Author Archives: fortewinks

About fortewinks

A PA at 19 and self employed PR at 26, Giovanna is now a British healthcare entrepreneur and public speaker. She is also a bon vivant, mother of two accomplished, entrepreneurial daughters and recently became a Nonna. Youngest-of-All is a Melbourne Top 30 under 30 Chef and founder of monforteviennoiserie.com, the city's finest destination for pastries and soft-serve. FirstBorn is a published author as well as Certified Aromatherapy Practitioner; her studio is in East London and she can be reached through amaromatherapy.com.

A Secretary’s Tale: stories to entertain, enlighten, inspire


You’re not very bright. Perhaps don’t worry about a career. You should either get married or ask your Uncle for a job in one of his hotels, said my Careers Advisor at school, circa 1978. When handed an UCCA Form … Continue reading

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New year old me: sixty is the New Forte


“I can tell you that if there’s nothing wrong with you except fat, it is easy to get thin. You eat and drink the same as always, except half. If you are handed a plate of food, leave half. If … Continue reading

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Being Nonna: reviving old memories, making new ones


Mum … what would you say if I was pregnant?  Two years ago, this is how FirstBorn introduced me to her new situation. Grandson N is now 16 months old … and the light of my life. Of course, outwardly … Continue reading

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A new experience: Durga Puja the celebration of women


Forget lunch in Shepherds Bush, said my new Lady Architect friend. Come with me to Romford where you’ll see something different. Although I have lived in East London for over 20 years, I have never been to Romford and so: … Continue reading

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Ghosts on a Wire: a play about light and power


By Linda Wilkinson at the Union Theatre, Southwark, 21 Sep – 8 Oct 2022 Ghosts on a Wire charts the activity and acceptance of a bright new force: electricity. This power is founded on a site that requires the devastation … Continue reading

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Au pair tales: the good, the bad and the …


How did you do it all, Mum? This question is posed more frequently now by my thirty-something progeny as one balances business with motherhood, the other a thriving Patisserie owner whose work entails long, long hours. When I became a … Continue reading

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Henry VIII … and the start of a Very Exciting Adventure


I begin this Blog with Happy News: BB having featured regularly in my tales over the last ten years has become HH: the Handsome Husband. Our East London wedding celebrations in June saw us tie the knot at Hackney Town … Continue reading

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Pier to Peer: a tale of two weekends


In June this year our planned stay at Breedon Hall luxury B&B in Derbyshire fell victim to Covid; the host’s son had tested positive. Long-lost friends Charles and Charlotte were forced to cancel a full hotel – far worse for … Continue reading

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Soho: an Ab Fab Memoire


We’ll be near Soho said a business colleague. Where can we meet for coffee? Reader, there is only one place for coffee in the streets of Soho: Bar Bruno. Meeting over, I wandered my former stamping ground and behind the … Continue reading

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In memory of lost friends: funny, clever, kind … and usually badly behaved.


The last 12 months have been melancholy with the loss of a dear friend, one whom I celebrate here. In so doing, it is timely to remember others who passed away in years gone by, but of whom I have … Continue reading

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