My Cancer and the Magic of Mondovi.

Click the text below to view (duration 52secs)
Sunday 9th January 2017. 

Film Credit: Malcolm White

There is so many beautiful stories I could tell you about Mondovi in Northern Italy. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you would already be aware of a few. For those Facebook virgins among you, I'll give you an extremely brief synopsis. Mondovi is a town and comune (township) in Piedmont, northern Italy, about 80 kilometres (50 mi) from TurinIt is where my balloon 'St. Pio' (G-PPIO) is based permanently. The area around it is known as the Monregalese. The town, located on the Monte Regale hill, is divided into several rioni (ancient quarters): Piazza (the most ancient), Breo, Pian della Valle, Carassone, Altipiano, Borgato and Rinchiuso, lower, next to the Ellero stream, developed from the 18th century when industries developed in Mondovì and when it was reached by the railway.

Hot Air Balloons love this area as the local weather systems here enjoy a natural barrier from prevailing winds, largely because of its imminent location in relation to the French-Italian alpine region. Put it this way, 30 hours of annual flying (ballooning) in Ireland or 300 days of the same in Mondovi. 

I know I have written in my previous blogs on how much I treasure flying St. Pio within this ballooning  oasis. It is hard to explain but each time I get airbourne in St. Pio, I feel a surreal spiritual closeness to my dear late mother, 'Ann Murphy' in whose name the balloon is flown and also to Padre Pio as well. The embedded message for me appears to suggest the right thing is been done here. I've also stated before that I'm not a big bible hugger but when out there, if I do get the opportunity to give a plug to St. Pio, I generally will. Just this weekend gone by and the City of Mondovi hosted the 29th Epiphany Hot Air Balloon Festival. G-PPIO did fly in it, thanks to my partner in crime Andy Martin and crew. St. Pio also managed to get on the front page in the indigenous newspaper 'La Stampa'. 

St. Pio flies across the front page 
of Italian newspaper, La Stampa. 


"St. Pio telling me I'm on the road to recovery?"

Hot Air Balloon 'St. Pio' (G-PPIO) after landing this weekend
 on a public road in Mondovi, Italy. 

As I keep up the fight with my enemy, it is so important for me to focus on bigger things. 
What could be bigger than this fight with my cancer I hear you ask? 
I'll tell you what is, getting myself back to what I call the 'Magic of Mondovi'. 
I need to get back there, to the beautiful friends I have made there. Of course to fly St. Pio in the  Mondovi sky's too.

 My good friends Fulvio and Valentina who flew into Ireland on Christmas Eve just gone by and visited me on St. Stephens Day were out driving this morning near Mondovi and stumbled across St. Pio in the Sky. Click the short link below to view it. It is all this and more which gives me that experience of what I call that 'spiritual solidarity'. That is not that easy to explain but earlier in this particular blog, I did give it my best shot. 


You are probably thinking (and I wouldn't blame you), should I not be just aiming to get better for myself and of course my family and need I say it, my friends? Absolutely, no question about it. 
But here's the twist, well my twist. When I was told for the very first time about the tumour in my stomach, that it is inoperable and so on and so forth, in order for me to deal with this instant and lets be direct here, life threatening fact, I immediately put my mind in what I call 'de compartmentalise' mode. This instant situation I found myself in was by all counts, system overload. I must break it down as I don't do overload. So when taken to pieces and duly re-calibrated, I go into my 'fight and fix it mode'. Part of this is putting not so much a bigger carrot in front me, but one with a big difference and which in my mind ticks a lot of boxes for me and I would suggest, with a strong spiritual significance also. Mondovi is calling me here and by all accounts in a spiritual way too.

Rest assured folks, I will be back to hug my Italian friends, fly St. Pio and of course, have my balloon kiss the heavens that's minding my Mammy under the stewardship of my favourite Italian Saint. 


A beautiful dream from
Wendy Tree, a UK balloonist based in Italy. 

"Morning Aidan, I wanted to share my dream with you... you were flying a microlight over our home here in Italy and filming all the houses and you gave me a thumbs up when you got to ours. We were all watching it from the Balloon Port and as you got just nearly above our house, the excitement kicked in as I was going to get a birds eye view of 'Treeacres', the Italian channel automatically turned over to the news 😂 . We missed you at the weekend but you were there in spirit ❤️ Take care Wendy xxxx"


And that my friends is the Magic of Mondovi. 

Thanks so much for reading my blog. 



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