March 2019 archive

A Surprising Turn!

In case someone is interested concerning the outcome about the search for my roots. This is what happened:

My father actually contacted me by email! Sadly, he wrote that he hadn’t anything left from his father. The only photo he had of him, has been destroyed when he was a teenager….

So no, no letter or documents available. At least I know now how to write and pronounce the English name correctly 😃

But amazingly he also wrote that he never wanted to end our contact. The last time we saw each other (more than twenty years ago) and then said goodbye, we arranged for a new meeting. Unfortunately, afterwards I saw that on that date I had already arranged to meet my girlfriend, so I called and cancelled with my father. I told him that I was sorry and I would look forward to a new arrangement – which never came. Therefore, I thought, he wasn’t really interested keeping in touch….

Well, now I learned, that he thought the same. For in his eyes, I’ve cancelled the meeting with him because I rather wanted to go out with my girlfriend. Like, something “better” had come up, suddenly.

Ridiculous really…and albeit it’s such a long time ago, I know for sure, that I would never have done that. An appointment is an appointment!

So I explained that to him in a new email and also told him what a silly misunderstanding it must have been. He thought that I wasn’t interested to keep in contact and I thought the same of him….🙈

Anyway, last weekend we talked on the telephone, after he explained (again in an email),  that he and his wife would gladly meet me and my husband and we would be welcome at their home in Zurich. So we settled for a Saturday in April, Patrik and I are invited for dinner and I’m sure we’ll have a lot to talk about.

Isn’t it funny how life plays sometimes? Regrettably, I couldn’t find out much more about my family history, but instead, I’ve recovered my “roots” somehow, after all 🥂🍾

 

A First Wary Forecast

Well, since I’m a bit superstitious, I almost don’t dare to say it….

But we can’t deny that the last few weeks we did have some bookings for Luna Azzurra. Plus people are showing a general interest in her and ask questions by email.

So, considering that Patrik and I are new to this whole business, I would say we can be happy so far!

It’s still early in the year and we are not sure if people do usually wait a bit longer with booking boats for vacation. The weather isn’t really tempting either, perhaps a bit early to think about sailing, swimming and hot weather…. At least here in central Europe it still looks more like winter than spring. Luckily no more snow, but still chilly with cold winds. The sun is kind enough and presents herself sometimes, though!

When checking the weather in the south it’s a few degrees warmer and we envy the lucky ones there. We also saw on the webcams that the marina is starting to wake up from its winter sleep. On nice weekends people are there, fiddling with their boats, go out sailing or simply enjoy a few days on their yachts!

Yeah, Patrik and I do wish we would live closer to our Luna Azzurra!

As a little treat, we’ll drive to Loano on the 30th March and stay for one night (only). Most of all we have a customer who would like to test Luna Azzurra for a few hours on Sunday morning till early afternoon. Plus we plan to fix the bow toilet (nothing major, but it has to be done).

So why not taking the chance and do a little work on Saturday afternoon and meeting a guest on Sunday?

Furthermore, on Saturday evening we’ll meet someone who owns a sailing school in Loano. Naturally, we look forward to this gathering – who knows what comes out?

This time we won’t sleep on Luna Azzurra by the way, but in a small hotel in Borghetto Santa Spirito. Firstly, we always wanted to visit this little town, which lies just beside Loano. The other reason is that the effort of cleaning the boat after only one night isn’t worth it.

So yes, things are happening and good ones too! We definitely are very excited and hope for a good sailing season with many happy guests!

Cheers and Ahoy!

Searching for my Roots

No, I don’t mean my teeth, but my family history!

Not everyone knows that I grew up with a – very loving – Swiss stepfather. When I was two years old, my “real” parents got divorced. Fortunately, my mum – who is Swiss also – married again two years later and that relationship fitted perfect!

So, all things considered, my brother and I had a very happy childhood and our family was complete when our step brother was born a few years later!

The (already loose) contact with my real father – who is Italian – ended more than 20 years ago. I was sad at the beginning, because the break-up wasn’t my choice and I blamed myself for a long time. But after so many years it doesn’t bother me anymore!

Luckily, the contact with my grandparents (Nonna and Nonno, as they were called, since they were Italians) was always intact.

I know since childhood, that my Nonno wasn’t the real father of my father – but that is a much more tragic story, than a divorce!

If you want I’ll share this fascinating tale with you.

This is my grandmas story – her name was Anna, by the way:

World War II, although almost at its end, still raged in Europe and Anna was a beautiful twenty year old girl, who lived with her family in Naples, south Italy. As it was common in the south, religion and family honour was still very much alive then. Hmm….it still is, when I think about it.

Anyway, as we know from history, allied troops were also stationed in Italy. So it happened that my grandma met a young, good looking English fighter pilot and they fell in love! He’s name was James.

So far so good, it could be the start of a beautiful romance! Sadly, it’s not…..

James had to leave for a new combat mission after a while, but not before promising her and her family that he’ll be back and they would get married as soon as possible.

God, they must have been crazy for each other! It’s unimaginable, how painful it must have been to say goodbye under these circumstances.…

As if this wasn’t bad enough, my grandma found out that she was pregnant…..and that in south Italy and not married! We cannot imagine the drama that surrounded her. She was now the family’s disgrace and as soon as her belly started to grow, she wasn’t allowed outside the house anymore.

