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Italy on a shoestring

I’m a big fan of renaissance art including the historical architecture, sculptures and painting. The centre of renaissance art is arguably Roma or Rome for the English speakers. Here is a few tips and maybe inspiration to go back in time and connect to the other side of the modern era with a trip back in time in Roma.

I am Thankful for my amazing son who organised everything from the flights to the day’s activities for our trip to Roma and he’s great at cutting the cost.

We traveled from Luton airport in the Uk at the amazing cost of £8.98. Return for each person. that’s less than £20 for two. You can Only take hand luggage but a small rucksack is plenty for 3/4 days.

The trip was a bit more complicated due to covid for example taking a flow test 24 hrs in advance and emailing confirmation to the airline so Italy allow you into the country. There are other restrictions while in the country ,wearing specific mask and having a covid pass.

Accommodation we have is in a hostel style hotel. The cost for a bed for 4 nights in shared dorms (included is Italian daily tourist tax)about £100. We managed to have free upgrade with my son in a private room at no extra cost.

Roma has so much to see and places to eat you can spend a long time here. For an overview or a whistle stop tour I will mention the ones not to miss.

1 The Basilica next to Vatican City is a must and it is free. The largest church in the world and it is inspiring and breathe taking.


2 The Vatican for all you art lovers is must. The cost for entry is €17 Euro. The tremendous amount of art from all artists is incredible. When I arrive back home in the UK I might post some pictures. The Sistine Chapel is awesome with fresco enveloping the whole room. I was picking up the energy in the room , truly a spiritual and awe inspiring room. I imagined that for centuries all the famous individuals gazed at the same magnificent artworks from all over the world, I have to admit the Vatican is impressive from a spiritual cultural artistic perspective.

We traveled from our hostel early in the morning at 9:40 am and it took a ride on the metro at a cost of €1.50 one way. it took 13 minutes via underground. We walked back to see few other sites that took about 40 minutes brisk walk.

3 The Pantheon’s is awesome converted Greek temple into a catholic church which is free. The famous artist Raphael is buried there at the young age of 37 years old. The magnificent large dome cascades the whole room filling the space with legends of Greek gods and religious icons.

4 The Mellini Chapel is insignificant to the Basilica in size and grandeur but it has a few gems by Giovanni early renaissance artist who paved the way the likes of Divinci and Michelangelo. The location is good spot near the famous steps and other churches.

4 Trevi Fountains are superb sculptures in a good location with plenty of places to eat and drink. Again this is free and you can sit down with a snack and watch the fountains. Added bonus in Roma there is free flowing drinkable water just take a plastic bottle refill around the city for free.

I have another day to go and will do part two when I arrive home with more info.

Round up on the basic needs in Roma on a shoestring. The cheapest way to eat is buy food from supermarket and cook at the hostel obviously but be prepared to have not usual home food , be adventurous and grab a bargain eating the locals foods.

Eating out is a trial by error. Read carefully the menu sometimes add 15% service charge. The saying is often you get what you pay for. The main expense on holiday is transport and food. Sacrifice fine dinning and walk a lot cut cost dramatically.

The language is not a barrier because many Italians speak good English. Google translate is always a winner for a good conversation for those who have the time.

In conclusion you don’t have to rob a bank or have a second mortgage to have a fantastic holiday. Finally for all you cheap skates there is an app called couch surfers you can use around the world and have free accommodation.

Quite often I have individuals stay with me from all over the world and you can enjoy a holiday from the comfort of your own home welcoming international guest.


Happy New Year 2022

Time and tide wait for no man (woman) said the poet Chaucer. The illusion of time is like a cloud for an adult but a mountain for a child. The celebrates originate from ancient customs based around lunar and solar cycles focussing on the worlds natural cycles.

The focus for many is a better future for themselves and humanity. The year has been another eventful for all humanity with the onslaught of different variants effecting millions across the globe. The sadness and loss of unfortunate will be a mark that will not go away for along time. The many losses of employment, social interactions and other extensions have been felt by all.

