While many Americans around the world may be sitting down to a big family dinner for this auspicious day in their calendar it makes me wonder why isn’t it every day we give thanks?
Perhaps gratitude is something you express in your life every day. Or perhaps you aspire to the concept but find it difficult to take the time to ‘be grateful’. I like to take a little time out for me at the end of the day usually just before I go to sleep and ‘give thanks’ for my day.
I am forever grateful for my friends, family and extended friendships in this almost virtual world we live in! I am also grateful for each and every day I am here – not in a morbid fascination just in an ‘it’s good to be alive’ kind of way.
I am grateful for the surprises that happen in life when you’re not looking for them!! Four years ago I embarked on a career in the Superyacht Industry – I had no idea I would become a Chef working for and satisfying the demands of some very tough customers! One year ago I would not have believed or thought possible that I would own a property in Italy let alone in the picturesque region of Abruzzo!! Dreams come true YOU can do anything you want in life if YOU want it bad enough! Trust your instincts – mine have never let me down, but I have let myself down ignoring them on a few occasions.
How do you express gratitude?
Having arrived back in Abruzzo on the evening of 31st October I shared a very nice glass of the local wine with the charming Jimmy from Abruzzo Segreto in Navelli and enjoyed also some tasty Bruschetta prepared by the lovely Francesca.
The day of the 1st I checked on my little house to make sure it was still standing before I handed over the last of my money for its purchase. Following a quick look at the house and garden and as it was a holiday for All Saints Day I found myself driving around the local area where the movie Lady Hawke was filmed. The stunning scenery in this region of Italy is breathtaking the Autumn colours brilliant reds and golds as well as accents of green has the countryside glowing with natural beauty. Spectacular!
I was up bright and early after a restless night’s sleep rising at 6:30 and on the road at 7:25 to meet at the bank to arrange Bank drafts for the purchase. It was a lovely drive down to the nearby town of Popoli with early morning mist rising up from the valley. Making good time I arrived at the Bank in Pescara without needing to stress – I hate being late! My meeting was 8:30 and business there, much to my surprise was concluded by 9am.
Unsure of the legalities of my previous parking I moved the car and checked out some of the shops to fill in time until my 11am meeting with the Notary and Vendors. Arriving at the Notary I was surprised by the cast of thousands (okay slight exaggeration) there were the 2 vendors and the translator plus another 2 from the Real Estae Agency which it seemed had each earned themselves €1000 from their hand in showing the house to potential buyers.
After the initial reading of the contract the Notary left to complete a few alterations to the original document and I passed checks around the office to the various parties and I was shocked the Real Estate Agency seemed to make the most money after the last transaction was completed rather than the sellers!
Having heard it was customary to be taken out to lunch after a property purchase I was relieved that this was not offered on completion of the formalities. I received my key to the house and walked to the car.
A quick stop at the local supermarket to buy champagne (French and Italian) as well as some local specialties to nibble on as a late lunch Salami and Formaggio.
When I arrived back at Abruzzo-Segreto Jimmy and Francesca were busy chatting to a young man from Pompeii who had come to look at the local Saffron (Zafferano) production. A few minutes later another couple arrived from the Puglia region. We discussed my day and got the Champagne chilling and everyone was delighted by the story of my house purchase. A little later an English couple arrived who were renovating a house in a nearby village called Prata after a glass of red wine we decided the champagne was chilled!
‘AUGURI’ everyone offered as we toasted with Italian Ferrari Brut! We chatted for quite a while altogether and in the tradition of the last few days I missed lunch again. Jimmy, Francesca and I along with the young man from Pompeii agreed to meet around 7pm to meet one of the local Zafferano experts before heading off to dinner.
We had a lovely evening and a good meal together – it was a whirlwind day and lots of fun!