Leaving for…what do you mean? LEAVING??? AGAIN???

I know, I know! It seems as though¬†we just got back from Amsterdam and now (= on Saturday…yes, I mean THIS Saturday!!!), we’re getting on another plane. Why, I’ve barely unpacked! ūüėČ

This time we’re flying to London, where we’re being picked up and hosted by¬†a dear friend, Paul, whom I met thanks to the blog years ago. Paul and I¬†began corresponding via email and ended up meeting on one of our UK trips and becoming very good friends. He¬†and his family have been to visit us here in Florence, and Stefano and I have been to visit them in London…well, just outside London, to be precise (such a lovely neighborhood!). Anyway, we haven’t seen them¬†for¬†about two¬†years now, so¬†that is going to be wonderful.

Then on Sunday Paul, Stefano and I will be driving from London to Wales where, on Monday, we’re getting on the boat for Skokholm Island. If you have no idea what I’m talking about,¬†type the word “Skokholm” into my blog’s Search box (at the¬†top right of this page, just above “Recent Comments”) and you will discover that Stefano and I are totally obsessed with puffins = hole-nesting auks (seabirds) with big heads and a large, bright orange beak.¬†IMG_0345

In fact, our bird watching hobby (by the way, my blog header right now is a photo I took a few days ago of a baby¬†bittern at the Parco della Piana, a bird reserve just outside of Florence) began with puffins, and it was all thanks to Paul who suggested, more than six years ago, that we go to Northumberland (UK)…And that is where we saw our first puffins, on Inner Farne Island…An unforgettable experience.

Anyway, Paul, Stefano and I will be staying on Skokholm Island most of next week, just as Stefano and I did last year. Shared compost toilets, no hot water, no showers, no Internet,¬†etc. etc. etc. It sounds a bit uncomfortable but really¬†it is one of the most amazing life experiences I’ve ever had…completely relaxing…magical. In a nutshell:¬†I can’t wait to leave. The puffin chicks, called pufflings, have been hatching, and I hope to get a glimpse or (even better!) a photograph of one this year.

I know I’ve been neglecting my research and my blog in the past few months, and I’m sorry about that. My blog is very important to me, and that will never change. But one of my best friends recently said this to me: “I’ve chosen to live.” Now, she was referring to the little messes that she didn’t have the time to straighten up in her apartment, but that sentence¬†really rung a bell with me…for an entirely different reason…

I can’t change the fact that I have myeloma cells in my body. I know that I can’t run away from this cancer, and I have no intention of doing so. But myeloma won’t and can’t stop me from living. Not now, anyway…(fingers double crossed!).

And so, like my friend, I choose to live my life…the way I want to live it.¬†And I will do¬†so for as long as possible…I will keep traveling…enjoying the company of Stefano and of my best buddies and of my cats…rejoicing for my niece who recently¬†sneaked¬†off to Las Vegas to get¬†married to her longtime companion without telling us or anyone else (way to go, sweetie!!! So happy for you both, yaaay!!!)…watching the World Cup soccer games even though Italy and the U.S. are both out now, argh…finding happiness in small things, such as an unexpected¬†visit from a good friend (also met via the blog) yesterday…and planning future trips with Stefano…

No, myeloma can’t stop me. And so on Monday I’m going to immerse myself completely in the wonderful, magical world of puffins and razorbills and Manx shearwaters and guillemots and gannets and…the list goes on…

Life goes on…



  1. Yesss! Attitude is all! Just got back from a cross Canada train trip & west coast adventure & feel so refreshed & alive!

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