Franny’s news-February 2016

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This is another kind of post you haven’t seen for a while.

It is true that I often give you news scattered in all the other blogs, but because I’m going to write a few posts in the future that will seem pure nonsense, I think an explanation is in order.

At least you won’t think I’m more odd than I usually am!

You all know by now that I was very sick last month and despite feeling better I still don’t feel OK.

Thing is that during those two weeks’ climax of my bronchitis, I didn’t know what to think. I was scared and my hypochondria reached its peak.

Hence I went back to talk with a friend of mine who’s decided a few months ago to take a nice path towards the self respect and healthier life style.

When he talked about diet and sport and such for the first time a few weeks before, I didn’t want to listen really, mainly because I don’t like myself. Actually no, to be precise I swing from hating me to not stand my own presence.

Then, because I was scared and because I though that I should do this at least for my little one, I started to think that I could go into further details.

The deal is basically follow the European guidelines for cancer prevention.

There are many video of conference held by this oncologist Franco Berrino to help out if you need.

So I changed my diet, I started eating more vegetables, more pulses, almost eliminating meat and milk. Of course you have to stay clear from processed meat and food, usually full of sugars.

You should stop assuming sugars of any kind as well, but I’m finding this bit extremely hard.

This is increasingly more interesting day by day. I though it was harder that it actually was. I love vegetable and pulses anyway, but thanks to the variegated canteen I have in work, I keep experimenting vegetarian and vegan dishes that the most of the times are delicious.

I’m learning new ingredients like the bulgur, like the quinoa e how to cook them.

Along with that I had to start taking seriously to exercise more. I have to admit to be very lazy, so even the short walks I was taking a couple of months ago seemed to be such a heavy burden that every excuse was good to drop them.

Now, instead, I’m so determined that I found a way to put me in a position where I have to do it.

I still walk, from my place to work this time. It’s an hour long walk along the canal. I put my training suit on and I walk briskly towards my office, change in the bathroom and then start my day with a healthy breakfast.

To make it nicer and more appealing I had the idea to download again the audiobook app.

I’m listening to the second book now, since I’ve started, and I began to feel satisfied.

So satisfied, in fact, that I started to make some movement even during the days off.

I haven’t lost any weight so far, but I feel better, more energetic and not bloated anymore.

Well, except the last few days that I feel crap since I might have taken another infection…I’m a bit unlucky lately!

Still, I kept walking, despite my partner yelling at me that it’s not that wise to walk at -2 degrees if I don’t feel good.

So I trust this change, and I hope against hope that at lest this time it will be consistent.

I don’t trust myself much in general. When I decide to make a change, in particular so drastic, as consequence of fear, it usually stops when the determination fades away or the fear is far to be felt so strong.

I hope I’ll keep going!

Last news is that I managed to organize a bit better my time and my life or maybe, better, I surrendered to the fact I cannot do more than a certain amount of things, I’m not a superwoman.

Maybe there are faster and better organizers out there, but this is my best. This brought me to relax and organize in a tidier way the time I actually have left from the other duties.

Since then, as I mentioned, I started to walk to work, which means I’ll be able to make some activity and listening to audiobook meanwhile.

Then I decided to sacrifice at least 20-30 minutes from my lunch break and dedicated them to the first draft of my WIP.

Before bed I can spend ten minutes reading and I decided to dedicate the days off to the blog drafts and technical care of it.

Then I decided to be more flexible towards the spare spells of time.

For example, for a series of coincidences I arrived in work earlier this time…well, one and half hour earlier.

So I decided to finalize and publish this blog post, and then, if I’ll have some time left, I’ll do some research and plotting for my book.

I guess that the bottom line here is: I managed to relax a bit, understand I’m a human being not perfect at all, hence I’m not a robot.

Also I started to include some exercise and I started to eat properly.

I guess it’s a good thing, at least for a while. Everybody can improve!

But most of all, following loads of people advice, I should say I’m proud of what I’m doing.

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My reading pile status – February 2016

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I haven’t published any news about it for a while now, so I think this post is overdue.

As you can see immediately from the picture, the number of the books from last time remains the same. Well actually no, it’s increased!

I know, I know I promised I would finish some of them before adding new titles.  

Actually I finished one, Murakami’s, but it’s also true that I’ve added two Dostoevsky’s books!

On the top of that you want to add other three books.

The first one is Madame Bovary I’m reading on my phone during my travel to and from work.

The second and the third are two audiobooks: The ghost pirates and Carmilla.

I realized that if you watch this picture and take notes of what I’m listening and reading, you might think I’m not going anywhere.

To tell the complete truth I am indeed very slow, I’d say better …painfully slow. However, there are some of them that are a good point and three that are rereads.

So from this time, and I’ll try to remember for the next posts, I’ll give you also the status of the books either one by one or two by two, let’s see!

Here you go:

Hunger– It’s the one that I haven’t even attempted to touch since the last time. I like the story but also, being mum, makes me anxious and phobic in a way. So despite my curiosity the situation in the book will bring me constantly to think: “If something like this would happen, would my toddler survive? Will she be found by someone? Will they treat her well?”

