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Fighting Fit

As we come to the end of the year, and in the Southern Hemisphere, the summer heat, the term ‘fighting fit’, isn’t one that we are thinking about. I, for one, am looking forward to relaxing and probably will overindulge on a few things during the holiday festivities.

But fighting fit is something that we’ve had to be, more than ever, this past year. Globally, inflation has been right up there and whether we’ve wanted to or not, we’ve definitely had to be fighting fit, using all of the arsenal at our disposal to overcome challenges that just seemed to keep coming.

Books and Things

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ... in the Southern Hemisphere!

Of course, a great swathe of endorphins is released when we prepare ourselves to be fighting fit but being ever ready can be tiring, in itself. So, I reckon it’s definitely that time of year when we can allow ourselves to take the pressure ‘off the gas’ and get a bit of downtime. 

May you all consider this as one of those times to be kind, not only to others, but to yourselves. You deserve it!

The extract below is from Ciao, We’re in Africa. After some challenging times, since their move to Rhodesia in 1955, my father surprised my mother with a trip back to Italy (from Rhodesia). A kindness such as this can be just the ticket to lift one’s spirits. 

That night at dinner, I remark again on the constantly changing African scenery.

“It’s so different from Italy. Do you realise Eugenio, it’s been seven months since we left home? Seven months…” I’m suddenly teary-eyed. Thinking of Italy has made me so homesick.

“Don’t be sad, tesoro. I’ve been thinking about a trip to Italy.”

I blink at this statement. “Have you been reading my mind?”


“Doesn’t matter. Just tell me about your plans!”

“Well, we need to make a shopping list, as we’re going to run short on stock. With all the people that I’ve been talking to, they expect to have many items available when we have our grand shop opening in December.”

“Finalmente! Finally!” I jump up to give him a hug. Bambi bounces around barking; she has sensed my excitement. I also give her a cuddle. I’m thrilled with the proposed trip, especially at the thought of seeing Mamma and Nonna. Even though we’ve been exchanging letters and managing a few telephone calls, it’ll be so much better in person.

A flight is booked from Salisbury to Rome with Alitalia Airlines. Although I’m sad to leave Bambi behind with a friend, all I can think about is going back to Italy to see my family. With a stopover in Khartoum, Eugenio is keen to investigate, but I cannot really summon too much interest.

“Just think, Eugenio,” I giggle with anticipatory delight. “Mamma and Nonna will be wide-eyed when I relate about black men dressed in white uniforms and serving tea or long cool drinks, whilst white people sit around waiting to be attended to.”

“Yes, they will. Because they thought I was taking you to the wilds of Africa where people lived in grass huts!”

It’s such a dry comment that I’m silent for a moment. Then I burst out laughing. Salisbury, Rhodesia is far away from civilised Italy, both in distance and in what I had imagined it would be. It’s proven to be a most pleasant surprise.



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