Sunday, 6 January 2019

What to wear at Christmas

Before Christmas it was so hectic with my university deadlines, cakes and biscuits to make, presents to wrap and luggage to pack, that I was relieved when I reached Rome. All I needed to think about was spending time with my mum and the rest of the family, and try not to gain too much weight. But it wasn’t so easy peasy.


I had an asthma check before leaving which went very well, and exercised almost everyday at Woking Leisure Centre as I found out that my type 2 diabetes risk level had decreased in the last six months. So exercising works! I attended mainly yoga, aqua wellness and the gym from time to time. I followed all the instructions: jog it out, shake it off, squeeze everything I have…and if it hurts, apparently it is good. I also reduced sugar and drinks and increased vegetables and proteins. I couldn’t lose weight though, whenever I manage to lose half a kilo I gain it again the next week. Nice people say that I gained muscle mass that weights more than fat, but I find it is an excuse. Perhaps I should see a health care assistant and start a food diary. The problem is that I’m too fond of cakes, both making and eating them.

At Christmas I had a good success with my outfits mixing and matching clothes and accessories from charity shops, Primark and Tu at Sainsbury’s. I found two corduroy dungaree dresses with colourful patterns from Tu that I matched with turtle necks from Primark. They were very comfortable and perfect for the not-so-wintry weather of Rome. I wore some lucky picks from charities for the festivities, a purple dress plus knitted cardigan and a grey waistcoat with embroideries I dressed with a purple turtle neck. I like wearing leggings and flat shoes recently with knee length dresses and a matching turtle neck under it if it is cold. Once again I found nice colourful dresses at charities, one with chequered patterns and a gorgeous grey one with red flowers.

In Rome the weather was fine, it rained only two days in two weeks and though it was cold in the morning it got warmer during the day thanks to the sun shining in an incredible clear sky. I had a few days out with my mum in the centre visiting some exhibitions and meeting friends. We spent most of our time with family. My two sons and my daughter in law were with us and we had great celebrations all together at my parents in law’s.  My husband’s grandmother was with us as well on Boxing Day. She is ninety-seven and in good health on the whole though she is almost deaf now. She is always smiling and walks like a tortoise bent on her stick with her big shoes that help her keep her balance. Her siblings are all dead but some of her relatives lived till over a hundred.


Unfortunately, on Christmas Eve I had a renal colic and had to be admitted at the A&E of Tor Vergata hospital. I must say that the procedure was very quick and efficient, the doctors and nurses were very kind and all young. I was in a bad state when I got there, almost unconscious. I had never had a renal colic before so when I started vomiting in the morning I thought I was simply sick. At hospital they diagnosed the colic and put the drip. I felt much better soon. The blood tests were all right and from the abdominal ultrasound they saw a stone in the left kidney. Before discharging, the doctors gave me medication and recommended to drink two litres of water per day. I was out in the early afternoon and luckily felt all right in the following days. After a few days, they did another check and saw the stone was moving towards the bladder. Back in England, I went to the GP who referred me to St. Peter’s hospital. Now I just need to pass the stone.

The experience had a good ending thanks to the efficiency of the A&E of Tor Vergata hospital but I was suddenly aware of how vulnerable we can be. In Naples there is a say: La salute รจ la prima cosa (health is the first thing), without health you cannot plan your life ahead. From an Italian point of view, the second thing is family. Food follows.