What will the New Year Bring – Cosa porterà il nuovo anno

What will it 2023 bring? Who knows!

The last two and a half years seem to have lasted a lifetime. We survived a world pandemic and now we’re watching with horror as the crazy Russian continues his rampage. He’s not quite as clever as he thought, and the good people of the Ukraine have fought bravely. Hopefully karma will catch up with him soon.

We moved to Italy for a peaceful, and cheaper way of life, but now are being hit with huge gas and electricity bills. Thanks Putin! Our investments have taken a nose dive so we’ll be leaving them alone for a while.

We survived Trump’s reign of terror, but watch with horror as he prepares to run for election again in 2024. Seriously? The world is still recovering from his last mistakes, how can this be allowed to happen again?

We said goodbye to our Queen in 2022. She had a long run didn’t she. We celebrated her Silver Jubilee in 1977, the year hubby and I got married. What an occasion that was! (Both our wedding and the Jubilee). So many memories of her over the years. Even the Royal Family are struggling now. Will they survive? I think so! Not a fan of Charlie boy, and I don’t think I’ll ever refer to him as King Charles (makes him sound like a Spaniel), but it is what it is.

We lost two other great people this year. Pele, the amazing Brazilian football player who led his team to three world cup victories, and Vivienne Westwood. During the 1990’s Vivienne Westwood’s fashions flourished, but her fashion career began in the 1970s with the punk explosion. Her radical approach to urban street style took the world by storm.

So 2023 lies ahead of us. Dare we be hope the world is a kinder place next year? We can’t control the world, but we can help influence those around us. Be nice to everyone who crosses your path.

When we lived in the US world news was something we watched on TV, but here in Europe, we’re in the thick of it. We don’t just read about world events, we feel them with passion and emotion. Are we better off here in Italy? Who knows? The whole world is crazy right now.

Here’s to health and happiness in the New Year. Keep your sense of humour and stay strong!

A Full Moon Shines on my Waiting Game!

Last night I donned my mask and ventured out. I only walked about two hundred feet or so, to the bottom of my daughter’s street. There was no one close to me! I was vigilant and moved if I saw people heading in my direction.
The moon called me, well not literally, but when I looked out of the window I couldn’t resist stepping out to take photos. I hadn’t realized we were experiencing a lunar eclipse. I watched people with cameras set on tripods, or using binoculars, as they picnicked and enjoyed the view. I wish I could have joined them, but my covid test was still positive yesterday. The line is fading slightly, but still there.

The moon shines down on my waiting game. I hope the wait is short! I love being with my daughter, but I want us both to be covid free. She has a big family vacation booked in Maui in June, and I want to return home to Italy.

Send us both positive vibes everyone.

Stay safe and keep a smile.

