Wednesday, November 29

The Ideal Boyfriend

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 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" (; 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

Old Values Wonders

An old Neapolitan proverb says, "Chi cagna 'a via vecchia p' 'a nova sape chello ca lassa e no chello ca trova!" - I am not entirely sure about the spelling, but then again, my Neapolitan is pathetic.. but the litteral translation is "Do not abandon the old ways for the new because you know what you leave behind, but you do not know what you may find". The concept is rather obvious: stick to what you know works 'cause its likely that your wacky creativity may be disastruous..and here behold: SPAGHETTI IN A TIN!

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

Expand Your Cultural Horizons

I have always been passionate about cross-cultural communication. Be it my "Barbie Travel Book", or my innate preferences, I begun to develope an interest in alien cultures and foreign things from a very early age. So I have been to a number of places, seen a lot of scenaries,objects,people different from any other I had ever I moved to England, so I studied languages, so I have a foreign house mate which is a life enriching experience altogether. Last night we were chatting about music and she introduced me to some proper cool stuff like Elliot Smith, Flamenco singers, Drag Queen entratainers.(.really bizarre!) But the pinnacle of Bea trying to develop my musical taste must be the "I'm From Barcelona". Most of you would have probably heard them before; more unlikely, you would have put faces to the singing voices/band name. "I'm From Barcelona" are, despite the name, a Swedish late 80's boy band. Greasy hair, enormous specs, tacky outfits, outrageous coreographies..paradoxically Swedish,singing in English that they come from Barcelona!!! Have a sneekey preview of their video to the song "We are from Barcelona" - Guaranteed: it will bring a smile to your face and, perhaps, enhance your musical taste, expand your horizons... ... ... ... ... ... NOT!

Tuesday, November 21

Sittin' on the Dock of a Bay

...Not really "sitting on the dock of the bay"..guess this is more of an imaginary location, a state of mind than an accurate geographical description. Yes, I am still poorly (nothing serious,but this flu is starting to bug me now!), hence I am more kinda sitting by the window,watching the rain pour down on a melanchonic autumn day and missing my best friend enormously. Our mothers have both been unwell recently and it has been pretty impossible to keep in touch with each other. Moreover, it doesn't help that we live at the two extremities of the planet earth. Gosh, don't know what I would give to see her right now. Last night I dreamt that we were walking on the road together, chatting away like in the good old days where words were often not needed.. the last time we saw each other was over two years ago when their gorgeous baby boy was born - and now I look at his pictures and he is a proper little man and I cannot even begin to tell how proud I am of her, of what she has accomplished and of who she is. SO, if you are readying this, Rie-chan, know that I love you lots and that I always will no matter where we are,what we are doing or what happens around us.

Otis Redding, "Sittin'on the Dock of a Bay"

Monday, November 20

Travelling Without Moving

"Travelling Without Moving" is the title of a track from the homonimous album by Jamiroquai. I have always loved the song, but more surprisingly the concept behind it. At the moment I am skint as skint (not "skinned" as Steve rightly pointed out!) can be and, travelling appears to be very much of a luxury. However, I am reminded of the time when I was a child and imaginary travels were my most treasured treat. I remember one of the first books I ever owned was a "Barbie travelling book" - pathetic,I know, but I used to love it. Not only did it open my mind to the excitements of geography and of various cultural issues, but it also gave me an appetite for world travels and discoveries. A couple of years later a friend of the family bought us a "glow-in-the-dark globe".. for me it was like the wardrobe in "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" : the secret source of amazement and wonder. I would turn the lights off and suddenly be transferred into another world.. the white beaches of French Polynesia, the dye pools of Morocco, Rio's Bidonville, South African Farms, Inca's temples in Mexico and Christmas on the beach in Australia..

Saturday, November 18

Man Flu or Bird Flu?

