Thursday, February 15

15 16 17 february

Last February I caught a bad case of the flu. It developed into bronchitis and I had to cancel plans for Skyes birthday party. I was so weak and pathetic that I couldn’t even take her to school for a few days. At the same time my mum had just come out of hospital.

I got a puppy, but was too ill to take it for walks and had to give it back.

The 15th February was my mums birthday. The 16th was my birthday. It was also Carlos day off so I got to stay in bed while he fed Skye and took her to school. He bought me a hot croissant at the bar on his way back as a birthday present.

On the 17th I dragged myself out of bed and started this blog, and through it I have made many new friends and have been inspired to find something fun and interesting to write about every day.

In March I started work for the summer which went very well, much better than the year before. My boss stopped putting Voodoo curses on people and after I asked him politely, he stopped treating me like a slave. I also met my first ‘blog induced friend’ in Naples, Tracie B, thus enabling me to escape from Positano every now and then to hang out in Naples or Ischia.

In May I went to England for a week. Mum was starting a new course of chemo and I wanted to be there with her. Throughout the year this was the most important thing in my life-but she asked me not to write about it on my blog so I didn’t, and just wrote about my life in Positano.

In July and August summertime hit hard. Friends came to visit, we ate, drank, swam and had fun. There were boat trips, parties, fireworks and a lot of time spent on the beach. Mum got the all clear.

In September Carlo was hit by a car, fracturing 3 bones in his leg. He spent 12 days in hospital. During that time my babysitter quit and I learned that I couldn’t rely on the in laws for help.

In October Carlo was off work, in plaster and housebound. I learned to give him injections, took Skye to work with me. Dad came out to help for a few days. Mum was supposed to come too but had to cancel on the morning of the flight due to her Doctors advice. She was put on a new course of chemotherapy which unknown to anyone would have a terrible reaction inside her.
On the 23rd October she died.

In November I was going to drive to Tuscany and stay with friends. Instead I organised my mothers funeral and became closer to my brother than I have ever been.

In December I flew back to Italy to pack my bags and return to England for a while. We got through Christmas relying heavily on my daughter, hosting toy tea parties, building train sets and modelling creatures with play-doh.

In January I spent a month apart from Carlo who had to return to work. I kept my Dad company and made wall hangings for my brother out of Mums clothes and earrings.

Now it is February again. Mums birthday, which was always celebrated with mine is now only a poignant reminder of a beautiful person who left us too soon. But I will celebrate our birthdays every year as we have always done, going out to dinner.

This blog, surprisingly for me has been a success. It has taught me that there is always something positive to look for every day, and the smallest things can be the funniest. Hopefully this next year will be less traumatic for me and rich with the good things in life.


  1. This entry has made me tear up. You have endured so much the past 12 months Nicki and I have greatly admired your strength and your courage. Most of the time we don't understand the bad stuff that happens to us and it takes courage to "trust in the universe". All we can do is be brave and be thankful for the many blessings that we have been given, even if sometimes they are hard to find! Happy Birthday to you and your Mum and a big kiss for Poppy who is growing bigger with each entry. See you soon. M xxxx

  2. Wow Nicki, what a year. Happy birthday and Blogversary. I'm not how I found your blog but I'm glad I did.

    It was so nice to meet you last spring. (my first blogger get together). You were so kind and your suggestions made my trip to Positano even more special.

    I hope the next year brings you and your family much joy and happiness.

  3. Happy birthday to two extraordinary women and one helluva blog!

  4. You are an inspiration for us all Niki.
    Carlo guessed correctly. Everyone knows everyone!
    Happy Birthday and many happy returns!

  5. Niki, since you firtst come on holiday in Positano with C and her parents i have seen you so many times and only spoke to you once to tell you poppy was lovely (I really do mean she is fantastic and cute!) but ONLY reading your blog I have knon a bit more of yourself and now I really think you are a GREAT PERSON with a great personality.
    well Niki I think that even if we don't know each other next time I'll see you I'll tell you "Hey Niki, this is me!", 'cause now I know I need to speak to would be a shame to read your blog, to think of you all those fantastic things and not to meet you actually (sinceI have lost this opportunity lots of times and I don't want to waste it next one).
    Ti voglio bene!

