Saturday, 22 November 2014


Sometimes things come completely out of the blue. I have always complemented myself on being healthy, I don’t “do” illness. However, having just spent 2 weeks in hospital in Sorrento thanks to some unidentifiable auto immune virus that took a fancy to my body and especially to one of my legs, I have had to admit and accept that maybe I am not as indestructible as I fancied.
Lying in bed for hours on end, unable to move, there is a lot of time to think. 
As you know, one of my greatest pleasures in life is being out in the open, hiking the trails of this area and not only. I come to life at the weekends, free of the constraints of an office with little natural light, absorbing the views, the daylight, the fresh air, the flowers and the butterflies, emptying my mind of all the everyday clutter and regenerating myself.
All of a sudden, not only was this not possible, but there was a chance it might not be possible ever again, or at the very best only in a reduced and diluted form. It was frightening.
At night, when it was impossible to get to sleep, I would imagine I was walking the hills, choosing one of my favourite routes, following it in my mind and imagining the sights, the scents and the sounds along my way. Sometimes I would arrive at my destination, sometimes I would manage to drift off to sleep for a short period before the discomfort or the hospital noises would bring me back to reality. These night walks were a consolation, but at times a despair.
I was lucky. My room had a balcony and from it you had a 180 degree view of the surrounding countryside: the hills of Priora, the Tore woods, Monte Vico Alvano with its iron cross, Monte Comune, a part of Faito with Conocchia and Il Molare. 
Once I was on the mend, I would go out there for a few minutes and gaze at these familiar places, telling myself to be patient, that sooner or later I would be back.

I can’t wait.