2019 part 1

Six months in to 2019 and it’s been full of ups, downs, sadness and joy, with memories made.

It didn’t get off to the best start, but with some fortuitous twists we were able to join up with Andrew and Lis in Italy.

Totally unexpected and all the sweeter for it!

We met up in Ferrara a medieval town near Bologna and we walked, and walked and did a fair amount of drinking!

It was so hot, up to 40+ degrees!

We even found ( er a 40 minute walk away) a swimming pool and that provided a welcome relief, even though hats had to be worn, hence I didn’t go in!

Our last full day was spent walking around the castle Estense, more drinking and meeting up for dinner!

Sunday morning and Andrew’s birthday: the first one in 9 years we were together and we travelled via taxi, train and feet to Borgo Val Di Taro, the town near to where my maternal grandparents came from, Rovinaglia. I had been before in 2008 but time had played tricks on how it looked.

We unpacked, and changed for a celebratory dinner.

Andrew and Lis were off the next day to the Cinqueterra whilst we would remain for another night.

We had a stroll, did some shopping and a gelato before the dreaded goodbyes. Whilst I was upset, it wasn’t as overwhelming as it had been in the past, whether because this was a bonus I don’t know, and yes I did cry!

We made our way to the black jack pool and spent an enjoyable afternoon, watching the waterside and diving shenanigans!

Dinner was quieter but conversation flowed as we were about to end our trip.

After breakfast Kevin, Georgina and I tried to walk to Rovinaglia ( 7 km and in searing heat).

We made it probably halfway, we enjoyed stunning views and wobbly legs!

I reflected on the walk down about family both present and past. I felt a connection with Italy and also had the realisation that on 22nd June, when I made my first Holy Communion, in 1969, that I had lived in England for 50 years! And what a half century it has been, and here I was in the town that my grandparents had left almost 100 years earlier.

All too soon we had to travel back to Bologna and yes delights of Ryanair – they disappointed massively and a delay meant we arrived home at 3:00am this morning. I won’t dwell on that as we had such a wonderful time, and look forward to when we will get together again.

Life is what you make it: good, bad and indifferent but spending time with loved ones and taking opportunities as they present themselves is the best!

I am grateful to my family for spending their time with us, for making it all the sweeter too. Xxxx💕💕💕

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