Sunday, December 31
Thursday, December 21
Ever since Bea "deserted me" (slight exaggeration as usual) I haven't particularly enjoyed being at home on my own so I have been out most of the time. Both last night and tonight I have been at the cinema. Needless to say, this Christmas season's movie listings have been pretty poor and rather disappointing, in my opinion.
When I was a child, like now, I used to love going to the cinema and there was an increased sense of expectation around the Christmas time because everybody knew the "big movies" would come out at that time. Nowadays, it is difficult enough to find a decent movie in a year, let alone a single season.
Nonetheless, the past two views have been sligtly alleviated me of my growing skepticism.
"El Labirinto del Fauno"(Pan's Labyrinth) directed by Mexican Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy, Blade 2,The Devil's Backbone..) is a visually stunning, captivating film about fantasy that in its irrational and unbelievable nature finds, paradoxically, staggering parallels with a disturbingly cruel reality. Set after the Civil War when the maquis waged guerilla resistance against Franco, the film follows the adventures of a young girl whose mother married a sadistic fascist officer. The girl encounters a faun and manages to enter his enchanted and dangerous world. (8/10)
The other master-piece is "The Wizard of Oz". Ok, you may accuse me of infantilism: but I loved every minute of it! You see: one thing is to watch The Wizard of Oz as a child, with awe and fear, but it is a completely different matter to watch it with a second naivity, as a "grown up"(whatever that means!) I laughed so much I cried! I warmly reccomend it.
Going back to my original title...what can I say: I grew up reading tales of northern European mythology intertwined with native American litterature and ancient Greek wisdom and Persian, North African and Roman fascination for the mysteries of metaphysics - I was bestowed with a precious gift: the power of imagination where reality, fairytales and spirituality would often merge together in a enchanting location of the mind. In as much as I seek to discipline myself to skeptically deny the fiabesque elements of life, I often find that fairytales are not as unrealistic as they are portrayed to be. In their own antrophomorfic interpretation, we all have witches, fairies, the eternal battle between good and evil right at our door step..just a thought..
...to be continued...................
I know that a number of you guys have been praying for my mother and it definitively shows. Despite all the upheaval, she is in much better spirits and appears remarkably confident. Also, she will be home for Christmas which is absolutely awesome.
Thank you so much for your love, support and prayers. They are what keeps us going and strong. We could not have done without you! Prayer requests? Guess I am still hoping for a miracle - no one likes to see those they love suffer; however, if the healing is going to be chemically induced, I would pray mom stays strong and doesn't go through pain. Also pray for us as a family - we need to be strong and supportive and, sometimes, it is hard.
Wednesday, December 20
Here is a picture how much of the world I have seen (in red,obviously).Check it out for yourself now!
create your own visited country map
Tuesday, December 19
***DISCLAIMER: I realize blogging this song may mislead you, fellow bloggers. Therefore, I would like to emphasise that the content of this song is not related to Bea in the slightest. However, the song always makes me think of silly conversations we have had! It's hilarious - enjoy!
Ben Folds Five, "Song for the Dumped"
Friday, December 15
This is a little update on my mom. We have been to see a specialist in ematological ontology who has reccomended she goes into hospital as soon as possible to receive specific chemotherapies. She had originally been asked to go to hospital yesterday, but they had to give priority to more urgent cases and she was put back to next Monday. As far as mom's actual condition goes, her morale is often dictated by how much pain she is in. Nonetheless, there have been substancial improvements in her physical state since I first arrived. We all simply need to be reassured that, whether things are the way we would like them to be or not, God has his caring hand over our lives and strengthens us in his unceasing love with perfect comfort.Whatever happens, He equips us with sufficient energy for the journey; throughout the journey, he accompanies us, carries us in our weaknesses and replenishes us with true empowerment. I am blessed.
I don't know what is going to happen, but I put my trust in God and I am overwhelmed by an unexplainable sense of encouragement.
Please keep on praying for my mom - not only for her healing (be it "miraculous" or "chemically induced"miracle) but more importantly for an increased sense of strenghtening in her mind (disheartening is always round the corner). I hate being far away from my family at a time such as this, but this week I have been startled by the sheer number of friends and family who have been ever so supportive of my mother and of us all practically, spiritually and mentally. For all of them I am more than grateful. Righty oh, time to pack up. Flying back to sunny Manchester in the morning.
