Friday, 1 January 2016

Backwards and Forwards

Significantly 2015 was a year of two halves as we split our time between Italy and England.  We left Yorkshire in June, returned for 3 weeks in August, then back to Italy until mid November.  It's rather like living two lives, we have two homes, two sets of friends and two very different life styles both enhanced by each other.  When I'm in Italy I miss family, our cosy penthouse and our lovely accessible little town.  Naturally in Ilkley I miss the Italian weather, our garden and our cats (who we heard on Christmas day are still around),  but I feel so fortunate to be able to spend my retirement in two such beautiful places.
2015 was the year I came down to earth with a bump, literally when I fell in the garden in Italy and injured my wrist.  I was out of action for several weeks, the accident left me feeling frail and vulnerable.  Back in the UK I went to my doctor who whilst he couldn't rule out that I might have broken a small bone said that everything was back to normal and working properly.  Such a relief and hopefully this confirms that my bones are not as brittle as they might be at my age.
We seemed to takes ages to recover from the stormy ferry ride back to Hull, it left us feeling exhausted for days.  Even now I can lay in bed and remember how it felt as the ship rolled and creaked through the night, it may be some time before I consider this route again.  
Being ill over Christmas was another reality check.  I am so very bad at being unwell and whilst I think that my years of long distance running on the hills and roads might give me some resilience, at the first hint of nausea I am ready to give up on life, hence not eating for nearly two days.  Lets not dwell on this, I am now fine, my appetite still slightly curbed but that I like.  
Having talked myself into feeling old I should remember that we have neighbours in Italy who are in their mid 80s, currently spending winter on the mountainside with no one else around, growing so much produce they are practically self sufficient and both bright as buttons.  
2015 was the year I surprised myself by falling in love with Denmark and all things Danish.  Such an uplifting destination, I knew as soon as we arrived at the airport that it was my kind of place and the delights just went on and on.  
Ilkley football club Boxing Day
So I go into my 68th year feeling positive, living this blessed life while so many people suffering in the world it would be wrong not to and I have special thoughts for those affected by recent flooding in the north of England.  We are fortunate here that there are not so many riverside properties but the town was cut off for at least a day when the Wharfe burst its banks.
The old bridge, Ilkley on Boxing Day
I am hoping there will be big improvements in the penthouse soon and that we shall have another wonderful summer in Italy.  I won't make promises about reducing my stash of books and yarn though I will keep chipping away at both but I will resolve to delight in everything I have and try to look forwards not backwards.

Happy New Year everyone.


  1. I remember at school chanting the names of the rivers which fed the Ouse and eventually the Humber - well they have certainly come into their own lately haven't they? 'Our' Ure has been over the road many times in December and so has the Swale, our next nearest. Really it has been absolutely awful for folk flooded out at Christmas hasn't it?
    I used to come to Ilkley quite a lot as my first husband was quite a well known watercolourist and he used to always exhibit in the Ilkley exhibitions. But he died in 1991 and I haven't been down there since. Lovely little town. Happy New Year to you.

  2. Happy New Year to you too, what an interesting life you lead, Italy and England.

  3. Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! While we don't have far to travel to our other home (an hour's drive)our lives are quite different in Hawick and Berwick. I too hope to reduce my stashes this year ..... but then I say that every year!!

  4. Happy 2016 Jenny. I had not idea you were in your late sixties: having read your blog for several years I always assumed you were somewhere around your mid-50s from the way you write and your outlook on life. Don't know if that will make you feel any younger, but hopefully!

  5. Happy New Year Jenny FlipFlops :)
    Looking forward to another year reading once again about more of your dual life at home and away.
    Take care

  6. Happy New Year to you and Mr FF! Here's to a wonderful year both in Yorkshire and Italy, with plenty of meows from your Italian kitties. So pleased to hear that they are still around, that's great news!

  7. Happy New year to you both and a big yes to positivity!

  8. Happy New Year to you! Glad to hear you are fighting fit again and that the kitty cats are still awaiting your turn. King forward to another year of bloggy goodness! ;-) Rosx

  9. I don't know how you can think of lessening your books or your yarn, I certainly can't and am currently investigating new bookshelves.

    Happy New Year to you both.