This is pity as I’d love to know how the story goes.

Irish ghost stories– It’s stuck within the first 20 pages, for two reasons. Firstly, because the book is very heavy to bring around with you and it’s a bother to hold in your hands. Secondly, I decided to take notes while reading because I can include it as one of the sources for my research for my WIP.

Wizards first rule– It’s nice and I’m going smoothly, although slowly, on with it. The biggest pause was because I fell sick and I forgot it in the office.

Memorie del sottosuolo– (In English would be Notes from Underground) Received as Christmas present and it’s one of the Dostoevsky’s books. I read all the introduction. When book have critique intro, although I hate it, I feel forced to read it. I don’t know why. However, after the intro, I couldn’t go much further as it’s very heavy. It’s stream of consciousness kind of literature that doesn’t match very much with my taste.

Delitto e castigo– (In English would be Crime and Punishment) Received as Christmas present too and it’s one of the Dostoevsky’s books.

As for this one I started the introduction, but then I forced myself to skip to the novel part or probably I’d never started again.

This was in fact one of the rereads. I remember it was the only book I managed to read despite being on the backseat of the car, so I was stuck into the story.

Ancient appetites –  This is my second reread. I love Oisín McGannbooks, you know that, and I decided I wanted to read the whole Wildenstern Saga now that I have the second and the third book. So, in order to appreciate it better, I decided to read again the first volume.

A Song of Ice and Fire –  volume three- This one is going on slowly. Because the chapters are divided by characters, the speed along with the interest depends whether I’m reading or I’m due to read someone I like, as for example Arya or Davos or someone I cannot stand like Sansa.

Madame Bovary– Is my third reread. Actually the first time I read it, it was from the Italian translation. As I mentioned before, if I know the language I’ll read the book in the original language, but if I don’t I’ll read them either in English or Italian. I won’t say anything more as I will bother you with a post dedicated to it.

The ghost pirates– It’s the first audiobook in the list. I love it! I’m almost in the middle of the narration. I’m learning loads of nautical terms and I’m sucked into the story.

Carmilla– This is the second audiobook but at the moment is working as memo. I started it but then I was completely absorbed by the pirate one.

However, I’ve been willing to read it for ages, so I’ll definitely going to finish it soon.

So this is it.

Does it all this make sense for you?

Give me your opinion in the comments below!

Being a hero!

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My dear readers, I’ve started a new TV show: Marvel’s Agent Carter.

To be completely honest I didn’t really like it when I watched the first time. I wanted to give up after twenty minutes into the first episode.

However, since I’m very tired lately, I let it go not really minding what I was watching.

It was when following the third episode (and I leave my mind open to change my opinion in the future because of this) that I got the point of the show, no better, of the character.

I love Marvel’s superheroes, just because they are people with special powers and big problems. But even more because the majority of them are thorn by feelings and issues.

Peggy Carter, however, is one of the few Marvel’s characters to be powerless. Of course if we consider the typical and universally accepted definition of superpowers.  

Maybe we forget that the important and decisive detail sometimes is the point of view of those whom are saved and helped by the hero.

Maybe the whole concept of superpower and superhero is relative and associated to different points of view and opinions.

Agent Carter is set in the 50s, when women were seen as useful as wallpaper and maybe good only for cooking and reproducing the human specie.

Peggy is a special agent, the only woman in a men lead department. She’s smart, intuitive and fights like a man.

So, why is she special then?

She has no superpowers, true, but at the same time she can use and take advantage of her situation.

Walking in a men’s world, not only she’s content in being unseen and underestimated but she pushes her disadvantage to the limit in order to accomplish her mission.

Once reached this conclusion I kept watching the show with great satisfaction and a new eye.

It’s a great and powerful message in my opinion.

I felt amused in watching how a great bunch of self confident and narrow-minded people were easily tricked by an innocent, silly, fragile woman!!!

But then again, this is something that happens every day if you think about that.

The only difference is the reaction of each individual to the adversities.

Anybody can be a hero, at least for one particular person.

A mother could be a hero, a sister, a son, a daughter, a brother, a father, a bartender, a milkman can be the hero and save someone else’s day.

The whole point of my post here is that I understand now that there are two meanings to the word superhero: one is the traditional, Spiderman like meaning; the other one, and maybe the more important, is the title that each and everyone of us give to people who fight till death to live on despite the adversities and possibly helping a bunch of other human beings along the way.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Who’s your personal superhero?

Happy New Year of the Monkey!

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Morning everybody! 

I’m using this post to wish a happy new year to the Chinese community and to whomever wants to celebrate another time the new year! 

Personally speaking, as you know, I haven’t had a great start, so I decided to consider this one as new year. Let’s consider January a trial that didn’t go so well.

I’m still not doing any plans for the new year, because it’s something that you bring on until you get tired. 

I’ve made a few changes thought, consequence of January events, but I’ll speak about those later on in another post! 

Now it’s time to celebrate!

They say that the year of the monkey is a good one! Fingers crossed!