Me Time

On Friday I decided to spend some time with G. It’s been ages since the last time I showed myself some love and attention so I decided to stay in (D is in Morocco for the weekend) and dedicate some time to self TLC. 

The night started with some exercise from my new favourite app, Nike+ Training. I only did a 30 minute session, while I was roasting some vegetables. After the workout, this was my dinner. 

   

   

Cucumber water, kale chips and a chickpea flour wrap with falafel, hummus, sun dried tomatoes, roasted vegetables and salad on the side. 

I put on my favourite dance movie, Centre Stage and I dived into my wrap!

After that I did a manicure and pedicure and then a hair mask with coconut oil. I had planned to do a full body scrub and a face mask and to put two cucumber slices on my eyes. But I was feeling snoozy and it all seemed to much of an effort after all the food I had. I definitely should do this more often! What do you do when you have time for yourself?

xx G

My British weekend

Last weekend D and I went back to his parents’ for some quiet time in the countryside. They live in a town near Gatwick and luckily there are direct trains every thirty minutes from Clapham Junction. D’s sister has just got a new job and was coming with her boyfriend, so we could have some celebration together.

A British weekend is all about food. And drinks. You are offered the first cuppa as soon as you step in, followed by a bacon sandwich for lunch. I don’t usually eat animals and especially bacon but I decided to go for the full British experience (and I didn’t want to be fussy). After washing down the sandwich with a second cup of tea, I decided to have a nap. Yes, I am still recovering from last Friday’s party. Yes, I am 50 years old.

When I woke up everyone was having a slice of fruit cake as an afternoon snack. Do you remember the Christmas cake I made for you a couple of years ago? Well this is the same thing but there’s no added alcohol. And I then had cup of tea number 3.

For dinner D’s parents booked a table at a local pub. We always have food in amazing places when we are visiting them and this one was lovely too.

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I should probably apologise for the poor quality of the images. I’m sorry. I was hungry. And apparently my iPhone is not that good. There I started the evening off with a G&T followed by Squid Chips (fried calamari) and a shallots and blue cheese quiche. Awesome. We chose a nice red wine to go with the food and us “children” had a bit too much because the adults were driving. The dessert was supposed to be a chocolate fondant but there was no melting heart. It looked just like a brownie shaped as a cupcake. Still chocolatey enough to make me happy though.

On Sunday I went for the best British breakfast I can think of: porridge! D prepared it for me with maple syrup and dried fruits and nut, along with cup of tea number 1 of the day. Porridge is so creamy and warm and the maple syrup makes it sweet and is the best winter breakfast. Did I say winter? It’s because we had spring for a couple of weeks before spring officially arrived and now it’s winter again. When we go to D’s parents for Sunday lunch I now know I have to eat a lot beforehand. Because, for some inexplicable reasons, lunch is not served until after 3:30pm and by that time me and D are starving and being really grumpy. This time I was smart and had a second breakfast. Since it’s Easter time the supermarkets are full of this delicious Easter treat they have here: hot cross buns.

The softness of the dough and the dried raisins infused with spices and a hint of orange make these buns something to look forward to all year.

D’s sister was out all morning because she was walking a lama. Apparently near there, there is a lama park. You pay £25 and they give you a lama to walk. You can take pictures with the lama and feed it.

As soon as she got home it was Spritz time! Yes because I have imported this very special Italian tradition to the English countryside and now they just can’t live without it.

And then we had lunch. A full Sunday roast, with beef, potatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, parsnips and Yorkshire pudding, all covered in gravy. D’s mum knows how to cook. And we all know how to eat! For dessert she made apple and blackberry crumble with vanilla ice cream. D found me in the kitchen having a second serving straight from the tray. Oh yes.

xx G

Last week in highlights

EKA I’m so sorry for having disappeared like this! I had one of the busiest weeks ever. I’ll just run through it to give you an idea of what I have been up to.

Wednesday: Penelope Retold

On Wednesday I volunteered at the Battersea Arts Centre. The building, as you know, recently had a fire destroying a big part of it, the Grand Hall and all their offices.

The show I volunteered for is about Penelope, Odysseus’ wife. It tells you the story from her point of view, of abandoned wife, bringing up a child alone in a land that is not hers, with no family, no friends, knowing that her husband is having fun in the Mediterranean Sea having sex with all those cute girls he is meeting. Bastard.
The show was great, I really enjoyed it and the performer, Caroline Horton, was really good.

