Posted in life, Reading Challenge

Happy (?) June!

It’s going to be a struggle to see June as anything resembling its usual positive self. But alas, the pages in the calendar keep turning and we’re finally into the sixth month of this hell year.

Weather you were here

Here in Scotland we’ve had a scorching weekend and it looks set to continue today. In fact, we’ve had some of the best and most consistent good weather in memory since lockdown began. If you’ve never been to Scotland during our normal three-day summer then I am sorry you are missing this. When the sun is out and everyone’s happy, we could rival anywhere in the Mediterranean. For a change I’m actually getting to enjoy the morning sunshine. Not a clue why I woke up before the ungodly hour of 8am, but I did and I’ve been in my study where the sun bakes the whole room at this time. So far managed to watch several episodes of Un Posto al Sole, did a morning Reiki wake-up meditation and read too.

Currently Reading

The two main books I’m ploughing through just now are Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez and Scusa Ma Ti Chiamo Amore by Federico Moccia. I read a lot in the garden the last few days I was out, it’s great just reading for fun; though the Invisible Women book does cause me to shout ‘What the fuck?!’ every five minutes. As with all plans, they are subject to change – for me depending on my mood.

Books I'm reading, Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez and Scusa Ma Ti Chiamo Amore by Federico Moccia.
Currently Reading June 2020

I woke with a hankering to read more of Trent’anni e una chiacchierata con papà by Tiziano Ferro. It’s the book of his diaries from before he was famous and throughout his dawning stardom. At times it is quite easy to read when he discusses travelling, living abroad, and having new adventures; at other times he becomes very poetic and wordy, especially during harder times, thus I need to have wordreference at the ready to try and understand. Still amazing though, so pure and human, warts and all – sometimes I feel as though I might have written parts of it, I understand so much of how he feels and has struggled with life.

One of my favourite quotes so far in the book, and a Spanish bus ticket from 5 years ago!

Work in Progress Forever

Now that it is a new month, even if it doesn’t feel it, I am trying to maintain a writing routine. Heck, any routine would be good right now. I’ve been jumping between studying Italian and Dutch, watching my Italian tv show, reading as many books as I can, blogging here and keeping up with my own novel. It’s going slowly but I’ve broken down the story into chapters and attempting to focus on a section at a time instead of worrying how it’s all going to fit together – or if it even will. That’s a job for editor Eliza, at a later point.

I’m off now to enjoy some sunshine and more Italian.

What are you reading? Have you been enjoying the good weather? Any plans for June?

e x

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Posted in rant, The Quarantine Diaries

The Quarantine Diaries: Losses

My mood is souring and has been over the last few days. The frustration of not being able to go anywhere of importance is still like banging my head off a wall, except now I’m aware of the futility of the action before I do it, i.e. I’m no longer thinking in terms of what I’d like to do; instead, what I should have been able to do.

The reason I’m feeling extra pissy right now, is because I should have worked a half shift today and left the office at lunchtime, happily giving everyone the figurative finger and shouting ‘me ne vado’ at anyone who happened to see me. I should have spent today packing my suitcases and charging up the kindle, watching an Italian film and singing myself to sleep with ‘Una Notte a Napoli’. Then tomorrow, I should have been meeting Mamma and there should have been a leisurely taxi journey to the Holiday Inn at the Airport where we should have spent a pleasant afternoon and evening giddily preparing ourselves for the adventure ahead.

Friday morning at 7:25am I should have been on the fucking plane to Naples.


Too damn true…

I saw this above tweet about a month ago, right around the point when we all realised Coronavirus was here to fuck up everything and I got the email to say the holiday was cancelled. Now we were fortunate enough to get a full refund from the holiday provider, the insurance and the airport hotel, however, are refusing to refund anything. I understand what no cancellation means, but I didn’t cancel – Jet2 did. And if no virus had appeared, then we’d be in the damn hotel and making use of the insurance now wouldn’t we?!

I digress. I get it, I do. This is not a joke. All the years that people called me nuts for raving about horror movies, and having a zombie plan in place (not to mention a ton of tinned food – I didn’t need to panic buy, Karen) and it’s finally here. Governmental response has been far more meh, than in any zombie film I’ve ever seen, yet given the track records and who we’re talking about, did we really expect them to step up?

But as the tweet above says, we can still be aware of the gravity of this situation and still be sad for the things we’re losing out on and missing. No one ever expected life to be shut down almost completely, not during ‘peace time’ anyway. The debates will continue forever about why Coronavirus happened, what it will mean for the future, and what does it say about societies and consumer lifestyles.

Before all that we can still lament, people missed out on weddings, births have happened in private, funerals are restricted, milestone birthday parties have gone on zoom and wishes are sent via TikTok dances. And for me, it was the chance to return to one of my most favourite places on this spectacular planet after seven whole years. A place that shaped me and formed me; from the first time I was there in 2008 and I was just a 19 year-old stuck with family and practising tiny bits of Italian, awed that I could order full meals and have basic conversations by the end of the holiday. When I returned in 2009, young free and single and only 20 years old, the feeling was unreal, the high wasn’t like anything I’d ever experienced. By the time I’d arrived in Sorrento, I’d had so many wonderful, random conversations and met a whole host of colourful characters. It was then I made more memories, took more chances and grew more confident, not only in myself but in my ability to do the things I’d set my mind to. I chose to learn Italian, I chose to keep studying and working away when others told me to chill out and relax. Now I can relax by the pool with a limoncello and having a fantastic conversation with the hotel staff teasing about the effect of Federico Moccia and Tiziano Ferro on my life.

Well, I should have been relaxing by the pool…

e x

Posted in Blogging Challenge, Music

30 Day Blogging Challenge – Day #7

Day 7 – Your 5 favourite songs

In which language? Which genre? That’s way too hard a question!

Okay, 5 favourite songs (that I can think of right now) in my top 4 languages:

English

  1. Save My Soul – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
  2. Here’s to us – Halestorm
  3. Only God Knows Why – Kid Rock
  4. Every You, Every Me – Placebo
  5. In The End – Linkin Park

Italian

  1. Grande Amore – Il Volo
  2. Ti Scatterò una foto – Tiziano Ferro
  3. Aspettando Meteoriti – Linea 77
  4. La Solitudine – Laura Pausini
  5. Roma-Bangkok – Baby K feat. Giusy Ferreri

Spanish

  1. Porque te vas – Jeanette
  2. Bailando – Enrique
  3. Echáme la culpa – Luis Fonsi & Demi Lovato
  4. Despacito – Luis Fonsi feat. Daddy Yankee
  5. Estás – Nina Pilots

French

  1. Je t’aime moi non plus – Serge Gainsbourg ft. Jane Birkin
  2. Prótège Moi – Placebo
  3. Chanson D’Amour – Nana Mouskouri
  4. Non, je ne regrette rien – Edith Piaf
  5. Je ne veux pas travailler – Pink Martini

This selection is just a tiny glimpse into my favourite songs… the list goes on forever.

e x