My highlights of 2017

Walking in the Boboli Gardens, Florence

Now that Christmas and the new year are very much in sight, I’ve put together a list of my personal highlights from 2017. This year included difficulties, like losing our wonderful Grandad in September and our darling dog just a few days ago. But reflecting on positive experiences doesn’t take away their significance.

I’d love to hear about the best parts of your year too. Here are mine:

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A life well lived

Sam, my Grandad, passed away on Saturday. For the past few months, my family has been going through the raw, uncomfortable process of losing an important person. Grandad was witty, clever and always supportive. His steady presence was accompanied by a love of history, languages, golf and West Bromwich Albion F.C.

I miss – and will continue to miss – his stories. In April 2013, we stayed with relatives in Mumbles, a village at the far end of Swansea Bay that leads to the Gower Peninsula. I’ve written briefly about this place as home before. On this visit, like many previously, we walked around Oystermouth Castle. As my cousins played on a tire swing and Nanny looked across the bay, Grandad and I ventured through the trees. He gestured to the house where he and my great grandparents had lived in the 1950s, enthusiastically describing how he grew from a teen into a cheeky young man with a motorcycle. Before this he had lived in Ethiopia and afterwards he moved to Birmingham. In the early 1980s, his young family moved back to the Gower, where my Mum later met my Dad, an Oceanography student from Kent.

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Coeliacs abroad: Florence

A view of Florence, Italy, from the Duomo.

Molly in Piazza del Duomo, Florence, Italy.

I recently visited Italy for the first time. I met my parents in Florence, where we stayed in a charming, convenient Airbnb for four nights (Friday to Tuesday).

I was excited about the culture but slightly apprehensive about what three coeliacs would eat in the land of wheat pasta and pizza. As with Amsterdam, I researched places beforehand and we managed well.

Here are some highlights from our trip.

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