Visiting the Amerigo Vespucci sailing ship!

One of my passions, a part from writing and fantasy, are ships and pirates!

Sometimes I think that an awful lot of my posts begin with “one of my passions”, and maybe this could be the reason why I find hard job to gather the time to second and nurture them…they’re simply too many.

I know I should concentrate on one at time, but it’s kind of difficult to me.

But that’s me, right? Unless I decide to change completely my brain and way of thinking, I guess I’ll have to figure out a way to do so!

Vespucci 2

So where was I? Oh yeah, Amerigo Vespucci is an 83 meters long sailing ship the marine cadets of Livorno use at the end of every first year of academy. They go on a 3 months training trip and, from what I learned, I can tell you that their training it’s pretty hard, both physically and mentally.

I saw it docked near my new office.

It’s not unusual seeing tall ships docked near there, as I work in the port area. For how big my passion is, however, I never managed to go and visit one. I only went close and watched the outside while rushing for work or home, but the crew wasn’t there.

This time around I found out they were organizing tours of the ship, but the visit times were exactly matching my working shift, lunch break included. It was so sad. The ship was leaving in a couple of days and once again I wouldn’t manage to visit it.

However, one of my colleagues that very day announced that in her partner’s office were organizing a guided tour for the Vespucci. If she wanted she could join with a couple of people more.

Needless to say that I secured a place with her, starting immediately my giggling spell that lasted the whole day! I must have looked like a frigging idiot! Or a lunatic, you pick! The truth was only one: this was a dream becoming true!

I was getting on board! I couldn’t believe it!!!

I know that I might seem a bit nut or weird, but to me, boarding, although for a few minutes, on a sailing ship was one of the best things I’ve ever done.

All my attention was concentrate on the ship and the bits and pieces that built up together form that marvel.

I barely noticed the officials, the cadets and the Capitan unless they were saying something interesting about the ship and its parts.

I asked this official, I actually don’t know the name of, many question about which one were the shrouds, details about the sails and speed in knots and the relation in between the two of them.

I found all these extremely fascinating and interesting.

Also I realized, with a pinch of sadness, that I made a huge mistake.

I don’t know if I told you already, the very first book I wrote was in Italian and it was about pirates – of course! – and ships. During the trip and the explanation on the Vespucci, I understood that some elements, crew number and basic navigation technique and details in my story were completely wrong.

I felt both bad and excited. Bad because, if I had the arrogance of editing and sending to an editor, I might have been mistaken for one cheater author who writes about specific stuff without having enough knowledge about it.

On the other hand, also I felt excited because I could confirm that I can learn more, that there are so many things I don’t know yet. 

It’s something really amazing.

Vespucci 3

Once again I want to thank so much Nicole and her partner for giving me this fantastic opportunity; and you, my dear readers, for reading until the end this post full of nonsense for any other person but me!

I hope, anyway, you will enjoy some of the pictures.

Do you have anything you like so much that makes you lose the control? That you love so much that you cannot regain the said control although you’re struggling hard in the attempt?

Let me know in the comments below!

And of course, in case you know any website where to read and learn all about ships and pirates, please, I beg you, write it here for me!

Vespucci 1

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Kudos to a fellow writer!

Click to link the Facebook page of the artist.

You all know, my dear readers, that my biggest dream would be being a published writer.

However, I’m not talking about me in this post!

I want to tell you about a fellow aspiring writer who is trying her best to do something I’m not very good at.

Yes, because, I read, I plot and I try to start writing…but these are just side dishes of the main course: complete what I’ve started. Something I am apparently unable to do.

This other writer instead is very good at it, so she’s just inspiring in her way of living!

Her name is Michela and she’s Italian too. I don’t know her personally as I’ve met her only once for five minutes but we keep in touch online.

A mutual friend introduced each other as, a part from writing, we have something else in common: our passion for Jack Black!

Actually even in that she’s more involved than me! She’s a winner, folks!

The reason why I’m writing this post is to prize her. Despite being very good and talented, I’m not sure she realizes how good and talented she is, so I hope I’ll manage to carve here a reminder for the tougher moments.

Let’s face the truth, we all have those nasty spells.

I’ve just finished to read the second volume of her series called “I racconti di Kel”, a high fantasy with a rather original story.

I won’t talk here of the story itself, although I think you would like it. However, it’s still a private thing and I think she prefers this way for now. Besides, this isn’t the point of the whole speech here!

The point is that I admire her, because she’s very strong and determined and very much the person I’d like to become.

I always complain I don’t have much time or I’m tired, but the truth is that I like of determination… I guess.

Michela works in an ice cream store and every morning starts her job at 5. Afterwards she goes back home and usually takes care of her niece and nephew and then she helps in the house. When she’s done with all these, or when has some spare times she writes.

She managed to finish and edit two big volumes doing as such and just for this I think she deserves admiration.

But not only.

