Tuesday, October 31

My List of Dreams..

Following yesterday's blog on "The Making of Dreams" here is my list of dreams - most recent update!
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

The Making of a Dream

Everyone has got dreams, don't they? When we were children, who of us didn't dream to be someone or do something - astronauts, fire wardens, professional ballet dancers or, if you were my little sister, "assistant at the deli counter”…guess insanity runs in the family! I remember when I was a little girl, I dreamt to be a painter at first (age 3-10), then an architect (that one didn't last too long, from 10-11 and that's only because I fancied my art teacher who was an architect..),then my passion for writing (you would have never guessed, eh?!) made me want to be a journalist; but that one didn't last too long either, so by the age of fourteen all I wanted to be was a medical doctor. Yes: the white coat and all, but more importantly I had to find a way to fulfill my desire to be helpful to others, to understand things not to mention my sheer marvel at the complexity and perfection of the human body (an evident manifestation of the divine intelligence at work, in my opinion. Anyway, all this was just an intro to today's blog.
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

Disappointment with Humankind

Tonight I thought I'd do some good old girly pampering: relaxing 'night in' and a nice movie just to catch up the tiredness that has been affecting me recently. Everything went to plan, but the film I chose to watch. "Imagining Argentina" with Emma Thompson and Antonio Banderas - quality acting, I thought, and perfect equilibrium between suspance and quiet introspective sighs. I must say it had been a while since I watched a movie (other than "Shooting Dogs") which had the ability to involve me so much on both an intellectual and emotional level. Based on a novel by Lawrence Thornton, "Imagining Argentina" tells the story of Carlos Rueda the director of a children's theatre in Buenos Aires in the 1970's, a city haunted by the ongoing disappearance of individuals who dare to take a stand against the dictatorship government. He returns one day to find his home empty; his wife, Cecelia, a journalist, has been taken away for writing a controversial article in local paper 'La Opinion'. Carlos meets with others whose loved ones have disappeared and discovers, that in the extreme desperation of people, he can look into their faces and see the fate of those they love. Somehow, he has no idea how, he can see into the past and the future. People flock to him for news of those disappeared. But no matter how hard he tries, he fails to see his own. Although I had studied about the Deciaparecidos phenomenon in school, especially with regards to Peron's dictatorship, watching the reality and consequences of such a inhumane form of punishment in a much more domestic context, has definitively brought it home for me. Nevertheless, like every time I see the extent of human cruelty, it repulses me and makes me ashamed of being part of that same humanity..Robin Williams interpreting "Patch Adams" in the homonymous movie states in disappointment after his innocent and loving girlfriend has been cruelly murdered by a psychopath: "Humans are the only animals in the whole of creation who kill their own". The killing and, more appallingly in my opinion, the torturing of innocents makes me incredibly angry and disappointed with humankind. But then I am drawn to think that God his innocent son not sparing, sent him to die cruelly at the hands of degenerated criminals and, the most sublime thing of all is that he was being sacrificed for them especially that they may be forgiven and made clean?! No wonder why many have referred to the crucifiction as "the scandal of the cross" - it is admirable that one may die for his friends; but to die for the murderers, paedos, adulterers, liers, ungodly, that's truly revolutionary.Thank you.

Wednesday, October 25

In One Song

Are you ready to rock?! My new housemate is a genius: she has come up with this brilliant idea to waste precious time in life.“El Cancionero” (literally, “The Songbook”) is extremely easy and great fun. It consists in answering some questions about you with song titles. Only true answers and true titles – no cheating, mind you. So let’s rock! (P.S. Bear with me, the blog has been translated from Spanish into English and I have never studied Spanish before...)

Are you a man or a woman?

“Natural Woman” (Aretha Franklin);“I’m a b**” (Meredith Brook)

Describe yourself?

"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

The Advantages of Getting Lost

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

Meet the New Mrs Oliver!!!

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.

