Happy Paddy’s day! 

Despite being here for 10 years, I’ve never been at the parade! However, Maya wanted really to go this year, so it was set!

We arrived a bit late and there was no space left to watch it properly, but I enjoyed and loved what I managed to see!

My thoughts and love to the few friends I left in the monster factory. They’re working their asses off these days for sure!

I miss them and my funny blog posts following the madness! But I don’t miss that job!

Mostly, respect to those geniuses who found the following hack to watch the parade properly!

I’ll do that for sure next year! 

What I mean to say with this post is Happy Patrick’s Day, everybdy! 

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Reading log- September

Google search!

Google search!

I haven’t updated this log for a while…again.

It seems that lately, however, I’ve managed to find a slightly better balance and I’m managing to read a bit more. A bit on the train and a bit during the lunch break.

If I’m lucky, I even have five to ten minutes before bed.

I have to say I’m quite happy for it and I’ll enjoy until it lasts.

I won’t put here, as I did before, a comment for each book I’m reading as it would be repetitive. Also there won’t be many news, as one of the new books I’ve started absorbed completely my attention, so the other 10 books I was readying are more or less at the same point!

I’m very sorry, now that I think about it, but I haven’t kept the promise I made of not starting new books. It really seems I cannot resist to the charm or obsessive-compulsive feeling more likely!

So following is the listing of the books I’ve finished from last time and also the status of the ones I’m now reading.

Outlander– It’s one of the new entries. I’ve mentioned it in my previous post, so I won’t get lost in the summary of the story. Mostly because TV shows really sticks to the book, although book –of course- is slightly better!

So for this I’m at page 344 on 863.

Hunger– Here no news, I’m at page 234 on 586.

Irish ghost stories– Here no news, I’m at page 42 on 1102.

Wizards first rule– Here no news, I’m at page 114 on 764.

Memorie del sottosuolo– I lost it momentarily, probably it’s in a bag somewhere, but I’ll find it for the October update! I’m a shame, I know!

Delitto e castigo– Here no news, I’m at page 56 on 684.

Ancient appetites –  Finished, I’ve started the second volume:

The wisdom of the dead man –  I’m at page 37 on 469.

A Song of Ice and Fire –  volume three- Here no news, I’m at page 192 on 569.

The maze runner– Finished! Loved it. I’ve started the second volume:

The scorch trials– I’m at page 54 on 359.

City of bones – Another new entry. I’m at page 12 on 506.

 

The book thief – Another new entry. I’m at page 58 on 554.

 

Enciclopedia. Tutta la seconda Guerra Mondiale-volume 1– Another new entry to be considered a reference reading as it’s an encyclopedia on the Second World War. I’m at page 53 on 493.

Madame Bovary– It’s lost in the phone somewhere but haven’t touch it from the last time!  

The ghost pirates– Finished. Loved it!  

Carmilla– Finished as well. Love it so much!

Dracula– Audio book. Finished as well!

Shadowmagic– On going, cannot exactly quantify as it’s an audiobook too!

Actually, writing the whole thing down, I realized I’ve more on my plate than I thought, and it was a lot already. 12 books, one PDF, 1 Audio book…no seriously, I have to stop! It’s getting out of hand!

Question is: how do you stop?
Is there anybody else with this obsessive compulsive push in starting new books?

The funny bit is that I don’t mix them up at all, and my friend keep asking how do I do. I have no clue. Can someone, maybe having the same habit, explain this to me?

I’ll leave out the considerations for a hopefully shorter post in October…who am I trying to convince here?

***

Oh and before you walk the plank, ye scurvy dogs: Happy talk like pirate day!!!!

Yarrrr!

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

Congratulations, bro!

Congrats to Giuseppe too! The other guy in the pic! Same kudos!

 

 Last week I went back to Italy in order to attend my brother’s graduation.

Finally, he got his Master Degree in ophthalmic surgery.

Congrats!

I know that, once again, I haven’t update the blog for a while and that this post won’t be long, but I have to publish at least a few words just to let my readers know how much proud I am of my little brother.

We were born only three and half years apart and, unfortunately, we’ve never been very close.

However, I have to say, with my great delight, that a few years ago we cleared our issues and problems, that alas! sometimes weren’t created by ourselves, and we’re getting closer and closer as the time goes by and as it should be, despite sometimes not much help is given from around us!

Said that, I have to grant him something, which is the reason why I’m so very proud of him: he’s a self-made doctor!

It has been a very long and tough route the one he decided for his future, in a country where usually only those who know people manage to go onward and ahead!

