Friday 30 September 2011

it's Friday...

... I'm in love, in the words of the great "Cure"... and also relieved!!!!

...what a hellish week!! 4 days of running like crazy, two of those with a migraine and no sleep in between (because of more migraine... "*ç%&/??=&) terribly busy with working, teaching, socialising (ok just a bit, in the context of a football game... btw we won, he he he :) cooking, shopping, exercising... phew... man, I run out of energy completely! I didn't even have time so far to enjoy the brilliant Indian summer we are in, with temperatures up high and a sun so bright like it hasn't been all summer!

But, hey, it's Friday!! Finally!! Not only it's the end of the week and two full days of fun (and great weather, who would believe!!) are ahead of us, not only the sun shines and I am wearing a t-shirt (yes, it is the end of September, I am aware of that ;), not only I have absolutely no plans for this weekend and am open to go to wherever the mood takes me, not only finally I had a nice breakfast at work with my usual group but also, to provide the perfect icing on my cake, a dear friend of mine is visiting The Hague and we are having dinner at one of my favourite restaurants tonight!!

Who could ask for more, really? My head does not ache any more, I had a great night of 9 hours of sleep, I suspect I will have lunch with my best friends here at work and afterwards there will only be a few hours of work before the fun starts!! No, I have no reason to complain nor will I be looking for one! Fridays are great, some of them are better than shoes and this definitely looks like it's gonna be one of them!! I wish you all have a good one too :) and, if you are in the NL, enjoy the sun, it looks like it is the last we get to see it before winter arrives ;)

Friday 16 September 2011


... according to the Greek mythology, is what the Gods were savouring up on mount Olympus. So, it could not be something bad, right?! I mean, imagine you are a God, what would you eat?!! No, it was apparently excellent, there are documents (kinda...) on that. Obviously, I have never tasted it... though sometimes during moments of high passion I have been referred to as a Goddess (... huge quantities of alcohol were also involve so do take this with a pinch of salt) until very recently I had no idea what ambrosia could taste like... Until... I went to Crete for my holidays ;)

There are many things I could write about Crete in this blog, given that all of my experiences were positive, not only this last time but all the previous times I visited this gorgeous island of my homeland. But, I choose to focus on the food this time... the best food I have ever tasted! I have travelled in many places around the world, lucky me, and I have tasted great, amazing food. But, nothing like the flavours of Crete.

The magic is in the ingredients, the meat, the milk, the greens, the golden olive oil... take this fine produce, local always, prepare it in the simplest and most traditional manner and you are in for a feast! Take the bread, grilled on the charcoal and sprinkled with olive oil, combine it with the soft cheese made from goat's milk and the red, delicious tomatoes and delve into the pleasure! And if that's not enough, have some grilled meat, some stewed chicken cooked with locally produced pasta, some herbs boiled and served with lemon and olive oil and some freshly fried real potatoes. And if you still crave for more, have freshly fried balls of dough served with honey and vanilla ice cream!

No, I will not be saying anything more, I am already hungry... what I will do is urge you to visit Crete, explore the cuisine and make up your own mind as to how close their food is to what the Gods were enjoying ;) For me it was totally better than shoes! And I have my scales to prove it...

Thursday 15 September 2011


... can be better than shoes!!!

They say that "those who cannot do, teach..." but I do not agree entirely. I was selected to teach our job to the new colleagues because apparently I know what I have been doing for more that 10 years now. And no, I do not want to stop "doing", but it is an amazing experience to take a break from the work routine in order to pass the knowledge and to get to see people who had no idea about the job before being transformed to competent professionals in our line of business.  

Yep, no doubt, I love it! It has been very difficult, not at all because of the young colleagues or the subject but because.. well... forget it... let's just say for other reasons... but that is insignificant compared to the pleasure of teaching! Never thought I would like it so much, my mother always told me I would be horrible in it but she was (again...) wrong! I think I am good at it, and I say this humbly and with full respect. I think I''m good because I like it so much! On top of it, the new colleagues are smart, kind, quick to get things and very nice! So, even though I have to wake up 1 1/2 hours earlier than my normal time to be there in the morning, I can't wait to be with them!!

Ok, I do need a break after 9 straight days and I'm lucky enough to get my break but, honestly, I look forward to returning in a few days :) Yes, is has given me many, many happy moments this experience and I would not change it for the world! And today, seeing the disappointment on the trainees' faces when they realized I would not be back with them for 10 days, that was a precious moment!!!

Better than shoes? Yes, by all means, without any shred of doubt, better than a classic pair of Zanotti's flat, rhinestone embellished sandals ;)

Sunday 4 September 2011

brimful of asha (... on the 45 ;)

What??!! You don't know what I'm talking about??!! How old are you??!! LOL

Ok, ok, for those who have not heard this great piece of music were you are and here you are and here you are (remix) So, now that you know, and I'm sure love (if not loved already...) imagine the following:

Sea side city, part Venetian part Turkish in heritage, with elements of both cultures mixed in an incredible harmony and fused with the Greek character of the homeland, with a port as pretty as can be, full of people from all over the world, walking in its cobblestone streets under a starry sky in the warm night.

Imagine neoclassic buildings, painted in all the colours of the rainbow, imagine a mosque a stone's throw from a synagog and a handful of Greek-orthodox churches all living together in piece, imagine restaurants and bars and cafés buzzing at 2 o'clock in the morning, shops selling everything you can imagine from hand crafted knives to hats and jewelry and nuts and honey. Imagine smells of jasmine and grilled bread with olive oil and smoked pork fried with rosemary...

Now imagine the most pretty neoclassic building of them all, manor house turned bar, right next to the water in the port, its white walls and pale violet lights, its window open, its white tables outside, full of people talking, laughing, drinking, dancing, imagine a strawberry daquiry (and another one, and another one...) Imagine a dj with a "James" fetish and every other piece of music you've loved all your life... and imagine dancing to the "brimfull of asha" until the early morning hours intoxicated by the sheer beauty and the smells and the fun and the daquiries...

Now, isn't that better than shoes??!

Friday 2 September 2011

the sound of the sea...

I have always associated summer holidays with the sound of the sea. I have never been on a mountain for my summer break, neither will I ever chose to be... brrr... unnatural... For me summer holidays means a balcony with view to the sea, swimming, walking on the beach, reading a book in the shade (a book which by the end of the reading will be all stained by the oily sunblock, all dog-eared and with a bit of sand between its pages... ), a bit of sunburn, watermelon in the afternoon and ice cream, mosquito repellent and, surely, listening to the waves breaking on the shore...

I remember as if it were yesterday, though more than 25 years have passed, this feeling of calmness when my parents would have me take a siesta, during those late afternoon hours when the sun was burning, and I would stay silent on my bed, listening to the sea and reading Mickey Mouse until I would fall asleep and the comic book would fall out of my hands! Or, late at night, again the music of the sea would sneak in the room in the tiny apartment  we would rent for the holidays from the open balcony doors and keep me company until I fell asleep... Yes, holidays have always been abut the sound of the sea...

Things have changed little since... apart from the wrinkles on my face, that is... I came back from my summer break today... a proper summer break by the sea in the homeland... and though tired and a bit melancholic, as it could not be otherwise, I still carry in my ears the sounds of the waves as they were singing their lullaby to me every night for the last week, bringing back those childhood memories, keeping me company, soothing me... and I know that THAT was better than shoes! Absolutely!