Today would have been my youngest brother’s 60th birthday, sadly we lost him very suddenly and shockingly 3 years ago after he was diagnosed with incurable cancer. The same cancer as I had. My lovely sister, the baby of the family, is currently undergoing really difficult treatment for a nasty form of spinal cancer. She’s managing the situation with courage and lots of strength. My dad in his late 80’s had a procedure to remove a cancer spot only recently. My wife’s sister and brother have both overcome having the disease and her niece has similarly come through the experience successfully. Yesterday we spoke with a dear dear friend who is recovering from having a major operation to remove cancer and in a week or so’s time she’ll resume her chemo treatment. The operation went as well as could be hoped and we’re crossing everything that the prognosis remains entirely positive and her recovery continues totally. It’s a horrible horrible disease but I’m in awe of the work that the NHS does in helping people deal with it. I know they get lots of stuff wrong and I’m the first to complain when their admin is hopeless, they postpone procedures at the drop of a hat, and keep you waiting endlessly. But they saved my life at least 3 times and many people we know have cause to thank them too. I wanted to post something uplifting to celebrate people fighting and winning their battles with cancer but wanted to avoid something mushy like ‘You raise me up’. I thought this might be approriate especially since anyone who’s had to spend the night on a hospital ward knows, no-one sleeps…
Well after a few weeks in the UK we are back home in Italy. I’d gone over for a week’s work for one of my clients back in early November. But that had dragged out or various reasons only coming to life within the last week. Typical. C found a nice job at a college close to S and I’s place where we were spending most of our time . I also did 4 pitches to other potential clients – we’re waiting to see how things turn out. We caught up with our great friends L & S and J & G (who’ve been incredibly kind) and, of course, with E and S and our great grandsons. It’s been a busy spell, slightly frustrating work-wise but enjoyable in many ways. But we’re glad to be home and looking forward to Xmas in Italy and seeing all our family over here for New Year. Let’s hope 2009 is the year everything comes good.
Sounds like a BT tag line but it’s a just a way of saying that we’ve been busy on personal stuff for a few days hence the absence of new postings. Yesterday evening we got back from visiting our daughter and grandkids and had Mike and Jayne round for dinner. We haven’t entertained at home for ages and it was lovely to see them and return the favour of the dinner they treated us to some weeks ago. We weren’t able to push the boat out but that’s not necessary with old friends. It was just good to chat about life, the kids growing up, a little on old times etc and to drink a little too much too (except Jayne who was chauffeuress for the night). Great company.
I wrote in an earlier posting about my fascination with numbers and the particular pleasure I derive from seemingly random cases of precise numbering (you’d better go read ‘figure this’ under the travel category for an explanation). Well this week the above sequence of numbers popped into my view. As Rolf Harris’s accountant might have said, can you tell what the numbers refer to yit? It would be nice to think that they are sterling figures for my consultancy services – hourly rate, typical monthly fee and this year’s earnings. More accurately it could be number of creditors, typical monthly credit card bill and total debts. I jest of course. We owe lots more than that. Continue reading
Well folks this is my 100th posting on the Pasta Paulie blogsite. Blimey that’s starting to be a lot of opinion, rants and slightly gentler words now I think about it. That’s said, it’s been a blast for me. I’m full of crap I know but this has been a great release valve for me now that we’ve stopped playing 5-a-side (unwillingly). So what’s the subject for this posting? It ought to be about life in Italy as that’s the core theme of the PP site. But as you know we are largely over here at present trying to get this house sold after 2 years on the market. We hope to get back there very soon. But it’s been a difficult few months now and something happened last night to make me feel very good again.
Having a home in Italy has enabled us to catch up with loads of friends and family coming over for short breaks. I know there’s a lot of hooha in the media about the effects that cheap flights are having on CO2 levels etc. But I think the no frills concept has opened up international travel like never before. I can commute easily and often very cheaply between Italy and the UK and our lives have been transformed. A generation ago they used to think my father was mad when he worked in Blackpool and lived in the little town of Poulton-le-Fylde about 3 miles away. I’m not kidding but I tell you what was mad – me spending five and a half hours a day commuting by car between Buckingham and London for decades. What effect did that have on the atmosphere? Now our friends can catch a Ryanair flight and are having some prosecco and prosciutto with us 3 hours later. And they haven’t robbed a bank to do it. There’s something wrong with that…?