|There were parakeets!|
Monday, November 21
Friday, October 7
The summer was great, really really awesome. I relaxed, I saw friends and family, I ate a lot of things that I probably shouldn't have, and there were days when I did nothing. It was great.
Coming back to Milan has secured a few things that I had started doing before the summer, during June and July. One of them is my desire to get a bit fitter. Sure I'm slim, I walk everywhere and can sometimes go up flights of stairs without getting breathless, but I want to feel less...feeble?...pathetic?...there really are times I struggle to open a bottle of water.
Welcome 'Fuelled by Fitness' to my world, a friend who is starting out as a Personal Trainer and who's embarked upon the task of helping me out via Skype. So far she's scrutinised a food diary I kept for the worst week ever (I ate pizza four times, FOUR!) and given me tips on how to improve my nutrition (i.e. cut out the biscuits, eat more fish) and has devised a HIIT training program to help me reach my goal of twenty press ups by Christmas...5.30pm on the 19th December to be precise. I don't want to lose weight, but maintain it by building a bit of muscle, preferably on my arms: the three burpees I can currently manage in twenty seconds are pretty flimsy at the moment but a good start.
Something else I was getting interested in before summer that has continued into the new academic year is tea. Yummy tea! I was given a beautiful tea set for my birthday which I now love to use to brew a pot of Kusmi Be Cool. It is so refreshing and really does help me to unwind, ahhhhh.
Then, there's the whisky...specifically Peat's Beast. I have fallen in love with this whisky. From the notes I keep about drinks I experience in cocktail bars I have written:
Ruddy love this whisky. Smokey but strong, it burns in a way that leaves you warm and tingly.
It makes me happy to know that this whisky was discovered in a bar on my road...discover is a bit of a silly word really, it was recommended to me by the barman. The bar is now my go to: it's friendly yet escapist, and does attention to detail just the way I like it. I highly recommend going there, although I don't really want you to so it stays empty for me!
And that's all I've got for now, oooo except Gospel Choir. Yes readers, I am now the proud member of the Flowing Spirit Gospel Choir and highly recommend you come and check us out at a charity concert on October 22nd in Torino. It will be worth it!
Monday, July 25
I'm back on the Isle of Wight and I'm loving it. This is me being on holiday. In particular, since Thursday, I've had a close school friend stay with my parents and I and we've been pushing ourselves a little bit each day.
On Friday we both attended a 'Danceatomic' workout. This is something that my friend used to attend at least three times a week however a year ago she moved off the Island and no longer attends fitness classes to the same level. I, on the other hand, have not attended a 'fitness class' since a spinning class in London...so in 2010 or 2011. This time round I was wearing inappropriate shoes and found myself at 9.30 am, in a gym, jumping around which led me to pull a deep calf muscle in my left leg that I didn't know existed.
|Good friends since High School I got creative at the beach!|
|A real tree!|
I'm on the green loop
|We even managed a few treefies!|
Our plan for Monday is not confirmed but could involve a long walk following a book that my friend owns. We are both avid lovers of the Isle of Wight and enjoy the adventures that the mystical place brings...as well as the nourishment provided by the hundreds of great pubs and cafes to fuel our adventures! Whatever we get up to, I know that in some way it will take us just a little bit out of our depth.
Sunday, July 10
|How do you get a building, complete with alfrescos, into a building?|
|How did this 1470 mural get 'discovered' in 1911? Were all the porticos also originally covered in murals too?|
|How much does this Curate get paid for sitting in this chair, on his phone, and dozing?|
|What originally happened in a room that is 97 steps long (on my stride)?|
|Why do bees coming out of a baby's mouth get classed as a 'miracle'?|
Monday, July 4
...has arrived people! It knocked on my door this morning at 10:05.
Now, I'm not saying I've been living for the summer but this academic year has been tough. And I mean tough. Heck, some people that have been going through this academic year with me may choose different words to describe the year that I've had, but I'll stick to tough.
Tough applies to every aspect of my world too. My own personal, social and emotional development has been...well...developed...during 2015-2016. I seem to have matured in all aspects of myself, from the top of my head, to the depths of my soul. On the outside I have obviously lost a little bit of weight, but my inner parts, the bits you can't see, nor understand, without having had a long-term investment in knowing me (i.e. you've known me since before September 2015), have had a pulverising that can only be called 'transformation'.
