Wednesday, May 30
Tuesday, May 29
A typical British summer day in London..The Sweetness: Tiziana & Linda, best friends from school! Dancing in the Tube station..as you do...
Wanted?Cueing outside "Ain't Got Nothing but the Blues" in Soho for nearly two hours..freeeeeeezin'!
Worth the wait!
Meeting Oscar Wilde and Dorian Gray, aka Wayne and Tim. It was a rather surreal experience - for starters, we were in an underground, prohibitionist mid-20's America style Jazz club in Soho. Got chatting to this two random guys who ended up being quite a pair, not to mention that both me and Linda (who hardly know each other at all) thought that Tim (in the middle) looked like Dorian Gray..indeed a fictional character out of a book..the weirdness!!!
Singing the Italian national anthem at the top of your loungs? Priceless. The Sound of a Good Night indeed!
Friday, May 25
Seduta alla scrivania del mio officio di Manchester, guardo fuori dalla finestra ad una citta' di cemento, coperta da un cielo appena illuminato..mi sento invigorita, energica, nostalgica. Ho trascorso giorni stupendi sulle tracce di un passato che credevo perso; ma non era mai stato smarrito, era piuttosto nascosto sotto ad un mucchio di fogli che sono facilmente rimossi dalla dolce brezza estiva..com'e' meraviglioso parlare non solo la stessa lingua, ma coindividere una storia comune. Vi amo tutti tantissimo; mi siete mancati!!!
My mom has just had the results from her post-theraphy tests which, insofar, all came out negative. She is still quite weak, but we cannot stop but praise God for what appears to be an increadible answer to prayer. In this instance, I would wholeheartedly like to thank you all for your support and encouragement. May God reward you double-fold for all of your kindness.
Me and Ida (aka Super Zeta) - The sweetness!
Me and Vale (aka Valina/Gazzella, "The Gazelle"), hadn't seen each other in five long years but it's like as if time had never passed. I am so proud of her! (BTW, I swear I am not sticking my middle finger at anyone! Accidents happen!) (",)
Pop, happily singing away in the car..
Tuesday, May 22
Friday, May 18
Wednesday, May 16
Public service announcement: there may be a slight lack of posting over the next seven days since, as from today, I am on annual leave! Yuppy! Happy holiday to me! I shall try to blog again from sunny Italy - that is if, of course, I am not too busy sun-bathing and eating nice food! Blog you soon. Lots of love, Ivonne xx
Monday, May 14
Considering that a number of you have never even met me in person, I feel like I owe you all some explanations.
Since my upheaval first started, I feel like I have made steady progress; I feel like I have re-discovered a passion for Life in all its fullness, rolled up my sleeves again and continued to strive. Nonetheless, behind that self-motivation, aspirations, optimism, Faith and dreams, there is a very fragile heart. Despite all the gains, I walk about the streets feeling constantly bereaved, lost. My mom is doing a great deal better; we are now waiting for the results from her final tests to see how well she has responded to treatment. Despite not getting into med school first time around, I have been offered to do an Mph in pharmaceutical research which will be contributing greatly towards my future medical studies; with the loss of my uncle, I have seen God's comfort being generously poured over my auntie and family. In feeling rejected by the person I thought I loved the most in this world, I have been hurting a lot but I am also experiencing a surreal dispensation of divine grace : I have chosen not to beg, not to be miserable, not to be nasty, but to do right by and keep on loving that person unconditionally (even when that means to get nothing in return or to occasionally and involuntarily be trampled over emotionally) I have good friends; a job; a home; family, clothes to wear and food to eat; I have Faith. . But I guess we have all been there - such is life and I will soon be back to full strength, blogging about music gigs, humanitarian enterprise, happiness, movie reviews, holidays. My only concern was that I did not want to 'bottle it all up', pretending that everything is alright whilst feeling subconsciously and emotively shattered, exhausted. That's why I blog. Writing is a cathartic expression of my soul. Often the expressing itself, represents the cure. Other times your thoughts inspire me to be a better person, to love others more and also to love myself a bit better. SO, apologies for the whining and please, do keep on reading and commenting, even when I write a lot of bull! Your honesty may help to keep me sane!!!!!
Saturday, May 12
I first bought the album X&Y, which includes the song 'Fix You', around about the same time I moved to Manchester. I had only just graduated and I felt on the top of the world. I was an idealistic day dreamer who believed that if you work hard and honestly and honour God in all you do, life will be good. I suppose you could say that I haven't changed an inch over the past two years. Despite an increased sense of cynicism and sarcasm, a natural defence mechanism perhaps, I so desperately want to believe that 'there must be more than this'. For all the failiures, I want to learn to stand up again more and more quickly; for all the disillusionment, I want to become even more loving; for all the tears, I will seek to smile my heart out; I will learn to continue to love even what is lost, because it is only things which break beyond repair. On the contrary, hearts and emotions can be mended; therefore I shall persue unconditonal Love; for all the sleepless nights, I will post about it - express my fears, insecurities, self-perceived sense of failure and persue Beauty, pant for Grace.
