Saturday, June 29

Chips and houmous...

...have been replaced.

I've got a friend coming to visit and I'm really excited.  For a while I was planning on hiring a car, driving around Abruzzo for the weekend she's here but then I decided not to.  The main reason, apart from my usual lack of money, is that what has become "normal" to me is going to be...interesting...for her, I just feel it in me bones!

For example.  I lived "in" London for roughly three years.  In those three years I stayed in the same area, going out in the same zone, visiting the same bars/pubs etc on the regular nights out.  Of course I did go further afield for the odd special occasion, but the places I'm talking about here are the Friday night haunts the, "Hooray it's the weekend but I'm too tired after the week to really go too far from my house..." kind of nights.

In Battersea, sometimes a Friday night would consist of dinner at one of the local pubs.  Or if we were feeling adventurous it might even have been cocktails at Clapham Common, although I think that was more likely on a Saturday.  If, on the rare occasion I was feeling particularly...erm...drunk...there was, and still is, Infernos.  Open til 3am for a bit of dancing...and drinking...if one didn't mind the sticky floor and £10 entrance fee.  I used to hate the nights someone would say "Let's go to Infernos..." but by the end of the evening I would be loving it and as a result I have many fond memories of that place: toilet dogs, and fancy dress cows, Jagerbombs, and bog trolls, and that one time a man drank the drink I'd just paid for so I took his wallet and used his money to pay for another one, I could go on...but basically it was a place to "let go" of the hell of a week that had unfurled, or celebrate something, or just because there was no where else to go when the bars shut...

Anyways, my point is that on deciding to return home we would get food.  My favourite late night feast being chips and houmous from the kebab shop by the bus stop.  Nothing beat chips and houmous-literally a takeaway box of chips with a good two or three dollops of houmous, amazing!  It was my bid to fight off the effects of the amount of alcohol I had consumed the next day...sometimes it worked.

For me here the concept is roughly the same: Friday night I meet friends at the same place in the centre before moving somewhere else for dinner/drinks however, instead of the pub or average cocktail bar, we're talking beach bars as Summer's here...or at least was until yesterday.  No sticky floors but sand.  Then, when it comes to the end of the night, and we're not just talking Fridays and Saturdays but whenever (the joy of starting work at 1.30pm)...after having drank one pint of beer and...perhaps...one cocktail, having danced under the moon and the stars in a much more reserved manner to what I really am capable of (to music I've never heard before, that I don't know the words to and that's just not cheese...no Bryan Adams, no Journey, no Baywatch...*sigh*), it's all about a cornetto: a cornetto being a croissant, not the ice-cream!

My favourite late night cornetto is with white chocolate even though the chocolate usually ends up on my chin, top, scarf, trousers, nose, basically everywhere.  Last night was no exception...I ate two from two different places!  At the first place we went to we literally stood in the back doorway of a bakery, with delivery boxes around us, whilst we watched a guy prepare the cornettos.  Totally random but totally fitting with the other unpredictable and sometimes down-right ridiculous things that I find myself doing in Pescara.  Who'd have thought there could be a black-market for cornetto, hilarious!  Sometimes there are no words...

Monday, June 17

3 birds...

...1 stone, score!

I took the reading/writing and listening sections of my Italian test today.  I'm feeling quietly confident.  I mean, I completed the reading/writing part in one hour with one hour left.  When the invigilator noticed me joining up all the little dots on the front of the test paper she handed me a sheet of A4.  It was very kind of her as I was then able to spend the rest of the 45 minutes mind-mapping the observations I need to take for my Masters and I was able to note down the reasons why a mini-ethnographic approach is appropriate to investigate my research focus of a sociocultural paradigm.

Tomorrow morning I have the spoken part of the exam.  We've not had so much practice of that in the lessons but we do get a bit of time to prepare before hand.   It's a busy week!

Ah yeh, forgot to add that during the listening test we had CD player issues and had to re-listen to some of the exam because it kept skipping or going ridiculously fast like when a tape would be nearing it's end in the tape player.  At points I couldn't stop grinning at the hilarity.  Classic.

I should probably listen to some thing 'Italian' rather than update my blog in English, erm......

Tuesday, June 11

Bananas and cottage cheese...

...one I love, one I hate.

My Mum.  She had a birthday at the weekend so happy birthday Mum!  I know she had a tip-top weekend as I Skyped the gathering of people at our house where the usual hilarity of trying to position the laptop in a place where a) I can see all of them, and b) they can see me, ensued.  This time round, "I", as in the laptop, was placed on the fridge.  Big deal you say, but Mum and Dad have a fridge/freezer tower that I can't see on top of without standing on a chair.  It made me think of Holly, the on-board computer in Red Dwarf, an English TV series, who is just a head on a computer screen that is a bit....senile but clever.  Maybe next time I'll wear my red top so that I blend into the red wall of my room so that I am in fact a "floating head"!

Anyway, bananas.  I hate bananas.  I just thought I'd share that with you.  Nowadays I pretty much eat anything except particular types of fruit, bananas being one of them.  My Mum, and Dad for that matter, probably hates the fact that as an adult I am quite happy to eat everything except fruit as when I was a child I was a fussy eater.  At one point I didn't even like sandwiches...SANDWICHES!!  I am now trying to combat my dislike of bananas and every day that we have bananas for snack at school I eat a tiny bit.  Yesterday was a revolution, I didn't feel like spitting it out.  That's not to say I liked it but it's a step in the right direction.  I heard somewhere that you have to eat something you don't like twelve times in order to "get the taste for it".  That's a lie.

Cottage cheese on the other hand was, for many years, my staple Friday food at my Grandma's house.  Ironically I ate ham and cottage cheese sandwiches every Friday evening.  My reason for bringing that up is yesterday I impulse-bought a tub of the Italian version of cottage cheese - fiocchi di latte - and proceeded to eat the whole thing with a spoon.  Turns out I'm still a fan of cottage cheese...though when it's got pineapple in that's a big no-no.  I don't think I'll ever like pineapple.  Or raspberries.  Raspberries are sheer evil *shudders*

Saturday, June 1

Cycling without hands...

...any tips greatly appreciated ;-)

Lying in bed last night I heard the familiar sound of my friend the mosquito.  There have been two in my room for a few days now and they just don't seem to want to give up.  So.  I killed one of them.

In fact I was very cunning in the deed.  I used the light of my mobile phone to lure the winged fiend to the white part of the wall near my bed.  I then stayed very still and waited.  BAM.  My self defence/kick boxing/karate lessons have actually come in use for something.  I hit the wall so hard I'm certain my housemate, if she had been in, would have definitely woken up.  And the mosquito?  Splatted nicely.  I cleaned up the poor critter with a tissue and it's now in my bin.  Huzzah!  One down, one to go.  Mosquito numero due, you have been warned.

I move on to elaborate on my latest work in progress: cycling with no hands.  This task it seems, is impossible.  But I know, thanks to Luke 1:37, that I will achieve it and be able to cycle the length of the bridge that I often take to and from work without holding the handlebars.  It's ruddy hard and as yet I've not beaten 5 seconds so I am pretty far from the skills of the guy I saw cycling without his hands the other day: he took a tissue out of his backpack and blew his nose!  Incredible.