The view from our hotel in Sorrento

The view from our hotel in Sorrento

I’m just back from a holiday in Sorrento, but that's not what I wanted to talk about. No, my reason for this blog is to say no one noticed my face. Weird? Eh, not really.

I'll write a blog soon about the trip, but what surprised me was how I never noticed anyone staring at me in the week we were away – not at our hotel, out in Pompeii, the Amalfi coast or Capri. Usually I'm on my guard when I'm in a crowd – and especially with people I have never met – but this time I was so relaxed that even if someone was looking at my face in a strange way I just never spotted it.

What's more, my wife Trish commented to me at one stage that I was very relaxed in Italy and very open to talking to people in a way she hadn't seen before. And it's true: I bared my soul to anyone who cared to listen. Once people heard I was writing a blog they wanted to know what I was writing about. They were intrigued by my story, but also quite candid in saying how they looked past my face and enjoyed my company.

This is not the usual me, by the way. In a crowd I tend to find someone and hang onto them for as long as possible so I don't have to move around meeting other strangers. Ask Trish sometime and she'll tell you that's the way I am. But something changed in Sorrento and I was released from my usual painfully shy self.

Most of my friends would be quite surprised to hear that but it's true – I'm that shy guy in the corner you often hear about, reluctant to mix in case of rejection. Except this time I came out of my own shadow and was prepared to be very open with people. It's progress, and I have the blog to thank for the change. I have come out of my shell and embraced the world. It's a super feeling and long may it last.