It has been far too long since I wrote here and one of my resolutions for 2013 is to keep all my readers updated more regularly. The start of a new year is always a poignant moment when I look back though my old diary as I transfer over important data to the new one and in doing so briefly review the whole year. There are always things that make me laugh and things that remind me of painful moments.  
2012 was a particularly varied year. We started off spending 3 months living in England. We were in my parents house while we tried to sort out a few things to help since they are now in their 80's and have a few health issues.That gave us a wonderful chance to see our son James every day since he now lives there and is studying for his A levels. After a while though he could not wait for us to go back to Italy as he is used to his inderpendance and did not want to be fussed over by his mother. I miss those cuddles that I used to be able to give him but time has moved on and although we have a warm and loving relationship he is an adult now. He is also so tall that I could not cuddle him up even if I got on a ladder to do so.
While we were there my darling mother discovered a lump in her breast which turmed out to be cancer. She had the breast and lymphnodes removed and then underwent radiotherapy. Throughout it all she was an inspiration to us all, never complaining and always positive. I am truly grateful to have such a wonderful family. 
I try to see each experience as an opportunity to grow and learn something about myself and those months taught me a lot about my fears, in particular the fear of loss. Fear of losing my parents to death and dementia and fear of losing my son as he grows up and inevitably away. My challenge is to accept these losses for what they are, a natural part of life. I am not there yet but am working on it.
The year also held some fun experiences. Guido, James and myself spent a fantastic month in the summer holidays sailing in the Dodecanese islands of Greece with some friends. My brother Chris married my friend Patti in September here in Italy and my mother was well enough to come over for the wedding and looked absolutely gorgeous. Chris and Patti are so well suited and I wish them a wonderful future together.
Then Guido and I spent a couple of months in Normandy before Christmas, exploring the beautiful Suisse Normande area. We made some good new friends and ate far too many delicious things. The few words of French I learnt are mostly concerning what to order in restaurants, which says it all really! From there we drove to England and spent Christmas with my family again, which is what Christmas is all about for me. On our way home to Italy we stopped at my best friend's house and seeing Abby, Chris and their boys was a great way to end the year.
The best thing that happened for me though was definately signing a contract in October with my new publisher, Jo Holloway of Boathooks Books. Having Jo write to say that she loved "Whisper on the Mediterranean"and wanted to publish it gave me the biggest thrill I'd had since giving birth to James.
So, I start 2013 with such a light and happy heart. My book will be released in the late spring. My mother is well and as sprightly as ever and my father still knows me and is there for me even if his memory is worse. Guido's eldest son, Andrea is discovering that life can be full of excitement after years stuck in a dead-end job. After a year travelling and working all over Australia he is now doing a Dive Master course on Ko Tao island in Thailand (who knows if and when he will come home?!) and James is learning to drive, enjoying his last year at school and having fun with a load of new friends, so both our boys are happier than they have been in years.
2013 started with a party at my friend Julia's house in Italy. It was so lovely to see my friends again after being away for a few months and this year will be a special one for all of us as we will each have our 50th birthdays during the year. We are planning a trip to Vienna together to celebrate.
I hope you all had such a good start to the year and that it will be one full of joyful experiences.
Happy New Year