Self Discovery: Value and Love

The prompt this week is: Describe a time you felt especially valued and loved.

This is a no brainer. I feel especially valued and loved every single day. For me it’s my normal and I know how lucky I am compared to others. I share my life with my soul mate, Simon. 💋 That’s not to say that we don’t have our differences and can irritate each other at times, we’re only human after all (as the Rag and Bone Man sings) What more can I say?💞

Double Marriage Celebration: Part 2 (and a poem)

Niece and Nephew at our Wedding Celebration

We got married for the ‘second’ time, ten days after our first ceremony in Florence, on June 21st 1998. My parents were keen to celebrate Simon and I getting married back at home in the UK with family and friends.  We were reluctant at first, neither of us wanted Continue reading “Double Marriage Celebration: Part 2 (and a poem)”

Self Discovery: My Strength

Week 3: What is your greatest strength? Describe a time this strength served you well.

Not sure I have a greatest strength, but then of course I must have. We all have at least one don’t we? (My weaknesses come next week but obviously self belief is one!).

I think before the events of last year, I might have answered this differently. Can’t be sure of course, but 2016 (and early 2017) tested me in all kinds of ways. The loss of two very close family members and the earthquakes that shook, and still shake, my world made me look at thing very differently.

If I were to choose something, I’d say I don’t take myself too seriously. I can laugh at myself and I certainly don’t go with the crowd. As I get older, it seems even more important that I have my own identity. I don’t follow fashion or food fads, I don’t yearn to be like the Jones’s next door (which would be very difficult because we don’t have any neighbours!). I don’t care how many friends I have on social media, in fact I can count on one hand how many friends I know would be there for me in need – and have been. I don’t take notice of book or film reviews, I prefer to make up my own mind, and I don’t believe in tactical voting. In summary, I guess what I’m saying is that my strength is my independence and that serves me well when it needs to. It isn’t a one off strength, but one I continually pull on and have done since I was a young girl, as a young, single mum, as a wife and daughter and as a friend. I’m not sure many people see this strength, and would probably be surprised if they saw it in action.

I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.

— Maya Angelou


Double Marriage Celebration: Part One

Si and I got ‘married’ twice in 1998, both times in the month of June. The first time was on June 11th and 11am in our beloved Firenze (that’s Florence). Just the two of us, our interpreter, Mara and two strangers, Joanna and Richard who were pulled off the street as our witnesses. The film, ‘Tea With Moussolini’ was being shot in the square and on the morning of our our wedding we were woken by torrential rain! Simon had to do an emergency shop to buy umbrellas and we had great fun sploshing across to the Palazzo Vecchio where the service took place in the Salle Rossa.  A magical time, I felt like a Princess – although I wasn’t dressed like one, as you can see I was determined not to look the typical bride.

By the time we’d done the deed, the sun was shining, and we learnt that the Italians believe it’s lucky to get married in the rain. They even have a saying, “Sposa bagnata, sposa fortunata“. I know many couples pray for good weather for their special day, but nothing could have spoilt this precious time for us.

I’ll share details of our second time, next week…