Monday, December 11
Thursday, December 7
I am getting increasingly frustrated when my British friends chat about programmes they used to watch as teenagers, tones that accompanied them as they where growing up because they are not what I used to do as a child!!!! In fairness, being all European children of the 80's, we do have some common ground...
For example, we were chatting away on Sunday night when my mate mentioned that kids in her school used to bully her by calling her "Smurfette" - (Not nice, kids can be horrible!) "Count Duckula" is another classic we all used to watch, or "Ninja Mutant Turtles" ... "Ghoast Busters"... "The Muppet Show" but then we get to "Kids from the Block"?!? No idea.
My greatest regret is that they will never be able to appreciate the comedy talent of the Gialappa's Band, the postmodern quarkiness of "Quelo" or the repulsive lack of manners of "Il Mago Oronzo"; this is obviously not to mention the delicacy and impeccable idealism of "Lady Oscar", the goofiness of Memole, the compelling sentimentalism of "Ben and Sebastien"and "Dolce Kelly"... the sophistication of respectively French and American/Japanese organized crime in "Lupin" and "Occhi di Gatto"...and this list could go on and on and on and on............. oh, you still there?! Righy oh, this is to be continued. Meanwhile, enjoy a little bit of Italian commedy (English Subs provided)
My early evenings television watching as a child would always open up at the sound of "Sunday, Monday, Happy Days.." the catchy tune and opening gingle to the iconic mid-70's TV serial "HAPPY DAYS". If I only mention it the theme tune is already resounding in my head! By the by, I ain't that old, what my generation of spring chickens used to watch were repeats!
Last night me and Bea where yet again trying to pick a movie to watch together and both the movies she chose had been coincidentally directed by Ron Howard. Now, being the sophisticated and cultured woman she is, my lovely housemate did recognise that this Howard guy was someone famous, but she simply did not seem to make the connection that this revelation of a director used to be Fonzie Fonzarelli's best friend, ginger geek Richie Cunningham. When I tried to establish the connection for her, she looked even more puzzled. At that moment I acknowledged that something really quite tragic had occurred: the women had been deprived as a child of quality entratainment - she had never watched HAPPY DAYS. Shocked and perplexed, I felt sorry for her and resolved within myself to make it my ultimate mission to give her an education on CULT Television. (I joke...)
From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Days
Happy Days was a popular American television sitcom that originally aired between 1974 and 1984. It presented an idealized version of life in late 1950s and early 1960s America.
Happy Days centered on the life of a middle-class family, the Cunninghams, living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The family consisted of Howard, a hardware store owner and the family patriarch; Marion, a homemaker and the family matriarch; and the couple's teenage children, Richie (who had an optimistic if somewhat naïve outlook on life), Richie's younger sister Joanie, and Richie's older brother Chuck (a character that would abruptly disappear during the second season, with no explanation given until four years later). As the series went on the story focus often shifted to additional characters, notably those of ex-New Yorker Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli, who was originally portrayed as a local thug but soon became a friend to Richie and the Cunningham family, and Fonzie's cousin Chachi, who became a love interest for Joanie Cunningham. The long-running show also resulted in several spinoff shows, many of which were highly successful in their own right.
You may accuse the program of being dated, unrealistic and, let's face it, cheesey. But "Happy Days" was a sitcom that did not want to pretenciously prove any points at all: all it set itself to do was to portray stereotypical aspects of a time past and to provide skin deep universal commedy with much success in my opinion. So Bea, my dear, here is a little introduction to an icon of 20th century entratainment.