My COVID Story – A Lesson to All – Part 1

We booked our trip to the US months in advance and looked forward to spending time with our daughter and son in law. We were also eager to see their beautiful new home and ski condo. We’d made plans to meet with old friends and visit old haunts. We moved to Italy in summer 2020 and due to COVID, haven’t been back since. For almost two weeks prior to the trip we stayed away from crowds to avoid the chance of getting COVID and being unable to fly. Pretty much isolated ourselves. We hadn’t even ventured to our local bar. My only indoor interaction with anyone was when I went shopping.
Finally, departure day arrived and we both tested negative for COVID at the local pharmacy, a requirement to fly. We were ready to go. Our friends gave us a ride to Pescara, where we caught the bus to Rome. We found a seat at the back of the bus, away from everyone, and made ourselves comfortable. Soon the bus filled up. A young couple sat on the seat in front of us. The young man had a mask covering his face and mouth when he boarded the bus, but as soon as he was seated he adjusted it so it hung from one ear only. He began to cough and sneeze immediately.
OK, it could just be a cold, don’t get paranoid” I thought to myself.
I turned to my husband to make sure he had his mask on. He did!
For the duration of the journey the young man (I guess he was in his late teens/early twenties), coughed and sneezed. The only time he wasn’t doing this was when he was exploring his girlfriend’s throat with his tongue. I perused the bus for a better seat, but there wasn’t one, so I kept my mask firmly in place and hoped for the best.
When we booked our seats I hadn’t realized that the route to the Airport had changed. This bus now went into Rome Tiburtina train station before Fumicino Airport, making the trip four hours long, not good with a germ machine sitting in front of us. The young man and his girlfriend exited the train at Tiburtina, but we’d been trapped behind him for almost four hours. A couple of times during the journey I had to pull my mask forward from my nose to take a deep breath. My husband slept for some of the trip, but kept his mask firmly in place, I know because I checked it.
Finally we reached Fumicino, where we collected our luggage and found a taxi to take us to the Rome Park Marriott, a short drive away.
The Rome Park Marriott is a beautiful hotel with glorious sunset views. We were both tired so after an early dinner we went to bed. The following morning I woke up excited because we were one step closer to visiting our daughter. After breakfast we took a taxi to the airport. Isn’t it always such a relief to get your bags checked? I did a little airport shopping (always a good offer on champagne in duty free), and then we sat in the lounge until our flight was called. Next stop New York.

This is part one of a three part blog. I hope you’ll stop by for the next two installments. I want you all to learn a lesson from my mistakes. COVID is most likely here to stay and we all need to be more vigilant.

Fried Fish and a Walk or Two

The contract on our house is signed, after July 5th someone else will be enjoying the views and and comfort of the Old Olive Mill. It will be a tough day for us, but the start of a new chapter in our lives.
For about five days we’ll be homeless again! It seems like only yesterday I was living with my friend Linda, after selling our home in America. They were fun times.
A lot has happened since then. We’ve suffered a world pandemic, which is hopefully coming to an end, and now we’re witnessing a crazy dictator trying to take over the world. 2020, 2021 and 2022 can only be described as a bad B rate movie with no ending in sight.
This world is resilient though, and so are we, good always prevails over evil eventually. We’ll survive and become stronger.
We ate fried fish by the Adriatic today, it was beautiful, lots of people enjoying the sunshine. There was a hint of spring in the air.

Don’t give up hope folks, and keep a smile.

Our Never Forever Home

My beautiful forever home…or so I though.


I’ve been in love with Italy my whole life, particularly the Adriatic Coast. It is unspoiled by tourists, charming and simply magical. We bought a house in Abruzzo in 2017, and retired here in 2020 in the middle of a pandemic. Covid didn’t dampen my love for the country, or for the Adriatic. In fact it strengthened my bond with the people of Abruzzo. Their caring generosity is amazing. I thought our beautiful home in Abruzzo would be my “forever home”, but unfortunately its not to be.

We have just put our beautiful home on the market. We love it, and are still in love with the area, but we need to buy something that we can handle in our old age. We’re both in our mid sixties now, and fit as fiddles. We walk, bike hike and feel almost like youngsters (almost).

However we are getting older and our home is on three floors, the kitchen being on the top, and the living room on the bottom. Yes that is easy until you reach your sixties, but now its a bit of a chore. Also our rented garage is at the bottom of the village, and where we store our logs, it is quite a trek in the cold weather. As much as we’re sad to do this we’re selling our house and thinking of our future. This home has brought us much happiness as both a vacation home and a full time home, but we have to think ahead to when we’re in our seventies and eighties (assuming we live that long).

Are we leaving Abruzzo…Hell no…just looking for something a little easier for two aging folks to manage. We have to save our energy for partying.

Take care everyone and stay safe.

Quirky old me – and David Bowie!

Remember when you were a kid and you had posters all over your bedroom walls? I do, and mine were always David Bowie.
I’m not so young anymore (downright old in fact), but I still found a perfect place in my old Italian home for Mr. Bowie. I think he likes it there.

Have a lovely weekend everyone and stay safe and COVID free.

