I had a wonderful time in Italy.  I love that Country; I’ve been going 2 or 3 times a year for over 10 years.  It’s my favourite food, it’s so easy to eat well and it doesn’t cost the earth.  The same is true of the wines.  Of course, I now have an Italian girlfriend which has bought interpretation to a completely different level.  I’ve been involved in the food business for a long time, I am also a history buff and I like nice clothes.  Italy is just perfect for me.

This visit we headed back to Liguria, the Italian Riviera, it’s the bit where the South of France meets Italy, beautiful coastline and amazing seafood.  Many people know it through their most famous sauce, Pesto.  The whole region smells of basil.  They are so proud of their seafood that if you are visiting a coastal town, it’s really hard to find a menu with meat on it.  We ate only fish for 3 whole days.

Apart from my trip, dancing (or my attempt at dancing) has completely and utterly overtaken my life.  I am practising with my partner for 3 hours a day.  I am then practising on my own whenever I can.  When I wake up each morning, before I get out of bed, I am going through my routine.  As I put the kettle on, I am practising steps.  This madness continues as I am getting into the car and I even stop to cha cha cha walking along the beach.  I am going to become very boring but I can think of little else at the moment.

My relaxation these days comes from more cooking.  I decided to eat out less and cook at home more.  I love time at home and I am lucky in that I don’t have to cook out of necessity, I can do it for fun and relaxation.  Of course a beer or a chilled bottle of wine helps.  I’ve got friends coming round this afternoon and I am making an aubergine dip and a spinach soup.  All very healthy, hope they’re not disappointed.

Next week is just going to be filled with dancing.  One of the very positive side effects is the fitness, if you practice dance for 3 to 5 hours a day, you could basically eat and drink whatever you want.  I’m shifting weight like I can’t believe.  I had 3 days of indulgence in Italy and still lost weight.

Thanks to a mate Alan Dunne, the Millwall Footballer, I will be doing the Ice Bucket Challenge.  Thanks for that Dunney!

Gregg Wallace