Dear Diary Days in my Life Letters and Holidays
I was tired on this Friday evening, from a busy week at work and was looking forward to a relaxing bath then heading out to the pub. As I opened the front door and gazed down, there was the post as always laying on the floor in a heap, bills – bills and more bills, but then it caught my eye, a letter addressed to me. Placing the other mail on the hallway shelf, I studied my reflection in the mirror, my cheeks flushed as if I'd been caught doing something I should have been ashamed of, I suppose there was an element of concealed guilt running around in my ever confused conscience, due to the fact I'd had a flirtatious encounter with one of Geoff's friends. But with envelope in hand, I didn't recognises the hand writing and like Alice I was curious and couldn't wait to open and see what was inside.
Mum and Dad never got home before six at night, so after letting my dog out...the woods calling her as she charged off barking in anticipation of freedom at last. I then went up to my bedroom clutching my bag and letter.
The parents would be back soon, so making my way into my room I opened the curtains with their big purple, floral flowers. I can hear Mum saying, “for goodness sake Jenny...I wish you'd open those curtains before you go to work, let some light in.”
Never saw the point of it myself, after all I wasn't going to be there all day and to be honest it was the last thing on my mind as I was rushing out the door, hoping I wouldn't be late for work.
Sitting down on the edge of the bed, I quickly ripped open the envelope and unfolded the two pages. It was a love letter...yes you heard right a love letter. It came as a shock to read, as with all my feelings for the man I became engaged to just a week ago, I thought I was in love and was so looking forward to the day we'd get our own place, fixing it up the way we wanted, suddenly this vision became a blur of indecision, I wasn't so sure it was what I wanted now.
Sitting there, my heart began to race as I thought about the past couple of months, the plans we'd made and things we'd done together. We'd been on holiday in Northern Italy in a little place called Colle Isarco.
The trip down on the coach was a bit cramped, as we slept the first night in our seats travelling across from France and then on through, I think it was Germany, Austria and Switzerland, then the last stretch Italy. We spent three glorious weeks there, a month before we got engaged and had the best time, we didn't want to come home having been made so welcome by the Italians. The hotel we stayed at, I don't recall its name, was very comfortable with great food, there was a fantastic view out of the bedroom window looking at the mountains.
Being a family run hotel, even the youngest children were helping out with clearing tables, or cleaning rooms, I was amazed at just how hard they all worked. There was an air of romance about the mountains and the people, like a scene from the Sound of Music, you could imagine Julie Andrews running down one of the mountain paths, the houses with their window boxes full of brightly coloured flowers, as she falls into the arms of Christopher Plummer – What an image to conjure up.
We visited a pub nightly and it became our haunt for the entire holiday, they served up pizza which was nothing like our English pizzas, the base was small, but loaded with a topping of your choice...very yummy, bit like our English ploughman's lunch but with extras. In the evening the pub would have a disco, which I have recollections of dancing to the Rolling Stones; Have you seen your Mother baby standing in the shadow. The walls inside were timber and there was a bar along the far wall, with wooden tables and chairs situated around the room, it was a fun place to pass the evening and enjoy the sounds of the early sixties music. It had an authentic bohemian feel to the atmosphere, a place you could imagine beatniks congregating.
The villages with their narrow streets leading down to the harbour, the market stalls with fresh fruit and vegetable were out of this world. Going up in the chair lifts and looking down on the roof tops of houses surrounded by mountains was just so inspiring. There were many pleasant walks where we stayed, one in particular was a place called Golden Valley, there were huge cones like I'd never seen before and we collected some...I still have them to this day. We also paid a visit to a grave yard and were amazed at how well the people took care of the graves with flowers and gifts. But for me the villages and Lake Garda were so much like a fairy tale, though the heat did become a bit much at times, especially when we took a boat trip, the scenery as always made up for the heat with its restaurants, small gift shops and amazing buildings dotted along the river front.
On one of our day trips, we had the opportunity to visit the Dolomites, they were spectacular with their snow caps that were almost hidden by the low clouds – every so often the Sun peeping through, allowing visitors to lie in the snow for a bit of Sun bathing, though it wasn't a thing I participated in...laying in cold wet snow even on a hot day was not my scene at all. The coach drive up to the Dolomites was scary, if you were sat on the window side, which I remember clearly, there was a shear drop that left me quite nervous, looking down into a gorge, but the driver told us that he'd done the journey so many times...that it was nothing. I'll take his word for that, cause I couldn't have driven round some of those winding roads. But the fact that I'm still here to tell the tale gives me a sense of the adventure of it all.
To be continued...