You know that bit in the cooking recipe where the instructions are to beat the egg whites till they form soft peaks – into which you will fold whatever you’re folding? Well that’s been my life, more or less, since my last post. Not that I have any complaints : rather the opposite. My life – which took an adventurous turn early in 2011 – continues to surprise and delight some 6 years later. I actually started THIS blog 3 years ago and have only now managed to get to finish the draft, update my readers (!who?) and head into the travels and adventures of 2017.
Now I don’t want to go all Polyanna on ya, but I am in severe danger of becoming one of those people who are happy with their lot, and grateful to boot! Oh dear. But just to get that stuff out of the way, I became a Citizen of Australia on 26 January 2017 (Awe-straya Day) so now I am a Dual Citizen with passports to match. Actually, truth to tell, I am a Triple Citizen since (God bless my dear late Mother) I am also a citizen and passport holder of the Emerald Isle. Hence my gift of the gab. So why would I not be happy and somewhat satisfied? Oh, I should of course point out that none of the above would have been possible if I had not been sober now for a little over 22 years. I claim no credit, I simply thank my Higher Power, whoever and whatever that may be……..
But, as usual, I digress. Since I last posted here, I have been on several trips, the most memorable being visits to India and the USA – both in 2016. No posts about those trips here, since I fell into the Facebook trap and downloaded info and pics there – which will in time get posted here. Perhaps. But from now on, I return to this blog and the easier freedoms it allows for drafting, editing and picture posting etc. Bear with me and – if you are Facebook friend – be grateful you now can see a brief note of my travels, and need only come and see the full Blog here if you so choose!
The Highlights of my Indian and USA trips last year were, incidentally, and in date order:
being in Jaipur, Rajasthan for the Holi festival (of coloured powder paints & deities) in March and at the other end of the year, travelling by train from San Francisco to Chicago – across the continent including the day of the election (November 8th) – and with nary a mention of such mundanities in the quiet confines of the Dining Car!
Holi Holi Holi – very messy messy messy. My white plastic watch strap 15 months later is still stained – mostly in pink! And to follow this wonderful experience, another honour of a lifetime during my American sojourn, which included San Francisco, New York and – of course – LA (Hollywood). What can I say but Thank You to all my fans……………..
Now – as I write – June 13th – I am in la bella Roma. I arrived last Friday evening, picked up a hire car and hurtled (you would not have wanted to be a passenger!) down the Autostrada to Napoli. Three hours later andI was pet-sitting for a weekend as cover for my real plan – to visit a concert by the 3 young Italian tenors known as “Il Volo”. If you don’t know them but like the sound of tenor harmony, as I very much do, then I urge you to hop onto YouTube where you will find many of their concerts over the last several years. I have followed their career since they won the equivalent of Britain’s Got Talent (in Italy) at the ages of perhaps 15-17 ? They are now in their early 20s and getting better and better. Even more importantly, they seem good-natured, happy guys – unfazed by their success and modest in their many interviews and relaxed in the face of a no doubt daunting schedule and their fans’ devoted – and noisy – attention.
Here’s an example. Like me, you may think that Nessun Dorma is a little overdonner, but this live version from Florence (with their hero Placido Domingo conducting) seems magical to me: their obvious desire to do it well and their joy/relief when they do. I find it real and rather moving. here’s a link (double click for YouTube):
Suffice to say that my visit to the Arena Fleagrea in Naples was worth the madcap drive, the very strange Hotel with mostly invisible reception, and rooms accessed upstairs from the street, through communal hallways and senior matrons sitting out playing cards at 11pm. My meagre duties allowed me time also for a visit to Pompeii’s smaller but equally impressive sister town – Herculaneum. Though the Italian version – Ercolano – trips more lightly off the tongue.
I have some thoughts, some pics and some stories to tell of my briefest of visits to Naples and Ercolano. I shall whip them into shape and enfold you into the mix in the post that will follow soon………..
Love & Light.
You and the Oscar? To the manner born! You have no idea how beautiful it is to read how happy you are. A treat of a post, dearest James. Looking forward to you coming to these parts. x