- A different night
- [Friday 25th January 2008]
Tonight me and Chiara had a very important appointment, the official celebratory dinner for the degree in Economics that she recently got (see HERE for the full account).
Around three or four months ago, when we were daydreaming about the thesis and the degree, we kind of agreed to go to a restaurant called Enoteca Pinchiorri, by far one of the most expensive places in Italy, great food and wines (especially wines).
Then when Chiara checked the website we had to re-factor the expense vector, to use one of the phrases that John loves a lot, and we settled for the second most chic and expensive place in Florence, called Cibreo.
I do not know how the Enoteca would have done, but Cibreo has been a totally great experience. Great service, the waiters are all young and I think that they liked us for some strange reason and started bringing a lot of food that we didn't order (we even got FOUR different types of cakes despite us ordering only two), the food was simply great, honestly marvellous.
Then the wine list was a little surprising as they listed a lot of wines that I know (this helps of course) and chatting with the sommelier I think I even conned him into thinking that I really know my stuff (well, actually I do know a little...).
Then at the end of the meal we got chatting with our waiter, and he took us for a tour of the kitchens and some other rooms where they even have theatrical plays every now and then.
A really great night, we ate a lot, drinking great wine (by the way Bruno di Rocca 2002, a farm near Siena, I went there whit some clients so I knew it really well) and generally having a good time.
The decision of the night is that we need to go in places like that at least once every month...
Let's see if we can!
- Doctor Chiara!
- [21st January 2008]
Today I will not ramble about my old self, as I usually tend to do, but instead the blog post is dedicated to Chiara.
As a matter of fact she got her degree today, making her a Doctor (in Italy every degree comes with a "Doctor" status) in Economics of Tourism and Resorts.
The degree did last a "little" longer than usually should be, but since Chiara has been working as well as studying (and she didn't really like to study all that much), let's say that it's ok to have finished so late.
The thesis discussion was quite brief and "easy", no sweat broken, in ten minutes squared we were already out of the classroom with the mark given (an hefty 95 out of 110, quite good). The Italian University system still amuses me, there is much hype for the thesis bit, but the exam and discussion is quite simple in the end. On the other side the career of a student here is quite long, there are many hurdles that need to be crossed, so to come at the end means that the student showed perseverance and of course some degree of "hard" work.
Going back to the thesis, in the end we had a little aperitif with all the guests invited, and after three hours we were finally going back home for a quick dinner...
Congratulations Doctor Chiara, this post is for you, I hope that you will have many more happy days like this one!
- Boring Friday
- [Friday 18th January 2008]
The title again says it all. I am at home doing absolutely nothing, Chiara is busy studying for her thesis, she will have her exam next week on Monday, so she is revising as much as she can.
I do not mind being by myself at home, I was kind of hoping to have some new computer games to entertain myself with, but unfortunately the friend that was meant to lend them to me (not to say copy them), failed miserably in his task, and as a result I am watching TV and the computer at the same time, in a way that only the bold and modern men can do (after all multitasking is a major breakthrough of our generation I guess)...
Workside things are better to be kept untold, so I'll concentrate on football, that saw me again as a protagonist of the matches that I have recently played.
It was good till it lasted, my knee is hurting following a tackle that I suffered yesterday, nothing major but a strong reminder that the problem has not gone away by simply playing a couple of matches... I will buy one of those knee support, hoping that it might help me a little.
Fortunately I am going to have a relaxing weekend, last one was spoilt by some work engagements...
Nothing special to tell then, I might not be in Italy in a fortnight, but that's another story....
- I am fed up
- [Sunday 13th January 2008]
I am fed up. My life is timed on the end of March when the contract with the Japanese employer will finish. There are a lot of things that I cannot write until then and I feel stressed about the fact that I cannot "empty the sack", as we say here in Italy.
