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In the last few years we have managed to get a nice Autumn weekend away (as we did in Stockholm) squeezed in between the usual million things that keep you busy in London, and last November we got round to spending a couple of days in Vienna.
It always seems strange just how early the world prepares for Christmas. At least in certain parts of the world, it seems like window displays start promoting Christmas as early as the beginning of the fall season! Have you ever seen a plastic Christmas tree in a store window in October, or heard Christmas carols softly playing in the background at local malls in September? This comes of course on the same day no less than Justin Bieber will turn on the lights at Westfield in Shepherd’s Bush. Continue reading →
October’s been a pretty eventful month for us, with Gioia’s parents who came for a visit (story and pics on the blog, of course), myself pretty busy with the refereeing (with good news promotion-wise on that end), halloween bowling and baking extravaganza at work.
But now it’s time to leave October behind – my AC Milan calendar (my mum gives me one as a present for Christmas every year) has Ronaldinho and Papastathopoulos on the October page, so it’s probably about time – and enter one of the most exciting months of the year, Movember.
So last week was one year I’ve been using Boris Bikes. The reminder did not really come in any sexy format, more of a “remember you need to pay” sort of email. Last year I covered briefly my first impressions after day one and, after some more extensive use, I’ve had some of my initial thoughts confirmed.
It is safe to say the scheme does its job. Need a short ride in central London? The scheme’s got it covered, and it’s the perfect alternative to the short one-or-two-stops tube journey. At the time of writing the furthest docking stations are at Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel to the East, Kensington Olympia to the West, North of Regent’s Park to the North and in Kennington to the South.
Running, or maybe better to say jogging in Hyde Park on a beautiful sunny day in late summer with 15,000 other women, when all we’ve been waiting for was rain all day was priceless. 5 km in 39 minutes. The rain at the end arrived, but once we had already left for the pub.
I started from the end of the end of the tail along with many other girls who ran for Endometriosis UK having no attempt to make any records, I ran for the experience and for those who supported me and the most important thing to me was to get to the end without stopping, and it went very well.
I tried to concentrate on this day, I did not recognise any of the girls around me from their Facebook messages and to be honest I was not keen to ruin the experience of that time talking, as many of them, about scars, operations, and other bad times for some past and for others to come.
We just got back from Cagliari, Sardinia, where we spent some time enjoying the Summer sunshine. I only got round to taking a week off, while Gioia had an extra week before I joined her (which was good, so she could bake and get tanned before I arrived so that we could go to the beach at pensioners’ hours to avoid sunburns on my end).
The only negative thing of this break was the Serie A players’ strike which cancelled all games of the first game-day, including of course Cagliari – AC Milan which we had planned to go and see. But other than that, it was thoroughly awesome.
Among the several groups I’m part of on Facebook and the pages I’m a fan of, there are a few (both Italian and English) that belong to associations of women who have in common a little-known chronic illness, endometriosis.
I don’t want to explain it into too much detail, but it must be said that feeling pain during your period is NOT normal, it doesn’t heal itself with pregnancy and no, you’re not mad if every month you feel really bad, so my recommendation to everyone in this position is to go and get yourself checked by a good doctor to identify the causes.
In Italy, over 3 million women are affected by endometriosis, the number rises to 14 million in Eurpe and over 150 million worldwide, and I am one of them.
This brief introduction aside, the reason I talk about it and I’m not ashamed of doing so is because I would love for people to know about it, and help friends and their families to have a diagnosis as early as possible, to help preventing the condition affect as many organs as possible in the abdominal area. I am really happy to see some recent coverage on Italian TV! Continue reading →
And just like this, we happily left the magical nothing that is Stepney Green. Not much to be said about the area really, it’s quiet and not much is happening, and the flat itself was nothing incredible, so we decided to move out at the end of the contract. There was nothing keeping us in the area, too, so we had a nice look for a few different options.
Our search brought us to the likes of Shadwell, Wapping, Stoke Newington, All Saints, as well as some “closer” optons such as Aldgate and Mile End. Nothing really struck us or impressed us particularly, but thankfully we allowed ourselves quite a bit of time to find the right place for us.
At the end, we decided for an area we hadn’t originally even had a look at, the Isle of Dogs. Continue reading →
Andalusia with fields full of grain
I have to see you again and again
So you’ve heard about the wonders of our trip to Andalucia (here you can read about Sevilla, Cordoba, Jaen, Granada, Malaga and Sevilla again), but we’d like to share with you some random bits and tips that helped us a lot.
We chose the stops on our trip thanks to the lovely people of the interwebs, with a special mention to @Federchicca and her post on, you might have guessed, Andalusia. We only went to 3 of the 6 places she suggested, but until the very last minute we were thinking of visiting Guadix and Gibraltar too.
We left Malaga in the morning with the same miserable weather that graced us the previous day, and took the road through the hills toward Sevilla, with the plan of stopping by at Ronda for lunch. The journey there wasn’t of the most pleasant, as the constant rain and all the twists and turns up and down the hills forced me to pass the wheel on to Gioa for her not to feel sick. The drive, on a nice day, must be fantastic, but that was just not the case.