Saturday, 21 July 2018


I’m not one to worry about imagined illnesses. Life is simply too short to waste the time it takes to be a committed hypochondriac. Most certainly, cyberchondria is also not my affliction; scouring the internet researching symptoms is not my thing. No paranoia here! You can imagine, then, that no one was more surprised than me to discover my malady described ‘on line’ a tweet, no less.

Of late, I have noticed myself exhibiting recurring symptoms which are increasing in severity.
  • Significant feelings of helplessness, anxiety and fear.
  • Periodic episodes of a racing heartbeat.
  • Anxiety which more frequently presents itself as anger.
  • Involuntary vocal outbursts.
  • Compulsive yelling at inanimate objects like the computer, TV, and radio.

I do worry that my affliction is transmittable, because it appears that, although to a lesser degree, my generally mild-mannered husband has also become infected with the malady. Many friends and family are exhibiting symptoms. Such a puzzlement or it was until miracle of miracles, this appeared:

Well, who knew? There it is folks. I have TDS and I have it bad. 

“What treatment will I seek?” you ask. Certainly there is a 12-step programme out there somewhere. I’m betting that Mr. Drumpf’s Organization would love to offer me a course of action for recovery. Decline any attempts to cross into the U.S.? Perhaps, lock me in a pen near the Mexican border. Personally, I’m holding out for $130,000. 😂  

TDS, eh? Rather than looking for a cure, I’ll live with my symptoms. God willing, they will clear up in 2020 and I can return to normal....whatever that is!

Monday, 16 July 2018


In 2011, Jim and I joined a Bellissime Small Group Day Tour out of Venice to the Dolomites and Cortina. We loved the idea of seeing what many people believe to be Europe’s most beautiful range of mountains. I know what close friends are thinking. What? They actually went on a group tour? Tours are definitely not our cup of tea, but we decided that for one day, we could sacrifice our independence. 

Skirting the stunning Prosecco Region and heading into the Alps, it proved to be a day of gorgeous stops - walks around shimmering turquoise lakes, awesome scenic vistas, a stroll through tyrolean Cortina and a scrumptious alpine lunch at Malga Rin Bianca, a Refugio on the side of a mountain. The piece de resistance was our final stop at Rifugio Auronzo’s car park, elevation 7600 feet. Exiting our van, to a person, we six travellers stopped and  gasped, one muttering, “if ever there was a place that touched heaven.” In front of us and soaring an additional 2300 feet towards heaven was the breathtaking Tre Cime di Lavaredo.

Our guide pointed out a commemorative chapel for the alpine forces, defensive caves carved into the massif, home to WW1 forces defending the Italian border from Austrian invasion, and the start of a 10km hiking trail which circumnavigated Tre Cime. Jim immediately looked at me and mouthed, “hiking trail!” Then simultaneously we said, “Promise!”

As loathe as I am to admit it, I have been known on occasion to make errors, colossal errors! ðŸĪŠ  On a 2013 trip to Switzerland, I managed to make what has to be my most colossal travel blunder. During our Swiss visit, Jim and I made arrangements to dip down into Italy for a four day sojourn in Varenna on Lake Como. Sitting in our Lucerne hotel room the night before our drive into bella Italia, we turned on the television. Why, when all the programmes were in German, I still don’t know. Suddenly scenes of a massive multiple car and truck accident with blazing fires and obvious casualties appeared. The scene was straight out of a nightmare. Yellow letters on the bottom of the screen screamed,  Gotthard Stabentunnel. Exhibiting my characteristic calm, I grabbed our road map and shrieked like a banshee, “ That’s the 57km long tunnel we are driving through tomorrow.” To make this sorry tale short, after numerous calls checking options because of a closed Gotthard, cancelling our Italian hotel (they understood as we were coming from the north), and booking in Gruyere and Cully, on Lake Geneva, we collapsed into bed. We are, if nothing else, always flexible when travelling. 

The following morning I received a call from the concierge at our Varenna hotel confirming that we still wished to cancel. Are you ready? There was no current problem with the tunnel. The programme we had watched was a restrospective of a 2001 disaster in the Gotthard Road Tunnel. 
Oh, just shoot me! Remind me not to watch German TV again. Jim and I had now committed and paid for four additional nights in Switzerland. Luigi, who to this day I love, kindly agreed to cancel our reservation without penalty as long as we promised to stay at their hotel on any future visit to Varenna. I promise. Luigi’s parting advice? Senora Lockett, please come from the south next time. 😂

How does that proverb go? There is no greater fraud than a promise not kept. And so this September we head off for a northern Italy adventure, keeping one promise to ourselves and one to Luigi.

Saturday, 14 July 2018


Oooo, do you ever experience that instant sharp ache in the centre of your forehead when you eat too much ice cream or gulp an icy drink too quickly? Me, too, but that is not the deep freeze of which I write today. Nor am I describing our endless past winter or the highly preferred state of my jaw at the dentist.

For most of this past year, I have suffered from a deep freeze of the brain. 

Hey, you don’t have to so unanimously agree.  ðŸ˜ē  ‘Writer’s block’ may be a kinder, gentler way of referring to my sorry state.  Let’s go with that, okay? Writing, for me, is and always has been therapeutic. Truthfully, I write for no one but myself. Surprisingly, absence of my blog and my writing has been mentioned numerous times of late. Well, maybe twice!

At first I blamed my lack of writing on an updated bloggers programme which plagued me with no end of headaches. The solution to that problem was just too easy for it to be the cause of my brain freeze.  I simply had to ask for assistance from my 10-year old grandson, Zachary. Problem solved!

At over seventy years old, I fretted that my brain was suffering from its own old age issues. Shudder! How I dread that day. Or could the one and only medication I take (more about that at a future date) possibly be slowing my thought patterns down. Please no!

At long last, I looked in the mirror; I was honest with myself. In my heart I know that the state of our current world, most particularly our neighbour to the south and sadly, our own country, at times, got the better of me. I have been overwhelmed with worry, anger, fury, negative thoughts and even hate. Attempting to channel that emotional turmoil into words stopped me in my tracks. And for the few who do read my blog, dear god, you do not need additional negative thoughts. 

Like “the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes that day”, my brain freeze began to thaw today. Guess what? There is no urgent need for me to comment on the current state of our world....well, not always.....I can leave that to investigative journalists and those far more talented than me at expressing their emotions in words. My ‘writing therapy’ can henceforth return to jotting down thoughts and keeping family and friends up-to-date on our retirement. 

Whoopee!! Brain freeze over!