
A group of Brits who randomly sit near each other will silently judge where everybody is from solely based on accent, and say nothing more of it.
A group of Italians who sit near each other will walk into each other, glare incredulously, then wander off to get an espresso.
32. Answering the phone by saying ‘pronto’ is my favourite Italian turn of phrase. I may start doing that at home, just to unnerve people.
We’re at the end of our time in Italy. We’ve been in Florence for the last eight weeks, as a life experiment. I get itchy feet every three or four years, so this was how we decided to scratch the itch this time.
Something that has become apparent to me recently is that if you want to tell interesting stories about your work, you need an interesting life outside your work.
You don’t necessarily have to pack up and move abroad. But you need hobbies. You need varied interests. You need to surprise people once in a while when they ask what you did at the weekend.
If work is your life, you’ll end up writing boring marketing that talks too directly about features and benefits. Your spectrum of topics will be too narrow.
It’s something to think about.
I’m running a webinar on Thursday 11th May, talking more about practical storytelling in business use. If you still need to register, you can do so here.
I have a handful of Uncover Your Story spots available in May at a reduced rate. Details here.
P.S. In some ways, I’m looking forward to getting back to Sheffield. We’re not from Sheffield; we chose to live there. There are many things I love about Sheffield in the summer.
I’m looking forward to getting back to a more permanent working arrangement. My business direction has changed a bit while I’ve been here, and I’m looking forward to making it all happen.
We may come back to Italy. We’ll be in England for the summer, then have a think.