Wednesday, December 6
Some people get huge into relationships whilst at university: they are into each other big time and nothing or no one else seem to matter - let alone papers, exams.. Other people prefer to waste huge ammounts of time onto the internet and computerized wizardery..others, get onto the beer and get side tracked ever so slightly. However, no one has lost it more than MMU first year students last academic year. Not only did they make the irreparable mistake to apply to Mikey Mouse University (which is a joke in itself!), not only did they invest too much time socializing and playing footie, but they even thought they had enough time to make a remake of the Nike advert - their interpretation of it! 5 minutes of hilarious comedy and questionable physical talents..but the best bit is that they all seem to have FAILED THEIR EXAMS last summers, so they clamimed as they were being interviewed on national television pleading for a bit of understanding. After all, they'll never make outstanding academics but, let's face it, they make pretty wicked clowns!!! Ihihih! Enjoy: From MMU freshers 2005/06: "REAL NIKE"
Wednesday, November 29
At the moment there are a few CDs that I am savoring like a gourmet meal, gargling down like vintage French champagne. Tom Waits' "Real Gone", Rodrigo y Gabriela (saw them in concert last Sunday..how amazing were they: an absolute sound sensation and pleasure to the ears). Really liking "Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah" - they had been banned for a wee while, but they are back in full honour now and really loving them (which is good considering that we are going to see them in Feb!). Nevertheless the greatest discovery of the past two weeks have got to be the "Dresden Dolls" (www.dresdendolls.com); although their name and vaudevillian showmanship conjure the atmosphere of a smoky backroom cabaret bar in 30s Germany, The Dresden Dolls are actually a Bostonian duo who have translated a love of musical melodrama into one of the most fascinating and extraordinary musical expressions around. Brian Viglione plays drums while Amanda Palmer hammers the life out of her grand piano, singing tales of the peculiar characters that inhabit the twilight world of her Brechtian imagination. Entering their world is a joyful and intoxicating experience. I may disagree with some of the song contents, but their undoubted talent, admirable courage in presenting something refreshingly "different" and artistically creative is a real ecstatic musical experience. Out of the two albums, "Coin Operated Boy" from their 2002 debut album, is my favourite song. It is, in my opinion, their trademark: blatantly arty, ingeniously composed, exquisitely articulated and innocently sinister.. Moreover, who has never secretly (or more openly) wished that sentimental relationships were idealistically blissful like Palmer's fantasy?!
I sure did... Enjoy the video!
Saturday, November 25
My father is a traditionalist. Although a rebel in hundred and many ways, he is the last of an extint (or on the way to extinction) species: the Italian Manly Man. If something is broken, he'll fix it (even if the "thing" is my mom with kidney stones..mmmm!), if there is a cause to be fought, he will be your William Wallace in Braveheart, your Robin Hood in Sherwood forest, your Ghandi in India - and, if you mess with his daughters, he will be your pain in the ass. Yes, Mr Morra is a real man of ideals and morals, especially when it comes to food. Food is, in my father's world, the essence of life. Whenever I go back home for Christmas (in the desperate attempt to have a 'lie in' or two in the mornings), dad wakes me up at 7am every morning without fail (even on new year's day!)with the mere purpose of asking me, "What would you like to eat tonight for dinner?"..
Food is the essence of life in my dad's world. Everything is scrupulously chosen,prepared in advance and passionately cooked with scientific rigour and exquisiteness worth of poetry. My father goes to the markets:in through the tiny narrow streets of Naples on his scooter in the endless search for the perfect ingredient. He always says that when times are tough you can save up on many things, but never bargain on the quality of your food. We are forced under any circumstances (even when sick!!!) to sit around the arranged table and eat together in an act of nearly religious devotion. And, for all of my talk, I wouldn't want it any different. In as much as I criticise my father's excessive fussiness with regards to food, I think he has got a point: having food is a blessing, and as such, it should be honoured; families are a gift, and as such, they should be nurtured; why settling down for tinned spaghetti when making them yourself is, inevitably more time consuming, but a great deal tastier, healthier and cheaper? I love my dad, despite the fights he is my hero. Hence I shall keep on fighting the fight for quality food alongside him! Viva la pappa col pomodoro!!!!