Thursday: Tramontana Brindisa and the gig 

So that was meant to be a date night for me and D. We were going to see his friend James, who is an amazing musician, playing at Concrete in Shoreditch with a singer called Mike Davies. Shoreditch is in East London and a long way away from our area. I was actually quite excited to go out somewhere new and Shoreditch has that great vibe that makes you feel so cool and young again!

I wanted to have dinner in a restaurant called Andina which is Peruvian (what do Peruvians eat??) but it was full (too popular even on a Thursday) so I booked a table at a Spanish tapas place called Tramontana. The restaurant was nice, the food ok and the prices not too high. But for the same price we could have had much better food in out favourite tapas spot, Carmen.

We then headed to the gig which was supposed to start at 9pm. It didn’t. It started at 10pm. At that point I was really tired, (went to bed late on Wednesday after the show) and I couldn’t afford another late evening because I knew I had to work all night on Friday. We still managed to have a beer and a shot of Frangelico, which is not a shot but something to sip after dinner and enjoy. Those English will never learn. We only stayed for a couple of songs but then had to leave early. D came with me and we had a little discussion because I wanted him to stay and enjoy the gig.

Friday: the 18th birthday party

Not mine obviously. Nor any of my friend’s. But a party we organised and I had to work at, after the whole day in the office (started at 9:30am, finished at 3:30am).
Great party for 120 “young adults” (I don’t think we knew 120 people when we were 18, did we?) in an amazing massive house in Barnes.
I was in charge of emptying the vodka luge dripping bucket and briefing the stripper. Yes, it was a present from the mother to the daughter. Yes, it was extremely embarrassing. The birthday girl hated it. All her friends were like “Yuhuuu, *** him, *** his ***, let him *** you!”

The highlight of the night was when I realised that someone has left with my bag with all my make up, my wallet, my phone and some clothes. I then started hating drunken teenagers more than ever. The bag was found but the day after I then realised my favourite cashmere jumper was MIA. It still is. Will come back to you with updates on this.

Saturday: sleeping and running

My Saturday was spent trying to stay awake and going for a run with my friend T. Also I was on my period and I was feeling shite (not a typo, these British people say it like this sometimes and it’s pronounced sciait). D went out in the evening, I stayed in and had porcini mushrooms risotto, that he hates and I love.

Sunday: more work

Last Monday at our weekly meeting I volunteered to help at the shooting of a music video that we are going to use to promote our band with clients. Great idea on Monday, bad idea on a second-day-of-period Sunday. I still had very bad cramps, pain in my lower back, nausea and headache and I hated everyone: the full package basically.  I went to the studio but when I realised that my help wasn’t really needed I decided I could just leave earlier. I stayed a few hours, enough to fall in love with the percussionist, and then I told my colleague I wasn’t feeling very well and I left. As soon as I arrived home I made a home made bar of chocolate! And that’s the only picture I managed to take all weekend. Other than the percussionist ones I have already sent you.

xx G

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Recipe from Deliciously Ella

#BACphoenix



The things is when a theatre is on fire (as in literally) not only an amazing Grade II listed building is getting damaged, not only many people were in danger, not only they will have to spend so much money and time trying to re-open, but a little bit of us is burning. 

The Battersea Arts Centre means so much for so many people. It’s a space for artists to explore their creativity and for kids to have fun, for people to meet and talk about culture and dance and theatre or just have a drink in the lovely bar. People even got married there. 

I felt very emotional when I saw the pictures online and I then could smell the smoke in the air. And just I volunteer there only every now and then. I wonder how everyone that works there must have felt seeing the flames swallowing the Grand Hall and the ceiling collapsing. 

This is why I decided to support them with a small donation. D said he didn’t agree with me because “the insurance will pay everything back and they will just have so much money after this”. It really doesn’t matter. I know that even if the insurance is already paying for everything my £10.00 will still be used for something good. This is why I donated here

xx G



Credit: @londonfire



Fiction – talking of immersive theatre

EKA how I wished you were here yesterday!

I think I mentioned that I currently volunteer in two theatres in my neighbourhood and last night I went to the Battersea Arts Centre. It’s a very special place, (you can see a video about them here), they have preserved the old town hall building as it was and it looks stunning. The next time I’ll go I’ll take some pictures but you can always ask Google in the mean time.

Anyway this is all to say that after helping with Front of House duties, I could to see the show for free. And if only you were here, I would have brought you with me! I know how much you love immersive theatre experiences.

Do you remember the show we saw in the old mental institution, when to reach the performing space we had to walk thought the garden in the dark and we thought we could hear the spirits of the dead patients? And do you remember when we went to see that other show, The Puss In Boots, and had to dress up as kittens and participate to the performance walking around with cat ears and tail?

