A mum and a wife and sometimes just me

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Reality bites!

So I'm back...in Glasgow....it's raining...and technically I am homeless and unemployed. We are living out of a suitcase with friends which is no fun really...so in two simple words....REALITY BITES!!!

As such my blogging has lagged and I need that impetus to get back on track. Our first rule is to stop saying...if we were in Auckland...we are not...so no point right. Reminiscing is hard and it's hard not to cause the first thing people ask is How was New Zealand? The second rule is to stop commenting about the weather...just enjoy the sun when it decides to come out right. I guess that kind of merges into the third rule of not locking ourselves inside and try and go out for a coffee or a walk, keep up contact with friends, you know be social.

What we really need to do is find our own place and hopefully that won't take too long. Students appear to have gotten richer...or their parents are willing to pay more anyway as they are stiff competition in fidning a flat these days. High demand and short supply makes things only slightly frustrating. Hopefully it will be our turn soon. Once we are able to settle in maybe realities bite won't hurt so much.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Not just any hot chocolate

Yesterday was a rather rainy day in Verona. After all the hot weather we have been having here it was a nice break. This morning I have now woken up to the sun but a nice cool breeze which I hope continues for the rest of our time here which is actually quickly coming to an end. Last night after dinner the practice is usually an expresso but I felt for something rather different and requested to hubby's somewhat surprise a hot chocolate or should I say "Cioccolata Calda". Seriously its not just any hot chocolate and an Italian experience I promise you will never forget.

It starts with proper powdered chocolate (the first big difference, not this sweetened powdered stuff) mixed with a little bit of cold milk before putting it on the fire (it's in a pot at this point by the way) and then you had more milk. Then you add some potato starch which is used to thicken the liquid (the second big difference). It requires continuous stirring until it reaches the desired consistency of thick dark melted hot chocolate which you could technically 'drink' with a spoon.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

She' Come Undone by Wally Lamb

Ok so maybe this was not exactly light summer reading to choose for when you go on a beach holiday but it was the only book that I had at the time. I have to admit that I said to hubby that yes I am reading another depressing book this summer. It certainly isn't a lighthearted read. Actually while reading it I found myself continuoulsy thinking of my time doing my social work degree, all the new ideas I learnt about youth and family, being on placement and trying to understand people so that you can support people, learning that people really want support but at the same time push that support away and how difficult it is sometimes to admit you need support. Actually there was often debate around the term support and how stigmatised it is in today's society that to admit you need support means that something is really wrong with you and well who wants to admit that. But this is a digression and was a personal journey through the book for me.

The focus of the novel is around the character of Dolores Price and you are taken on her very difficult journey from childhood to adulthood, age 4 to 40. Her character is whole and real and honest that I can promise you when you put the book down you will never forget her. Just as you think things start getting better for Dolores something crops up to take it all away again. Sometimes I wanted to crawl into the book and hold her and admittedly shake her. She make's you want to laugh, she make's you want to cry, and sometimes she is so cynical and sarcastic you wonder what this life is really all about. It seems many people had to remind themselves that a man wrote this novel...is such a thing possible as a man understanding a woman's psyche.

As I read the book I unravelled with Dolores but was still left hopeful. A faultless read.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Talk Jamaican

So while on holiday in Croatia I heard a lot of italian speakers around me and as you do, well as I do anyway, I listen in and see what I can understand. The answer was pretty much nothing. Hubby was not surprised as he explained that they were pretty much speaking in dialect. Well that is how it is with most languages right...

When we first arrived in Glasgow it was only slightly difficult at times to understand what people were saying. Actually a lot of times hubby still does not understand what people are saying. When my mother came to visit she thought a group of children she heard at the museum were speaking a foreign language. Working with children I had to pick up on the accent and lingo pretty quick, otherwise I was at a slight disadvantage. Once I was asked to give what I thought I heard was a piece of jam to a child for breakfast, only thankfully to realise this was simply a jam sandwich!

So kind of coming full circle, having been in the UK for so long now, traces of any sort of Jamaican accent are usually rare. Unless of course I have just got off the phone with my mother or I get angry, though even now I am starting to do that in Italian. Many people think I am Canadian or some say even Irish. I got a bit upset the other day actually when I read on a friend's facebook status "Today's pet peeve: Jamaicans who migrate as ADULTS and yet feel the need to lose their accents! Cyaan understand it at all!..SMH..." For me I did not so much feel the need so much as it just happened. When people say to me that I don't talk Jamaican I just kind of shrug my shoulders. I certainly ain't going to force anything out of my lips that don't come natural to me and speaking patois now would probably sound rather false and humurous.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

So what's in Croatia??

Actually that was the question my mother asked me recently when I told her we were going away there for a few days last week. It's not hard to think why she would ask such a questions, something which Europeans usually can take for granted. Being able to jump in a car and drive there was one of the first reasons to go to Croatia and of course the fact that it has a beautiful coastline with beautiful clear waters (though a tad bit cold). Being in Europe there is so much on your doorstep, places people would perhaps not consider when they have to travel farther afield. Actually when thinking about this post it was rather odd to read in Cosmo's August 2010 Uk Edition that Croatia, defined as super-stylish and super-chilled, is one of the 8 A-List holiday hang-outs, of which Beoynce and Jay-Z are big fans.

This was my third trip to Croatia and as yet it has failed to disappoint. So it does not have the white sandy beaches that you may come to think of when you think of the seaside but rather more pebbly beaches. Actually what you are more likely to find is the use of flattened 'rock formations' to relax on. Bringing a mat to put under your towel is good advice . 

 I can digress quite easily here on how well the Europeans seem to know how to 'do beach'. I mean some don't just have mats, they have thick padded mats or even better most just have their own deck chairs, sometimes pulling them along with their trolley's. You may notice as well that usually when they find a spot they like if possible to lay claim to it for the rest of the summer, and it's not just a case of waking  early , it's either one by never removing their belongings from that spot or two I have actually seen small hand written signs (so no sometimes you can't say 'I'm sorry but I don't see you name on it!'). If they are camping they bring their home with them it seems (and that includes satellite tv), so for those that think camping is about leaving certain luxuries behind can think again. Anyway I digress....

I'm  not sure what it's like if you are a vegetarian in Croatia but you certainly have no problems as a meat eater and grilled meat is usually top of the menu after the fresh fish that is, there are plenty little pigs roasting away on the spit in pretty much every restaurant you pass. I think I fell in love calamari on my second visit to Croatia and we possibly had it every single day.

In the evenings it's usually nice to check out the local town with their small street alleyways, chruches, the town square and beautiful harbours. Above is when we went to visit Rovinj, and below is Vsar which is where we stayed on this last visit.

So what's in Croatia? Ultimate relaxation by the sea, with it's beautiful coastal towns and great restaurants with a fantastic sunset to round of a beautiful day!

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