A mum and a wife and sometimes just me

Sunday 25 April 2010

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

So I go to Italian classes every Monday and usually at the start of class we discuss what we have been doing at the weekend. OK no surprises I usually just have one sentence to say 'Ho lavorato!' One of the ladies talked about the book she had just read on recommendation by another classmate and both had rather conflicting views. One thought it was a rather patronising story and the other thought it was the best she has ever read. Oh how I love a book which causes conflict so I immediately put it on the need to read list. If it is one thing I need to know when it comes to book is make up my own mind. Then of course it appeared that soooo many people had read this book except me and it was one of those books that you can never find in the library you actually have to request it. So what was I missing:

In the title it is described as "one woman's search for everything". OK never mind that this woman was only in her early thirties and was already having a life crisis...that alone scares me a little as I am what I always thought as only in my thirties with my whole life ahead of me. Then to find everything she has to travel to 3 different countries to find it, why can't you find these things at home? Anyway..........

So I pretty much delved into the book and must admit found myself really loving it. I could identify so much with her Italian experience and the humour was great, I actually laughed out loud. But then I must be honest that the enthusiasm really waned when she went to India and Indonesia. It maybe got a bit too spiritual for me and it lost pretty much all it's humour and I just could not identify any more. The only bit I enjoyed in India was Richard from Texas and well not much about Bali. She found what she was looking for and I got to read about it. I dragged myself through it pretty much to the end of the book. It was a personal journey though and I guess that it will more than likely offer something different to everyone. I think she is a pretty good writer though and am possibly curious about other things she has written to not completely write her off my interesting authors list.

But never mind what I think...I just realised today that now it's been made into a movie so it must be good to someone right. The trailer for your pleasure....

Thursday 15 April 2010

The importance of an oven

One of my favourite things is cooking, so how can you tell me am I going to survive 2 whole months without an oven. Yes my new abode is definitely humble, it is one of these long stay hotel apartments. For all you bakers out there this probably does not apply but do you really consider how much you use your oven until you lose it! *Sigh* It was bad enough when I lived in Glasgow having to survive without a freezer but this is living above and beyond natural. Actually for people who don't love cooking it could be even worse...no chips! Now though I suddenly have a microwave like that should make it all better *hmph* So I guess if anyone has any handy microwave recipes please share it with me!

10 things I love about my oven

  1. I can bake cakes

  2. It makes pizza night a reality

  3. Baked Whole Fish

  4. Roast Potatoes

  5. Okay I admit it....CHIPS!

  6. Home made bread

  7. It usually comes with a grill...hehehehe

  8. Melted cheese on toast

  9. I can cook a whole beast...I mean a turkey or a chicken (thank goodness it's not Christmas)

  10. Ok I could not find a 10th but you know what I mean right!

Wednesday 14 April 2010

Packing is an art form

Well speaking about home...I was only in my flat here in Auckland for 7 months and already have had to move to second home for the last two months...bummer...so there I was packing and thinking and packing and thinking...where the hell has all this stuff come from???  What is it about packing? You look at it, it does not look a lot, it will all definitely fit...but once you start...it's like pringles...it just doesn't stop!

I love travelling, but if I could pay someone to pack for me I think that seriously I would. I have a lot of difficulty getting dressed to go out during the day much less for a special event (ask hubby he can attest to the fact!) much less having to plan a whole suitcase of what I will wear when I am away on holiday! Those articles that advise on the essentials of what you need to pack when on holiday, I am sure they are full of useful advice, but they just don't work for me, I'm just too full of 'just in cases'.

Seriously even when I do pack only essentials, I am honestly not a 'girly girl' so can actually deny myself a lot of stuff, it does NOT only weigh 15 kilos and if I am going on a long haul flight it does NOT only weigh 32 kilos! Never mind the summer time...have you ever tried packing 15 kilos in winter.I know it's not just me either. I have been in the line watching people futilely trying to argue not to pay. Ever been in the line for the flight to Jamaica, the number of boxes usually give them away.

OK enough moaning, but for me, packing is an art form, and after how many years doing it, I don't think I will ever master it!