Friday, November 24
Tuesday, November 21
Otis Redding, "Sittin'on the Dock of a Bay"
Monday, November 20
Saturday, November 18
Friday, November 17
"Cookie-Mania & the Wheel of Death"
At last, my sister has sent me some pictures of her time here in Manchester with our cus,Dalila. Despite the worryingly scary pictures, we actually had a pretty cool time. She is growing up and beginning to grasp that it is not "all about her" - though I guess she's forever gonna be the baby of the family. But, what can I say, I love her a lot. Here are a few pics for her week in Manchester, enjoy. xx
"Frankie & Benny's"
Tuesday, November 14
Gazing at the bright red sun going down in the Sahara desert; the mid-night sun in Lapland; the lush Irish cliffs overlooking the raging sea in winter; candid fields of nothing else but white snow; fields of sunflowers - and the list of breathtaking natural beauty could go on,and on, and on. I have always been astounded by nature's extravaganza and seemed to find it easier to connect with God and find inspiration in the midst of Creation than within the confinements of four walls. Nonetheless, I am a "city-girl", and I cannot deny it. Last night I was on the top floor at the office, I was switching the lights off before going home(just to be envirolmentally conscientious) and behold, a vision of Manchester's skyline. The city looked beautiful, somehow magic. I remember walking down Oxford Road for lectures in a constant sense of excitement and awe. I know that this sounds absurd considering I've been priviledged enough to see some of the world's wonders, but there is some magic even in man-constructed monstruosities..and a vibrant sense of vitality in God's masterpieces walking, struggling, talking, seating,living. God not only crafted a beautiful looking universe, but he also designed people like you and I, gave them intellect and the gift of uniqueness and innate beauty. The thought that me,you and the individuals who cross our paths in life are an image of the Creator himself - bring me a reassuring sense of comfort and exquisitedly profound challenges.
Monday, November 13
Saturday, November 11
Wednesday, November 8
An Unexplainable Dependence from Blogger..
Ever since I discovered this online blogging system I don't seem to be able to stop typing..and checking out my friends' bloggs..and those of their friends..or of people I have never even met before.
Today I was surpraised in discovering that the "Blogger Fever" is not exclusively my personal prerogative, but many others appear to be caught in the epidemic. So I have asked myself what could possibly make blogging so popular, nearly addictive? The answer is simple: we all long for human contact.
I know it sounds absurd that one looks for human contact over the internet (where there is virtually no contact at all) - however, I believe this is paradoxically true. Just think: most of us write a journal and may always had inclusive of dreams and frustrations and thoughts that in that private dimension become the outward expression of internal stirrings. Now imagine to have the possibility of expressing the real you with a reduced risk of confrontation,shame and embarrassment.It is the pinnacle of human relationships: expose yourself to the world without shame!
I am reminded of the movie "Crash"(2005). I am fully aware that many of you will have criticism of some description towards this film - and trust me, I acknowledge the Americanisms in it (big time) and the cliques and pretencious acting, but I do love the concept behind it. People every day every where fight for acknolegment; we long for respect and are desperate after human contact..increasingly more in our fast-moving, careless and always-too-busy society.
So "BLOGGOMANIA"..could it be the cure for people's indifference or is it going to be another pretty mask to conceal our longing for human contact and inability to relate to one another?!
Whichever way: I AM LOVIN' IT!
Tuesday, November 7
Stereotypes are the essence of our society; and we all so easily judge and attribute labels for people we all pretenciously know better than..
This concept intrigues me and often irritates me especially when it is the product of begotted and ignorant church members. Stereotypes or more likely "not fitting in them" was the reason why I was ostracised as a teenager, criticised as a growing woman and fought against as an adult by those one would have expected the greatest support from.
I left my country,my family and my comfort zone behind in the persuit of God's sovreign calling upon my life: the search for better and greater things where a pure, genuine and biblical concept of Christian faith is persued rather than a life of apparences and cliques and etiquet..and for that, I was looked down upon.
There are times when I look at my life and I can see where they are coming from: I am not married, not in a serious relationship, not living at home; I don't have a normal job, I like Japanese food and have a nose ring; I wanna travel the world whilst loving to live in Salford..in other words: I am different. Different from stereotypes, but proud to be me. And even prouder to know that God loves me exactly for who I am.
Nonetheless, I look at women from the past, icons of feminility and rapturing beauty and I wish contemporary women had preseved some of that charm and class..or should I say: "I wish I could be bothered more with the way I portray my feminility..." I mean, consider Grace Kelly, Greta Garbo, Bridgitte Bardot, Gina Lollobrigida, Audry Hepburn, Monica Bellucci, Sofia Loren..their grace, their delicate features, smoldering smiles, elegant walks, perfect hair(even straight out of bed!), lovely longette skirts (never revealing too much but always looking very desirable)..MAN: we have gone a long way from that!!! In fairness, I doubt Grace Kelly ever had three jobs on the go, I guess Monica Bellucci never attempted to walk 3 miles to work in those sexy high heals and did Audry ever had a bad hair day?!? Just another thought!
