Sport day!  

Friday I attended to the sport day in Maya’s school. I’ve never seen such an event before. I hope you’ll excuse me if I treat it as an amazing thing, as I’m still in awe!  It will be brief, though, I promise!  

When I was in elementary school we did once some games, they were very simple. The PE teacher organized some obstacles around the gym and that was it.  All the parents were around to cheer us up. I was too little, so I don’t really remember if it was all day or only in the afternoon, after the lessons.  The fact I vividly remember was the majestic fall of one of my class mates, R., who tripped and fell on his face. But doing so, since he was with his mouth open, cut his tongue and loads of blood came out. He didn’t chop it off, if you’re wondering, but it was pretty traumatic to see that much blood anyway.  

You can guess I was pretty surprised when I read the note in Maya’s bag that all day would be dedicated to the sport activities.  All the teachers and even the principal – I love her, she’s so involved in the school life, she knows the name of each and every pupil and who are the parents too – were dressed in leggings and trainers.  All the activities were well organized and the timing followed by the second.  

 

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Maya had the race, the race with a potato on the spoon, the sack race, the dance session where she learned a small set of movements, the parachute and skipping rope time and then the fitness session with a coach especially hired by the school for the occasion.  For the parents they ordered sandwiches, tea and coffee so we had our lunch too. I’m amazed and I’m grateful Maya ended up in this school.

There are a lot of initiatives and a lot of different fun events organized.  I wish I could be more involved. Unfortunately, being off only one day during the week, my chances to be more involved and to participate to more events are very limited. Sometimes I can take the day off, but not always is possible. I’m trying to make the most of it though.  I’m really getting curious now, as I’m wondering whether I was just lucky with Maya’s school or all the school are as such.  Personally, I’m living in a constant amazement.

Where are you reading me from?

How’s your kids’ schools?  

Please let me know in the comments below.  

International day!

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I had another plan for today’s post. I was going to write a rant about the recent happenings.

However, I’ve had such a nice and positive morning on Thursday, that I decided to focus about a constructive thought, just for a change!

Thursday I got a day off in work and I could participate to the International day, organized by Maya’s school.

It was the first time for me and I hadn’t seen anything like it done in any Italian school I’ve been into. I absolutely loved it!

Representing, of course, Italy, I cooked lasagne and pizza, and I’m happy to say that I’ve taken home two empty trays. Many people made compliments while gobbling them up.

I’m happy, mostly because, despite having to rush through the last few days, preparing a bit every evening after work and dinner, it was definitely worth it.

It was a meeting of cultures, through food, dresses, pictures and music.

The tables displayed were Turkey, Iran, Italy, Philippines, Poland, Brazil, India, Germany, Nigeria, Ireland and Croatia.

I have to tell you that my taste buds have already booked a trip to Nigeria! The food is so amazing that if I’ll ever go there, I’ll have to stop eating at least a week before taking the flight, otherwise I’ll need two seats on the way back!

Apart from my favorite table, I tried as much as I could without exploding and everything was super delicious.

This confirms my theory, according to which it’s always better to try a dish cooked by a native person rather than going into a restaurant.

In a restaurant, it would never be the same or as good as something homemade!

Probably the best part of the whole thing is that children learn about diversity and other cultures. For me, in love with different countries, cultures, literatures, histories and languages, is the perfect reality in which to bring up Maya.

It’s a real pity in Italy we don’t do something alike. Facing and acknowledging different cultures encourage kids to be open minded.

Not surprising that in Italy the majority of people is still closed and adverse to diversity in any shape and shade it comes towards them.

Once again, I have a reason more to say I’m pretty happy to live here.

And speaking of diversity, let me ask some questions!

Where are you reading this blog from?

And what’s your favorite food? What’s your favorite county in the whole world?

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Maya’s 5th birthday!

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The second post of the year, will be related to a very important event happened in December: Maya’s birthday!

I mentioned already the following posts will be a bit messed up timeline-wise, but it’s OK I guess!

I cannot believe Maya is 5 already! She’s growing so fast, it’s unbelievable.

The birthday party I’m talking about in this post was organized for the 3rd birthday we celebrated in Ireland, but it was the first one spent with her friends.

In the past couple of years, I organized her parties in Italy. I have there a couple of friends with kids.

Their age is different from Maya’s though and they weren’t available at all the times.

The rest of the guests were just grownups; sure, family and friends but still adults. We used to organize it in a pub owned by a friend of us.

It had been very nice, but I realize only now that it was more for us that we decided to organize them that way, rather than for Maya.

This year, however, since we were stuck in Ireland, I had to organize the birthday party here.