I have been vastly criticised for writing too much on the blog, the fact that you write a diary open to the whole world probably escapes the understanding of the people who made the criticism I think. Frankly speaking I cannot care less, especially because writing is a good way for me to unload a bit of stress, and the fact that I cannot do it for yet three months, it's a pain.
Life goes on of course, stress is catching up with me, and I am having the usual back pains like it happened years ago when I was living up-north, or working for the Japanese company.
Let's hope that I can get through this period and then hopefully I will be a bit more "stable"...
Sorry for the cryptic, useless post, but I cannot really come up with any interesting news to write about, apart from the fact that Chiara bought her new car which is quite nice (a Suzuki - Swift).
- The problem is me
- [Monday 7th January 2008]
It's now more than four months that I drive to work with another person. He's a guy from our computer department (couldn't have been different!!) and he's almost close to pension.
It's quite great to drive together, firstly because he has a lot to teach me about how things are in the company, but also because he's got a lot of "wisdom" to pass on.
I love the way he likes going to work, always trying to look at the positive side of things, even if it's a crap day he always tries to find some viewpoint from which is possible to look at the famous "half full" glass.
On the contrary there is me, always looking at the other side, the stupid downhearted "realistic" and "half empty" Lorenzo...
Today we were talking about it, how mental attitude can change things a lot, how in his opinion I have to try to be more happy about things because even that small detail can make a huge difference.
For many years I have never realized that I needed to change my attitude towards life. It seemed that everything was against me.
Then in the last two years especially after I cam back here, things are slowly changing and now I do realize that I am in the wrong. Or at least that I should try to make things a bit easier on me, by trying to have a more positive attitude.
Still, I am not able to change, it's up and downs, mostly coinciding with external factors and happenings that bring me down to the old "whinge, whine, cry".
Well I need to try to change a little, at least now I know that there is a problem, so I can do something to correct it...
Let's hope that I can do it, the stability that I am looking for cannot come from external factors, must arise from within!
- Crap Saturday
- [Saturday 5th January 2008]
The first weekend of the year has been pretty dire. First of all after being exposed to all sorts of sick people (my nephews, mother, colleagues and RPG friends) my body decided that it was time to come down YET AGAIN with general seasonal sickness and shite.
I cannot take it anymore, I really had enough of this I have been in this condition for more than three months now.
Anyways the Saturday was completely spoiled, I had to go with Chiara in the center of Town to do some shopping, but that was a major no-no. We then directed ourselves to the supermarket, as the fridge is totally empty, and at least replenished that.
The groceries shopping experience when sick is terrible. On a Saturday afternoon it seems that all Florence meets in that bloody supermarket, so the usual bumping, tossing, chipping, excusing, cussing is brought to levels that only a mosh-pit can generate.
The evening was quite normal, watched TV (Toy Story 1 and 2, Chiara didn't see them before) and then we went to bed.
Here the highlight of the day was not a session of scolding hot "bed gymnastics", but instead a jar covered in some aluminium foil...
Chiara has a colleague that comes from Morocco, a lovely lady that every now and then gets some relieve packs from Morocco.
Well the jar was nothing more, nothing less than the famous "Moroccan Magic Potion"!
I don't know what was inside it, it smelled like curry and had a blackish/dark green colour. Clearly made of leaves and spices and seeds, all minced together, the "Magic Potion" is not liquid, but quite gooey/finely minced instead.
Chiara is into these "natural" remedies, which makes me a unwilling user of the stuff, I will spare the descriptions of the "gentle" hints to use this and that that only a woman can dish out...
Back to our potion, It tasted like a soft, gone off curry, with hints of almond and Chiara said that I had to chew the thing and swallow it avoiding to drink water at all costs until the morning...
Well apart from the fact that I felt my throat going on fire, the not drinking part was the hardest one because I started having a massive headache, and the back pains... I wanted to take the usual painkiller.
So all night was spent fighting the three different pains that I had, eventually I think I have slept but for a Saturday night I could have hoped for better... :(
In the morning the Moroccan Magic Potion effects faded away, but I feel that I wasted a good night rest because of it!!