Clique: "An ordinary cold is perceived as a deadly illness by a man" - Now, you may accuse me of sexism and stereotypical feminism, but I shall give you an example to prove my point. Imagine: it is Thursday afternoon at the office and I am feeling like pooh - got a terrible chest infection and when I cough the whole building shakes, looking pretty rough too when suddenly one of the lecturers I work for comes down to see me ( after 10 days of ignoring my pleads for assistance!) to simply fulfil his innate urge to complain about the fact that he was "poorly not well men!".. looking for sympathy..and to give me even more work to do - which eventually I did because: why is that that when a man has got a cold, he thinks the whole world should stop, give him a pad on the shoulder and take care of him and him alone? By Friday, I was feeling even worse,so I e-mailed my friend Joe to say that I had self-diagnosed my self and,in my opinion, I had a case of "Man's Flu"; the symptoms? - it's like a normal nasty cold, annoying super loud cough and an unexplainable impulse to whine and to potter about. To this Joe replied: "Kind of yeah - but you need to be careful with your words. 'Men's flu' is just flu that a man has - I think the actual term you need is 'Man flu' - this is something entirely different which effectively renders a man completely useless for periods of up to 6 weeks, sometimes even longer. Sneezing, sniffling, headaches, blocked nose, loss of the will to live... these things all contribute to man flu." In conclusion, it appears that I merely have an ordinary BIRD FLU which means that, after all this sneezing,coughing and feeling horrible all I get is to GO TO WORK in the morning! ..and keep on smiling!

Friday, November 17

Une Semaine à Manchester

"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

Urban Life

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

In Remembrance of Me

Remembrance Sunday yesterday. I must admit that this day has got little or no significance for me at all. I was born in an era when wars were taken away from our sight because we became faint-hearted at the sight of blood and hypocritically accepted that, whilst it was perfectly ok for the Rwandans to slaughter each other and for Afgani territories to be wiped out, our children oughtn't see the horrors of war (unless the aggressor was over six foot tall, dark and handsome with a magnetic look and a seductive smile, of course). I was born in an era when German schools chose to "omit" from their history curricula the Holocaust in the WW2. I was raised in a country where Mrs Mussolini is somebody who was considered apt for being a minister in the ruling political cohalition and where being a neo-nazi is a popular choice in European high schools. I was brought up in a world where we actually pay to go and watch insatiable violence onto a big screen whilst munching on junk food and drinking pop. Alienated from reality,grown indifferent to suffering. However, there are situation, scenes, words that make you consider the reality of war, allegories of a common humanity, metaphores of global neighbourhood. And so it happens that someone else's suffering comes close to home not necessarily because it gets closer geographically or because a relative of yours is involved into the conflict - but the revelation generates from the realization that,in the end of the day, we are all human, all guilty of the same weaknessess, all in need of justice,rights,forgiveness. The movie we watched last night at church "To End of All Wars" it's a beautiful graphic display of this concept. Based on an autobiographical novel by Ernest Gordon, its cinematographical rendition is an emotive and thought provoking piece. Although I was unimpressed by the cliques and often too explicit allegories - (but maybe that's more of a reflection on my personal views: I don't seem to like it to be told what to see,understand and ultimately believe, I couldn't help but feel drown into swapping my detachment for a more humane sentiment where anger is suddenly substituted by grace and blood thirst after vindication is tranformed into forgiveness. Excellent choice for the occasion.

Saturday, November 11

Live To Tell the Tale

Oh my goodness! I cannot believe I actually saw MUSE, Live @ MEN Arena on Saturday night standing ...third row!!! (I could basically "smell" Matthew Bellamy's sweat..together with that of many others!yuck!) It was phenomenal.. and what made the evening even better is that the ticket was offered to me for free!! Muse are such great performers and their ability to fuse their evident classical knowledge with alternative/electronic music is a pleasure to the ears. Every thing was simply perfect, absolutely loved it..apart from the minger who decided to pee in a cup and then to throw the cup in the air - disgusting. This is not going to be a very long blog, I don't really have the time, but I wanted to share this memorable event with you, fellow bloggers! So, here is a wee taste of Muse's talent: The video to "Knights of Cydonia" - 6.06 minutes of undoubted magic, sounds that can take you onto a different universe..try to believe!


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

The Modern Woman

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 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

Heart's Cravings

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

A Taste for the Vernacular..

Shame on me! In as much as I would like to think of myself as a pretty decent,well educated and profound person, my fascination with a certain strand of grottesque humour surprises me yet makes me laugh so much that I cannot help it.
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 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.



Dating Lessons

Wednesday, November 1

It Is Not Easy Being Green..

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.