Francesco Gabbani is my number one anyway!

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This is a google search.

I’m afraid I didn’t manage to put the videos in the post, please click on the hyperlinks to listen to his songs! 

I’m Italian but I’ve been living in Ireland for the past 10 years.

I’m from Carrara, to be exact, the same home town Francesco Gabbani comes from.

I feel disappointed and angry at the moment, because I really wanted him to win the Eurovision. In my opinion, he deserved it.

Francesco worked hard to be where he is now and improved for sure on the way.

He gives me the idea of a humble person always looking for getting better and better in what he does.

He learned from the basics, learned how to write music, how to play instruments and then wrote the lyrics. He’s spreading in them fantastic play of wording, showing the massive culture he has. To be completely honest with you, I also believe that big part is also due to his talent!

Yesterday, still brooding about the competition’s outcome, I came across a video he shared on his page in which he asked his fans to stay positive as he’s OK and enjoyed the fun of the whole Eurovision event.

Although I still feel annoyed by the whole situation, I’ll try to be positive and explain why I like his music and him as artist.

Mine can be just a voice, I’m not an expert whatsoever in this field, but I believe that voices together make a choir!

And here we go:

I usually don’t listen to Italian music, I simply don’t like it much…well, reading this blog you know I’m a kind of weird Italian anyway, so nothing we can do about it.

However, I cannot listen to anything else lately but his songs.

Why?

Well, I narrowed down to three my main reasons:

His songs are made with nice tunes and stick in my head easily.

His lyrics are deep and hook my feelings.

Aaaand, probably the most important, his songs help me a lot and give me strength to keep going on in my personal dream.

You all know, my dear readers, I’d love to become a writer. I digged out my dream from a dusty drawer 10ish years ago, when I met my best friend, musician as well.

It’s not easy, and the most of the times I feel down, not only  because I have next to zero spare time, but also because my self-confidence is difficult to come by.

But Francesco’s songs speak to me. In particular these two:

“Foglie al gelo”

“Un sole”

Listening Francesco’s songs I come to the conclusion that, if your lyrics have a deep meaning, it’s easier to sing them with passion and hence hooking your listeners’ feelings is a piece of cake!

Another feedback I received from everybody, because of my situation, is that I’m too hard on myself.

I almost cried when I listened to “Per una volta”. It seemed be written for me.

He gives me hope, the hope I’ll be able to make it one day, with a lot of work and attempts and, for sure, a lot of falls and rejections.

I think that another song that helps me in every aspect of my life, be it writing, working or simply living and going ahead, is the newest “Magellano”

The fact he’s from my hometown, maybe helps and makes me see him closer to the path I’m trying to take in the artistic field. I might make it too, if I work my ass off! That’s what I think!

However, the fact he’s from my hometown also generates a regret.

Swallowed by all the bullying I went through when I was in high school, I didn’t realize he was in the same building, only three classes behind. I wonder what would have happened if I had the chances to talk with him. Maybe I would have been inspired, like it happened when I met my best friend, and I’d have started writing earlier.

Anyway is too late, I just have to concentrate on the future!

What I would like to tell him would be:

“Thank you, Francesco, thank you so much for playing your musing and writing your songs. They give me hope and they tell me that I might make it one day. They help to keep dreaming and facing the daily crappy reality. I owe you one!”

And this is my opinion, although I might haven’t managed to give him some justice!

Listen to his songs and let me know what you think!

“…sudore, fiato, cuore…voga, voga…”

-magellano-

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Oisín the great! – Review of Mad Grandad series  

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As you know from my previous posts, one of my favorite writers ever is Oisín McGann.

I followed two of his writing workshops and I appreciate him not only as writer but also as teacher.

I loved his young adult books I’ve read and I’m looking forward to read the rest, although I’m a very slow kind of reader.

A part from those books, what I was aiming to find were the ones for kids.

Now that Maya is in Junior Infant I had the excuse to buy them. She still cannot read, but she’s old enough to follow stories more complex than a fairy tale.

My only problem was that it’s not very easy to find them in book stores.

The first two I found were Mad Grandad and the flying saucer and Mad Grandad and the robot garden.

Maya absolutely loved them. And to be brutally honest with you, I loved them too, I was bent in two for the laughter.

Oisín is an honest writer. In his books, there is everything he teaches about writing: while you turn the pages, it seems you’re hearing his advices.

We should write simple things, something easy to be identified with, of course adding a twist that makes them even more interesting.

Simple elements are easily recognized. Readers would emphasize better with the characters and the story.

Take for example these first books, what’s more normal than going to spend the day with your grandpa? Everybody can relate to that!

But then, if you make the cool grandad bring his grandson to buy a flying saucer or to assemble a gardener robot that has been in the cellar for ages folded into a box, you add a simple twist that is hilarious!

However, after I spent almost two months reading in loop these two volumes as Maya forgot completely the other hundreds she has at her disposal, I thought it was the time to buy the rest.  

I ordered then online Mad Grandad’s wicked pictures, Mad Grandad’s doppelganger, Mad Grandad and the mutant river, Mad Grandad and the Kleptoes.

Let me tell you, my dear readers, if I laughed my ass off with the first two books, I did even more with the rest.

These books aren’t just funny, they’re clever, creative, brilliant and enormously real story-wise. You have the sensation, and you really wish, that these adventures might happen to you one day.

Oisín is genius and these books don’t disappoint even the adult readers, who are used to Oisín’s other novels.

In these last books I bought, grandad and Lenny have to deal with some paint from the 70s that come to life, with a couple of doppelgangers who wants to find friends, with a mer-model fished in a river and with some weird beings living in grandad’s couch.

I have to be honest with you, I was so sorry when I finished them, I wanted more.

