On the eighteenth I turned fifty, it almost seems like it didn’t happen. With all the build up and excitement about going to Paris driving me the last few months celebrating at home and then sleeping through the afternoon was a bit of a bummer. Sam and the kids made a cake, Carina set the table with pink party plates and she had the Eiffel tower made from marshmallows on the top of the cake…..the perfect breakfast.

Some gorgeous home made presents and cards, and some wonderful surprises from friends and family arrived in the mail. Having kids means you can’t be flat for your birthday, Sam made my favorite Carbonara for lunch and then I went to bed. Enough said…..so I am re celebrating in July hopefully in Paris and will work out a new time for the portraits with Carla Coulson.

Running on Empty

I’ve been off the radar for a bit, well two weeks anyway. After a hospital visit with a high temperature, exhaustion and unable to walk I had a chest ex-ray and two different women trying to do blood gas tests in the artery in my wrists. They tried three times and it was excruciating each time, eventually they told me I didn’t have pneumonia and I could go home.  This was on the fourth of June.

On the nineteenth of June after continuing to feel exhausted, having problems with both my hands that resulted in a trip to the neurologist at the hospital (they tell me everything is fine with the nerves in my hands and the problem should just go away) the local Dr tells me that nothing is wrong with me, that I’ve been telling her I’m feeling tired for some time now, that my blood pressure is always low, and that I probably had a virus and the rest is just menopause as nothing shows in the blood tests. Hmmmmm Thanks!

So I’m none the wiser and she told me to give it three weeks and rest and see what happens.

Actually the entire conversation was between Sam and the Dr and I just tuned right out….in fact I almost walked out in despair. I feel I need to regroup, and take charge of my own health. They don’t keep records here when you visit the doctor, so I’m writing it all down from now on.

A lovely friend I spoke with on skype yesterday told me I looked like an empty vessel….to take time out and absorb some love and sunshine and just rest a bit. I don’t have any choice right now, even the shortest walk exhausts me, and I am certainly no energizer bunny right now.

Oh and to top it all off Sam and I both had conjunctivitis which is going around, (which is why my eyes are puffed up in the pics) and I have a head cold.

The good thing is that I am ever optimistic and know this will pass, and I’m learning some unexpected lessons along the way.

The White House (casa bianca)

Yesterday we had to sign the paperwork for the white house, it’s such a funny lengthy process which took place in Pinerolo about 40 minutes drive away. We dropped the kids off at friends, and spent over an hour at the Notaio going through the entire contract with nine people in total in the room.

One was an elderly lady that looked like she was about to faint from the heat. It turned out I didn’t actually need to be there, but having heard so much about the other times we’ve bought property in Italy I was totally bemused to see the process in action. So we now have access to the ‘White House’ and took a look inside after we got home.

Although it looks like a nightmare right now, Sam cleared out much of the rubbish and we are starting to see the rooms under the mess left behind. He loaded much of it onto the blue tractor with a pitchfork and a full load was only the tip of the iceberg. The building has three rooms in total, no bathroom at all and two cellars underneath that are full of rubbish.

As you enter the building and go up a flight of stairs a room on the right is now cleared, it is actually very light and airy. To the left you enter a kitchen area and from that room go up a very crooked staircase to the main bedroom.

This is the worst room and is black with mold, the balcony is dangerous and Sam blocked it off. Once emptied, cleaned and painted we will be able to get a feel for the potential. I’m staying clear of the process at the moment.

white house kitchen

Online Overwhelm

I’m hoping this post won’t seem disjointed, I’ve opened the computer many times in the last few days to write a post and just shut it again. The first week I was sick just opening my inbox had me in tears, it seemed like everyone was shouting, that all the conversations and groups and posts I love to read would suck me completely into a vortex. The more everyone reached out the further inwards I shrank. I felt like I was going mad, up down, crying, tired, over wrought, and emotionally wrung out.

All the excitement I felt within B-School fell in a heap, the momentum I had going dropped out from under me and I thought I’d never get back here to writing again. My constant refrain right now is Piano Piano….(slowly slowly) so if you sent me a message or email know that I read what I could but just couldn’t bring myself to answer, I just didn’t want to speak with anyone, it all seemed so exhausting. Know that I thank you all so much for all the well wishes and suggestions, the concern and love, it makes a difference even if I couldn’t tell you at the time.

The Simple Life

Funnily enough since feeling so tired I have really looked at our life here, the simplicity we wanted to create has slipped into each of us being on the computer more than out enjoying our simple lifestyle. Taking small walks each day to the top of the road and back reminds me of why we are here in the first place, it’s to engage with life, to breathe in the mountain air, to grow our food, to be with our kids, to be healthy and  happy together, and to share this with others wanting a similar dream.

Maybe we are all too hard on ourselves, even here in the valley those bad habits followed us, as I get better and stronger I’ll be sharing more of our simple life as we find it for ourselves. After a year and a half here in Italy I am totally in love with my life, the valley and know this is the place we are meant to be, creating a simple life in Italy. When I think of us here over years to come I see this first year as a learning curve.

Each of us has our own stresses, health issues, family drama’s, dreams we are chasing, dysfunctional families, or what ever other things you’re dealing with daily…..I’m sharing with you so that you know you are not alone, and once shared love and compassion flow from a community so beautiful and connected, without everyone here life would be less full, less inspiring, and who would I talk with LOL……..

So rambling post over, now I am back on the bike so to speak I’m sure the next one will be easier and feel more natural.

I continue to take it slowly, hope if you are weary you can take the time to slow down and rest, regroup, and come back stronger than ever.