Poor Old Girl reaches 60

Yes, that would be me! It seems like my 21st Birthday was yesterday. I lived in Blandford Dorset, newly married, life was new and exciting. My husband baked me a coconut cake while I was at work. He prepared it during his morning NAAFI break, put it in a cake tin, then went home and cooked it during his lunch break. Bless him! It was delicious.

My next big Birthday was 40! We lived in Parker Colorado. We’d only lived in the U.S. for two years, life was exciting. My husband took me to a great Italian restaurant called Pasta’s. It was wonderful!

Now here I am, SIXTY! I live in Franktown, Colorado. Love my home! Life is still exciting. My daughter and her husband took us to “The Old Stone Church” in Castle Rock. We drank champagne and had a lovely evening.

Not sure when my next big Birthday is…..maybe it will be when I hit 100!  I can tell you one thing for sure though, life will  still be exciting!birthday

Wotunny?

Grandma!

Wotunny?

I love you Grandma!

I love you too!

Wotunny is of course “what honey?”

My mum was born and raised in the North of England, and although not quite a Geordie, she was close. I used to make fun of her accent, but I miss it so much. She’d play tirelessly with my daughter when she was a little girl. They’d sit in their make-believe airplane (under the table) and pretend they were flying to Barbados. My mum was in her eighties at the time. It couldn’t have been comfortable sitting on the floor. She didn’t have much padding on her bones as she got older. I’d prepare dinner and smile as I listened to them talk.

Grandma!

Wotunny?

I love you!

I love you too pet!

Miss you mum!

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Kick Back and enjoy the View!

I was going to say life is a marathon, but really it’s not is it, its more of a scavenger hunt. We rush from one event to another. We’re born, we reach that magical age, we leave school, learn to drive, graduate college, get engaged, get married, have children, they get married, have children and so it goes on.

All the major events in our life are very special, but so is what lies in between. Sometimes we forget this.

My beautiful daughter and her husband are spending the day with us today, I think its time to kick back, relax and enjoy the viewDSC00324

Happy Christmas Eve

DSC04085I woke up this morning feeling a little sad. It’s the first Christmas in thirty years I’ve spent without my daughter. I must admit, I shed a tear. She’s all grown up and married now, so we have to share Christmas and Thanksgiving. The first one is tough, but maybe it’ll get easier.

Having no other family in the US, and no close family even in England, it means the Christmas table will be set only for two. My husband and I! First time in 38 years we’ve been alone together for Christmas. I’ll let you know how that works out!

In the meantime, have a wonderful Christmas everyone, from my quiet home in Colorado, to your home wherever it may be!

Winter creeps in!

It’s not quite winter yet, but it will be soon. I woke up to a frost this morning! first-frost2On my drive home from work tonight I passed a house adorned with Christmas lights. It looked magnificent, but it’s only November 9th. We’ve just got through Halloween, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, but Christmas…..

Winter crept up on me this year!

I suppose it’s not such a bad thing. I had a wonderful summer. Memories of Italy are still fresh in my mind.

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I look to Thanksgiving with happy anticipation because it’s a time to gather family and friends together. This year in Vail. Snow and a steaming hot tub. What could be better?

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Yes winter crept up on me this year, and I’m going to enjoy it!

Stepfather – a Father’s Day Wish to You!

Looking up to you Dad, and hope you’re looking down on me with that funny smile on your upside down lips!

Your took on a teenager when you married my mum. A teenager who’d never known a father. You were an impostor in my eyes. The more you tried to make me like you, the more I rebelled. You never gave up though!

You’ve been gone a long time, and my mum is with you now.

I hope you’re both happy, I miss you. Dad, I loved you all the time, I was just too rebellious to show it!

My Stepfather with my daughter - Happy Fathers Day. I do miss you!

My Stepfather with my daughter – Happy Fathers Day. I do miss you!

Happy Mothers Day Mam – I know you’re watching over me.

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A very long time ago, but really only yesterday, I was a child,

You watched over me mam,

I was a teenage rebel, if there was trouble, I found it,

But you watched over me mam.

You raised me single-handedly when you fled the violent man who hurt you,

You watched over me mam,

You found a good man to love us both, we survived, and thrived,

You watched over me mam.

