The first Challenge -
To get started, let’s loosen up. Let’s unlock the mind. Today, take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write.
So here goes.
If you have followed me before, or if you have read some of my posts, you will know that for the first two years of blogging I managed to write a blog every day. Then things changed. I decided that my life was going nowhere and it was time for a change.
So almost overnight it seemed, the house was put on the market and sold, the Beautiful Miss Bella (my companion Toy Poodle) was found a place to stay while I adventured abroad and then, wouldn’t you know it, Fate stepped in. I met an acquaintance from some 30 years ago. His wife had died, my husband had been dead for some 15 years and we started to meet occasionally for coffee, a drink or dinner.
The time came for me to head off to Florence where I had arranged to lease an apartment for 3 months with the plan to learn to speak Italian while there. I had sourced a school where the learning was intensive – 6 hours each day, dinner most nights and outings at the weekend – all (or as I understood it most) conducted in Italian.
My sister in London was expecting me to come visit her first and it was decided that she would accompany me to Florence for a couple of weeks as I settled into a strange city where I knew no-one and didn’t speak the language.
This is where Fate took a hand. I hadn’t really expected the house to sell so quickly or for the new owners to want possession in a couple of weeks. So that left me homeless and with a few weeks to fill in before my odyssey started, I arranged with a friend to stay with her. But no, here comes Fate again. My re-acquianted (is there such a word) friend suggested that I should go and stay with him for the four weeks before I left for London. This seemed a good idea and so the decision was made.
My family was used to my popping off overseas from time to time and only finding out when I would come home again on receipt of an email from a far away place. My new friend was amazed that I was planning a trip to a place I really didn’t know (well I had been there for three days in the past) , on my own, not speaking the language and knowing nobody. He had been married to the same woman for over 40 years and I don’t think they had done much on the spur of the moment preferring instead to plan ahead.
So I lived with my friend for the next four weeks and it was all very pleasant. We took the Beautiful Miss Bella to her new home and apart from the first night when I was there she has settled in beautifully. Well what else to expect when she is loved by her new owner. This was to be a shared ownership of the dog but it has devolved into her being with her new owner for keeps.
The day dawned when I was to leave and fond farewells were exchanged, together with a promise that my new friend would join me in Florence if and when the house that he was building was sufficiently complete to allow him to leave. Incidentally this never happened.
My few weeks in London were great. I revisited all the places of my childhood with my sister but there was a shadow over this – they (the medical fraternity) thought she had a heart attack and refused her permission to fly. So with much trepidation and wondering what I was thinking about – a 75 year old woman taking off into the unknown on her own, I left for Florence.