It is a common practice when you travel to Italy and spend more than a day or two in any given place you find your bar. You want it to be a local place opposed to a tourist haute. Relaxed and friendly. I found all of these things in Bar D Angolo at Porta Romana when Zoe and I spent 2 1/2 months living in Firenze fall of 2015.
On 05/07/2016 we moved here permanently and I’m sure within a day or two I went to the bar and it was like I had never left. About 10 days later (14/07/2016) I was sitting there on the patio enjoying
the summer evening sitting at a table with two chairs. I hate to waste a chair when a place is busy so I looked around saw this nice looking women who looked friendly and maybe spoke English. She caught my eye so I pointed at her and than the empty chair. She came over with a big smile on her face. We exchanged all that first time information and really clicked right off the bat. From than on we met several times a week at the bar and got to know each other. She is smart, loves to read, has a great career, tons of friends and funny.  We had so much in common, our styles were different, our politics were different but our beliefs were similar. She isn’t judgmental. She says what she thinks with few filters and truly cared for my opinion. Two things I look for in a friendship. You inspire and nurture each other, and we did.  Catherine Bolton I would have to say is the best friend I have ever had, which is pretty aat this age.  
Three weeks ago my friend left us. It was sudden and shocking. I have not referred to her in the past tense because she is still with me. Just as I never do with John. It hurts to say it. 
I have gone back through all my pictures to find all the ones of us together to share with you.  There is one thing that is the same in every picture, we are always laughing. 

Our bar

A fun trip to Torrigiani Gardens

Lunch with our friend Vannessa

Aperitivo with our friend Lucia.

Catherine had this group of friends who met for lunch every few months and she made Zoe and part of it.

This was at Todo Modo bookstore/caffè for a cookbook launching of a friend of Catherine’s. I wish I remembered what made us laugh so hard.

This is a group of my friends who became her friend.

 

 

 

My party to celebrate our first year in Firenze.

Love this picture. It was Catherine’s 60th birthday party. 

 

 

 

I treasure this picture. Taken only 2 weeks before she died.

It was a very special night with Vannessa and Andy.

 

When dramatic things happen in your life it makes you reflect on your own life and how suddenly things can change.  As when John died it confirms that life is short and you have live each day to the fullest. Do all the things you want to. Take chances and don’t be afraid of new challenges good and bad. Do new and different things  Step out of your comfort zone, you will be better and happier for it. I’m wrong probably once a day and sometimes more. But I am sure I am right about this.

 

Sometimes our light goes out

But it is blown again into flame

by an encounter with another human being.

Each of us owes the deppest thanks

To those who have rekindled this inner light.

 

Albert Schweitzer