Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Coughing. . . In Italy


Still coughing here, and although I've managed a better sleep the last two nights, I reluctantly conceded, this morning -- after getting up, showered, dressed, and ready to head into Rome for a few hours -- that I'm just not well enough for adventures out of the neighbourhood. Out of the house will be sufficient challenge, and we'll go for a stroll soon, perhaps a cappucino and pastry -- definitely building the schedule around an afternoon nap.

And tomorrow Pater flies home, so I'll be doing the preschool pick-up solo for the last two days, and then getting ready to take the train back to Paris, a few days to myself before flying home from Charles de Gaulle.
If you're reading between the lines here, sussing out some trepidation about travelling solo while not quite at full strength, you're not wrong, but the inner Sturdy Gal (term borrowed from Lisa, although I'm not using it in reference to style) voices are currently overruling my inner Incessant Worrier (she's been whispering such histrionics as "bronchitis," "pneumonia," "complete collapse on a train where you don't speak the language," ignoring evidence to the contrary) and I'm sure that all will be well by the time I'm truly on my own (still have a few days with family after Pater leaves).
But I do need to conserve energy, save it for helping out with Little Girl and otherwise just resting and getting better. Hence the weak efforts here on the blog, and although I've read all your lovely comments, I may not manage to respond.

As for the series of photos here, they're of an abandoned old hotel on the road up the base of Mt. Vesuvius. Obviously once quite gorgeous, it's now dilapidated and somewhat hazardous to the curious visitors who apparently troop through regularly, occasionally partying or sleeping here. We couldn't resist picking our way carefully out onto terrace, avoiding the puddles and the broken glass to eat our picnic lunch and admire the generous view.

I took the photos last week, on our two-day road trip to Salerno, with stops each way -- one to hike up Mt. Vesuvius, another to check out the archaeological excavation of Ercolano, one of the towns Vesuvius covered with lava. It was a good trip, and I'm glad I went along, but I know the jaunt hampered my recovery, so I'm being much more careful now, guarding my strength. But oh, if not? I could be in Rome, right this moment, instead of sitting on the couch, where Pater has just brought me my breakfast.  . . .


Hope all is well with you, that the New Year has begun happily. 

51 comments:

  1. Hope the recovery is speedy. Nothing worse than feeling ill away from home. The train journey will be fine I’m sure. Just think of all that cosy window watching to enjoy. Make the most of your Italian granddaughter. B x

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    1. Thanks! Feeling much better today, already.

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  2. Mater, Rome is the Eternal City and will be waiting for you when you are ready. As Han says to Chewie: there'll be another time! Those pictures...perhaps this is how Rome looked in the years after the Empire moved East and the Vandals moved in...

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    1. Those immortal words of Mr. Solo. . .
      Yes, I thought of these recent ruins when we walked through Herculaneum the following afternoon.

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  3. I hope you'll be completely well for a safe and nice travel to Paris,enjoying a couple of lovely days there.
    I've spent the last ten days similar to you-it has started on Christmas with coughing and feeling not so well. It was a really nasty cold
    Today I feel fine and I think I am ready for a new year :-)
    Don't be sad-I agree with nohatnogloves-Rome is a faithful one and it will wait
    Dottoressa

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    1. Isn't it a horrid virus (presuming it might be the same one, circulating). I'm finally feeling confident today that it is "just" a cold, and that it's on it way out the door. Glad you've got there as well.
      Pretty sure now the train trip will be as good as I thought in planning it -- they've promised to see me off, and once I've plopped into my seat, all I have to do is read and look out the window, and enjoy a glass of wine at the station where I change (lots of time between two trains). So looking forward to some solo wandering in Paris.

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  4. You will manage the solo trip home. Hopefully you will recover soon. Your inner sturdy girl will take care of you. Enjoy little girl.

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    1. Thanks, Mme. See my responses above - I think it's all good now, and the Little Girl and I have been having fun together.

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  5. Listen to the Dottoressa (and No Hat No Gloves)... Rome can wait until next year. Think wandering, slowly sauntering, breathing deeply, hot drinks... naps. Being sick when you're away from home is terrible. And lonely. Just remember that we're all only a FB or IG post away. In fact just put me on IG speed dial:) xo

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    1. It's awful, being sick elsewhere, but again Travel serves to make Home all the sweeter when we return.
      And such a great thing for you to say -- it's very true that my social media friends have really sustained me the last few weeks. The fellows have bonded, which is great, and I have Little Girl to hang with, but sometimes a Big Girl needs other Big Girls to chat with. . . and you guys are the best!

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  6. Take care of that cough and chest, Mater. I hope your return journey is fine, and you have lots of hot drinks along the way. Brenda

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    1. Thanks Brenda! My dad used to have bronchitis semi-regularly (as in every two or three years) and I've had it once or twice, so I'm always a bit anxious if a cold hangs on or seems worse than normal. I think it's okay now, but I will be trying to keep up the hot drinks, even enroute.