*At the top of the page, Salvador Dali "The Persistence of Memory"(1931)
On the left, an iconic image of Sofia Loren in Vittorio De Sica's "La Ciociara" (1960) based on a wonderful novel by Alberto Moravia.
Wednesday, May 9
...to the Big Day, 100th Post and 5000 Ways to Change the World! ...This is my 100th post! I have written a lot - mainly gibberish, but also a lot of outpouring of my little soul and introspective analysis, helped by your inspirational comments. One of the evident outcomes of this is that I know to be nothing but convetional, so I choose not to write a commemorative article on blogging. Instead I would like to send you all an invitation.
In 51 days, 11 hours, 42 minutes and 20..ops 19 seconds now, it is the BIG DAY (aka my 24th birthday) - the 1st of July for your diaries, thanks. The day however is "big" for a number of reasons:
1. I was born on that day: a little respect, would you mind?
2. Viva the Smoking Ban! England will celebrate the first day of SMOKING FREE PUBLIC BUILDINGS!!! Yuppy!!! Thank God: no more concerts, dinners, pubs and clubs filled with deadly and stinking fumes! Alleluja!
3. It will be my first "Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty" themed birthday.
It basically consists of this: whether you were planning to or were not remotely thinking about being kind enough to buy/make me a present, then, don't. Instead, in the likes of "Pay it Forward", do something good and beautiful to make three people's world, day, life...well...better. Whether it involves buying a homeless person a cup of tea, donating money to charity, giving blood, telling someone how special they are, walk instead of driving or wherever your creativity and kindness takes you, do it! The sky is the limit! Sure enough I shall be reminding you of this initiative closer to the time meanwhile, the title of this post is how long you have to think about how to make the world a better place on my birthday! Call it a "Hippy Birthday Meme Tag!"
Tuesday, May 8
We change; we grow; we mature and evolve, but I believe that deep within we all crave for an unaltered desire to be at peace with oneself, with the grown-ups we have become and to still laugh wholeheartedly, like little toddlers. I think that is what Sunday was all about. Despite having had a late one the night before (simply to accommodate my friend's urge to watch Spiderman 3), I woke up early to a beautiful sunny day, went for a short-lived jog, had breakfast, went to church, talked to people, had lunch, preached to a lovely group of senior citizens (a captive audience of fifteen 90 odds!). Went to the pub to watch the Chelsey-Arsenal match (even cheered Arsenal for the first time in my whole life! - congratulations, Man Utd!), leisurely walked to a coffee shop for some tea, had an Indian in Rusholme, then headed to the local Arab cafe for some mint tea. We did not have a single drop of alchol yet were as giddy as one can be - we even got told off by the owner..it was like being back in second grade! Class. Drinking mint tea throughout the night. I suddenly felt like an adult, like a proper little person yet with comparable energy, laughter and joy to that of a little child who does not worry or reminisce about yesterday and has no fear of tomorrow, who at the core of her innerself knows her blessed state. Indeed I am truly blessed.
**thanks to Titi', Lily, Dr Cipolla and Stefano!** the girone of return in London, babe!**
Thursday, May 3
~Cultural Learnings of an Italian in Salford~
It is rather strange when people count as history the time and events of your life time. July 1983 is the opening title of last night's movie, "This is England".. paradoxically, this is also the month and year I was born in. If you liked movies in the likes of Trainspotting and Kes, you are most definitively going to enjoy this little gem of British cinematography. Set in a bleak East Midlands town in 1983, it focuses on the life of twelve-year-old Shaun to then kaleidoscopically expand to the Thatcher's government, deprivation, greasy spoons, dislocation, nationalism, skinheads, substances abuse, extremism, racism, violence, the Falklands, England in a compelling showcase of raw realistic acting talent. A side to England not all of us may want to align ourselves with that, crudely, is not the mere shadow of a forgotten past, long removed from us. On the contrary, the parallels with today's England are striking. Unemployment, deprivation and dislocation; loss of identity and an often ignorant, violent and abusive search for national values; a shady government and a country fighting a senseless war which does not belong to us. From the eye of a mere observer, drown into an active personage of a history that is not my own. This is part of the England of my next door British-Bulldog tattooed neighbours who call me 'Miss Bolognese' and ask me to cook for them every time they see me, of the British-Pakistani convenience store round the corner from my house, of my half Maltese florist; this is the England of the paper-round kid who puts through my door a BNP leaflet stating what the party stands for and with an invitation for me and my household (an Italian and a Spaniard at the time) to join them, of the teen-agers I work with and I still struggle to understand at times, of the PMT Chinese lady at the local fish 'n' chips, of those who have curry for tea and leave it all behind for a place in the sun. So, is this England or not? I often discuss with a particular friend of mine what defines Britishness. Like Italian-ness is not defined by loud, football fanatic, poetry-reading, sunglasses-wearing, hairy tanned voracious pasta devourers, I doubt Britishness is described by white ass, tattooed, drunken hooligans, 'stif-upper-lip' fish 'n' chips with mushy peas two bed-roomed red-brick terrace house dwellers ... so, then, what defines Britishness, what makes us who we are?