It was a totally different experience, not only from the organization point of view but also from my own experience! It was incredibly fun!

First of all, we found a place for the party. I had to ask information to other mums in school as I didn’t have the slightest idea of where it was best to organize a party. I went to a couple of parties in the past few years, but it never occurred to me to ask information for some reason.

I was advised about a place not very far from our house. We went to have a look on the way back from a holiday we took in county Clare – I still have to tell you about it. I will, I promise – and Maya loved it immediately. It’s a huge place of soft toys, slides and circuits. A great way to release energies!

Found the location, I asked Maya to give me a list of kids she would like to invite. We sent the cards and also prepared the goodie bags, something absolutely new to me. In Italy, we don’t use the goodie bags, but I prefer this way, it’s nicer!

It was great preparing everything with her. Now that she’s older she’s participating with ideas and help and I think that it’s important in these occasions. Most of all being aware of what you’re doing, makes the realization more interesting.

I have to admit that I was a bit anxious; this time not for me but for her. For a long while the replies didn’t arrive, and I was afraid that the kids won’t show up for some reason. Eventually we had 6 guests and Maya was over the moon and me with her! I could breathe again!

The real fun, then, was to see Maya with her friends, the ones she personally picked, to be part of her special day. They were running up and down the play area, discovering the bits and pieces of that huge place! I found deeply amusing and satisfactory watching her to play with children she knows and of her same age.

So, although almost a month later, I renew once again my happy birthday’s wishes, my love, 100 of these days to the loveliest girl in the world!

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!

Maya’s Montessori Graduation Day.

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And after a couple of dark posts full of anxiety, let me tell you something funny and for me also moving!

My daughter is four and half and last week graduated from the Montessori school she attended for the last year.

It’s such a happy moment and also confusing.

She’s my fist child.

It seems yesterday she was born and, puff, she’s already four and half and ready for the Junior Infant she’ll start in September. To be honest with you, I am still trying to figure out how to be a mum.

Part of me is in awe, but part of me is trying to pin my feet on the ground and to slow down this rush. “Hold on, hold on! This is going so much fast!”

It seems that as soon as I manage to grasp a detail, immediately after I have a new challenge in front of me.

I’m so happy I managed to take the day off and attend to the play and graduation.

There must be something very wrong with my hormones still, because I had a knot in my throat since I entered the crèche. We were accommodated in the room the kids usually use for their lessons that was prepared to function as small theatre.

There were three houses made of cardboard and on the background a forest made of the same material. On the shelf on the right hand-side of the room the graduation hats and folder were sitting.

Everything was so exciting.

Then the kids were brought in and started with their play.

Maya was the white wolf in the “The three little pigs” and I have to say she’s not shy at all, screaming all her lines.

It was so nice to watch her and attend to this event, I feel moved even now, writing about it. Yeah, there must be something wrong with me!

After “The three little pigs” and “Goldilocks and the three bears” plays the kids wore their graduation T-shirt and hats and were put in line for the pictures.

The nice and proud sensation it gave me!

After the graduation we went home and I prepared, under request, a huge plate of lasagne! Best way to celebrate my little one!

Thanks for reading, and for bearing with me!

I know that sometimes this “celebrating my kids because I’m very proud of them” may sound annoying, but I have to do it this time.

Mostly this was also a novelty as I don’t remember we had something like this in Italy, at least when I attended the Montessori.

So what do you think? Where do you connect from? How does it work there?

Write in the comments below!

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Be a ninja!

I could have been a normal human being, living a normal boring and/or relaxed life, or, considering the amount of things I have to do, a juggler.

Since I’m not good in being neither of them, I decided I’d be a ninja.

Ninjas are great, and also they have that exotic flavor added to being cool.

I know I’m not cool and I don’t like juggling, but I love ninja!

I know you are wondering what I’m talking about!

It’s understandable, only who knows me better can follow me in my thoughts and random rant.

This, my dear readers, is a mad rant or a rant voiced by my madness.

I’m very tired and I’m a tad sad as well, as I’m not able to do all the things I’d love to do…. everything as usual, right?

All these lines just to say the following: I’ve been trying to prepare a blog post for days, but I’d need a bit more time, so I decided to introduce you to my ninja family of three: ninja-ma, ninja-da and ninja-jr.

I realized I have to laugh about things, otherwise my brain will suffer more than is doing now, hence the idea. Also I love doodling, I’m not by all means an illustrator, and sometimes I try to convey in my doodle my feelings.

I don’t think they’re well drawn but I think they’re understandable.

I’m saying all this because I might share with you some more of my doodles in the future!

For now, here is my ninja family!

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Franny’s news-February 2016

Google search! I love rainbow colors!

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.