That Was The Year That….

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”
Alfred Lord Tennyson,   Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland
August 1809 –  October 1892

And now this is the last day of the year.  The sun is shining brightly after several days of dreary rain, and we are looking forward to the New Year.

This has been a year that has been very eventful for me and will be long remembered. A snap decision to sell the house and travel, meeting a new special person (again), adventures in Florence, the excitement of melding two families and so much more.

The decision had been made to go away – if I didn’t do it now when would I? And having no idea how long I would be away it was decided to sell the house and put my belongings into storage rather than buy another house.


Packing up the house to put everything into storage went well.  My son and daughter have their own houses and didn’t want my furniture, except one particular chair that went to my daughter-in-law (she had always wanted it) and a desk and a sofa table that went to my daughter.  All the rest was packed by the removers and taken to storage.  That was interesting.  I had downsized considerably when moving into that house and was very surprised to note that I needed three storage units to house my belongings.

During the decision making to move and go away on an extended trip, I met up again with an acquaintance from years before.  We spent a lot of time together during the sales process and when the settlement took place, I was invited to join him in his house in the beech forest.

House in the trees

Then it was time to start my travels.  Three grandsons and my daughter came to the airport to see me off.  None of us knew how long I would be away although I did have a return ticket for February 3, but my family were used to my going to visit my sisters on the other side of the world and changing the return date

Wellington Airport

How fast and how large they have all grown

I had a lovely time spent catching up with my younger sister in London.  The plan had been for her to come to Florence with me but that didn’t work out as she had a health scare that meant she couldn’t fly.  But we had a lovely time visiting friends and family and revisiting museums and places of interest, not as a tourist but as a returning Londoner.


And then it was off to explore Florence on my own.  I rented an apartment out of the centre of town in an area where I appeared to be the only English-speaking resident.  But how happy to help me were the Italians I came across when I used my faltering Italian to communicate with them.  In all the time I was there I encountered only one surly bus driver who couldn’t or wouldn’t help me.

Duomo 2

But as often happens, homesickness or rather the longing to be with friends and family again, overtook me and I decided that it was time to cut short this adventure.  So back to London for another week with my sister and then I returned home to New Zealand.

And what a happy homecoming that was.  I was met by my special friend in Auckland and we drove together down the North Island to Wellington stopping on the way to catch up with friends in Taupo.

Then a new phase in this long and happy life began.  It was decided that we would spend the rest of our lives together, both having had long and successful marriages cut short by the death of our spouses.  So I moved into this house in the forest and we set about making memories of our own.


The new house is almost complete – well the roof is on, doors installed and the glazing is in.  But of course, this is holiday time here in NZ and all the builders and contractors are away.  It’s very peaceful without them but we will look forward to their return on January 6.

Breakfast Pinehaven Style

Breakfast Pinehaven Style

But we are making use of the new house already. G & Ts taken looking into the forest and the photo shows breakfast cooked on the barbecue yesterday and eaten in the almost complete house.


Sisters, sisters

To round off another eventful and adventurous year, my younger sister in London has taken up my invitation to come and visit us.  She has never been to NZ.  In fact, none of my family has, and so I am looking forward to showing her where I make my life; introducing her to friends and reintroducing her to her niece and nephew and their families.  So this will be a great start to 2014.

Christmas came and went in a flurry of activities as usual.  Friends have called in for drinks, barbecues etc and on New Year’s Eve, we shall have dinner with my Special Friend’s son and his partner and their two little girls.

What a fantastic year 2013 has been for me.  I hope you can all say the same and if not, my wishes for a fabulous, healthy and safe 2014 are sent to you all.

37 responses to “That Was The Year That….

  1. I am very happy for you, dear Judith, that everything worked out so well for you. I wish you and this special friend of yours as well as all your families and friends all the Best for the Year 2014! 🙂 🙂 🙂


    • Thank you Uta and best wishes for the coming year to you and you family. My new year resolution is to keep up with my reading of blogs. I have been very bad at this over the past few months. 🙂


  2. Hi Judith–I’ve enjoyed following your adventures in 2013. I hope 2014 continues to bring you lots of health, happiness and interesting new experiences.


    • Hi Thomas – I hope you are having a good break albeit that it has hardly stopped raining for days. I hope 2014 is a wonderful year for you and your family. Best wishes.


  3. What a grand adventure 2013 has been for you. I really enjoyed reading your missives from Florence. Best wishes for more of the same in 2014.


  4. Thank you for sharing your adventures. Blessings in your life!


  5. It’s wonderful following you and your adventures this year Judith! Blessings and love,


  6. You have come full circle, Judith! What a brave soul to leave NZ and choose how you live the rest of your life. Best wishes to you and your Special Friend and blended families. You have been in inspiration in 2013. All the best to you in 2014! Cheers!


    • Thank you for that great comment. At times I thought I had taken on too much but it worked out well in the end. Best wishes to you and your family for the coming year. Judith 🙂


  7. You have indeed had quite a year! And it looks like 2014 has adventure in it too. I await your next installment in the life of Judith and how you choose to spend the rest of it.


  8. You have had a stellar year Judith. It has been fun following you. You truly are “Making memories one day at a time”. Wishing you another fabulous year! I look forward to your posts.


    • Thanks Darlene and this year I promise I will read your (and others) blogs on time instead of leaving them a whole week and having a huge catch up. 🙂 Best wishes for 2014.


  9. Thanks for the pingback to my post–we have shared good taste in the wonderful quote–and best wishes on your New Year that is already on its way to being VERY happy!


  10. What an amazing year you’ve had and shared with us! All the best in 2014.


  11. What a happy post this is – and how it shows that we never know what’s just around the corner. Serendipity!


  12. You’ve had a terrific year – I hope 2014 brings you more happiness (and maybe a little adventure, too!)


  13. What exciting adventures you have in life. I hate to say that I am
    envious…..but I am. I wish I had the courage and friendships to do
    what you do.


    • Sylvia thank you so much for reading and taking the trouble to comment. Yes, life is exciting and can only get better.


      • My niece and husband stopped in New Zealand recently and said
        it is “heaven on earth”. They plan to go back.


      • Thank you for that comment – we who choose to live here also think it’s close to “heaven on earth”. Let me know when they are coming, perhaps we can meet up. 🙂


      • Why thank you, I will tell them and keep you posted. Good for you regarding the blogs….it’s a new life with a new man…enjoy.


  14. Pingback: Tooth Of The Day – allaboutlemon-All Around, In, And Out Of My Own Universe

  15. Oh, I am so happy for you Judith! What a wonderful year you have had and now you begin a new journey with your Special Friend! Happy New Year to you and yours and even more joy to come. ~Dor


  16. Rad this it was so good and have decided I must read you blog every day are you going to write it each day.Looking forward to see you soon love to you and Jon love xx


    • Thanks little sister. Don’t think I will be posting a blog every day any more but just occasionally. I am really looking forward to seeing you in February. Much love


  17. You crammed a lot into one year, Judith. I’m so happy for you.


Let's talk

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.