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Back in the UK – BRIEFLY

We left Linea, our Bavaria Lagoon 430, safely in Base Nautica Flavia Gioia with other winter liveaboards keeping an eye on her and flew home to the north of England. We spent a lovely few days catching up with the Moulding family and then drove up to the lakes for a night of high jinks for Angela’s birthday.  It was such fun!  We got to sleep in the Plumb’s new campavan!

In Windermere in the evening I happened to bump into an old friend from Junior School Days whom I haven’t seen for years.  He clearly hasn’t changed a bit as I spotted him straight away!  Not convinced he remembered me as he seemed a little shocked at me suddenly taking a selfie with him and declaring that I had loved him as a teenager!  In my defence, I had had a few vinos by then!!

Ian had to go to hospital for a routine procedure so we drove over to Airedale and whilst he was in hospital briefly I was able to arrange a guided tour around the newly refurbished Malsis hall.  The school closed some 6 years ago and is now a hospital and rehabilitation centre for people suffering from mental illness and PTSD.  I was so impressed with the beautiful renovations.  It looked absolutely stunning.

On the Friday I tagged along with June on the bus to Preston.  We had a nice time wandering around and on our return found Ian in a heap on the floor, pressed up against the radiator, shivering violently. He clearly had caught an alarming infection as a result of the procedure so we bundled him into the car and took him straight to A & E.  He was immediately admitted and spent the next 4 days being pumped full of antibiotics.  A diagnosis of sepsis was given.  Erin reckoned that her typhoid fever top-trumped his sepsis – but no! Quick research indicated that Ian had indeed been VERY poorly. After exemplary care he was discharged and continued to improve. 

Our Autumn in Gaeta

Upon our return from Abruzzo, we set about completing all our winter jobs and making repairs and changes as necessary to Linea our Bavaria Lagoon 430 .  Kim drew the short straw and volunteered to come out to Italy and give us a hand.  We didn’t make her work all the time though!  We squeezed in a day trip up to Rome to see Sheena and had a wonderful day strolling round.  Whilst I was there Erin phoned from India to say that she had contracted typhoid!   It was not a good to feel so helpless.  All I could do was give her calming advice and hope that she was receiving good care.  She has since fully recovered after strong antibiotics. 

We had visits from Gaye and Chris, Sheena, Shaun and Jack.  We met up with and Bill and Susanne in Rome and I had a blissful spa evening and dinner catch up with my dear friend Ali.

We enjoyed showing our visitors around Base Nautica Flavia Gioia and the delightful town of Gaeta which has it all.  The marina is right in town, the town is a thriving place summer and winter.  There is a medieval area around the old castle and cathedral; a huge sandy beach on the north side of the isthmus; the beautiful Parco Orlando to wander around ; the spectacular ‘Spacata’ split in the cliffs cradling a church and the Turks Cave where you can watch the waves crashing in.

Being only an hour and a half from either Naples or Rome it is a great place from which to explore the mainland.  From early November there is a huge light festival with Christmas stalls and events, an ice rink and animated illuminations on buildings.  It is a truly magical festival.  We loved being here, and felt almost like locals. 

Gaye and Chris came to visit and we went to Pompeii and had a lovely few days with them, including having an Italian cookery lesson with a local chef where we enjoyed making succo, meatballs and saltimbocca. We learnt new tips and I was especially happy to learn how to pile spaghetti on a plate in a cone shape!

We drove into the spectacular mountains to the south of Gaeta to do a hike up to a massive statue of Jesus on the top. 

We learnt to play Rummykub with our American neighbours Bob and Robyn on Windarra and had a few nights out with the marina liveaboard gang.

All too soon it was time to go home where we were looking forward to celebrating Angela’s 60th birthday in the Lakes.