Abruzzo Foodie Weekend

This weekend was full of food.
Yesterday, we had lunch in https://www.ristoranteilvignale.com/ in Rapino. It was so delicious I forgot to take photographs. I had the best peppercorn steak I’ve ever had in Abruzzo. Cooked to perfection. It was a beautiful restaurant and the staff were great. We sat by a big open log fire, which set the atmosphere perfectly. Long drive from Colledimezzo, but we were in the area to meet friends and it was definitely worth it.
Today, we met friends for lunch in https://www.villaegle.com/ in Atessa, and I did remember to take photos. Fantastic meal in a beautiful restaurant which is hidden away so well that you wouldn’t even know it was there. There are so many great places to eat here. Villa Egle is only twenty minutes from home so we’ll definitely be back.
The restaurants in our area range from excellent local dishes to sophisticated dishes that could compete with any upscale restaurant in Rome or Milan.
I love to cook, but enjoy eating out about once a week. This week I got lucky. Two great meals.
I feel like I’m advertising Abruzzo! I’m not, stay away, I want to keep it to myself.
There were only four diners in Villa Eglie due to COVID. Let’s hope these restaurants survive the pandemic.

Enjoy your Sunday everyone…work tomorrow. Oh wait, I’m retired!

A Little Levity – and Some Excellent Food!

Everyone has to admit the thought of a new and awful strain of this wretched virus is more than a little worrying. It is a burden to all of us. Just as we all begin to rejoice seeing the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel…an ugly shadow blocks our view!!! It’s hard to remain upbeat, but we must!
Yesterday we enjoyed some wonderful food with friends. Polish food for a change. The main dish of roasted pork loin was so delicious, I’d eaten it before I thought of taking a photograph.
I wish I’d captured the view too. Perched on top of a mountain it was breathtaking.
Oh well next time!

Stay happy and safe everyone, we’ll beat this new strain, just like we did the last ones. We can do this!

August 27th 2020 – Escaping America

Yes I’m writing another book. This one is about moving to Italy in the middle of a pandemic! It is a tongue in cheek dark comedy. I’m having fun writing it already.

Breath, girl, you can do this, but do you still want to?

After balancing the huge red squishy bag on top of my overfilled suitcase, I wrapped the strap of my handbag around my carryon and slowly manipulated my way towards the ticket counter. I’d only taken a few steps when a rather strict looking man came striding towards me. He held his arm up in a Hitler type salute and yelled STOP!

“Use the Ticket Machine.” He said.

Are you kidding me?

“I can’t use the ticket machine because I have a pile of documents that need to be checked. I’m flying to Italy, and I have medical declarations to show you.”

He rolled his eyes. “You can’t fly to Italy unless you live there, I think you’ll need to postpone your trip until COVID19 is over, there are rules. Vacations must be postponed.”

“I do live there. I have my residency card right here along with my other documents.”

The man looked even more disgruntled and stomped back to the counter.

Oh dear, he’s going to lose it when he weighs my suitcase.

Calabria – A nice surprise

Tropea, what a beautiful seaside town. Not at all like I expected.

Sad start to our four day break when I heard my daughter’s dog Fendi, had to be put to sleep. She was fourteen years old, and suffering with renal failure, it was the kindest thing to do. She had her favorite meal of steak, and then was put to sleep peacefully in the arms of my daughter. Yes, I’m still shedding tears over it, loved that pup. Can’t believe I won’t see her again. Wish I’d been there to hug her one last time.

Pictures of Tropea, Calabria. I don’t think I need to say much about it. Beautiful, unspoiled, great food, friendly helpful people. The rock sticking out of the sea in the background of the first picture is Strombli, an active volcano. Everything about Tropea makes it a fantastic vacation spot. We’ll be back again next year.

More photos and experiences to follow. Our next trip? Returning to Rome in September if this crazy Delta variant doesn’t prevent it. What a mess this last couple of years has been.

Thanks for stopping by everyone, and stay safe, we’re not out of the woods yet!

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