A Terrible Loss

In a couple of months’ time it’ll be two years since I started blogging in earnest. Why did I start? Something to do? Something to reinforce my fading memory? Something to connect to other people?

The web is full of reasons for starting a blog. In my opinion, the best ones are given at:


Reason no. 8 in this list “To help inspire other people” came to my mind’s fore yesterday when I received the sad news that a friend, who has a house in Mobbiano and was based in the UK, passed away on Christmas Eve.

The news came via an email from his son who added:

“……On a personal note, I have immensely enjoyed your blog this year and your love of the area and its people.  You have inspired me to carry on with the house whereas I probably wouldn’t have ….. So thanks for that – please keep on inspiring people!…..”

I felt so glad that T.’s house in Mobbiano would now have continuity through the same family and that, in a small way, I’d helped to achieve this.

I fondly remember T, who was an antiques book dealer, lending me the first book on the history of Bagni di Lucca I’d ever read when I arrived here in 2005. From 2006 to 2011 T. was a regular summer visitor to Mobbiano, Longoio “twin” village. The house where he stayed with his wife S. was particularly delightful. With its white painted frames it must have been the only house in the Lucchesia whose windows opened outwards rather than inwards. This was because it was such a tiny, but supremely delightful place, that too much room would have been taken up if they had opened inwards!

I am sure that my friend’s son won’t mind if I publish this photograph of his father on the last visit he was able to make to our part of the world in August 2011 when T came down to our field for a lunch al-fresco:

I am now always prepared for deaths in winter. It’s this cruel season which for me has taken away some of the best people I’ve known. Adieu T. It’s been great to have met you and we will all miss you very much!

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