“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver
Well, once again I have fallen badly behind. My excuse? We have had a very busy time this year and are only now finding time to do the things we enjoy – and I certainly enjoy writing my blog.
The year started with a hiss and a roar and I related much of it in a post in April.
Then it was off to Europe for three months. What a lot of fun that was. We have friends in Como and made this our base for our travels. Coming back to Como to welcoming friends (and a washing machine) was great. These people have been my partner and his family’s friends for years and so it was with some trepidation that I agreed to go to Como. And I am so glad that I did. They welcomed me with open arms and within a few days, I felt one of the family. We enjoyed our time with these people and their family. Three little grandsons were around almost every day and Claudio aged 3 was teaching me English. His constant plea was ‘Storia Judith” Well, of course, it was a picture book but as I know little or no Italian and he knows no English, story reading time was hilarious. He kept correcting me and I don’t know how many times he told me “pompiere” was the word for fireman. “No no” he would say and fall about laughing at my pronunciation. What a joy he was.
We had lunch with friends of our host and hostess at a lovely villa on the hills above Lake Como. A dazzlingly beautiful day, great fun although much of the conversation went over our heads.
Venice (of course) beckoned as did Tuscany, Spain, France and the UK. Three months is a long time to be away but hardly enough time to do all the things we wanted to do. A visit to Germany to meet our friend’s mother who is 93 years old. A pleasant day indeed.
In Switzerland, we had lunch with our hosts’ son who lives in Como and works in Lugano.
We spent a couple of weeks in Spain with our hosts and then went on to Barcelona for 9 days on our own.
Tuscany, of course, was a delight. We stayed in a lovely converted farmhouse five minutes from San Gimignano for almost a week discovering and rediscovering the countryside and lovely towns and villages. Florence called again and this time we found ourselves in a 15th Century converted farmhouse owned by a delightful young couple and only a ten-minute bus ride from Florence. I have said before that Fiesole is one of my most favourite places in this wonderful world. I waxed lyrical (?) about Fiesole when I stayed in Florence last year.
And this year we visited my favourite spots in Florence having somebody to share these things with at last.
We came home after our trip to Europe with the prospect of moving house looming. We were still in the brother-in-law’s house but after a few days back here I organised the removal company to deliver the furniture. What a huge job unpacking all that was. Forty-six years of living in one house had my partner moving boxes and boxes and boxes of belongings. My furniture and effects? They were and are, still in storage. Note to self – make a decision about this..soon.
But now after three months, we are totally settled into our new abode. My stuff is still in storage and by the way, talking of storage, the arsonist who set fire to the storage facility at the beginning of April has been charged and is currently being tried. Would you believe he has pleaded Not Guilty even though there is CCTV coverage of him entering the facility complete with a petrol can? Well, let’s see the outcome of this trial – what a waste of taxpayers’ money.