Instead, although he didn’t manage to pass the first year’s test to get into the medicine faculty, he refused any help to be “pushed forward” from everyone who offered it.

He decided from the beginning that the only way he was going to make it, was with his own strength!

He tried again the next year and managed to get in! Big wow and kudos!

Then there was a huge, gigantic, massive quantity of difficult exams to pass before he could access to the first graduation after 6 years.

After this first goal, there was the Master Degree! He picked ophthalmic surgery and finally, on the 15th of July, he gave it a closure.

I’m so happy and proud of him!

Now the world is his to explore and I wish my lil’ bro all the best!

Actually, considering that he started to work immediately the day after his graduation, it seems the world as well has noticed his ability and potential!

A special thanks goes to my sweet sister in law, who’s dedicating her life to make my brother’s easier.

It’s not easy, I guess, to live with a doctor and I think she’s showing incredible sweetness and selflessness. In other words, she’s doing a damn good job! Kudos to her too!

So best of luck to my awesome brother and his sweet partner in crime!

Love you guys!

 

Happy Halloween!

image

I’m aware that Halloween has gone already, but the annoying “having no time” condition you’re now familiar with, my dear readers, didn’t let me be faster! I actually just realized that I haven’t published anything for the last two weeks. 

Despite Halloween being gone I wanted to share my experience with you because I hadn’t had such a good fun like this year for ages.

I’ve always been curious of Halloween and attracted to it, but before living abroad I’ve always seen it as some event happening somewhere else.

When I was young, in Italy we celebrated Carnival in February and for that occasion we dressed in costumes (although less spooky). For the New Year’s Eve there were fireworks.

When I moved to Ireland I was shocked because there were no Carnival nor New Year’s Eve fireworks.

On the other hand there was the Halloween celebration that mixed a bit of both traditions.

Despite being attracted and intrigued by Halloween, I hadn’t appreciated it until this year. Yes, I went to a party or two and I prepared the candies for the  trick or treating kids in the past, but this year has been different.

I have to thank my child, whose involvement was crucial!

Being Maya older this time around and with the excuse of her being more involved and demanding, my inner child went wild!

I carved my first pumpkin ever using just a simple spoon and knife to do so. Despite that it was an acceptable job.

Also my company organized a Halloween Party for kids. Since I didn’t manage to the one thrown for adults I decided to dress along with Maya. Of course I dressed as pirate! Yarrr!

They organized face painting and pumpkin carving and delicious hot food for the families.

I carved my second pumpkin there, using the simple plastic useless looking carving set, and my job looked much better. I managed to carve a cat pumpkin!

But the day wasn’t over.

In the evening I decided to bring Maya to trick or treat in the neighborhood with a neighbor friend.

She’s from China and, like me, never trick or treated before.

I’m genuinely still not sure whether our daughters or us enjoyed more the whole event, but we were so happy and giggling.

We kept repeating we should do it every year.

Maya fell a couple of times running around and after her older friend with her short chubby legs, but she had such a great fun!

The booty as well was consistent! We managed to fill half of a very big bag, the one you get when you go in the toy stores!

Nothing special or magnificent happened, a part for the fact that we all enjoyed our Halloween day like I wouldn’t think possible.

So, even if in late, Happy Halloween!

And how did you spend the day? What did you dress as? Let me know in the comments!

Photo Collage Maker_8kyNNk

Breathe…

Google search! Whoever did this is a genius!

It keeps being a very hard period. I keep feeling sad and betrayed.

Then by chance I saw the following video and I felt better.
Considering I’ve bothered you already in the past two posts and it’s likely I will again in the future (as writing is my only way to vent!) it’s only fair I share with you the following video.

One Piece not only is a great manga/anime but, as I said many times before, it’s a well written and well plotted story!
Right now, however, I want to focus on some of the messages it gives:

-Real friendship does exist;
-Loyalty to people isn’t disappeared;
-Believe in your dreams;
-If you believe it intensely, your friends will do too;
-Be brave!

I’ll leave you here and I’ll watch the video again!
Do you have dreams?
Do people believe in you?
What do you use to motivate yourself?
Let me know in the comments!

Bad for a reason…

I don’t want to bother my readers too much, but I feel a lot stressed lately. I’ve been constantly bullied and betrayed in my workplace for a while, and I’m afraid I might be a tiny bit too sensitive by nature! To give you an idea on my level of idiocy I’ll tell you I was crying re-watching Cinderella yesterday. In particular when the two ugly and evil stepsisters destroy her dress for the ball the little mice and birds managed to put together with a big effort.

