My god-daughter 

Miss Great Britain

This is a photograph I received today of my beautiful god-daughter.  I would like to be able to tell her whole story, but it is not my story to tell.  Suffice to say that Tirana is decorated with the sculptures by her grandfather, a university professor, and that I am ashamed to say that she spent the first few weeks of her life in a damp wooden hut in England where mildew climbed the walls and single young marauding men made her mother a virtual prisoner. 

After living in England, Tirana, and Glifada, they now live happily just outside Venice.  My friend works and my beautiful god-daughter learns ballet.

Dear beautiful, clever god-daughter, I wanted to be able to say how very, very proud I am of your Mum.  Not only does she look good in a bikini, make the best Greek pastries, moussaka and houmous ever, speak four languages very well, give wonderful beauty treatments, and is a loyal friend, but she has climbed mountains in her path, often with you – her most precious thing – on her back, and come down the other side, sustained by her faith in God and her love for you.  Mountains that would have given me severe altitude sickness. I admire her so much.