Another reason I respect her for is something I had at the very beginning, something I partly lost after all the workshops I’ve made for years: the art of improvising and following the instinct.

Lastly I admire her for the unconditioned love for her characters. Mind, I love mine too and I get attached to my characters as well, but she’s far ahead on this point also.

She wanted to bring them alive and able to see them and touch them, so she asked to other two girls, as talented as she is, to reproduce them in drawing and in 3D.

I’ll insert in this post two pictures, one for each one of them.

I’ll also link their personal space, so feel free to have a look at their work, you just click on the pictures. I think it’s worth your time.

In conclusion, I want to thank Michela for teaching me a great lesson…well, actually more than one!

Also I want to wish her best, because although she thinks she just wrote this story for herself, I firmly believe she could go much further than that!!!

And most of all, please keep writing the third volume as I want to know how the story goes!

Good luck!

The link soon to come! Look further down!

 

EDIT:

Since the artists whose works are in the last picture are more than one, following I’m going to list the names, clicking on the hyperlinks you’ll reach their Facebook Pages:

Elisabetta Piras

Il magico mondo di Ploppi

Il regno di Lot

GretArtist Déco

 

Italian Embassy VS Franny. This time is 0-1!

Google search but absolutely perfect!

One of the most annoying things if you live abroad, is the necessity to use your country services.

I’ve complained already on this pages about the scarce service we receive, but, please, bear with me, I had to do it again.

However, this time I can say the frustration has a little satisfaction added to the mix.

The reason why I needed the Embassy this time was linked to a form I needed to fill for Maya.

I called them at the end of June asking for information. The reply I got was “Go to the website and download the form then sent it to us by post”

“I don’t trust post” I said “Can I do with emails?”

“Oh yes, of course, you can send it over to our PEC address”.

And this is exactly what I did.

I decided to send the documentation to both their addresses since I didn’t trust them either, the normal address sent the email back and the PEC went through.

Also, because I still didn’t trust them, I decided to call the office a few days later to check whether the email was arrived or not.

The very same voice that was so nice two weeks before in giving me all the information, this time was kind of hysterical.

He almost shouted me saying that I shouldn’t have sent it to that address and that I cannot expect them to fill the form so quickly.

That was weird, last year I went to the office, during normal office hours and they did it in a few minutes.

At least he confirmed he received it.

Eventually, since I had to leave a few days later and I really needed the form, I went to the office in my day off and waited in the queue.

As you might have guessed I prepared a copy of the documentation I needed because I didn’t trust them, although they said they received.

When you go to that office you know for sure three things: the time you arrive, that you’ll never know when you’ll get out and that you’ll be pissed by the end of the process. The most of the times you’ll have to argue too!

Public offices in Italy don’t work properly and this one is no exception. We’re not in Italy but once in there you’re trapped in this parallel reality you need in order to accomplish your mission!!!

I reached the office then and I met at the gate one of my team mates, Cri, who was a little bit more positive about the place…but just for the first half an hour!

Everybody is tricked at least once!

Of course you don’t take a number when you arrive and you look around in order to memorize whomever might be before you. But here is the trick: one of the windows is dedicated to passports appointments so you lose a bit the count. Reason is that even those who has the appointment have to wait in the same queue.

Eventually one genius came in asking “Who’s the last one?” like the old ladies do at the GP’s in Italy…simple but effective, why didn’t I think of this before?!

Anyway, when my turn arrived I went to the window with the full documentation and the lady said “Oh thanks, we’ll fix an appointment to have it collected!”

No, hold the horses….what?

You see? The satisfaction I was mentioning before was referred to my reaction. The old Franny would have complained a bit and then go away with her chin down hoping against hope to make it on time!

This time no, I pointed my feet on the spot and explained my reason. I told them that last year I had the very same form done on the spot. And, for the records, I sent an email and the called to check the email was arrived. Only after over a week of silence I decided to show up!

They said the procedure had changed and the email couldn’t be found. When I showed the email on the phone they complained the address I sent it to was wrong, even with a tone of mockery like I was a poor idiot who sent to the wrong address. They actually suggested that address to me when I called the very first time!!! Besides, nobody bothered to tell me the procedure was chanced!

I apologize, my dear readers, I don’t read minds yet!

I started to rise the voice until an old lady was called, she explained that the procedure was changed and that I should have followed the passports one.

I said that I would have done it, if I knew it! If they didn’t write it on the website and nobody told me during the informative calls I made, how I was supposed to know it?

The old lady shrinking in her shoulders told me “We write loads of things but people don’t read!”

“You don’t say…I do the same job” I said, although I specified that it’s not exactly rocket science to have the waiting period specified next to each form!

To make the story short, eventually I got my form, although I had to wait an incredibly long time in that hole of an office!

And with this, I think I can say I won!

Damn embassy!

What do you think? Do you live abroad?

If so, do you need your embassy often?

How is it?

Let me know in the comments below, I’m very curious!