Shame on me, but time is honestly just flying by. That seems to get worse with age, a lot worse.
I also have to admit that I struggled the first 2-3 months of the year. While I really, really do not want to live anywhere else in the world, the Scottish winter got me. It is the darkness, I guess, because the SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), my not so dear old friend, made a powerful return. Since the light saving day though and the return of proper evening daylight I am fine again - like nothing ever happened. That means I need to better prepare for next winter, possibly plan a vacation in January or February somewhere in the sun to fill up those vitamin D depots and get some endorphin going. Oh well ... lesson learned.
The SAD (what an appropriate abbreviation) did not help my productivity when it comes to writing. You do not want to spill your frustration, anxiety and pessimistic world view (Hello 45, you are NOT helping!) all over the internet. It is bad enough when it crumbles your own mind.
BUT of course not everything was shit in early 2017. One thing was particularly awesome and that was the year's first trip to Rome although I was severely handicapped. How do you even get ill when you are working from a home office and barely even leave the house? Well ... I managed to do that and got the cold from hell 1.5 day before leaving for Italy. But that journey which also included a few more countries and a lot of Biffy gigs was too important to give in to the evil virus attack and so a funky mix made out of Sudafed, Benadryl and Ibuprofen kept me rocking. I do not recommend really, but I survived and it was worth it.
Rome though ....
I really don't know why it took me so long to finally make it to Rome. I always wanted to go but then again there were always other plans and it somehow never happened. What shall I say? I absolutely LOVED it. I mean .. look at it:
Basically everything you hear about Rome is true ... there is so much to see, everything is incredibly old and incredibly beautiful. If you have a hotel in the center you can walk to almost all the amazing places. I enjoyed walking around all the narrow little streets and squares with fountains and restaurants and cafés so much. If you go ... do not rush. Allow yourself the time to get lost a bit and stop for another coffee or gelato or suppli or biscotti or ..... And in related advice: do not try to be on a diet because everything you heard about the food like "You have never tasted real pizza or pasta before you did not have it in Italy." is true as well. Try to get away from the main tourist hot spots where they shove you selfie sticks in the face and look out for the places where folks working in the city go for lunch or after work and you will find heavenly food and wine and sweets.
Our hotel was called Regula Suite (I can recommend!). It is located near Campo de' Fiori and I loved that area so much. Especially on the last day the weather was nice enough for lunch outside and sitting there with some amazing pasta, looking over the buzzing square and the ridiculously blue sky was absolutely priceless.
Of all the sightseeing things I liked the Pantheon the most. It is one of the few places you can visit without booking in advance. I got shivers down the spine in that main room. You feel the weight of the centuries and the magical energy of the place.
We only booked the tickets for the Vatican Museums ahead of time and when I go back I would definitely plan better and book more. The queues at all the main places are hilariously long - even at some random week days in February - and the selfie stick sellers are incredibly annoying; almost as annoying as the people who actually buy and use those damn sticks and then walk through a museum in slow motion filming and with no pain in the brain blocking the way for hundreds of people piling up behind them like in this place ...
As it was to expect the few days spent in Rome barely scratched the surface of what this city has to offer but it was just right to get a feel and it was a damn good feel. It is an absolutely gorgeous place and I really, really want to go back soon.