Last week we were in Paris, partly to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary.
We were in the queue for an audio guide at the Louvre, a place where the staff don’t smile, where it’s so busy that no one smiles and where everyone fights to see a small painting of a woman who’s famous for not really smiling.
Gaia gives me a kiss on the cheek and says –
“20 years and I’ve managed to avoid catching herpes off you.”
People looked around at me and, I think, took a step away.
I shrugged and thought ‘Ah, F**k It’.
I didn’t say –
“Well, by ‘herpes’, she meant ‘a cold sore’, because that’s what they say in Italy, though she’s not incorrect because a cold sore is a manifestation of the herpes simplex virus, which most of us have, and lies dormant within us most of our lives.
She didn’t mean ‘genital herpes’, which is a different strain of the same virus, and which I don’t have, but I suspect is more of a strain to have than the occasional sore on your lip that comes out when the sun does.”
I felt it would have sounded too defensive.
I also didn’t want to go into detail about the fact that I wasn’t even sure that I had a cold-sore, just a suspicion, and was thus asking Gaia to stick to the cheek kissing until the lip-status could be definitively ascertained (no cold-sore actually appeared, for the sake of full transparency).
But it’s an interesting linguistic anomoly, isn’t it?
To ask for cold sore cream here in Italy,
I ask for ‘Herpes cream’.
And I have to confess I rather enjoy doing so (not that I would like to be asking for genital herpes cream, I’ll make that clear).
Yesterday, we arrived here on the island of Stromboli, the live volcano a couple of hours off the coast of Sicily.
Arriving is always exciting.
We’re here for three delicious weeks, including Gaia’s ‘F**k It Magic Life-Force’ retreat, which starts tonight…
And my ‘F**k It Energy’ retreat in 10 days’ time, where we do Qigong on the beach.
We bought a few bags with us on this family trip (and you’ll see behind our featured bags, the actual volcano – that’s where the thing explodes every half-hour or so)…
We never tire of being here.
It’s a totally magical place.
We headed straight to the beach to watch the sun go down …
So we’re now waiting for 20 beautiful people to arrive and begin their journey of exploration, both of the island and Gaia’s aforementioned ‘life-force’. We will probably close the week, next Saturday, with a trip to my favourite pizzeria in the world –
And not because of the pizza (though they do a nice ‘Hawaiian’ for anglo-saxon heathens like me), but because it’s the only place on the island to sit, eat and watch the volcano explode – and it is totally spectacular.
The only thing is, it can be hard to get a table.
But I have a new technique –
Gaia says loudly –
“John, how’s your very contagious herpes doing tonight?”
Ciao & Love,
John & Gaia x
P.S. The new book –
‘F**k It. Be At Peace with Life, Just as It Is’ –
was spotted as a ‘featured read’ at Gatwick Airport this week –
You’ll find it just about everywhere.
For loads of details, and how to access some juicy EXTRAS once you’ve bought it, go here – DETAILS ON NEW BOOK AND HOW TO ACCESS TO EXTRAS
(and do remember to keep your receipt to access those extras).