Friday, March 29

These are a few of my favourite things :-)

Sometimes I find small things awesome.  A tea break after studying with friends.  A quick tinkle on the (plastic) ivories with Chopin.  The excitement of sharing some Brownie love.  Cycling like you're in 'Back to the Future'.  Noises of busyness on a sunny morning.  Awesome.

Sunday, March 24

Prickles and Yumminess

Today I've spent the day escaping from all the routines I seem to have accrued recently: Roccascalegna was the destination with three very awesome people :-)

Whilst walking around the castle I discovered the true meaning of the lyrics from "The Bare Necessities":
Now when you pick a pawpaw 
Or a prickly pear 
And you prick a raw paw 
Next time beware 
Don't pick the prickly pear by the paw 
When you pick a pear 
Try to use the claw

Do not catch a prickly pear (fico d'india) with your hand, there's a clue why in the English name!  These "pears" are not prickly like rose-thorns or brambles, oh no, they are sneaky prickles who say "Haha, you can't see me, I'm so small."  Therefore I have spent the rest of the day searching for prickles that I know are there on my fingers and palms...lovely!

For lunch we ate a fair bit in an Agriturismo (restaurant who make most of the stuff, and source the ingredients locally).  This agriturismo knew how to do antipasti, lots of antipasti, yummy and scrummy and just down-right delicious antipasti!  Annoylingly, as we were preoccupied with the eating of the yumminess, there is no photographic evidence, but it was an impressive spread: hams and cheeses, ricotta with jam, some sort of liver dish, beetroot, aubergine, and some other stuff that I happily ate, with some awesome unleavened bread too.  The primi (Pasta) dishes weren't as amazing, but still good, however the cake with the coffee made up for the disappointment as it was we had it twice!

Of course, after a short expedition to an Abbey, there was a stop off at a Gelateria for ice-cream.  I am very happy to see the sunshine out more often as that means more ice-cream can be consumed on a regular...*cough* daily *cough*...basis, hooray!

That leaves just one moral for this week's "Sunday Funday": be aware of the prickly pear, it's VERY prickly.

Saturday, March 16

Borracce di poesia - Water bottles of poetry

I am currently involved in a project that is quite cool.

Imagine you're on your bicycle and you see something random, have a spontaneous life-changing realisation or you face near death and write a poem about it. Well that's what this project does:

Using these poems the project aims to spread a bit more awareness of the difficulties and problems that urban cyclists face on the roads, with a bit of light-humour, and now I am helping create English versions of the poems to reach a wider audience.  It's an exciting opportunity to use my literary skills that once led me to study English literature at University - although I still had to look up the meaning of a quatrain!!*

Check out the English poems on the website, follow on Twitter, and like on Facebook to ensure you don't miss any of the latest poems :-)  Of course if you're lucky enough to actual read and understand Italian then the original Italian poems are here.

* I did only study English for a quarter of my degree, and I spent 8-hours a week, on average, actually in lectures and as that means I spent 2-hours a week on English, I've forgiven myself for being so ignorant!  

Monday, March 11

I Spy...

...with my little eye..., is quite possibly the best game ever invented.

I'm gutted I never used "I spy..." as a time-filler when I taught in London. It's versatile, suitable for large groups and individuals, and gets the children speaking too. Not only can you say "something beginning with..." as is the traditional format but colours, shapes, size etc. and my class enjoy it.

Today I think I played the best game of "I spy..." ever. It was between myself and one member of my class:

Me: I spy with my little eye something red.

Child runs around finding all things red. I give more clues to help them get to the specific item I am thinking of (sometimes the point is just to find anything that matches the word but not this time).

Child finds it, it was the red bin if you're wondering, so they take their turn:

Child: I spy with my little eye...everything. Your turn.

It was the quickest and most ingenious way I've known someone to make sure they get to be the 'finder'. Sheer brilliance! They repeated it for their next go too.

Sunday, March 3

A Sunday Skiing

Perhaps it's because it's the end of the week
or maybe the fact that sometimes I can sleep
but Sundays are awesome and that is agiven
for instance, like today, a small ski in heav'n.