Anyway. Back to the summer, and what a summer I have ahead. Today I managed to successfully book an appointment with the dermatologist unsuccessfully. I've had to make the appointment for over 6 weeks and successfully got to the CUP to book the appointment today, however I've done so unsuccessfully as it coincides with the most important Parent Meeting of the year at school in September...doh! I had my diary in front of me at the desk too...turns out you have to OPEN your diary to get the full effects of knowing what you're doing on any given day. Another life lesson learnt. Moving on...
I've booked myself a ticket for this years summer concert. Last year I saw Burt Bacharach, the year before I saw Yann Tiersenn, in 2013 I saw Jovanotti and in 2012 I saw Paolo Nutini. This year, my summer concert will be...*drum roll*...Pharrell Williams. It was a close call with Rihanna who is in Milan the same week but Pharrell snapped it as I liked his website more as it promoted the idea of being individuals together, a great concept. Check it out here.
So...after seeing Pharrell my summer will continue and include:
- going home.
- going to pubs. Lots of them in all shapes and sizes.
- going to church, MY church, where I grew up.
- one of my best friends, and her family, camping in my parents back garden while I cosily sleep in my own childhood room.
- another friend staying for a weekend with me at my parents.
- meeting up with my cousin to have a natter.
- seeing Finding Dory, in English, at the cinema, a month and a half before it's released in Italy.
- CRICKET TOUR (get in!)
- assisting another best friend, and her family, with their latest doer-upper house/shop/home.
- returning to Pescara for a few days of beach and Cafe Venezia and arrosticini and friends and wine and arrotiscini and gelato and maybe even dancing...only the pig knows.
- my thirtieth, yes 30th, birthday.
That's all folks.
Monday, June 13
|We found a message in a bottle bobbing along this canal that had been written 10 days before.|
|It had been forecast to rain but we were fortunate enough to catch some rays instead.|
|Polenta. 'nuff said.|
|To top the weekend off, when I got back this was waiting for me!|
Sunday, May 29
The Cup Song - When I'm Gone
Friday, March 11
I was walking home from work and had an urge to do something so...I bought an icecream. While eating the icecream I sat on a bench. My urge to do something had not been fulfilled so I looked up the art galleries and museums I could get into for free.
None of the museums I looked at would be open long enough for me to get to so I had a think. Monza. I remembered that it was a town that a Pescarese friend had once told me I'd probably like. Google Maps said it was a 11 minute train ride away. Perfect. I set off for home to change my bag.
At 17:50 I was on the train to Monza. I arrived promptly at 18:01 and walked. I walked for an hour. I walked down pedestrian streets; down a busy main road; through piazzas; past red brick buildings, and past white buildings. I then sat on a bench in a park and listened to whatever sounds occurred and then headed back towards the town centre.
Taking a different route back I passed a quaint tea shop that was both a shop and café. After asking if it was still possible to get a cuppa, I sat down on a sofa (bliss) for 20 minutes while drinking a white/green blend with strawberry and star of anise aromas. The café was calming and ran by a French family who had a budding artist in their team.
I left the serene environment to walk back to the station. It took me longer to get back from the Milan train station to my house than it did from Monza to Milan...
That was the day I went to Monza. I saw a sunset behind buildings. I saw a hare too. My Pescarese friend was right: I liked Monza, there was a big park. Some days I am easier to please than others.
Sunday, February 21
I've started exploring a bit more. By exploring I mean leaving what I know, to look for new things. This, in terms of building on my relationship with the zone I live in, means that I will decide to turn left instead of right on my way home and try and work out how to get home following the "new" road. For example, the other day I walked home from the metro station taking a side street that I hadn't walked down before and in doing so I saw that there's a bright yellow, and really rather fetching, building on Corso Buenos Aires (one of the main shopping streets in Milan). Annoyingly I didn't take a photograph of the building, and the Google Streetview has not updated to include the finishing result of what's behind the scaffolding!
This way of walking, taking new directions, is something I get excited about. Since moving to my new home I have wanted to explore the area more, the idea of doing so has been there, but the actual act of doing it has taken 3 months to get to. I think reason for this is echoed in a quote from D. H. Lawrence:
The world fears a new experience more than it fears anything. Because a new experience displaces so many old experiences. . . . The world doesn't fear a new idea. It can pigeon-hole any idea. But it can't pigeon-hole a real new experience.Sometimes I have the time to take a longer route home, but I don't, the idea is there, but I don't make that into an experience. Having discovered the quote above I can relate to my decisions not too as being part of fear: fear that I'll take a wrong turn and get really lost, fear that my phone will run out of battery so I'll lose Google Maps and therefore no longer have my trusty Plan B to hand, fear that the new route will take longer and therefore impact whatever plans I may have later in that day.