Interview: Bonnie Alberts of Napoli Unplugged

A look back (first published 11 January 2016): I have to declare an interest here … if it wasn’t for Bonnie Alberts and the power of Napoli Unplugged I know my writing about Naples would have fizzled into nothing. Somehow she, and Penny Ewles-Bergeron, found The Phraser and their encouragement keeps coming. So … how did I begin to find my way around Naples? One of my first ways in was with the website Napoli Unplugged and later with the book – the Napoli Unplugged Guide to Naples. Of course there were others but none of them had Bonnie Alberts based in the centro storico, keen to communicate (in English!), and passionate about the city. A top tip (and it’s not because of the debt owed) is that if you want to explore Naples, either in person or from your sofa, their guidebook is like a richly carved doorway into the hidden, and the un-hidden. It talks to you … so, you will find, does the city.

The Phraser

Bonnie Alberts - one of the four authors of the Napoli Unplugged Guid to Naples Bonnie Alberts – one of the four authors of the Napoli Unplugged Guide to Naples

“I don’t see how an American can ask me if Naples is safe!”

Bonnie Alberts is an American, a well-travelled American, who has lived in Naples, Italy for a decade.

“I don’t understand the reputation – it’s a breathing, working city.”

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Interview: Michael Aspinall – gentleman diva and ‘maestro di canto classico’

Michael Aspinall photographed in Christ Church, Naples Italy in 2016

Michael Aspinall photographed in Christ Church, Naples Italy in 2016

The trouble with being the king of a niche is that however impeccable your talents your kingdom may not be big enough for those outside the niche to notice your crown … which, if the king is a modest man, leaves the rest of us none the wiser … as it were.

I met such a king recently and it took two years to discover who he was.

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Interview: Bonnie Alberts of Napoli Unplugged

Bonnie Alberts - one of the four authors of the Napoli Unplugged Guid to Naples

Bonnie Alberts – one of the four authors of the Napoli Unplugged Guide to Naples

“I don’t see how an American can ask me if Naples is safe!”

Bonnie Alberts is an American, a well-travelled American, who has lived in Naples, Italy for a decade.

“I don’t understand the reputation – it’s a breathing, working city.”

Continue reading

Founder of the charity ZANE (Zimbabwe a National Emergency) walks miles to raise funds

The end of Day One of ZANE's York to Canterbury 2012 fundraising walk

The end of Day One of ZANE’s York to Canterbury 2012 fundraising walk

(March 2015:  Relaunch of a piece on ZANE’s September 2012 walk.)

Tom Benyon OBE (aged 70) and his wife Jane are walking for ZANE … again.

They’ve done Edinburgh to London (450 miles) and Land’s End to Westminster (335 miles).  Now it’s York to Canterbury – 351 miles.

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Happy New Year – tanti auguri!

Another year gone – another year of life disappearing over the horizon with all it hazards and chances.

A thousand thanks to everyone who looked in on The Phraser over the year.  Your company and your feedback make The Phraser.

I would also like to mention especially, those who have allowed me over the past year to interview them or feature their work.  It is such a privilege to have the chance to profile the parts of life that have caught my eye.

Here are a few links to some of the 2014 Phraser ‘portraits’:

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