a personal website of life in umbria

almost Easter April 2017


Well I had to get around to doing it sometime. The last posting on this site was April 5th 2015 and since then my world has been turned upside down. The smiling face of Sarah that graced that post which I have now relocated to the recent page, was one of her last successful trips - she did make one more but it did not work out so well.


She is with us no more. She passed away Feb 28th 2016 here in our Umbrian house with Chris, her Australian photo buddy and myself. She had undergone brain surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy but unfortunately nothing worked, the tumor returning rapidly and ultimately taking her life.


As a medical doctor she was very well aware of what was happening to her and while unhappy about it, prepared mentally for what happened. Needless to say it has left a huge hole in my life and those of our family and friends. We were able to spend Christmas 2015 all together here, a final chance to be together as a family.


It is hard to believe a year has past now, and that we have spread her remains in a memorial park in the UK, the same place where her mother, Nancy, and her father William remains were also spread. That was her wish.


Over the next few weeks I will alter the photo web site sarahsladephotography.com to reflect this news. Those images are still available but any and all proceeds from the sale of those will be put towards cancer research.


I am going to add to this site as I continue to live here in Umbria. Things that happen in town and images that I may take on my travels. Scotland, Canada and Australia are all on my radar these days as well as my life here. Life carries on, friends remain - and memories - Oh the memories…


I also had to bury our beloved doberman, Tarot. She was 12+ years old, a good age for a doberman and a wonderful companion till the end. She too was taken by cancer.


A wonderful image of Tarot and some old fellow taken in Sept/Oct 2016

in the park in MCdV by Chris.


And now spring has come to our Umbrian hilltop. The trees are in bloom the summer birds have returned and the air is warming. Below a recent image:



And what have I been doing in the ensuing months - read on below for a summary but I hope to update this site on a more regular basis going forward.


In November 2016 we had our normal Remembrance Day but for some reason they changed the date! It has always been on the 4th, the anniversary of Nancy's death, which we thought was fitting. Not in any way to detract from the losses to war here in Italy but it meant something special to us. Having lost Sarah in February  the actual date is no longer so  important but the sentiment is even more meaningful.



As many of you are aware, Umbria has been plagued recently by earthquakes, which have unfortunately taken lives and severely damaged some towns. They have been centred to the east of us here and a bit south but we have definitely felt a few of them. One appears to have caused some structural damage of the main church in our town, which is closed until it can be inspected! But there are two others in town and many close by so we are not near the top of the list for inspections.



I have been again to my favourite city in Italy - Siena! So many memories there. It was our families base here in Italy for years before we settled here in Umbria. If you have but time to visit one place in the wonderful country , visit it. Below a couple of images of the town hall with its iconic tower, situated on the edge of the Campo where the Palio is run a couple of times each year.




Christmas Season 2016 had me bouncing between here, Glasgow Scotland , here and then Australia, below some images I took in Glasgow. While there I visited the 'House for Art Lovers' - a must for architects and designers.


The two images of the new building of the 'Glasgow School of Art'
The iconic old building sadly was badly damaged by fire a few years ago and is being painstakingly rebuilt.

Glasgow in a wonderful mixture of the old and new with a river coursing through its centre. At one time thought 'rough and tumble' it has been revitalized in more recent times and is a place of wonderful surprises - well worth a visit and a walk regardless of weather.

As I mentioned above - The HOUSE FOR ART LOVERS. Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Frank Lloyd Wright are my two favourite architects ( I started in Architecture before completing my undergraduate degree in Industrial Design) and Glasgow is the heart of Mackintosh's work. One could spend days just exploring example of his work here, or others influenced by him.



But I have been other places as well. A visit to London in the Fall of 2016 to visit old haunts was wonderful and I had the opportunity to share the experience with a special friend.



The view (above) from the members bar in the South Bank at sunset looking north west towards Trafalger Square. Middle of the road between Londons iconic double decker buses getting an images of Wren's,  St Pauls Cathedral in the setting sun. And our view from the window of a wonderful italian ristorante Ristorante Olivelli . they have a number of locations, this was the Bloomsbury location on Store Street.



And the view below from the Tate Modern also on the South Bank.
This pano was from the terrace off the special exhibit area where we saw the work of
Georgia O'Keefe



On that same trip we also visited Whitby


 and the Isle of Aaran



And that is enough for this update. I hope to be back soon to tell you of some of my adventures since this last new years, time spent in Australia - a new country for me. Before I upload this update I will add a bit to my Design Thoughts pages as well - I have a huge backlog of stuff that I have collected over the last couple of years... Till the next time - R



rjslade.com - Monte Castello di Vibio - last modified April 5th 2015