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  7. I can imagine I would be disappointed not to be able to spend more time in Rome were I you. I can hope I would be as sensible, not to risk pneumonia. In case it helps, I am guessing the trains have a good system to request medical help for passengers if required. You are indeed a Sturdy Gal, in action, where it counts. Hope you get better soon.

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    1. Thank you so, for empathizing so precisely. I've felt like a big baby as much as a sturdy gal, to be honest, but in retrospect, I think the trip overall will end up looking good, and I'm going to milk my solo days in Paris!

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  8. I have to say, I enjoyed the title, but not the havoc on your body!

    This may not apply to your type of cough, but when I get a tickle in my throat, sometimes I'll look straight up at the sky to elongate my neck, then open and close my mouth. (I was desperate once and trying everything!) It changes the throat shape and usually stops the coughing.

    I'm glad you have expert, loving care on hand for the moment, and by the time you are ready to depart, sheer determination alone will see you safely home. I like Lisa's phrase, sturdy girl. Rome isn't going anywhere and there are plenty more trips ahead for you.

    I'll end with a great big Happy New Year. It's going to be a good one, even though it may not be easy to see past the tissue box right now. Hugs.

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    1. Not sure how much that would have worked with the days when the cough was making me think "whooping"! but it was fun to experiment with yesterday after I read this -- I think it's a clever way to turn off the patterns that set in after a week of convulsive hacking.
      Happy New Year to you as well -- looking forward to a visit with you before too long. xo

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  9. I second everyone’s good wishes for a speedy recovery & a good journey home . Next year - Rome , you can’t be that unlucky twice
    Wendy in York

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    1. Ah, now I won't tempt fate by echoing your assurance, but yes, there are a few years ahead yet for a Do-Over. Thank you!

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  10. Happy new year. As others have said Rome will always be there, the time you have had with family not in the same way. If not improving why not get your daughter to accompany you to Doc before you leave Italy for reassurance if nothing else. Mary

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    1. I think that's a good idea, Mary, and what I might have done if I weren't finally improving. Although she's coming home late Friday night after three weeks away from her family, and I'm really relieved I won't have to burden her with a visit to a walk-in clinic her first day home.

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  11. Oh, I love snooping around abandoned buildings (never such a posh one.....)! Hot drinks, naps, lots of salads....hope you are well on the road to recovery before the road to Paris!

    ceci

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    1. I know, it does look as if it was once quite posh, doesn't it? I could easily imagine very elegant guests having their breakfast on that terrace back in the day, swishy cars pulling up in the parking circle below. . .

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  12. Hope the worst of your cold is over. Perhaps a hot toddy flask on the train might be in order for when that coughing fit strikes! Small pleasures closer to home base can give just as much pleasure, as you have already discovered.

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    1. I think the worst is done, thanks Belle. But I'm beginning to wonder why I don't have a flask for my train journeys, and I'm thinking there's a list that item needs to top. . . (could be one of those small pleasures!)

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    2. Get a flask in Rome, or a wee bottle of something in your Lazio town. I know you won't abuse it - just an added bit of warmth in your coffee.

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  13. Lord, that hotel is AWESOME. That's my kind of trespassing!! And do not worry about traveling alone. You do speak French. Alors, you've had about 1000 per cent more education in Fr than I have and I speak the language well enough to get by without concern. You're going to be just fine. And when you get home to boring old Canada, you can rest in your lovely condo till the urge strikes to go out for new adventures. It's good to be you! xo

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    1. Isn't it great? Although there was so much broken glass everywhere, and some holes in the floor, so I worried a bit about Little Girl (and did manage to keep quiet about it). Yeah, I'm not really worried about traveling alone, especially not the French part, but I was a bit worried about some evil infection taking me down somewhere in Italy. . . . Truly, though, we've pretty much . . . No, you know what? I was going to say something ridiculously confident, and I think I'll wait until I'm not jinxing myself. But thanks for all the reassurance, and it's true about how good home will be and how lucky I am! xo

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    2. I wish that lovely building could be repurposed for people who need temporary housing.

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    3. It's quite a ways from services, though, or easy transport, and it's seriously decrepit, dangerously so. But I understand your wish.

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  14. Such a different trip that the one you had expected (oh those expectations we all have!) but one wth its own small joys. You'll perhaps feel better in a day or so, and if not, you can take advantage of the excellent French medical care by presenting yourself to the nearest French pharmacy. They or the médecin they recommend will have you right-side-up in short order. It's a lonely feeling to be ill away from home, but some comfort I hope in knowing that you are not alone, but well-connected to those who care about you.

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    1. Expectations. . . dangerous, thrilling, inspiring. . . .
      I am so much better today, although heading for a nurturing nap soon. And you're so right about French medical care -- I'm going back to a lovely, small hotel where they recognize me and are so kind, so I won't feel alone at all, and I'm meeting a Parisian friend for lunch one day as well. And your last sentence -- yes!!!

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  15. Oh, do take care, Frances. I am sorry to read about your ill health while traveling. I, too, was not well during my return from France last year. My husband had suggested staying a few extra days and paying the difference so that I could travel home more comfortably. Thankfully, I was able to travel on my set date.
    May 2018 have more adventures, more family time, and more good health!
    Charlene H.

