Thursday, 27 August 2015


A few weeks a go I returned from an amazing six night respite break in Italy with Daughter number 2. We flew to Verona and drove to a beautiful location on the Gardone Riviera at the side of Lake Garda.

When we arrived home and reflected on the trip... it suddenly occurred to me that I HAD BEEN to ITALY!
Now I know that may sound rather strange to some of you having just said that's where I'd just been... but  I'll explain a little more later.....

 ...But first to tell you a bit about the trip.....
As usual it entailed a lot of sight seeing interspersed with a few hours here and there lounging around the pool. We visited Salo and wandered around (in the rain!?) taking in the sights and smells and sounds of the local market...

 .... and explored the  Andre Heller botanical gardens in Gardone Riviera.

We went on a boat ride up to the north of the lake to the gorgeous Malcesine 

....and rode the cable car up to the top of Monte Baldo.

...We climbed the Castle walls and took in the breathtaking views over the lake.

 ...Walked our feet sore in Verona as we toured the Arena...

 ...stood on  the famous Juliet's balcony...

... wrote letters to Juliet...

...and shopped and took in the sights of Verona .

But like I said.... when I returned home  and contemplated the trip, It made me think of a poem that someone gave me 20 years ago after Heni was born. Some of you may know the poem very well. It's called Welcome to  Holland. For those of you who have never read it... here it is for you to read below...

 Some people hate the analogy and others love it and totally relate to it.... I've read it numerous times and thought about how I had planned to go (metaphorically) to Italy with Heni and ended up in Holland...a very different place than I originally anticipated. When the news hit about her diagnosis and she finally made her arrival in to our lives it was a very different trip to what we had planned.

Somehow as I contemplated the poem and the trip that I had just returned from it dawned on me that I have had the privilege all along of being able to go to both places. I may be in Holland with Heni but I can still enjoy all the sights that Italy has to offer with my very lovey Daughter Number 2
 Just as the poem describes Italy and Holland as being two very different places...I am able to have two very different experiences with each of my two precious girls.  The experiences I have with them being varied and unique.

 I would never be able to fit Heni and her wheelchair into the cable car with 40 other people squidged tight against the side of the glass...but then I'd also never be allowed to queue hop in Disney and go straight to the front of the line and be first on the ride (without paying a fortune for the privilege) with Daughter number 2!  Going places with Heni is slower less pacey and needs a heap of organizing whereas life with Daughter Number 2  is more ad lib, spontaneous and flows.
Heni allows me to sit, reflect and take in the scenery, daughter number two keeps me moving.  Being in Holland with Heni still has its many mountains to climb and dips and turns in the road as does being in Italy with D No 2.... it still has it's challenges and is not all bliss and roses!

  As I've returned from Italy with Daughter number 2 and reflected on the "Welcome to Holland poem" I've realised that Each daughter has different landscapes and vistas and  that I am a mum who flies continuously between Holland and Italy and gets to understands the  very best (and the worst) that they both have to offer!  I'm am a mum who is very thankful to be able to recognize, appreciate and experience them ALL.


(In fact, if you extend the analogy even further it could equally apply to my two other children... Big Bro T and The Hungry boy! ...two more totally different countries to experience!)


  1. I'm a dual citizen of Holland and Italy according to Kingsley's metaphor.

  2. What a divine getaway! I'm so jealous! I love your analogy. Holland is just as awesome as Italy, but in different ways!!

  3. Your pix are gorgeous. How lovely that you and your daughter had some time together to relax and rest. Thanks for adding this to's Tuesday link up!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...