Friday 26 October 2018


Jill Martin 1939 - 2018

Human Affection

Mother, I love you so.
Said the child, I love you more than I know.
She laid her head on her mother’s arm,
And the love between them kept them warm.

(Stevie Smith)

Most blog readers will be aware that there has been a long pause in blogging for the very sad reason that, after several weeks of severely compromised health, my dear Mum passed away earlier this month. I have been back and forth to the UK in that time, and Stuart has done a sterling job of holding the fort here in Italy.

We often referred to my Mum as 'the font of all knowledge' - and for good reason. I couldn't even dare to hope that I would ever boast even a fraction of the amount of knowledge that Mum had, ranging from plant identifications, to cake decorating techniques, music, history, ice skating, foreign languages, archaeology, literature - her knowledge literally knew no bounds and her inquisitive nature and appetite for learning meant that if she didn't know something, she would make every attempt to make sure that she very soon would. 

She was bright, inquisitive, funny, sensitive, loyal, warm hearted, fun loving, but above all she was, well, my Mum.

Once over the initial shock of the fact that we really did plan to move to Italy, Mum (together with Dad, of course) was one of our biggest supporters - and one of this blog's most dedicated readers. Sadly she only managed three trips out to visit us before her deteriorating health put paid to any more foreign travel, but those three visits included some magical and memorable moments that we will treasure forever. The following are some of the pictures that captured some of the laughter and adventures we all had together in Italy.

Mum and Dad share a seatbelt on the way back from the garden centre in the back of the old Doblo.

A hike in the marble mountains above Carrara.

At the Vellano chestnut festival. 
At the chestnut festival.

Map reading - one of Mum's all time favourite things!

Fearless striding across the terrifying Ponte Sospeso 36m above the river Lima.

A stop mid-walk.

Enjoying the views in Montecarlo.

Inspecting an old WWII German bunker.


Busy staining and painting our cold frames...

...she named them all!

Mum and Dad helping dig our (then)brand new veg garden.

A walk near Sorana.

While on the whole not a great dog lover, Mum really was a great fan of Reggie, but the member of our furry family that really stole her heart was our gorgeous little tiny Florence, who sadly we lost as well as my dear Mum this October.

Florence: 2010-2018