However, all these excuses do not suffice: gotta get myself sorted and bring something of that classical beauty and charm back..
Sunday, November 5
There are particular seasons of life when, although my life is so closely intertwined with my faith, I feel the urge to persue increasing closeness to God, when humanity ceases to matter as much as usual and I begin to be drown to the divine more and more.. It was bizarre at church this morning when suddenly despite all of my concerns and fears, I just could not pray the usual "spiritual shopping list" to God, but I had to simply worship Him for who he is and I loved it! It is like Jesus' words in the gospels when he urges us to seek his kingdom first and he shall add all those things we so strenously worry about unto us,,,without our aid! And it is not about being "airy fairy" or detached from reality - but it is a spirit freeing act: through worshipping God and seeking Him before anything else we are putting Life into perspective because, in the end of the day, he is the one who is in charge of it all! And living carelessly (without cares) in the knowledge of his supreme kingship inspires me to live my life to the full..Every person I meet is suddenly transformed into the image of the Creator and even annoying interruptions become, as Stefan would say, "HOLY MOMENTS"!
Friday, November 3
Last night I went to watch the latest Borat movie at the cinema: the content is plain wrong (no question asked), but I was ever so amused by an exaggerated projection of certain aspects of our society..like the things that many think but no-body dares to say them as they are..just a thought. Meanwhile,I leave you to have a little taste of Borat's Cultural Learnings.
Wednesday, November 1
Thanks to Surfy-Dude Steve for bringing this wonderful song back to my mind. As my notorious childhood hero, Kermit the Frog,used to say, "It is not easy being green"..and the older I get the more meaning these words acquire. Green is my favourite colour, but other than the lush Irish valleys, green represents to me the colour of social awareness and activism: it is the colour of those who ackowledge that the world is terrible at times, but live in the proactive hope that a difference can be made; and "I have a dream" and I believe that change can happen.Nonetheless, I cannot hide my frustration when I have to travel 50 miles in my car to get organic produce (thus producing even more carbon-dioxide and increasing pollution levels!..which was the original reason for me going organic!) or walking 7Km back and forth from work every day in the cold, only to be breathing in even more fumes from the flippin' vehicles on the road! Or buying eco-friendly products and never being able to find them at the coop because it's only WALMART stores that stock up on that kind of products!MADNESS! Indeed,my dear Kermit, being green ain't easy, but I am an optimist still and, despite it all, I believe that one by one changes can be made..and if nothing should ever happen, I'll go to heaven knowing that I have done my best to make the world a slightly better place and perhaps inspired others to do the same.
Tuesday, October 31
In no particular order..
1.Become a mum..sad isn't it?!But that's always been one of my greatest aspirations.
2.To be a medical doctor and a good one too..
3.To sail around the world (combination of my fascination for water,cultures and travelling)
4.To backpack South America (guess I have been slightly influenced by El Che?)
5.Learn at least three other languages (ideally French,Japanese and Spanish)
6.To live in New York or Paris
7.To retire in a Tuscan Cottage
8.To write a chidren's story book (maybe not for publishing,but for my kids)
9.To be proposed to in a field of lavender
May I add at this point that many of my old dreams have already come to pass such as graduating, learning English, living in a foreign country, seeing Kyoto/Japan, having my nose pierced,visiting Kenya (and seeing baby elephants from close up)...
I am just actively seeking to realize the other ones...(apart from no. 1 and 9..can't do that by myself unfortunately!)
Monday, October 30
Many of you fellow bloggers, including my wee sis, have produced lists of things you would like to do by the time you reach a certain age…now, I have tried that one, but it doesn't seem to be working for me and the reason is simple:
a. the amount of aspirations I have is a list as long as my arms!
b. I don't do deadlines anymore.
You see, I used to plan my life down to the minute; I used to feel the urge to be in control of my existence, thus causing myself major disappointments when those goals were not reached or not perfectly performed according to plan. In this way not only I caused myself a lot of unnecessary heart aches, but I also misunderstood a vital lesson which is that satisfaction and fulfillment are not the mere product of achieving goals; more so, they are the result of contemplation, reflection and enjoyment of the many unexpected events, side-paths and random encounters which accompany and curve our life journey by making it interesting, unpredictable and enriching. Try to believe.