- Parties and Holidays
- [24th - 31st December 2007]
Christmas is always full of parties and festivities that need to be honoured. This year I have decided to put them all together in one upload.
Christmas dinner at Chiara's place was quite new for me, as I usually do not have any special occasion for Christmas eve. I guess it had to do with the fact that Chiara was coming with us for the traditional Christmas lunch the day after.
Both occasions were nice and easy, better than last year when I had a massive argument with my mum. Oh well...
New Year's eve was great as usual, we met in the same place where we spent some time last year, at Antonio's place, an high school in Prato (near Florence). The evening was great, food was marvellous (I made quite a lot of it, I love cooking after all), and we also lent the new juicer, that me and Chiara bought recently, to the party. The juicer was a star of the evening, I think that we must have quaffed more than 5 kilograms of assorted fruits!
We had several starters, rocket and nuts sauce over potatoes tortelli, black cabbage ans sausage pasta, a tuna steak cooked slightly with a special teriyaki sauce of my invention.
Then three chocolate mousses (1 pear and rhum, 1 4 types of different nuts and the last one a great SEVEN spices choco mousse), and struffoli, a typical cake from Naples (Antonio's mother comes from Naples).
We then played some card games, and generally had a great laugh, a very good way to start the year!
- Welcome 2008...
- [Tuesday 1st January 2008]
The first day of the year is usually a good occasion to start thinking about what happened in the past 365 days, and of course take a good look (where possible) to the things that will come.
2007 has been a difficult year for me, if I do not think too deeply I can remember:
1. Splitting up with Marta and finding Chiara three months after.
2. Had a very bad experience with my previous employer (a famous Japanese company), experience that is coming to an end on March 2008, although I am technically not working for them anymore.
3. Health could have been better, my knee had another injury in September and I thought that I had to go through surgery again, but fortunately it was not like that!
4. My car got stolen in June and I still haven't got the money of the insurance (and of course I haven't got a new car either).
I met a lot of people, I have came across a lot of faces, seen a lot of different places, travelled my usual "hideous amount".
I have a very tough schedule ahead, at least for the first four months, on the job side. But 2008 could be a good year to consolidate the things that started in 2007 and finally, manage to gain a bit of stability in my life.
The move back to Florence has been great, but on the other side there are too many things "up in the air" that need badly to come down to start building seriously something... I am feeling that things are moving slowly towards that direction, one and an half year of total madness have been interesting and hard, but now it's time to finally settle back here at 100%, if I am lucky...
Let's hope for the best, it's all I can do, together with trying to give it my best shot of course! :D
Happy 2008 everyone,
May the force be with you....
- Lox, Lorenzo... ME!!
- A little introduction about the author and the blog itself. Plus contacts and CVs... You never know!
- A Selection of the best pictures that I have taken all over the world during the years, all nicely indexed by year and geographical area. Jolly good!
- History of this Blog
- A collection of all the articles that I have wrote so far, divided by month/year.
I have had the bad idea of writing my e-mail address on the board before, so this time I'll try to prevent some spam to get to me by putting this little image.. Let's hope it does the trick!
A reminder to Myself
Left and right
Like day and night
That's what makes the world go round
In and out
Thin and stout
That's what makes the world go round
For every up there is a down
For every square there is a round
For every high there is a low
For every to there is a fro
To and fro
Stop and go
That's what makes the world go round
You must set your sights upon the heights
Don't be a mediocrity
Don't just wait and trust to fate
And say, that's how it's meant to be
It's up to you how far you go
If you don't try you'll never know
And so my lad as I've explained
Nothing ventured, nothing gained
You see my boy it's nature's way
Upon the weak the strong ones prey
The human life it's also true
The strong will try to conquer you
That is what you must expect
Unless you use your intellect
Brains and brawn, weak and strong
That's what makes the world go round