Monday, February 17

San Liberatore a Majella

My friend had her sister to stay for just over a week, cue a good excuse to hire a car.

I picked up a hire car on Friday evening and, oh boy, what a palava!  There is now, somewhere in Pescara, a lad who thinks I'm totally 'bimbo' when it comes to driving as I pulled up to the petrol station exclaiming (in Italian) "I don't understand anything, this is a hire car and I don't understand.".  He looks at me and then checks the fuel cap: "diesel, you need to go over there."  Well, that's easier said than done, the engine was off and could I get it back on again?!  No.  Turns out that initially, an automatic car is not as automatic as it sounds.  It took both myself and the lad to figure out how to actually start the engine again (put the car in neutral, push the brake and start the engine, duhhhh!).

As I drive off I saw him laughing at me, bet he didn't think I'd be getting very far.  In reality I managed to drive all the way to...just past Manopello...where I've been quite a few times now.  There's an Abbey, really far up a hill that has a river running past it and it's quite an awesome place to go and chill.  You have to ignore the "Path closed for safety reasons" signs twice to actually go exploring but being extra careful makes amends for the slippery-ness.

The Abbey itself was shut tight, one door had a key hole which I peered through and managed to get a photo of...some chairs...original.  But it was so peaceful.  I love the sound of rushing water.  It's a sound, that if you think about it hard enough, is very unlikely to ever stop.  Ever.  And that to me was quite the thing I needed to hear.  Stress seems to have gotten the best of me recently, but I'm back on the Bible reading, yoga meditating, studying in the morning action plan so will be soon out of that niche.  Booya.
impressive stone carving
The bell tower
the 'back end'
The only keyhole of 3 front doors
Through the keyhole
Primroses! It's Spring :-)
Three shadows

Monday, February 10


I've been to the cinema twice this week.

In the Winter things can get a bit monotonuos here as everyone waits for warmer weather, as if 17 degrees is a result the cinemas get busy and this week I've seen two films.  Both Italian films, one* was ok and the other** I'm going to have to buy when it's released, I loved it!!

Both films were 'artsy'.  Clever shots like one character opening a door but then the scene changing to be a different character going through another door.  Both had good soundtracks.  One* was mainly instrumental, similar to Yann Tiersen, but a composer called Santi Pulvirenti.  The other** soundtrack was awesome.  Imogen Heap, Passenger, to name two of the artists chosen perfectly sync with the mood on-screen.

In the film I loved**, one of the characters dates a deaf guy.  Sign language is something I've always thought useful to learn, helpful for teaching, so I did a quick youtube search for some inspiration.  Instead of finding a way of learning sign language I found this equally cute film, a short, based in London.  I like it :-)

*La Gente Che Sta Bene
**Tutta Colpa di Freud

Friday, February 7

Wowsers, what a week.

You know....a holiday wouldn't go amiss!

Last Friday I had a few friends round to celebrate my new apartment.  It was awesome.  There were friends from Meetup (the English group), friends from church and my previous housemate.  It was a 'bring and share' type gathering and everyone seemed to really love my new pad.  It is perfect for me in all honesty, not small, but not big either.  That day was also my brother's birthday and so I managed to speak (briefly) to my family and family friends in the Isle whilst chopping peppers, as you do.

Last Friday it had also been a week since the disappearance of one of the Dads at school.  Thankfully he returned the following day however this had affected me more than I thought.  Which, I feel, contributed to this week being particularly tough.  Tough being...well...tough.

Yesterday I had a 'moment'.  Like a gust of wind I went from zero to very, very, very angry.  I've been a bit 'nervous' all week really...and I'm not really certain why.  It's been very strange.  Looking back I feel a lot like I have been like one of the girls from Jane Austen's period who suffered from 'bad nerves'.  I've been shouting a lot, falling into a negative spiral with the children rather than pushing for the positives.  Perhaps it's because I've not spent so much time at home so I haven't spoken to my Mum.  Perhaps it's because I still need to collect my blood test results although I am sure they'll be fine.  Perhaps it's because I've fallen behind, yet again, with my studies.  Perhaps it's because I haven't been playing the piano...Perhaps it's all of the above and a bit more.

People have told me I'm "too sensitive", in both the countries I've worked, and that is true to an extent.  I also have very high expectations of myself and so it's tough when those expectations aren't met.  I love my job, the children I work with, my colleagues, and as a result I take things to heart when things don't go as "I expect".  Heck, I'm much better than I used to be, my experiences as an NQT in England (many of which I cannot remember) helped with this.

However, in the end I think it just comes down to being tired.  Not the yawning kind but the drained, mentally struggling kind, the one that knocks you down and beats you round the face with a fish.  I think a brief change of scenery is in order.  My plan is to get a bus to work on Saturday and then get another bus to wherever, sit in a bar, catch up on some studying, and then go home to sleep.

Anyway, on a more positive note I managed to pass my Masters assignment with a grade higher than my last one...rock on!

Wednesday, February 5

At the bus stop...

In 5 minutes standing at a bus stop, I have seen...

- an unmarked police car, sirens blaring speeding past.  Not with a portable blue light stuck on the roof, but with the driver waving their "stop police" lollipop out if the window.

- a policeman chatting to a cyclist friend whilst his partner waits in the car on what is essentially "double yellows". 

- and...yep....not one bus, at least the ones I needed...they're on strike!