So in as much as I am incapable of producing a list of the five/ten things I want to do by the time I’ll be “x” years old, I am fully aware of the dreams which keep little task oriented dreamers, like me, going. But I’ll keep the list to myself for now.
Saturday, October 28
Wednesday, October 25
Are you a man or a woman?
“Natural Woman” (Aretha Franklin);“I’m a b**” (Meredith Brook)
"Brown Eyed Girl" (Van Morrison)
"You Are Not Bad for a Girl" (The White Stripes)
“Got Put a Smile Upon My Face” (Coldplay)
“Senseless as a Cuckoo”(Paul Curreri)
What do people think when they are around you?
“Virtual Insanity” (Jamiroquai) “I can tell that we are gonna be friends” (White Stripes); “Happy” (The Rolling Stones)
How are you feeling?
“I Feel Good” (James Brown)
How can you describe your last sentimental relationship?
“You don’t love me the way that I love you” (The Kooks)
Describe your new relationship with your partner or suitor(s)
“Travelling Without Moving” (Jamiroquai)
“One Way or Another” (Blondie)
Where would you like to be right now?
“Cayman Islands” (Kings of Convenience)
How are you with regards to love?
“Hungry Heart” (Bruce Springsteen)
How is your life?
“Hard to Explain” (The Strokes)
"Anything but Ordinary" (Avril Lavigne)
What would you choose if you had only one wish?
“See the World” (The Kooks)
Write a quote or a famous sentence
“Sometimes you can’t make it on your own” (U2)
Now let’s rap it up..
“Time to Say Good-Bye”(Andrea Bocelli); “Last Goodbye”(Jeff Buckley)
So, now is your turn - do it yourself and pass it on! Could be real fun!!!
Sunday, October 22
Ok,no need to be smart here..as many of you may already know, I seem to have mysteriously acquired the reputation of somebody who has the tendency to have a poor sense of direction on the road and who "occasionally" gets lost or experiences extended de-tours..now substitute the "somebody" with "everyone who knows me for more than five minutes" and the "occasionally" with "all the time even with a flippin' map" and you will get a more accurate picture of what is going on here: I am a desperate case in need of a sat nav (for dummies)!Doh! However, despite the enormous frustration I sometimes feel when I am pulled over on the side of the motorway crying my little eyes out in desperation, I have always descovered that, if you are in the right frame of mind, "getting lost" can open up your life to a world of incredible discoveries and adventures which are the greatest, because you never expected them in the first place! It is the fine line between constantly wanting to be in rigorous control of your existence and living carelessly in the knowledge and confidence of God's sovreignty..just a thought.. It is like when I was in Takamatsu City two years ago and I wondered off on my own..eventually got lost and had to ask directions to people..in Japanese! I saw places, met people, cherished smiles and frowns I would have otherwise never encountered.Or I think back at today, travelling back from Essex to Manchester on a rainy M1..neglected to turn off to get onto the M6 and ended up driving to Sheffield via Sherwood forest and the Snakepath through half of Yorkshire which probably delayed me loads, but what I saw was better than a church service: the dales, the lush valleys and the trees turning brown and amber and orange and red; the colours of the sky merging into the horizon; the sound of birds singing..man:what a vision of God's creative extravaganza! Simply wonderful.
Saturday, October 21
What an eventful week-end! This week-end I was down in Essex to fulfil my duties as bridesmaid at Ben and Katherine's wedding. Not considering that I nearly killed the bride in a car crash just hours before the wedding cerimony and that Ben kinda disappeared a few hours after saying 'I do' (not to worry, he came back!!!) and that we had to go back home to get the cake we had left behind, it was a wonderful day! Katherine looked stunning beyond description and the evident testimony of their love for God and one another compelled us to be delighted and full of praise to an amazingly faithful God!!! Four years ago none of us could have ever imagined what took place on Saturday..guess we should all learn to rely on the Boss a bit more!!! I certainly need to! Added bonus to the lovely week-end is that I got to spend some time with my "English Adoptive Fam" (Kath's family really)who have shown me so much love over the past four years I cannot even begin to tell. Thank you!! Also, I got a chance to see some good old friends again and have a brief catch up with them - Pablo,Rach,Pete,Luc,Carla (and newly met fiance!!!)and all the wondeful peps from TCC. Great stuff. Well sure more updates shall follow.