My husband Barry and I had planned to spend a month in Venice in February 2016 and had done lots of research and planning and booked an apartment which was very Venetian. We wanted to know we were in Venice and didn't want to stay in a place which could have been anywhere. So the one we found had a canal, a bridge and a private terrace with a view of this 15C church! You can see the apartment here.
When Barry died unexpectedly the owners of the apartment said they regretted they could not refund the deposit but would hold it indefinitely to be used by me or anyone I cared to give it to, and it went to the back of my mind for many months.
As you can imagine it was with mixed feelings I went to Venice without Barry and to the apartment we had so carefully chosen. I know Barry would have been as thrilled as I was that our lovely Heather came along. She made it fun and a very healing and happy experience.
Last night I watched a production of Vera Brittain's Testament of Youth. In it, towards the end, Winifred tells Vera, who has suffered devastating losses at a very young age,
'All of us are surrounded by ghosts. Now we need to learn how to live with them. You must start at the beginning. Get up, get dressed, eat. Spring is out there, waiting...'
For me, Venice was out there, waiting, and I'm very glad I went to meet her.