June 2010

Over a small midmorning coffee I’ve been sitting here quietly pondering a surprising turn of events.

I had telephoned an old dear friend, I guess I was in a buoyant mood and full of high spirits; the conversation flowed but somehow when I put the telephone down I felt flat.

I have been wondering about this since then. I was baffled by what exactly had caused my spirits to plummet, seemingly for no reason.

It’s astonishing how fragile our spirits can be, fluttering in the breeze…..how volatile our feelings…one second strong and vibrant the next moment gone…empty … unconsciously changing without us noticing ….the vigour sapped by a moment of vulnerability exposed to some outside influence………

My friend is not well and he’s going through a very, very tough time. Although none of this came up in the conversation. It was nothing he said but more how I experienced him…..I realised it was no longer him….as I used to experience him. I know there is a strong chance he may never fully regain the former “him”.

It was very sad to acknowledge this loss.

The change had become clear, even though at first I had not recognised it. It had snuck up on me.

Reluctantly I now need to change too.


Well we’ve not been that well over the past few weeks and it’s been a while since I last posted. Happily we were well enough last week to attend the first communion of my nephew’s son. So we drove through Italy from here in Nice to way down south past Naples.

I usually I would not dream of drinking coffee at a service station… but when in Rome, or rather the land of Rome I made an exception……At every service station on the autostrada, and there quite a few on the 971 km trip, I had a coffee.  

What a very different story to motorway coffee at service stations in France. Every service station, no matter how big, slick and commercialised there was an espresso machine and a bar to stand at to drink a reasonable cup of coffee…..usually in real cups.. no paper nonsense.

As a result after a ten hour drive I arrived rather wired….

The following morning we were chatting to a couple at breakfast, about coffee and it emerged that much to the apparent consternation of his partner…the driver had also insisted on drinking a coffee at every service station.

We then compared our experiences of driving in Italy, especially after Naples. We agreed it was wild.

Now the question is…….

“What came first, the coffee or the driving?”

The coffee enables one to cope (or not care) whilst driving in Italy

The mad driving in Italy resulted in the need for good coffee in order to cope!

By the way we noted that as the driving gets more unpredictable and wild the further south one goes so does the coffee gets better.

I think this video clip sums up the effects of coffee rather well……


Ciao ciao