Charlotte’s letter (3/3 posts today)

The wonderful Charlotte, a good friend and previous exceptional aupair of Lucas and Josephine would like to share this letter with everyone. Although it is slightly embarrassing I will have to obey her wishes. Thank you Charlotte.

on a side note, congratulations to dad for his promotion.

Love Pizza and The Soul of a Family



This year I have had the pleasure of working with the Nabarro family in Switzerland.  After speaking with Gillian over the phone for the first time last July I knew 3 things:
1 That David is kind of a big deal (which I already knew from University)\
2 That Tom was in a wheel chair after a snowboarding accident
3 The ages and interests of Josie and Lucas
….in that order, which was a little confusing because I was going to be Josie and Lucas’s Au Pair.  It was not until I got to know the family a little better that I understood why that was the case.  All year I have heard about Tom, how cool he is, how much fun they had when Tom was living in Switzerland, and I learned how deeply his accident has affected the daily life of the Nabarro’s.


I have seen the basement change from a dank grey room into a wheelchair accessible mini paradise with the BIGGEST flat screen TV I have ever seen.  The transformation process was an interesting one for me because the workers would be coming in and out all day, asking me all kinds of questions in French and sometimes Portugese.  It taught me how speak a little more French, but the Portugese usually left me in a frenzy of confusion.  But in the end it was the only room in the house that rivals the view from the top floor.


At first everyone was talking about Tom coming for Christmas, but the winter was too hard for Tom to travel for so everyone went to England.  Then he was coming for Easter, and that didn’t happen either.  Tom finally arrived for the PALEO Festival in Nyon, in the early hours of July 19th.  This was also my last full week in the Nabarro household.


Before I had even met him I had decided that he was probably a really cool guy, and that he was the soul of the Nabarro family.  The minute I met him I knew that these two opinions were very true.  Our introduction was no different from anyone else except the part where you shake hands of course.  Feeling slightly unsure of myself, and the situation I stepped back and watched everyone else interact for a while.  Some time around dinner that first evening Tom asked me a question and with a nod and a wink I knew we were on the same page and any nervousness I had went away.


Over the course of the week I got to know Tom and the entourage he “Rolls” with.  Tom’s girlfriend Ellen is a beautiful soul, with a lot of passion for life and fun.  Raj, Tom’s best friend a one man Circus would have me in fits of laughter one minute and eating up all of his sweet words the next.  Jamie and Vicci are phenomenal at their jobs and at having a rockin’ good time. 


The whole group was welcoming and really happy to have me as a part of the crew every night at PALEO.  We danced, we drank and listened to some really great music (not necessarily in that order).  Not one night did we come home until 4am, and on Thursday night (Friday morning) were watched the sunrise over Lake Geneva as we drove home.  The whole festival was one of the best times I have had anywhere in Europe this year.


On Friday evening Raj asked me a question and I think that my response surprised him a little.  He said, “I was just thinking how would all of this be different if Tom could use his legs?Â  Having not known Tom before his accident, as Raj has, I could see that this was something Raj was probably thinking about a lot this week.  But my honest first response was “Well we would all be here together, having a really awesome time, only there would be less space.”The one thing I noticed that Tom’s “Voiture” (as it was known after a certain point in the evening when everyone was brave enough to try and use their French) gives him and everyone in a 2-4 meter vicinity a lot of space.  For me a person that doesn’t really like people in her personal space, but loves to dance things couldn’t have been better. 


This space that Tom has is interesting in another way.  During the first few evenings Raj had brought the BIGGEST Irish flag I had ever seen in my life and was waving it around.  The flag created more space, and it attracted so many different kinds of people.  We couldn’t move 10 feet without people stopping to talk to us. 


As the first few nights wore on I noticed that everything surrounding Tom was like a show, only it was totally unscripted.  Everyone was dancing within Tom’s line of sight but not directly in front. At one point (during a fuzzier late part of one of the evenings) there was something going on involving dancing, eating, the flag lying on the ground next to a curb and some garbage cans.  Tom was on the pavement while everyone else was “performing” on the grass, and a small crowd formed behind him to watch whatever it was that we were doing that was so funny.  I only hope that Tom had as much fun watching us in that moment as the rest of us had creating it because though a little fuzzy it was a moment I will never forget.


On Tom’s last day everyone was a really tired, emotions were heightened, and some nerves were a little frayed.  It was then that he suggested that we make pizza for dinner.  Everyone went shopping for the supplies, while I took Josie to her scuba diving lesson.  When Josie and I returned to the house we walked in on a much more relaxed Nabarro family.  Jamie and Lucas were making pizza dough.  Raj, Vikki and Gillian were having a conversation at the dining room table.  Ellen and David were organizing something with the oven.  And Tom was directing the whole process.


There was an energy of complete and total LOVE in the house.  It will forever be one of the most powerful changes of energy I have ever experienced.  There was so much LOVE and solidarity in the room.  Everyone had gone from individuals a few hours earlier to a collective working towards a common goal.  I love Pizza and that pizza was the best pizza I have ever had in my life.  From that day forward I will never forget the affect that the soul has on a family, and how good something that is made purely out of love can taste.


2 thoughts on “Charlotte’s letter (3/3 posts today)”

  1. Hello Tom,

    The reply system to your site is now back in order.
    Thanks for the three postings but what has happened overnight to Charlotte’s beautiful letter which looks as if it has been slightly sabotaged! OK it was Halloween…..
    You are indeed a prolific writer and have a great talent in writing – keep it up.
    Je t’embrasse

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