Wednesday, March 7


It is warm today, bordering on hot but there is a tiny coolness in the air if you concentrate hard enough. I sit down on the beach, take my shoes off and wiggle my toes in the mix of sand, pebbles and sea glass.

I can hear the waves breaking in front of me, hammering and drilling from behind me where renovations are being carried out on shops and hotels, still closed for the winter. The faint sound of a helicopter fades in and out. I scan the horizon until I see it glimmering above the village in the distance.

To my right, sitting in the sand is the towns newest expat resident. She is having an animated converstion with a foreign girl, I listen in for a while, she is telling her life story. The foreign girl swigs from a large bottle of beer and I wonder if she is aware that she is displaying her g-string as well as half of her bum.

To my left the man from the local deli arrives to where his wife sits watching his kids play in the sand. He rolls up his trousers, takes off his shirt and gathers together the children for a walk along the shoreline. When Skye returns she is wet and sandy. I peel off her jeans and leave her to run around in her underwear.

I turn over, lying on my back and gaze upwards where the mountains stretch to reach the sky. This morning I was told a story about someone whose mother had died. Every year on the mothers birthday they would but a heart shaped helium balloon and release it, so that it floated up to the mother. It is a beautiful idea, earlier I looked up helium balloons on the internet and was slightly disappointed to discover that they only float for 8 hours. I stare at the sky and contemplate how long it takes to get to heaven.

"Mummy!" Skye bounds over covered in wet sand, "I got my pants wet too now!" I brush the sand off her and pull on her trousers as a cloud passes over the sun. Everyone around me is packing up, ready to go home. I take her hand and we trudge up the beach to the piazzetta where we sit and put our shoes back on. Eight hours might just be enough, I think. I will buy some balloons and a helium canister as soon as I can.


  1. I adore the photo!!!!

    What a beautiful idea it is sending your love soaring up above the clouds...

    My husband took a dip yesterday and then helped the locals pull in their nets. And I'm stuck here in the rain. Only three weeks to go and I'll be sun bathing too!

  2. Hi, Nicki. The balloon idea sounds lovely. You can also try planting one of your mom's favorite flowers or plants. Whatever you do, I hope it brings some peace and good memories.

  3. What a wonderful idea! I think 8 hours will be more than enough time.

    Just wanted to stop in and wish you a happy festa della donna!


  4. Love the balloon idea! The plant mentioned by Rose too.
    But I am sure she was watching you two on the beach, it was so sunny and bright and clear it was impossible not to see...
    BTW, I LOVE Pucci and have a couple of pieces myself, none of them come from your fancy schmanzy boutique though!
    AND I also bought hubby a pair of "gay swimming suits" as you call them...LOL!!!

  5. Eight nanoseconds will do. The thought will do. Poppy will do. There are so many wonderful ways for daughters to honor us mums. Just being you would be enough for me, but you and my kid both honor mum in breathtaking ways. And I believe she knows.

  6. I am sending you a warm hug today as you think of your mother. I love the balloon idea. It is sweet. When you look in your daughters eyes and see your reflection, think of the times your mother looked in your eyes and saw herself reflected back. Here's to you Nicki, on this "Women's Day". I hope it's a good one.

  7. Hi Nicki, Happy Womans Day!

    I did not know it was womans day in Italy until the man in the Italian food shop next to our office gave me some yellow flowers when I bought my lunch there. Don’t know what they are called, but they smell nice and look pretty on my desk.

    Really enjoy reading your blog and what you guys get up to. Looking forward to visiting one day.

    Take care, Tone

  8. that was lovely. I really enjoy your writing. :-)

  9. Hi There,

    I really love your writing style and your bravery for making a life for yourself in Italy, especially after all the hardships you have gone through. Best of luck with everything, and keep these great stories coming!


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