When they had visitors, they hid her in the closet…She must have suffered a lot. Not only was she worried sick about her beloved James, but also had to deal with her unforgiving family.

And all that in the madness of the gruesome war, albeit near its end!

Then came the probably worst day in Anna’s life: A letter came and informed her, that James had died on a mission in Malta! She must have been devastated….

I’m not sure, if the army informed her, or if James’ family sent her the letter and let her know about the tragedy. What I know is that his family – who lived in Liverpool – offered her to adopt her child, if she couldn’t keep it. He would be loved and well taken care of!

Well, apparently, this wasn’t an option for Anna, and when her son – my dad – was born, she kept it. I have no idea, how she got her way with the family and all that. But somehow she “won” and kept her baby. Well, let me tell you, she was a strong-minded woman!

Her son was baptized of the name Mario and lived in Italy until he was about twelve years old. As far as I know he had a happy childhood and was very spoiled – he meant everything to Anna.

But that was about to change, when she moved to Switzerland, in order to find work. Probably the perspectives were much better than in Italy. Here she met Giorgio from northern Italy, and soon they got married. For Anna it was not only love, but a perfect solution. Only little Mario was really jealous of his stepfather, suddenly he had to share his mum with someone.

So they moved to Zurich in a big apartment and soon had two daughters together – Mario’s stepsisters.

They had a good life, were hard working, the kids grew up, went to school, started to work…the usual.

When Mario was around twenty, he met my mum and they fell in love. Soon she was pregnant and they got married. One year later my brother was born, but unfortunately, the marriage didn’t work out and when I was two, they divorced. I reckon, they were simply too young.

As I mentioned earlier, my brother and I always kept the contact to our grandparents and our two aunties.

Unfortunately, Mario wasn’t so keen on his two kids from his past and after two attempts from my side to keep in touch, I had to understand, that the interest was from my side only. So more than 20 years ago, it was the last time I’ve heard from him.

Anyway, my Nonna told me the whole story, about James, how she coped with her life in Italy, her joy about Mario and the move to Switzerland. Unfortunately, she could never show me any documents, photos or letters from her fascinating life. When I asked her about it, she told me that years ago, Mario wanted to do some family research, so she gave everything she had to him. As far I know, he found out where his father’s family in England lives. But he never dared to contact them.

My grandma died in December 2017, over 90 years old – about twenty years after my Nonno had passed away. And suddenly I realized that my father was the last person, who knew about our history and that he still had the documents his mother gave to him. Well, I certainly hope so…..

So this week I worked up the courage and sent a letter to Mario (he lives in Zurich since many years, with his new family).

My letter to him contains no accusation whatsoever and I explained that he wouldn’t have to worry about having to meet me, or something like that.

But I explained my thoughts, about our family and our extraordinary story. And in case it was true what Nonna had told me, about giving all the paperwork to him, I kindly asked him to send copies of the documents, letters and photos etc. to me. One day it would definitely be too late and I would miss an important part about my past! I don’t even know how the English family name is spelled correctly, I only know how to pronounce it (roughly).…

Well, meanwhile Mario must have received my letter….I truly hope he read it and is considering my request! Let’s see….waiting isn’t my strengths and this is a bit nerve wrecking, to be honest….!

My skiing holiday in Austria .

This holiday was unplanned.

When Lasse, a childhood friend called and told me, that he and his son William had rented a house for a week near Zell am See, Austria and asked if I wanted to join. Space was no problem at all. WHY NOT. I did not have to think it over for long.

I had been away on work for a while in USA so no one at work protested. Diana new that I love skiing and that it was 4 years since last time we had our skiing week. So for her was it OK too.

Anyway it was quite some drive there, as I am used to ski in Switzerland where I have maximum 2 hours of drive it was quite boring to drive for 6 hours. Specially when you’re alone in the car.

But I had a clear blue sky during the hole trip which made it OK to drive and when arriving it was super great to meet Lasse and Wille at the house.

They told me that they had arrived just some minutes before me so when I arrived we emptied our cars and went to the closest shop to by some necessary food.

Then back and enjoyed our evening and discussing where to go tomorrow. Lasse had been there before skiing in Kaprun and suggested that we start in those slopes.

The next morning we aimed for Kaprun and after a while we found it and bought lift card and headed up in the gondol-lift.

What a day with blue sky and +5°C, the sun did not soften the snow to much either so we had a great skiing. After a while Lasse told us that we where in another lift system that he wanted.

Not at that high altitude (only 1600 meter). But as the slopes was good and we enjoyed we decided to go for the correct system the day after.

In the evening when we made ourselves a nice diner and around 21:00 we where all ten and out so we headed for the bed.

Next day we had an early rise and was at the correct place to ski at 8:30 in the morning.

It was quite some difference to ski up on over 3000 meter. The snow was a lot different, much softer and still a hard nice slope below it.

A wonderful day we had and again with a blue sky but today the temperature was +14°C down in the valley. So at lunch sitting in the sun and enjoy was fantastic.

The week went on like this and we had blue sky and +12 to 16°C during the day with cold morning with about -2°C. So for use was it skiing until 12:00 then lunch and after that we took it easier and enjoyed the weather at a sunny restaurant or apero ski bar.

I took a few pics during the stay but it is hard to catch the beauty nature and views on a camera.

Anyway I hope you can imaging it with these pictures.

Stop the Bloodbath

http://stopthebloodbath.afd.org.au/petition

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