Lent’s Over?? Who Knew!

April 11, 2008 at 3:52 pm (life)

We had a smattering of guests over the Easter period, so tied together with the fact that I had to work lots, I forgot that as well as Easter eggs, Easter brought with it the end of lent. I can therefore officially watch TV again! I’m pleased to say that I didn’t really miss the box and I’m definitely in the habit of doing other things to relax before I think of watching something. Although this wasn’t necessarily the point, it’s nice to know. With that said I’ve just asked A to start downloading the next episode of ER. he he!

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March 7, 2008 at 7:02 pm (Italy, life)

Sorry I haven’t been around recently, I’ve had a bad case of gastroentiritus! (That’s what the doctor called it anyway.)

It’s been a horrible few days but I did accomplish one thing, I have now made my first trip to an Italian hospital. It wasn’t as awful as it could’ve been as I had a great friend to translate but it was pretty miserable.

Anyway, I’m feeling much better now, so a normal service will be ressumed shortly!!

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Playing the Guitar

February 20, 2008 at 9:15 am (life, music)

I bought a new guitar and it is really beautiful. I’d been saving for a while and I’m really pleased with it. The only problem is that I haven’t been able to find much time to play it. I don’t know why because I’ve cut TV out of my diet for lent and I haven’t taken on anything new in the last couple of weeks but neither have I played much. Strange. I think one problem may be finding music that I like that is both playable and written well. Sometimes on the websites that show chord charts for other people’s songs, they have not been translated (I can’t think of the musical term at this moment) very well and therefore sound…how can I put it….well, just wrong! I am playing my own music too but I haven’t written anything new for a while and don’t seem to be able to find time (or motivation) at the moment so there’s only so many times you can play the same songs. Therefore all I’ve got are other people’s music. Any ideas? Any good tabs/chord charts out there for music? I also, don’t like the sound of the guitar with the capo on. To me it sounds really out of tune. This creates a problem if the original song is written for a man or a woman with a different range to me, as I can’t sing and play at the same time. For me, this is part of the fun, so I have to use a capo to change the key but it just sounds so bad! What to do?

Well I’m looking at her now (Penelope the guitar that is) and the act of writing this post has made me want to play. I might give her a little strum. Don’t want her to think that I don’t love her anymore!

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Recipe Book

February 19, 2008 at 9:00 am (food, Italy, life, recipes)

I bought one of those books where you can write in all the recipes that you like and want to remember. Or, you can stick in recipes and bits and bobs that you find and create your own, personalised recipe book. It’s really cute with pictures of ‘castagni’ (chestnuts) on the front and all the sections are labelled in Italian. Now all I need to do is find some time to transfer all the scraps of paper that I’ve been collecting into it. I can’t wait. I’ll never forget how to make custard from scratch again!

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Homebase Advert

February 18, 2008 at 10:33 am (Italy, life)

I’m making an effort to keep our apartment clean and tidy in an attempt to make it feel more like our home rather than just a base for the next 5 months. It was getting me down that nothing felt like my home but just stuff I’ve borrowed from someone else (which is exactly what we have done when renting a furnished apartment!) so have been putting up pictures and buying flowers etc. Whilst doing this the same phrase keeps jumping into my head and it’s become almost like a type of mantra. It took me a while to work out what it was from and 5 minutes ago it came to me. “Homebase – make a house a home”. Adverts, you’ve got to love ’em!

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February 17, 2008 at 7:28 pm (Italy, life)

It’s amazing the difference that sunshine makes to my day. When I wake up and the bright light is shining through the windows and I can open the shutters and let it all in, it makes me feel cheery. Today it’s cold. There have been no streaming sun rays this morning. If there were any they’ve gone back to sleep, knowing that today was going to be hard, tiring and cold. The sun rays didn’t want to get involved and be associated with the rubbishness of today. Let’s hope that spring is on it’s way. No, scrap that, I’m going to hope that the full-blown summer is just around the corner. I love the sun.

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Which fruit?

February 17, 2008 at 4:28 pm (food, Italy, life)

I went to the ‘fruitivendola’ this week to buy all the fruit and veg that we might need. I always check which out of clementines and mandarins have pips because I can never remember and I don’t like the ones with pips. This week however, I was feeling brave, so I filled my bag full of ‘clementini’ and headed to the checkout. Today I ate my first one and there were 31 pips/seeds (whatever you call them)! 31 in one little, tiny clementine!!! I think I got the wrong type. Next time I’ll ask.

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February 5, 2008 at 7:09 am (Italy, life, music)

Being as I don’t go to church anymore and I don’t know what I believe, I’m not sure if I’m still allowed to call myself a Christian. With this in mind I have no idea why I still feel compelled to give something up for lent. However, in these times when pretty much anything and everything is available 24-7, I think it wouldn’t do me any harm to give something up and hopefully it’ll make me appreciate things a bit more.

I’ve been thinking about what to give up and the first thing that springs to mind is chocolate but here in Torino they have an annual chocolate festival mid February and I’ve been looking forward to it since we decided to move out here, so this year, it’s not going to be that. It could be wine, but I’m only just starting to appreciate wine and I feel like I’m in the process of educating myself, which sounds like a positive thing, so I don’t really think that’d be a good thing to give up either.

A and I download a ton of programmes from the internet and we generally watch them whilst we eat or sometimes in the evening. I’ve got a bit addicted to Brothers and Sisters and the US Writer’s Strike is affecting all my watching so haven’t been able to watch ER, Desperate Housewives or Ugly Betty for ages now. We have also ordered a load of books from amazon online and continuing from my 30-in-30 last month I would like to spend more time playing/creating music. So with all these things put together, I think now would be a perfect time to give up TV and downloaded programmes. It will force me to play the guitar more, read more and generally do different things.

For once I’m actually looking forward to the lent period! What a bizarre concept!

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Pancake Day!

February 4, 2008 at 11:57 am (food, Italy, life)

On Shrove Tuesday the tradition in our family is to eat nothing but pancakes for dinner. There are five of us so we used to have two pans going and a huge vat of pancake mix that our Mum had made the night before. I pretty much just stuck to the traditional sugar and lemon and I must say that it is still my favourite topping.

Although I no longer live with my family A has willingly accepted to take on this tradition, so tomorrow night we will be firing up the stove and squeezing the lemons. As we’re in Italy we are going to include chocolate, icecream and alcohol in the proceedings and I can’t wait. Get your frying pans going everyone and let me know how many you ate. (Last year I think I could only manage 5, which was rubbish considering I used to be able to eat 8 when I was a child!)

p.s. I’m blocking out the fact that I’m supposed to give something up for lent when all the pancake fun has ended. I’ll just concentrate on the pancakes for now and let you know what I decide about lent later.

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Delivery for Rebecca

February 1, 2008 at 11:01 am (Italy, life)

The infamous Rose Man struck again this week. What a nightmare! Now I’ve got to work out how to tell someone politely to p*** off in Italian. Worst off all is that every time I go to work I’m wondering if he’ll show up and I’m constantly on edge. Ah well, I’m not going to worry about it, he’ll get over it.

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