Saturday, 28 May 2011

I need my mummy.

One of the nice things about teaching is that the year is clearly divided into parts and at the end of the year it's clear how much progress has been made and we all go off on holiday. The only problem is that it also makes life feel like it's flying by.

By the end of the summer some of my students probably will barely recognize me. The precocious little boy of last year is transformed into a bashful shy and retiring type when I ask "how are you?" despite the fact it's only been 4 months since we last saw each other.

My boys and girls that couldn't write at the beginning of the year can now spell using the alphabet. Once they were six. Now they are seven. Next year they will be taking tests!

They seem to grow up so fast, but every now and then you catch a glimpse of the child inside. One of my students, Tommaso, a confident lad of 10, got lost on his way back from his speaking exam at the hotel today. I went to look for him. I wandered around for about five minutes in the crowd of mum's and dad's until I spied him in a corner.

His face was completely white and he looked very lost and rather scared. I laughingly told him off for getting lost and led him back to his mates by the shoulders but it took him a moment or two to recover.

I feel the same way sometimes. I look at myself living away from home, with a job and paying rent and bills and cleaning ALL the things and going to the motherfucking bank and feel all grown up, but other days I have a Tommaso moment and I think WHO THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA TO LEAVE ME RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL THIS? and I freak out.

That's why we all need our mummies. Even when we're 80 we still need our mummies. I'm about to ring mine now. She hasn't been able to help me with my homework since I was 11 but she's still there whenever I need advice on cold relief, aphids, cooking or sympathy.

Yey for mums!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Fashion Update

I have a feeling that a fashion update is way over due. I think I've only blogged about once so far, but I'm sure you're all itching to hear about the latest trends from the fashion capital.

The reason it's taken me so long to blog it is because this season's trends are hard to identify.The shops are bulging with white, peach and beige and floaty garments ad nauseum, (Vale - if my frock is the same colour as your wedding dress I am truly sorry but beige and peach make me look like death). Double denim is back. High waists, nautical themes and white capri pants are in.

OK, so what I really mean is that it's hard to identify a trendy person.

I think it's mainly because these trends were exactly what people were wearing before. The Fillipinas have always been big on denim jackets so I'm not really sure when I see a young woman in doubling her denim, if she's been reading vogue, or still wearing her 90s fashions. Light light denim is back too, so that middle aged lady in the high-waisted, tight, washed out jeans is bang on the money. Especially when she partners it with a shiny red belt.

The gypsy girls in their long floaty skirts, t-shirts and sandals are back in fashion too.

The Milanese dames have always been stick thin, sun-damaged and dressed in a nautical fashion during the summer, so their white trousers, jackets and stripy navy tops are no indication of trend awareness either. Actually some of the girls I have seen this week looked anorexic enough to put you off your lunch. I don't remember them being so thin. (Have they been swaddling themselves in puffa jackets this winter or has a new rehab centre opened?)

Frankly I have almost given up critiquing people's outfits on the metro. We truly have come to the point on the cool circle whereby the fashionabled and the fashiondisabled are indistinguishable.

And what about where you live or is this only the case in Milan?

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Order is restored.

I haven't written much in the way of blog posts recently. No, instead I've been very busy with work as all my students try to catch up on all their lessons before the exams. The end in sight is near because today we had our first exam session. Little boys and girls came in from other schools for their speaking exam and they were all BEAUTIFUL.

Not only were they beautiful, they were delightful. My job was to keep them from talking as they waited for the exam. It was harder than I thought as they had memories like goldfish. I also made the mistake of looking at the news on my computer.

"William and Kate! William and Kate!" they cried jumping up when they saw their photo.

Yes, it is. SHHHHHHHH! But they had royal wedding fever bad. Very bad.

Then they got uncontrollable giggles when they saw a photo of an African lady in a hat shop. No idea why. I turned the computer off.


Finally they were all extremely anxious as to whether they should knock on the door or not if I had already opened it, so I made the mistake of telling them to ask me (as opposed to their friends) if they had any questions.

"Do you have any pens?" said one tiny girl brightly. "Pens? Huh? You don't need a pen." I said. "Who's got a pen?"

"I have a pet!" offered another girl. "Oh right, no, I don't have a pet," I said.

And then followed a whole flood of personal questions from the other kids.

"Why not?"

"Describe your apartment!"

"Do you have any brothers or sisters?"

"What was the weather like two days ago?"*

The last question utterly confused me. I smiled and nodded at them in a way I hoped was both authoritative and warm until it dawned on me.

"Excellent," I replied, and order was restored.

*I wish I could have seen the examiner's face when he trotted that one out.