  6. so when are you coming to napoli agian? we'll have to toast to you, your mom, and our blog birthdays :)

  7. Niki,
    Blessings to you for a better year ahead. I will look for you in Positano in June and say hello. I can be a surrogate 'grandma' and take Poppy for lunch or a play time at the beach!
    Gen in Minnesota

  8. Wow, what a post and what a year! You certainly deserve some good stuff this year.

  9. I've been lurking as I really enjoy reading your blog. That said this seems like a good time to say hello and wish you a happy birthday.

    In my family, we've been celebrating my grandfather's birthday with a dinner out every year even though he passed away in 1998.

    Thanks for sharing bits of your life with us...

  10. Happy Birthday ! And I hope you will continue to write this beautiful blog !

  11. Happy Birthday Nicki and congrats on reaching the first anniversary of your blog. Thanks for sharing your year with all its ups and downs with us.

  12. So many lurkers, so many friends.
    This proves you are indeed one good gal.
    Happy birthdays!

  13. I have been lurking here for a little while now, and from what I have read so far, you are a remarkably beautiful and brave person. I am so sorry for your loss, but I think it is fabulous that you are celebrating your Mum's birthday. Happy Birthday to you, and here is a wish for a very happy next year of blogging. Cin cin!

  14. My heart goes out to you... it must be so hard to celebrate the first birthday without your mother.

    I send you strength and wish you all the happiness in the coming year.

    Ps. I love the message you wrote for Annika in the sand, that's such an amazing thing to do.

  15. Happy Birthday Nicki to you, your mom and your blog :).

    Wish you and your little family all the good things in life.

    Hope to meet you sometime this year.

    Take care.

  16. happy birthday! really is a good lesson to learn, that there is something good and funny that happens everyday we just have to have our eyes open to see it.

  17. Happy Birthday Niki and thank you for sharing your life with us. You are a great inspiration!

  18. this is a little true story to give you hope:
    Last year was a crap one for me too. My husband was diagnosed with cancer for the second time in 8 years and we went through all of the ensuing operations, chemo etc which was hell, we both have been off work for the last 9 months and are as poor as church mice. On the day he was diagnosed with cancer his car blew up on the way home, my car then turned out to need $2500 worth of work done on it. Our 2 yr old daughter was also diagnosed with a heart murmur and when we went on a 4 day holiday to relax before the chemo started she ate some rat poison that was in the hotel room and spent 2 days in hospital...
    And then 3 weeks ago we won 2nd prize in a lottery with a chance bought ticket.
    Life is crazy.
    Keep smiling and thank you for your blog, it has really helped me over the past year to read about Positano life when all has often been grim at home. I have cried and laughed and remembered my own mother with love and loss and sweetness.

  19. Happy birthday Nicki!

    What a year indeed.

  20. nicki,

    it's nice to know that you are looking back with bittersweet feelings and forward with hope, that's the best way. i look forward to this year and getting the opportunity to meet you and positano. i'm also glad you met tracie. otherwise, i would have no idea of whom to contact in positano or where the truly good places are! so much gratitude to you both.

    happy birthday, dear girl,

    p.s. i contacted aldo at floragarden, he was so polite! thanks for all of your help.

  21. Happy birthday Nicki. Thank you so much for sharing parts of your life with us.

    I wish you and your family much love, peace, and happiness.

  22. Dear Niki,
    Auguri. Thank you for sharing your life with us... Your strength, honesty and courage is inspiring..
    Wishing you and your loved ones a bundle of blessings... A

  23. Niki,

    I also am an admirer of your blog and first-time commenter here. Your truth and bravery to share so much of your life is truly inspirational.

    Wishing you all the best for your new year - everything you deserve & more! Happy Birthday!

  24. Happy birthday to all three of you.



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