Monday, 22 December 2014

Turning Corners

*Buon giorno avvocato! Come posso aiutarla?
Good morning Mr lawyer! How can I help you?

Buon giorno! Ho bisogno di agende. Dammi le più brutte che hai! La banca non me le manda più!
Good morning! I need some diaries- the ugliest you've got! The bank doesn't send them out anymore.

Questi vanno bene? (offre le più belle in vetrina)
Are these alright? (offers some very nice diaries)

Sì sì sì. Perfetto grazie! Prendo cinque o sei.
Yes. Yes. Just so, thank you! I'll take five or six.*

I heard this wonderful exchange in an old fashioned stationers (with wooden shelves from floor to ceiling!) near the church of the Last Supper, whilst buying a postcard for a friend.  It was like being an extra in an old-time comedy sketch, they had dressed and spoke the parts so well! I was almost bit disappointed when I didn't hear the canned laughter.

Just one of those little corners of Milan that makes this city a good place to live in.  The Last Supper was worth the visit by the way, although it wasn't ideal to be up quite so early on a Saturday morning! I can confirm that John does look quite unnervingly womanly for all you conspiracy theorists/Dan Brown lovers out there.

Update: the new flat - it's nearly finished (and hopefully not still a death trap).

As of this weekend I am on holiday. BLISS. I really needed a rest and a chance to catch up on chores, Christmas preparations and lesson planning. On Wednesday night I didn't sleep a wink (well 10 mins max) because I was overtired and so Thursday was a foggy fug of 5.5 hours of teaching in 6, made far more bearable by the thought of Christmas around the corner. Made for some relaxed teaching anyway!

For sure, this year has been a year of acquisition and consolidation. 2014 has smiled on us.

One of the several new recipes that I added to my limited repertoire this year.

In January we hiked to a rifugio with friends in the snow by the light of the moon.
In March we introduced our respective parents.
In April we went to the Cinque Terre for a weekend and I threw a mini surprise birthday party for A with the help of his sister.
We got married in June and in the Summer went to Greece for the first time on honeymoon followed by six weeks in the UK countryside. We spent one of those exploring the literature and scenery of the North of England. Then we celebrated another three weddings.
In September we finally climbed the Corni di Canzo, and in November moved to a new area of Milan and decorated a new flat, ate truffles and had our first ever visit from Nonna B.
And the cherry on the cake, obviously was finally being organised enough to see the Last Supper.

I have also taken many photos, many of which were really good. Some of them were, er, not so good....

 Haven't quite mastered the art of the selfie yet (outside Santa Maria della Grazie )
A lot of it was stressful - work problems, wedding paper work, expiring passports, trying to keep track of and reassure nearly 100 people with travel plans and dress codes, house-hunting, cleaning and packing up a flat from top to bottom and more work problems - but it feels REALLY good to have done many of the things we have always talked about doing. 

2015 has a big question mark hanging over it. What will it bring? I have no plans so far. I hope I get the opportunity to see more of Italy, have more visitors, finish decorating the flat and take many more photos, do art and craft and dwell less on the problems and have more fun with my work at school.

I also sincerely hope to see the family, friends and students who have recently obtained some serious illnesses all pull through and make a swift recovery.

So here's to wishing you readers a happy festive season and above all HEALTHY 2015!