But I wasn’t the only one! This is the dialogue with Maya following the last page of the last book:

“Mummy are we buying more?”

“Maya, I’m sorry, but this was the last Mad Grandad adventure in the series… Oisín wrote a couple of other books for kids and…”

“It’s Ok mummy, we can ask Oisín to write more!”

“Yes…”

I don’t know if we can ask, but we hope he will!

Meanwhile I’ll order the other three books I spotted, I’m sure that Maya and me will love them too.

Well done Oisín, keep up the good work!

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!

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?

Maybe I should finish one of these books!

I have the bad habit to start many books and reading them in the same laps of time. Usually the choice of the book follows my mood in a particular moment.

Some people don’t understand how I do it, but I’ve always done it, for me its like putting a film on pause and then, when I open the book during the following session, the film starts again where I left it. Even if I haven’t touched the book for a while the result it’s the same.

A few days ago I was at home sick with flu and I couldn’t keep my eyes open but I wanted to read something.

I wasn’t in any particular mood but I had the urge to start a book set during the second world war.

Don’t ask me why exactly, I cannot reply to that but so it was. And that’s how it happens: I have these compulsive spells in which I have to begin a new book or reread an old one!

Anyway, I thought about how many books I started already and I decided to gather them on my bed in order to tidy up my head and maybe pick a read.

This was the result:

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Once I realized that, I also though that maybe the reason why I’m so painfully slow in reading books is the fact that I keep starting new ones and never finishing them.

Also, I have to admit that from time to time I have those nostalgic pangs and I have to reread something like Harry Potter or Hunger Games.

If you add all this to the fact that I’m naturally a slow reader, it’s quite understandable how it’s hard for me to finish often books.

If you’re curious to know, that day I took Murakami’s book and I kept reading it.

Also I promised to myself to finish at least one or two books of this bunch before beginning a new one.

Unfortunately one of my colleague, whom I decided to call “my personal walking library,” finished the list of books he promised to make in order to help me to improve in my writing.

Needless to say that I started a new novel, which for me is actually a reread-just in a different language, “Madame Bovary” by Flaubert.

But I promise I’ll stop! I swear!!!

How about you? Do you read a book, you finish it and then start a new one or can you read several novels at the same time?

Let me know in the comments below!!!

From Béloland to Clonegal!

Still in the attempt to catch up with my life and share with you another great experience, I’ll write here about our one day trip we mad

Photo Collage Maker_KmO2Gnwriting only one month later, I’m practically on time!!!
e in October. Oh, com’on, I’m

I wanted to try the Airbnb experience with my whole family, so this time Maya would be joining us.

Because I’m an anxious person and also because I’m an even more anxious mother I was worried to visit someone else’s house with my toddler.

During the search of the listing I tried to get as much information as I could on how suitable would it be children wise. At the same time I had to find a place that was a minimum attractive in my toddler eyes, a.k.a. there was something to be done and looked relaxing in mine…although you can think that both requirements cannot fit into the same sentence!

After some research, though, I found it.

It was a private room, the host was living in, so it was a real Bélo-style expe
rience.

Also there was a huge field around the house, horses, an orchard and two dogs.

It looked perfect, the host was a super-host so I just needed to have a look at the reviews. With my fingers crossed I started reading and I wasn’t disappointed. The one that convinced me was left by a couple with small kids saying that the 6 years old thought to have found a new set of grandparents.

That was it! I booked!

And the stay was beyond the fantastic! I couldn’t have been luckier or happier.

We could only reach the destination in the late afternoon as we had to wait my partner to finish at work first. The host was OK with a later check in so we were set for this detail.

Almost at our destination Maya fell asleep in the car. The idea was to get there, leave the bags and go somewhere to eat.

However, cause a sudden wake up Maya was very cranky and we couldn’t move.

Our host was fantastic because she empathized with the situation immediately. She prepared us a quick dinner so we didn’t have to think about it anymore.

Also Maya, little by little and with the huge help of the two dogs, got more confidence  and by the end of the evening she was playing around the room like she’d always been there.

Sandra took her to the huge fantastic library they had at the entrance and dug out of it a few books for children.

Before bed she also read Maya a bed time story and I started really to relax.

When we woke up in the morning a nice full Irish breakfast was waiting for us, fresh pressed orange juice was ready beside tea and coffee.

Sandra took care of Maya once again, letting us have a proper breakfast.

Immediately after we finished, as she was promised, Maya was brought to see the horses.

There was a huge stretch of grass at the back of the house and at the end of it there was a small enclosure for the horses.

Maya was so happy and she started running back and forth in the tall wet grass.

Sandra then brought her to pick apples in the orchard and then feed them to the two horses. It was so funny to see her enjoying so much.

After we finished there the two dogs decided it was time for a stroll  the nearby river. Maya, of course, ran headlong after them. Sandra offered to mind her until I could fetch my partner and in order to show him the river.

It was such an amazing site. My daughter was running around freely and I felt relaxed and able to breathe better.

I learned a bit more about Sandra who’s a fantastic person as well as great host.

At the end of the trip at the river Maya couldn’t walk anymore so Sandra called her husband and my princess was brought back with the car!

Photo Collage Maker_sfq1ppWhen I finally got back to the house I found her eating an ice lolly sitting on the patio with Sandra. Yes, it was really like being in my mum’s house.

Since Maya was wet to bone I had to wash her. We had a private bathroom with tbesidhe shower but Sandra insisted to prepare her a bath, which actually was ideal. Sandra added also some plastic lightened frogs to let her play. Needless to say Maya didn’t want to get out!

But it was time to go for us and return to Dublin.

Of course nobody wanted to leave the place.

I felt so relaxed for the time I’d been there that I want to go back.

I have to go back! That’s just heaven!!!