Let’s say that at the moment I feel exactly the same…

Google search

I’d feel a lot better with friends here, but as a matter of fact all my friends are far away or in Italy and so are my mum, my brother and my sister in law. Besides, someone I thought my friend apparently is too busy with her life to even write a message for moral support, so it’s like not having anybody at all.

In order to cope with the thunderstorm happening in my brain I decided to write a post.

And of course, considering it’s me we’re talking about, I decided to talk about baddies…the bad and evil characters representing villains in books, films and so on! Tell me you didn’t expect this!

As an aspiring writer I’m aware that you need bad things happening to your main characters in your stories and also that you need the baddies: those characters you need in order to have a conflict inside you book and without whom your story would be flat like a crepes…without being delicious!

There is someone who tells that this should happen in life as well otherwise it will be too boring. To be completely honest with you, I’d rather have a very, very boring life. I’m sick and tired to be betrayed by someone I thought a friend, being disappointed by a person I liked, being abandoned for no reason or also being bullied for no reason at all by people with a minimum and a maximum of power in their hands.

I mean, where the hell is my revenge time? Shouldn’t there be a moment when I could feel good and at ease and, if not lucky, at least not completely miserable?

Also, I have to say that, although I cannot stand the baddies, I managed to do a distinction. There are baddies and baddies.

There are those who have a reason why they’re mean and resentful, while others are just evil for no reason. Well, I hate the latter and to be honest, at this stage of my life, the peaceful side of my character is willing to close an eye while I hope they could suffer one of the most painful fates you could imagine.

I mean, if I manage to understand why they’re being evil, or if they just have a characteristic that make them memorable I might even like them, while people just mean are no attraction to me.

For example, remaining in Harry Potter world from last post.

Voldemort is THE evil, but actually I kind of understand him. I mean, he has his past, his trauma and his own reason why he’s doing what he’s doing. I don’t like it, I’d fight against him, and still I understand him.

Fudge is evil to some extent, but he’s a coward and acts as such out of fear, so I understand him too.

But what about the Umbridge? What are her reasons? She’s evil for evil’s sake. Unless somewhere else is written clearly why she does what she does (And being loyal to the minister for magic is a bit poor excuse!) she just enjoys causing sadness and making the other people suffer.

Or do you want other examples?

Umbridge is more or less like Cinderella stepmother and stepsisters who are evil for such a feeble reason as jealousy.

See? Jealousy as well is something I classify as unacceptable as not having reason at all.

John Silver from Treasure Island, Count of Montecristo, Caine from Gone series or President Snow from Hunger Games have a reason why they do what they do. But Silver’s pirates or Drake or President Coin to mention a few from the same sources, they are just mean, they think to their personal gain and create confusion and sadness just for personal pleasure.

Or let’s take another example with One Piece, my other favourite.

There are many baddies but not all of them can be considered mean till the bones or so mean you would hate them… we’re still talking about pirates anyway, we must be flexible! Sometimes they’re portrayed deeply enough to have a valid reason why they do what they do!  But Black Beard or Doflamingo, who are disgustingly mean and power driven just because they want to have some fun from time to time and don’t care about nobody else but themselves are disgusting human beings.

See my point? I don’t understand being mean without reason and for selfish gaining’s sake. Being evil for fun I think it’s one of the less appealing and the most repugnant things that I could think of.

And, as matter of fact my employers enter in this latter category, think about them as a mixture of Umbridge and Doflamingo, and I think this is the main reason why I feel frustrated.

Google search. One of my boss smiles exactly the same! Creepy!

Google search

I Ihave many weak points and I’m not saying that I’ve never hurt anybody in the past.

 But I didn’t do on purpose, I always apologized when I realized what I did and I didn’t when I didn’t or nobody notified me. I admit to be a very distracted person, so sometimes it might happen I do something without realizing I’m doing it.

But I’m not mean.

And I would feel very down and ashamed knowing that someone suffered for my actions.

Wouldn’t be a better world if everybody could live in peace, being honest with other people? We could look for challenges and adventures in other places or concerning other topics.

Why on earth people have to be mean to each other just to save themselves from boredom?

I just hope that sooner or later I’ll have my revenge!

For the moment I’ll be happy to turn them in my fictional characters and make them suffer!

What do you think?

Let me know in the comment below if I’m right or wrong!

P.S. I’ve just realized I’ve chosen all images with pink as main colour! I don’t have anything against this colour! So I think the text should match.

P.S.2 See? Both Umbridge and Doflamingo even dress the same colour! It must mean something then!!! I didn’t do it on purpose!