Well, as you might have noticed, I've taken a bit of a break from the blog.
There are a few reasons for this. I've been busy at work and I've got another Project on the go, which hasn't left me time to keep it up to date. And, to be honest, when I look back at the past few months of the blog I have to ask myself if the world really needs to be kept informed as to the state of our kitchen or how the cat is doing.
We'd expected to pass summer in places like Chioggia, Trieste or Vicenza. With the exception of a single day in Florence with out great friends PJ, Claire, Caitlin and Logan, it didn't work out like that. We spent more time in places like Campodarsego (cat), Mirano (swimming pool) and Fiesso d'Artico (very good sushi restaurant with Groupon deals!). We spent rather a lot of time in Padova, but, as that was nearly all at IKEA, that doesn't count. But still, the flat is at least on its way to being sorted out now. Chioggia will still be there next year.
We went back to work in October. Caroline no longer has to deal with infants or chaotic school classes! This did, however, leave her with late evening classes that meant she typically got back home at 10.30pm four nights a week. Still, that side of it seems to be finished for now so hopefully the new year will be easier. I have my my usual classes of kids and not-very-advanced adults. And yes, I still love it. I had the chance to teach business English at an ultra-posh hotel in Venice but just didn't have the time to schedule it in. I'm not saying where, but if you picked up a newspaper or switched your television on during the latter part of September you'd almost certainly have seen it. On the plus side I've picked up a nice little side job as lettore in a school in town and the same place wants Caroline to start with exam prep classes in the New Year. This does mean that January to April are going to be insanely busy, but should give us some useful extra money for next summer.
Finally, there is no use in pretending that 2014, with the passing of my sister, was anything other than a brutal year. It's difficult to write about, but the loss hits you in strange, unexpected ways. A Christmas Card with three names on it instead of four. Her LinkedIn profile, still there, on my page. Posting a picture of the cat, thinking momentarily that "Helen will like this" and then the sadness that - of course - it's "would have liked..."
On we go then. 2015, hopefully, will be better. We'll have been here for three years now, come next March. So we don't really have a Project any more, it's just sort of Normal Life and perhaps Normal Life isn't really interesting enough to continue writing (or, indeed, reading) about. We'll see. But in the meantime, for those of you who are still reading, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!