Sunday 11 April 2010

Home is where the heart is?

I have recently been having thoughts about home. Hubby's sister recently commented on facebook that she has lost count of how many places she has lived but she definitely new for sure where she calls home now, even though that is technically not the place she is living at the moment. As someone who's favourite thing is travelling and not just to go on holiday but to live and breath other places has been magical and made the concept of where is 'home' kind of elusive.

I left my first home when I was 18 to go to University in the UK. I always felt a little claustrophobic in Jamaica and this was my chance to grow up and gain my independence. Every summer and Christmas though I would gleefully say I am going home to spend time with family and friends. I went home to get married. Actually even though I have been living for several years in the UK, not just studying any more but working, actually considered a resident of Scotland, I still say to people if I am going to Jamaica that I am going home!

My husband is Italian and so we have been to Italy on several occasions to visit his family and friends. It has gone beyond just needing to see the sights. My new family lives there now and hubby's close friends have become mine as well. When I eventually learn the language my experience of it all will be even further enhanced.  It is now about going to visit my second home!

We have now been living and working for nearly 7 months in Auckland and it has become our home away from home. These days when people ask hubby and I where we have come from we look at each other first. I am Jamaican and he is from Italy, we usually live in Scotland in the UK but we have been living in Auckland for several months now. 

I guess we are not sure what our future holds and if Scotland will always remain our humble home forever. We do know our home will always be with each other and with our family and friends. So I guess yes home is where the heart is or where pieces of it are anyway!

Monday 5 April 2010

Barefoot Kiwi

So it was only yesterday that I went with hubby to experience what was named the 'Last BBQ of summer' at the Kings Arms Tavern with a bunch of local bands. Sure enough there in the crowd was the guy with no shoes on. It's not hard to go somewhere in New Zealand and find that someone does not have any shoes on. I discovered this phenomenon very quickly as I work with children who often refuse to put shoes on and was quickly told by other staff members that it's actually not just ok but a way of life! Oh how quickly I remembered the days as a child running around with no shoes on...having what is usually termed 'tough foot bottom' ! I quickly learnt though the art of wearing shoes and not just shoes but shoes with socks. I have certainly enjoyed the freedom of wearing flipflops or should I say jandals pretty much everyday during my time here in New Zealand.

Unfortunately I have not graduated to being a 'barefoot kiwi'.

Sunday 4 April 2010

Easter reflections

One of the great things about travelling is experiences different cultures and the way that they do things, sometimes differently and sometimes surprisingly the same.

My memories of Easter at home in Jamaica are mainly around religious traditions. As a family we would abstain every Friday and not eat any meat. I remember not complaining too much as that usually meant we would have a special delivery of veggie pizza that night to look forward to. The penultimate was Good Friday which was usually the dreaded day of sitting at home and not being able to do anything! I remember as a little girl at prep school making our Easter bonnets for our Easter parade...'I've an Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it....' singing and parading in front of the older children at the school. There was definitely a feeling of importance there being on show. I don't remember Easter eggs or eggs hunts.

When I arrived to the UK I found that they even sold cards to help you celebrate the event. The stores would start advertising the sales of their Easter eggs from early in the year once they got Christmas and the New Year out of the way! Cadbury cream eggs...I must say they are a sticky favourite with me. You mean the Easter bunny actually exists and they have Easter egg hunts. I remember celebrating my first Easter at work with the children, putting on my bunny ears and tail, heading out in the garden and hiding the eggs for the children to hunt and collect in their baskets...if they don't eat them first!

Then there is Italy, Buona Pasqua, with our celebrations on Easter Sunday as usual centred around food. I love this place and I love Pannetonne! Of course they really go to town with their Easter eggs here and it's amazing some of the special things that you find inside. Hubby will always have a special place in his heart for kinder eggs and being able to build his special toy!

And now I have just experienced my first Easter in New Zealand. Waking up early on Easter Sunday and heading to church and with a special Italian twist as our Easter egg that afternoon travelled all the way from there. I find myself again at work with the children hiding the eggs and watching their excited faces as they venture on the hunt.

However you celebrate, however you do it, Happy Easter!
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