I have been silent for nine months – its hard to believe that I’ve done this really!
So there is a great deal of catching up to be done. This past year has been one of endings; that would be my best way of putting it I think. My Dad passed away last December after a long and dehumanizing illness with a neuromuscular disease. While in many ways it was a blessing in the end, it has been hard and I’m left feeling both bereft and conscious of the end of an era – we (Sandra and I) are the “oldest” now.
I also made the decision to end my annual two months in Rome and gave away or packed up everything I’d accumulated in my apartment over the course of ten years! The impetus was that I’d be moving into my condo sometime in 2018 or early 2019 and I figured I’d want to stay put while nesting! That decision wasn’t easy as I’ve really come to love life in Rome and my Roman friends – not to mention that all my non-Roman friends also liked coming to visit me there! But life is about change and moving forward isn’t it?
Unfortunately upon my return to Toronto, I discovered that my condo developers were going into receivership and my contract was no longer in effect! Got my deposit back of course but almost five years of planning and anticipating, not to mention my “home” were now gone! I spoke with the new developers on behalf of a large group of us in the same boat and was advised the “whatever you paid before – double it”. Considering I like to eat and have some sort of spending money this isn’t feasible for me. It’s left me unusually indecisive as to my plan going forward – I have always prided myself on being adaptable and able to deal with most anything – doesn’t seem to be the case at the moment…..
I had in my years of travelling, built up a rather rose coloured vision of what my life was going to be like once I moved back to Toronto. Probably inevitable I suppose but I certainly didn’t take into consideration that people and things in Toronto too had changed. So while I find myself living in the city I haven’t yet started to make it my home again. Complicated!
Another ending I decided upon was to forgo working a month a year at the children’s charity in Tamil Nadu, India. This was particularly hard as I am completely in love with the children – how not – and felt that I was making a small difference with the girl and two boys I was sponsoring and of course with the work I was doing. However the main project has been hijacked by a very charismatic, entirely incompetent and completely arrogant man who is destroying all the work built up over the past 50 years. Equally unfortunately, the UK board seemed incapable of controlling or mitigating this unravelling and so I felt it impossible to continue being one of the sole voices in the wilderness. There is now – finally – some light in the gloom – a new managing director, new board members and a strong will to truly sort things out so I may find myself much more engaged even than previously – YAY!
I don’t mean to go on and on whinging about this and that – I still consider myself one of the most fortunate of women but this has been a tough one. Add in the general uncertainty in the world these past couple of years – not to mention the horrific unravelling of our neighbours to the south and my anxiety levels are high – again not something I’m used to being terribly concerned about!
However, I have spent the last week in the Dordogne, being thoroughly pampered and cosseted with such fine food, wine and company as only the French can supply. An entirely brilliant and restorative way to spend the end of the year! I am so blessed and privileged in my friends.
I’m now sitting in my hotel room at CDG airport waiting for my flight to Cairo, Egypt! I have been trying to get to Egypt for almost 40 years! I became fascinated with Egyptology as a child and now I am finally going to actually see it all with my own eyes! I’m positively giddy!
This trip has been organized by one of my fav. travel buddies who grew up there and has maintained her connections. So there are ten of us and we will mix the usual tourist stuff with some more personal events. AND we have five days on a steam paddle ship called the S.S. Sudan chugging our way up the Nile. I’m going to find myself a diaphanous white djellaba (I think they are called something else in Egypt tho’) and swan around on the promenade – LOL! Actually probably not – its pretty chilly at night I gather and the days are only forecast with a high of 20 c. or so. The Sudan was purpose built for Queen Alexandra when she came to open the Suez Canal, inevitably languished in obscurity for some years, and was resurrected and restored to its former glory with cabins all named for appropriate literary writers/characters – Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot etc. FUN!
So my next posting – and there will be one(s) – will have pyramids and Sphinx and the Nile, and mummies and, and, and….
Sitting at the gate at Frankfurt airport and can‘t wait to meet up again. We‘ll celebrate the passing of the year in style on the S.S. Sudan 😁☀️😜
Up notes at the end are the best. Treasure them.
Enjoy!! Looking forward to seeing your impressions of Egypt.
Well the world is lucky to have you exploring again my awesome friend. As always, your prose captures so much of your journey so perfectly. Be careful amungst the history and the tombs. Remember what happened to Tom Cruise and many before him. Let alone Mr. the Rock Johnson. Can’t wait to see and read about all the magicestic images and adventures.
Hugs and love
Rob et al
Wonderful, as usual. Enjoy your time in a new adventure. Keep ’em coming. Love reading them.