1. The month of July was named for Roman Emperor Julius Caesar. He’s quoted as saying, ‘Experience is the teacher of all things.’ So, what has experience taught you lately?
I think the most significant thing that experience has taught me is the old adage that “this too shall pass”. Whether you are ecstatic or in agony, it will pass and things will move on. I have learned to enjoy the moment rather than rue the past or dread the future.
2. Where did you last ‘roam’?
I don’t tend to do roaming, but I did have a nice little wander round Tesco this morning looking for bits and bobs for tea tonight. Managed to bag myself a couple of bargains and had a lovely dinner of roasted vegetables and chicken.
3. Speaking of ‘Rome’…pizza, pasta, gelato…you can only pick one, which would you choose?
Pasta, hands down. I could eat pasta with any kind of sauce, hot or cold, spicy or savoury any day of the week. Not entirely sure what gelato is – is it like ice-cream? If so, then that would be for dessert!
4. ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, ‘All roads lead to Rome’, ‘When in Rome…’ which ‘Roman’ idiom have you most recently encountered? Explain.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day”: I suppose this one is linked to the first question and it is something else I’ve learned with experience, that for anything to be worthwhile it can’t be rushed at and should be taken great care with.
5. What’s a movie you’ve seen or book you’ve read, that makes you want to book a trip to Italy?
Dan Brown’s “Inferno”. The way that the story takes us through ancient art-works and architecture is inspiring.
6. Walt’s original Disneyland opened almost sixty years ago this week, on July 17, 1955. Have you ever been to the California park? How about any of the other Disney parks around the world? What’s your favourite amusement park ride or attraction?
I haven’t been to any Disney park anywhere in the world. There was a time when my kids were growing up that I was desperate to go but finances would never allow. I guess that the time to take them has passed now, and if I ever get there it would be with my grandchildren (if they come along at all!).
My all-time favourite ride has got to be the Grand National ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. It is an old, wooden ride with cars that are rickety and uncomfortable to say the least, but it is thrilling and I LOVE it.
7. It’s that time of year…when were you last bitten or stung?
Last Saturday night in Todmorden’s Centre Vale Park where the midges were like swarms of needles. Urgh!!! Have you ever tried to conduct a brass band concert whilst waving away clouds of mini vampires? Let me tell you, it’s a challenge!
8. Insert your own random thought here.
I had a very strange incident today where in nearly causing a road accident, I actually saved a pedestrian from being run over. I didn’t mean to nearly cause it, but I can’t get over how my carelessness actually saved someone’s life.
Let me illustrate. I was parked up on a main road earlier today, on a bend in the road about 150 yards away from a main junction and just in front of a pedestrian crossing. I wanted to do a U-turn to head the other way, and there was no traffic coming behind me but there was a line of traffic coming against me. I edged out bit by bit so I could turn into the gap that was coming towards me and just as I took my last look over my shoulder to pull right round, a speeding Range Rover appeared coming from behind me. I slammed on my brakes and I thought he had too to give way to me because there was a woman crossing the road in front of me, but in that split second when I hit the accelerator again I realised he was still coming…FAST. I hit the brakes again and he sped round me on the wrong side of the road and the wrong side of the bollards, and was going so fast that he lost control and swerved wildly, rocking up onto two wheels before disappearing away into the distance. The trajectory of his swerve took him within inches of the pedestrian and as I pulled away I realised that he was only on the wrong side of the road because of ME and my error in pulling out in front of him.
I had to pull over because I was so shaken and as I sat I thought about it and went through it over and over in my mind, and I realised that if I HADN’T have pulled out in front of the speeding driver, he would have headed straight for the pedestrian and he would have wiped her out. By the time I had got myself together she had disappeared so I didn’t speak to her, but I can honestly say that something special happened this morning. It feels so strange to realise that by almost causing an accident may have saved someone’s life.
One could almost imagine a force greater than us being right there in the heart of that situation couldn’t one….