Friday, October 20

La Brum del Capo Ha un Buco in Una Gomma

The Tale of the Burst Tyre

This story is too good not to be shared.
About six months ago I was running late for work (as usual) and driving like a maniac trying to make it on time-ish..as I drove up the various levels in the car park, desperately trying to find a parking space, I hit the curb and burst a tyre. Now,you all know that my little motor hadn't been too well at the time, so this was like the icing on the cake! I went upstairs,phoned a coupple of motor-friendly mates who adviced me on where to get a new tyre..nevertheless the problem of how to get the car back home still stood..how could I possibly drive a car with a tyre missing? Needless to say that the blondie that I can sometimes be was clueless about the fact that,by law, every car must have a spare wheel somewhere in the boot..Once I discovered I did have a spare wheel, I attempted to change it. Too bad, I am a wee bit useless at mechanical stuff. So I called out for some help from the manly men at the office..at first there was one, than two, then three and then an unassuming little old fellow came along and within minutes the wheel got changed and I was on my way home. As soon as I got home I was eager to get rid of the old tyre..too bad I chucked it away (together with the £120 worth alloy wheel).
Moral of the story:
a. I am not mechanically inclined and I am proud of it!
b. Every car must have a spare tyre by law
c. I have made some bin man ever so happy!
d. I need a man who knows how to work a car out properly!

Thursday, October 19

Fields of Lavender

The title of this blog is taken from an old sermon I preached at Bible college in my third year. People who know me below the skindeep fully know about my fascination for lavender. Although I don't particularly like the colour of it, I cannot deny that its fragrance,colour,exhuberance and versatility are a true masterpiece. However, "fields of lavender" is not a talk on botanics - it is more of a concept. Just over a couple of years ago, I had one of those never ending conversations with a friend about "this,that and the other", God, history, relationships..(life in general, I guess). We both shared and, still share, a common like for the cinematographic rendering of Alice Walker's novel "The Color Purple" (1985). Besides starring a sensational Whoopy Goldberg, it is an incredibly thought-provoking movie. It is a tale about racisism, social prejudice, violence, love, secrets,lies, dreams, nostalgia and the triumph of Life. One of the most unassuming yet most powerful scenes is the one where Shug Avery, the showbiz pastor's daughter, the prodigal's son's prototype in the story line, recites the famous words: " I think it pisses God off when you walk by the color purple in a field and don't notice it."As irreverent as it may sound, I believe there is so much truth underneath those words. God's Love not only whispers to us in the silence and stillness of our hearts, but it shouts out in its loudest manifestations: the beauty and perfection of creation. Trees, hills, sea, wild life; then think of the colour purple, of a little purple flower, then contemplate a field of lavender and the love of God for humankind will be ampliphied before your very eyes. Just a thought. By the by, the puuuuuuuuuuurfect engagement proposal would be in a field of lavender - pass the word around! Dream on!!!!!

The Return of the Italian Chick

Wow, I love this new blog!It's really cool!!! This is an exciting time of my life - challenging,but exciting. It's indeed the same old me..but it is like as if I had rediscovered the passions of old, regained the strength of my youth and opened my eyes again to the beauty of life. I cannot deny that I have been through quite a bit of turmoil of late, but I am so grateful that all things, even the painful events and devastating emotions, have lead me to a newly found sense of faith, true hope and immense gratitude to a mighty God whom I am learning to love and be amazed by every day more! Right better go to bed now, but I hope I'll be disciplined enough to keep this blogging business up..doh! Loadsa luv, Ivonnexx

Friday, October 13

Torna Sta Casa Aspet' a Te!

Tiziiiiiiiiiiii,Tesoro mio!Today my little Tiz left to go back to sunny Palermo possibly for good?!Piccola:I shall miss you loads - never forget that "sta casa aspet'a te!" TVTTTTTTTTTB,xx
Meanwhile here are a few pics of our crazy time together in England!
Loads of fun times, tears, shouting, food, wine and silly things - like the wee poems we used to write each other in the morning, or the unforgettable sing along version of "Memole" (sung at the top of our loungs..in the middle of the office..and laughing so much people thought we'd had an argument and were crying..ihihih!), Neapolitan quiz, Christmas dinner, Starbuck's on Sat aftenoons and many,many,many other hilarious moments!

Wednesday, October 11

La Question Français

Salut a tut le monde! That’s pretty much all I know for now (bear with me, I’ve only had one lesson so far) – après varie ans je finalement begun to learn français, I have finally got my bottom off and began French lessons about a week ago…and I am thrilled ! This is like another piece in the puzzle of my life…”Médicis Sans Frontières, a bientôt!”
Ciao for now -By the by,enjoy one of my fav songs, sung by the legendary Louis Armstrong. "C'est si bon!"