The Diary of a Single Parent Abroad by Jill Pennington


This is not the usual ex-pat story.
Three kids, no man, no money, no job.
Not the new life I expected. 


When Jill and her family moved to Italy she expected life to change but she had no idea how massive that change would be. Shortly after the move, she discovered her husband had been having an affair and had no intentions of staying in Italy.

Despite being in a foreign country with no income,  limited language skills, a house that needed rebuilding and three young children to care for, she never once considered returning to the UK. With strength and determination she accepted any challenge, dismantling a derelict house to ground level, digging out a three metre deep well with her hands to get free water and overcoming her fear of the chainsaw to cut the winter wood. When there was very little money for food she made risotto with nettles collected from the roadside. She overcame many problems learned new skills and discovered that money is not important, and the only things in life that matters are health, happiness and her children.


Jill’s story is delivered with an ever present hint of humour, because, she says, “Without laughter life wouldn’t be funny!”


Jill Pennington was born in Yorkshire and lived there for 36 years. She moved to Italy with her family in 2004, she has three teenagers and far too many animals, but loves them all. As well as writing about life as a ‘Britalian’ she manages property for other Brits and helps with renovation projects. 

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