Catching Up

Dear 2019

Since my last update in March I decided to heed the messages and put my health first. I have managed to find a new job and include a bit of time off in between. I still find I try and cram too much in at times. My back has been pretty good, a bit achey at times but then this morning it was very painful and I realised I probably have been overdoing it, so I’m giving myself a day off to catch up on blogs, admin and tea drinking and time with a jolly good book (current read is Wolf Hall.)

View of Southwold Pier with ice cream

Also since the last update, we (as in the husband and I) have decided we’d like to move home in the next 3 to 5 years – it’s great living in the city but the coast has been calling for a while now. We’ve had weekends away in Surrey and Suffolk and found the green spaces really inspiring. The English countryside and coast are glorious. And I could fulfil a long held dream of having my very own garden. Nothing too big, but enough for a decent amount of pottering about. And a shed of course….it’s a huge decision as we’ve always lived in the city. I’ve been in my current flat for 30 years so it’s definitely time to move on. We are looking for somewhere big enough to have cinemas and theatres as village life would be quite daunting.

The Arno flows through Pisa en route to Florence

Most of our trips have been documented on my Insta account. Weekends in Oxfordshire, a 10 day break in Italy which only came about because we were due to go to a yoga retreat in Sri Lanka for 10 days ( but a week before we were due to travel the bombs went off so travel was completely out of the question. We are still in the process of recovering the money from the travel agent (it takes several weeks) and the hotel moved our booking to next year. Then yesterday the FCO lifted the travel ban which is great news, and means I can rebook flights as soon as we get our refund. Yoga has been a real sanity saver over the last few months. In April we also had a mini break in Bordeaux with some old Uni pals. I feel so lucky that after nearly 40 years we are all still in touch, still alive and mostly have our own hair and teeth!

Pasta making with a view: from Lella’s farm near Lucca. Tuscany

We have also been trying out different crafting classes – one of my friends often teases me about my constant “self improvement”. But if I don’t try everything, how will I find out what I want to do when I grow up? During April the husband and I did a 1 day Ayurvedic workshop with the lovely Geeta Vara (, and a 2 day stone carving course at London Stone Carving ( In May I tried out Shibori, a Japanese dying technique (which I will use to rejuvenate a couple of old duvet covers) In Italy we booked on a pasta making cookery class ( and last Saturday (1st June) we tried out stained glass panel making. It was an Airbnb experience (search ‘Wenhaston’ on the website – there are several classes, we went to the one taught by Chris). Inspired by all this crafting I have signed up to an 8 week evening class in ceramics. Healthy mind, healthy body will hopefully equal ripe and healthy old age. 

I’m in a much better place than I was last March. My new job starts soon, we have plans underway for refurbishing the flat ready for sale in a couple of years, my daughter’s boyfriend has moved in with her and he’s very supportive, I’m so pleased she has someone who is there for her. All in all I feel a deep gratitude that I have so many positive things in my life at the moment. It doesn’t matter how old you are, there is no reason to stop adventuring and trying out new things.


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