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    1. It's a worry, isn't it, the added vulnerability of being ill while alone and away, especially if you don't want to be a bother. . . So glad it worked out well for you, but it was probably good to know you had that option.
      And may I reciprocate your lovely wishes for 2018 -- may you find the same!

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  16. Sturdy Girls do prevail....it’s a great motto. I remember ending up in a hospital on one of our trips....ghastly at the time, but it turned into an interesting story.
    Having a cold always seems to affect your whole body...and nothing is as much fun as it should be. Rome will be there next year or the next.
    Take care of yourself....
    Ali

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    1. Yikes!
      Yes, solo in France 20-some years ago, lying on the bathroom floor in my hotel room, needing to be near the toilet, and knowing I had to catch a train the next day. . . Or my husband, kidney stone in San Francisco . . . good stories, but not for a few years. . . You'll have to tell me yours one of these days over lunch or a glass of something.

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  17. One of the worst flu seasons ever endured was in Venice, at Christmas. A vile, all consuming malaise that defied strength enough to venture out for sustenance.
    as bad as bad gets. I shall never forget the feeling of being away - in sickness. it is something to dread like the plague.
    I doubt this is you.
    Without knowing the depth of the cough, at very least from your report that better is upon you, I shall go out on a limb and predict a sudden and surprising recovery.
    Cut loose on your own, free of family restrictions, at liberty to pursue your hearts desire.....works the cure (the grand metaphysical discourse of sickness and health is for another day ).
    For now...
    buon viaggio da solo, perché sara buono
    Giulia

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    1. Nope, that illness is definitely not mine, although I did lie on that tiled floor in France one night, alone, a probable victim of food poisoning (see above). That must have shaken you to the core,
      And yes, I'm still being careful because relapses can be nasty, but so much better now, and looking forward to my free days. Thank you!

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  18. Take good care. I have "acute bronchitis" and it is tiring and sneaky. Just when I think I'm better it returns. As a very sturdy gal, also in the non-style sense in which Lisa uses it, I find the more I try to ignore my body telling me to Rest, the more I regret it. Do pleasurable, relaxing things, eat well, and care for yourself in the way you would care for your most vulnerable beloved. You will do a wonderful job of getting yourself around on your own. I'm certain of it. But, given you're not feeling well, do make rest your priority. Wishing you well, my dear. xo.

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  19. Sympathising hugely with you. If you can gird your loins (think Stanley Tucci's character in The Devil Wears Prada) and be very Pollyanna-ish, you could try to appreciate the life experience of 'being unwell in foreign country'. Then again....
    As for travel, you have more rail travel experience in Europe and Paris-savvy than me, a European, so you have plenty of knowledge to draw on. And often there's nothing like a bit of ailing to evoke sympathy and help from fellow-travellers. I find also it's one of the advantages of grey hair! And as nohatnogloves says, Rome is the Eternal City. Sending many healing and calming wishes.

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    1. There is a certain level at which, yes, I do think this is just part of living, and experiencing it elsewhere is a way of living more fully there. Still. . .
      Thanks for the reassurance -- and yes, I think the grey hair is worth milking, in a pinch ;-)

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  20. So glad you are on the mend. Much more unpleasant than a train ride with a cough would have been your flight home - all those hours on an air conditioned plane. But now everything will be fine, I am sure.

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    1. You're right -- I'm so glad I chose train rather than plane for the return to Paris, although that's a short flight. So much more stressful. Instead, I'm quite looking forward to being rocked by rails across two countries.

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  21. I hope your health is continuing to improve and that you are savouring the special family time. I spent six hours on a train last spring travelling solo with a bad migraine and had no migraine medication with me (long story) but somehow I was sustained by the knowledge that I could get off the train at an earlier stop and book into a hotel if necessary. Also, my fellow passengers were very kind. The fact you can speak French is a big advantage and hopefully it will be a soothing trip with a lovely Parisian hotel room waiting for you at the journey's end. A few days in Paris sounds heavenly! Wilma D

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    1. That sounds horrid! It's good, though, to have those stories to draw on, isn't it, to remember the adversities we've managed, touching our strength occasionally, keeping it fit. . .

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  22. Feel better! Being sick away from home is no fun, even when it is not dangerous. The photos are intriguing.

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    1. Thanks, K. I seem to be mending quickly now.

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  23. Hope you're getting back to full strength and are able to enjoy your days in Paris! I've really enjoyed following along with you in Italy on Instagram. The hot chocolate pictures are priceless!

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  24. Hope by now you are feeling better and are able to enjoy your days. I'm sure your time will be wonderful, even if constrained by energy levels. And I'm always impressed by how you venture off.

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  25. better ?
    told you.....Buon viaggio, da solo, perché sara buono....
    Ha!

    --Giulia

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  26. Glad you are feeling better. I too am impressed and a bit envious of your adventurous nature and ability to travel solo. When you return please consider sharing more thoughts about this. Safe travels..p.s. what are you reading on the flight home?

    Susan in Portland

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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