Well, this was a thousand times better in terms of how much you would have hated me if I tricked you into coming with me.

Fiction is an immersive theatre experience by Fuel, a producing organisation for “adventurous people”. Like me and you!

We were in a pitch black room with headphones on. In the beginning I started to freak out a bit because the voice I could hear in my left ear was so clear that I thought it was actually coming from someone sitting next to me. And the the steps and the noises. I thought about removing my headphones and getting back to reality. But I persisted.

When I go home after the theatre I usually have trouble sleeping because my head is full of images and words. An experience like this, on the other hand, leaves you with sensations and feelings, more than images. I was scared at the beginning, the darkness was swallowing me and I felt I couldn’t breathe. I decided to close my eyes, I felt that it made the darkness my choice rather than theirs. Bit of a control freak here. I realised my mind was trying not to get too involved with the voices in my head because I didn’t want to lose myself in the fiction. But then I let my body relax and my mind concentrate. I let my self drift into relaxation, into sleep. And the dream began to become more vivid.

Julie, the French girl who was my chaperone in the dream, was a safe figure. She was always there whispering in my ear and making sure I was ok. When she separated from me at the end of the performance I was lost, I started worrying that the other voices would have hurt me. Then the explosions began.
And as suddenly as it started, the dream ended.

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Let’s talk sexism

My new Tee!

Don’t worry I still have my “Barbie wants to be me” t-shirt. And I still wear it. Often. Even at work.

What’s behind the new t-shirt:

Page 3 is featured on The Sun, a popular national British newspaper and it basically consists of a picture of a young topless woman with no more than her name and her age.

A group of people have started a campaign to kindly ask the newspaper to stop publishing it, (check and sign here in case you were interested) and I decided to support them, hence the t-shirt.  I think that this page can explain very well all the reasons behind the campaign, reasons that I mostly agree with.

I think my interest in having more active role to fight sexism has been triggered by the following conversation I had with my previous employer a while ago.
I said conversation? I meant monologue, he wasn’t really having conversations with people. He just liked the sound of his voice.

Men are genetically made to aim at independence. Money gives you independence. Women, on the other hand, just want to find a man that provides for them and makes them feel secure. Don’t you agree?

No. I don’t. You are a sexist pig.

So, here’s the story.

Just a quick update on my extra curricular activities, since I haven’t seen you in ages and when we’re together we never have the chance to talk about this.

xx G

Some of my other favourite websites related to the topic:

Everyday Sexism Project
Let Toys Be Toys For Girls And Boys

3D Donuts

Ciao G,

Qui settimana dell’isterismo collettivo della moda. Se non vai a un evento o un’ inaugurazione non sei young & cool.

Ora, sorvolando la parte young che ci sta abbandonando pian piano ma inesorabilmente ( sì è lunedì e sono di buonumore), ho visto una cosa che per me e’ cool. 

Pao (daiiii il tizio dei pinguini  in giro per Milano che abbiamo visto mille volte anche insieme prima che tu mi abbandonassi per vivere nel Paese delle Spice Girls – sempre il buonumore) ha inaugurato una mostra molto molto bellina.

Si chiama “Black Hole Fun” e ci sono cubi e  ciambelle concavi che da vicino sembrano 3D ( spiegazione accuratissima mi rendo conto – ma apprezzate le foto fatte da me) e vigili panettone e pinguini panettone.

Foto 2

Foto 3

Ma, cosa davvero cool, mentre giravo per questa minimostra mi hanno dato birra e delle vere e unte ciambelle americane da mangiare ( e qui le foto non ci sono perchè avevo le mani troppo impegnate). Cioè, arte e donuts. Goduria pura. Altro che i dannati finger food che BASTA NON NE POSSIAMO PIÙ.  Ecco, l’ ho detto. E comunque sempre al cibo ritorno io. Prevedo lunghe sessioni di corsa prima della prova costume.

 

EKA

Look Down

Tombini disegnati da studenti e stilisti per raccogliere fondi per Oxfam. A me, piace. Se vi capita di essere a Milano in questi giorni, guardate in basso, precisamente  qui.

EKA

 

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(Breaking) News from Italy

Comunque, io non capisco davvero tutto questo sdegno su Renzi al Parlamento Europeo:

  • Arriva in ritardo
  • Sorrisi da amicone e pacche sulle spalle
  • Telefonate al cellulare
  • Foto in simpatia
  • Discorso di circostanza
  • Sbadigli e fuga

Gente, è esattamente quel che fa mio fratello a ogni pranzo di famiglia.

EKA