I’ve been thinking for a few days now what to say about our trip to Rome and I’ve been at a loss. Not because there isn’t enough to say but because there is so much. So first I thought I would post a few snaps of our trip that sum up what a breathtakingly beautiful city it is and some the festivities we experienced there like this amazing display of fairy lights...
I think there will be a few blog posts out of our trip as there was just so much to think about. Rome is a place that feels saturated with power, unsurprisingly really as it was the seat of a great empire, the ruins of which are all over the city (perhaps something to learn there about the nature of empire but that’s one for another day!) and the home of the empire that is the Roman Catholic Church. We found ourselves in so many weird and wonderful places as we wandered the back streets around the major monuments. On the way to the Spanish steps we stumbled across a whole road dedicated to what I call ‘church bling’ – Bishop’s Mitres encrusted with jewels, gold communion cups, gilded bibles. I’ve never seen anything like it. Another street away and we were surrounded by all the big fashion names – Gucci, Prada, Jimmy Choo.
So many of the buildings in Rome are a testament to people striving for greatness, whether that is a neighbourhood church designed by Bernini or the frescos by Michelangelo. It is inspiring and overwhelming all at once. But what I loved most about Rome is what lies beneath the glitz and glamour, the heart of the place that is warm and generous and typified for me by the big bowls of steaming pasta and the glass of limoncello that appears at the end of your meal free of charge. The language barrier wasn't such a problem when it came to making a whole lot of yummy noises over yet another amazing meal or having a boogie to a four piece band in a local wine bar. Good moves are international!
And so now we've back home with our family to celebrate and enjoy some well earned time together. Christmas Eve is one of the most special nights of the year for me. It was Christmas time seven years ago that in two weeks I went from calling myself an athiest to calling myself a Christian - as bewildering a turn of events as it sounds! It was Christmas eve that I prayed a tentative prayer to 'give it a go with God' that has lead me down the most wonderful and extraordinary road since. 2012 promises to be a very interesting year indeed and for me I can trace it all back to that Christmas night without which so much would never have happened and so much joy would have been missed. So it really is a Happy Christmas this year and every year. And with that it's time to give you all my best wishes for you and yours this Christmas.
Happy Christmas to you!