30 Things in 30 Days.

December 30, 2007 at 12:59 pm (Italy, life, music)

After being inspired by Adrian’s 30-in-30 challenge, I decided that I wanted to do something similar. Adrian did something related to learning Italian every day in the month of November and little by little his Italian has improved.

Some of you may know that I enjoy having something to focus on and to motivate me, so I am going to do my own 30-in-30. I thought about taking on this challenge in December but as we all know, December is a far too crazy month to be setting extra things to try and do! Another reason for the delay is that it has taken me a while to pick the theme of my 30 things to do; unfortunately, I have far too many things that I’d like to work on. I have finally decided to split my 30 things into two topics, so on alternate days I will do something related to studying Italian and making music. I’m really into my music at the moment and am currently trying to record my songs, write music and get my website set up, so hopefully a little push will be all I need to get some of them finished!

 

I am also living in Torino, Italy and I still can’t speak the language so I would also like to devote some time to this.

 

My challenge will take place throughout the month of January and I’m handily forgetting that the 1st of January exists, so that my 30 things can be completed in the remaining month. (Also, who actually starts anything new on the 1st of January anyway? Surely we’re all too hungover!)

As the month goes on I will be hopefully posting a few articles about my progress so that you can keep abreast of my developments.

Fingers crossed that the language finally starts to become easier and that the album will be well under way by February!

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Being a Tiny Bit More Organised

December 20, 2007 at 9:00 pm (life, my links)

I wanted to point you in the direction of a handy little A-Z of how to be more productive and how to get things done more easily. It’s coming in the form of one letter a week. Just about enough for me to take in at one time. Can’t stand those things that tell you how to change your life and become a better person, but you have to read through 150 pages of crap to get through it all. Here’s the link… enjoy.

The author mentions ‘tedium‘ (the company’s to-do list app.) and when I was working in an office job, I found it very easy to keep track of what I had to do by using the above program. It lets you keep track of all those things that are buzzing around in your head and personally, I find that when I write them down, I worry about them less and then just have to refer to the list whenever I need to check what needs to be done next. Tedium is great because you can have it running on your computer with or without the rest of the internet available (aka distracting you!) and I used to flick to and from it to check my daily list of tasks. Now however, I work in a restaurant and don’t have my computer on 24 hours a day. So, if I don’t turn my computer on in the morning, I don’t check what I need to get done. Hmmm…a tricky one. However, it can easily be solved if you have the internet on your phone. Hoorah! My phone died a while ago though and I am back to using my brick…grrr! So I’m thinking that I need to make checking the list part of my ‘getting ready for work routine’ and then hopefully my bits and bobs will go back to being well organised, rather than a bit last minute and sometimes forgotten!

Anyway, any ideas, let me know. thanks.

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Cheeky Italians!

December 16, 2007 at 8:59 pm (Italy, life)

My boss told me today that in fact I should be paying him for my days work at the restaurant, instead of him paying me. The reasons he gave were: that I get food and sometimes wine, that I get exercise that I would normally pay for at a gym, I have Italian lessons every day and I’m entertained by his jokes! (What he doesn’t know is that I don’t understand a lot of them!) Bit cheeky, especially as I mentioned in a previous post exactly how little I’m being paid! Good old Italians, always trying to get a better price for things!

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Happy Christmas Everyone!

December 12, 2007 at 9:16 pm (Italy, life)

Hello all,

We have decided not to send Christmas cards this year, for a few reasons. We thought that it would be cool to make our own cards and seeing as we are doing this through the computer we have decided to keep the cards on the computer and save paper. So, it’s taken a while to get the right shot, as we wanted it to show life in Torino at Christmas, but you can find the Christmas card below.

Seasons Greetings and Warm Wishes to all.

Have a great Christmas and hopefully see you in the New Year.

Rebecca and Adrian x

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Music Making

December 12, 2007 at 9:24 am (music)

I am trying to make a my space page so that I can put up some of my songs and generally join in the buzz. Unfortunately I just don’t get it!! I can’t seem to make it look nice and I have no idea how you write stuff on it or put pictures and songs up. The worst thing is, is that I think I’m pretty technologically minded. I’m obviously fooling myself!

The good news is that I’m composing and recording at a rate of knots and hope to have something to show the world in the early new year. Watch this space…

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Fish and Chips

December 10, 2007 at 9:23 pm (food, Italy, life)

Since moving out here I’ve been longing for fish and chips. Last time that we popped back to England I made sure that I found time for a quick battered sausage and a portion of England’s finest. However, the chips out here just aren’t the same! Then, as if they knew that I was here, Italy’s version of a fish and chip shop opened 200 metres away from out apartment. It is called ‘Re Calamari’ which means King Calamari and it does deep fried, battered sea food! It’s excellent! I had a portion of king prawns, squid and chips, followed by deep fried pancakes. The chips aren’t up to our high standards yet but the rest of the food was absolutely amazing and I will definitely be going there again.

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Red Wine Number Two

December 9, 2007 at 9:11 am (Italy, wine)

Continuing with my wine list, I have discovered that red wine is actually very nice. It is also more expensive that white wine but out here, not by much.

Red Wine 2:

Barbaresco

A really great, leggy wine. One of the most expensive out here but very enjoyable, pretty local too.

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Theives!

December 8, 2007 at 9:11 am (Italy, life)

I don’t want this blog to turn into one long rant about things that I don’t like about Italy, but this has to be mentioned!

I leave my bike in the courtyard of our apartment block, which is locked up (both the bike and the courtyard). However, when builders started doing work on a restaurant that also backs onto the courtyard, I had to move by bike to a different area of the courtyard and now the doors are permanently left open. Two days ago when I went to get my bike, I noticed that it wasn’t where I left it. No problem, because the builders often move the bikes if they are in the way. So I had a little look around but still couldn’t see it. I am however, ill and not really thinking straight, so Adrian came down to look too because maybe I was just being stupid. No, no, no, no, no, no, I was not being stupid. The bike had gone, as too had the basket, the bell, the pannier rack and mud guards, everything! Apart from the lock, which I found lying on the floor after it had been sawn in half! I’m beginning to think that Italians aren’t that dissimilar to the English after all!

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Slave Labour

December 2, 2007 at 4:50 pm (Italy, life)

 Alright, I’ll admit that the title of this post is a little dramatic but it feels about right at the moment.

I just got home from a 5 hour shift at the restaurant and I’m exhausted, physically and mentally. I’m sure not every muscle in my body is aching but it feels like they are! So, when the end of the shift came and I wanted to run home and crawl into bed, the manager paid me. As he stood there holding his 3 10 Euro notes, I thought: “that can’t be right, only 30 euros”. But it was. As I walked home I did a quick calculation; 30 Euros is roughly £20 (0n a good day) and 20 divided by 5 is 4! Yes that’s right £4 an hour! I’m sure I’ve done these sums before but it feels even worse today after having worked 11 hours yesterday and too many the day before, (and the day before!) so I’m feeling a bit rubbish about the whole experience. Luckily the cost of living is cheaper here, so I can go out and buy a very good bottle of wine, to drown my sorrows, for only 5 Euros and get the best pizza you’ve ever eaten for about 7 Euros. (Please don’t add the two amounts up and work out that I will have spent just under half my days wages on dinner!) Roll on the days when I can speak the language and can be paid a reasonable amount for my labour. Sometimes I miss England…..only sometimes!

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