And now I live in a different country, far away, with a family of my own, and a grown up daughter,

I watch over her mam,

There’s a chair on my porch, and I sit there and talk to you, I know you hear me,

Because you’re still watching over me mam.

Happy Mothers Day – I love you. You’re in heaven now, but I don’t miss you because you’re here watching over me Mam!

Once Upon a Time in Italy

In 1973 when I went to Italy for the first time. It was one of those ‘all inclusive’ package tours. I went with my mum and my crazy old Aunt. The minute I stepped off the plane I was in love with the place. I was fifteen. I spend two weeks wandering along the beach, basking in the sun and enjoying the atmosphere. I explored the streets, always turning the corner to find something new to delight me. I returned the following year, and the one after. I was hooked. Italy 1973

In 1977 I got married and money was tight for my young husband and I. We were happy to be anywhere, as long as we were together, but Italy was on our bucket list! In 1983 we could finally afford the trip. My husband, a British Soldier, was stationed in Germany and we drove through the Alps, what a lovely way to get there. Did he share my love of the country. Yes, he was hooked right away.

We drove through the Alps to Italy in our very own Alfa Romeo

We drove through the Alps to Italy in our very own Alfa Romeo

I gave birth to my beautiful daughter in 1984 and soon after we moved back to England. With only one pay check, vacations abroad were out of the question and it was 1993 before we could afford a vacation in Italy again. Lido de Jesolo this time. My daughter was seven years old. She took to the country and the language like a fish to water.

Once upon a time on the shores of Lake Garda

Once upon a time on the shores of Lake Garda

We moved to the USA in 1995. Lots to see and places to visit. San Francisco and New Orleans became my favorite cities to visit. I Loved shopping in New York, enjoyed trips to Mexico for sun, sea and sand, but yearned to return to Italy. Long way, lots of money, would we ever be able to afford it? Eventually in 2010, we could stand it no longer. We needed an Italy fix and booked a trip to Rome. Two weeks in that Eternal City were not long enough. We took the train to Frascati, rented a car and drove to Sorrento and Pompeii, but mostly enjoyed walking the streets of Rome and mixing with the locals.

The Eternal City 2010

The Eternal City 2010

I’m getting older now, I can’t wait another ten years before I see Italy again. In a couple of months my husband and I fly to Rome, but this time for three weeks. Rome, Milan, Lake Garda, Siena, Ravello – I can barely wait! My daughter and her new husband will be with us too, how special. Life evolves, things change, but Italy will always be a part of me. Hope you enjoy the photos!

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Rome, Milan, Lake Garda, Siena and Ravello – not long now.

It isn’t difficult to tell I started a new job. This is my first post since March 22nd. After over three months at home its hard to get back into the swing of working again. Last week I was WIPED OUT and could barely stay awake when I got home. This week is a little easier, but I’m still tired. Hard to believe a three-month break can change so much, I’ve worked all of my life.

Now my daughter, who has always lived close by is starting a new job too, in Dallas. I’m very happy for her, and sad that I’ll have to get on a plane to see her now. It’s a fantastic opportunity that she can’t refuse. She’s a smart cookie. Nothing stays the same for long. It is going to  make our summer trip to Italy very special because I’ll have her with me for two whole weeks. Italy and family, what could be better?

1993 - Italy

1993 – Italy

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Rome 2010 – Restaurant 35

Pretty soon I’ll be able to add more photos from Italy. Rome, Milan, Lake Garda, Siena and Ravello in July 2015. Can’t wait! I know Rome well, but if anyone has any suggestions or tips for the rest of my trip I’d love to hear them.

 

Lake Garda – Memories and my Return

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This photograph was taken in 1994, and this beautiful little girl is my daughter (who recently got married). The photo is taken at Lake Garda during a family vacation. We haven’t been back since, although my husband talks about it often. These were happy days. We can’t return to the past, although we can remember it, but we can look forward to the future.

In 2010 we revisited Italy, spending two glorious weeks in Rome. Next year we are returning to that exciting, colorful, friendly country and during our trip, will spend two days in Hotel La Vittoria, Lake Garda. I can hardly wait. My daughter will be a little older this time, but she is still just as beautiful, but there again, I’m bias.

I travel, I write, I drink good wine.

Life is good!

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