We can’t change the past but we can change the future by our attitude and attention to how 2021 has made its mark. The adjustment of uncertainty is a challenge but focusing on the gratitude of one’s life is a start. The three letters I discovered while meditating today helps understand our existence ( did for me ) Love , Light and Life. The consciousness permeates through the universe with unconditional love seen clearly in nature. Light flows within and outside to provide what we need. Life as a conscious human is the only certain thing we can count on by being present.

Happy new to all and may the love of the mysterious infinite consciousness bless you all.

Reads from 2021

What a year and what did I learn. Well this isn’t about me but some of the great books I have listened to or read and sometimes both. It want be every book just few highlights of my year.

List audible below click on link overview of book

I thought better stop there , this is few must listen to and reads to expand the mind. The more you learn the more you realise how ignorant you were. The wonderful opportunity to gather information and assimilate it today is awesome. Happy learning for 2022

Family is a gift

Gift of Life

We all come from family of some sort even if it was an institution. Maybe it wasn’t the best start in life or we might of wished for a better family. The story of Christmas from the religious perspective or the movies portrayal is the one of optimism’s despite the challenges.Jesus born in stable and scrounge was miserable but the moral of the story peace at the end.

This time of year may be difficult for many due to not having family members around. For some they may be in isolation or cut off from others. Whatever your situation have compassion for yourself and for others who may be struggling. The concepts and idealisation that every Christmas has to be perfect is not always going to be the case. The heart strings of emotions for many will struggle facing the day knowing family members will not be there. My dear Auntie who was born at Christmas called Carol hence the name lost her son to cancer recently. He was second oldest of the grandchildren next to me of the young age 51 years old. I think of the many other families first Christmas without loved ones in the flesh will be very emotional. Carol lost two husbands one at 29 years old over 40 years ago and one 4 years ago just after the death of my beloved wife. She said that even after 40 years at times struggle emotionally and I can agree with her. As a parent watching children when their mother is not around is a double sadness , one for us all and the great sadness of her not being here in the flesh watching her children growing up.

Despite the sadness I am grateful for having a family and as my Auntie said of her son Matt , she was proud to have him as a part of her life. The lessons life throws at us all at times can be challenging but empathy and compassion for ourself and others is the greatest gift we can have and give. May the love of the beloved refresh your soul on a challenging time.

Enter The Darkness to Find Light

Enter The Darkness Find Light

What you see is not the picture of the world

What you hear is not the sound of truth

What you taste is not the delight of kings and queens

What you smell is not the sweet fragrance of life

What you touch is not the spirit of essence

Enter the darkness and forget the past

Shut the door of tomorrow pleas

Welcome this second before the clocks stop

The only truth you know is not true

The lies and deceptions of the mind cause you sorrow

Enter the darkness to find the light

The world of yesterday is just a dream

The fantasy of tomorrow is another story

The book of life has new stories to be told

The sacred texts reveal only the beginning of the end

Knowledge of you is the profound truth

The secret of light comes from within

Open your eyes to see the truth of life

Listen to the wisdom and silence of nature

Taste the sweet taste of vitality

Smell the fragrance of beauty you have

Touch the desire of the present truth

Enter the darkness to find the light within

You are perfect and have no sin

The love and comfort wraps around your soul

Wake up to reality of passion and love

Because the light of truth is you


Inspired to write this after a meditation. The practice quiets the mind to unravel the web of confusion in daily life. The mind or ego works effortlessly to complicate life that can lead to added stress. The beauty of regular meditation grounds the present reality. We like to think or the ego believes it is in total control but that is an illusion. Life is wonderful gift with experiences that shapes our perceptions but isn’t the complete picture of reality. Thanks goes to the continuation of life not just in ourselves but to the whole cosmos.

The Science of Grieving Video

This video is a brief overview help understand the impact that death has on those associated with the deceased. It is a subject close to my heart after losing my beloved wife Kate Louise Hyne (45) to cancer 4 years ago. The information is to help have a broader perspective because a lot of models presented about grief don’t have scientific models to explain it clearly. For example the traditional 5 stages of grief is so simplistic and outdated and culturally ignorant and insensitive to a persons intellect and feelings.