Tuesday, December 31, 2013

No Voice

No joke. I have lost my voice. I had just arrived at my aunt's house and a couple of hours later ... my voice was gone. Oh my. Sunday was pretty hard on me and my voice. All these people wanting to talk to me ... well, they talked and I listened because it not only hurt to speak but the others were not able to understand what I was saying. Luckily, in the meantime my voice is much better and I've made up for lost time!

Friday, December 27, 2013

On The Road Again

It's time to be on the road again. Can't wait. It has been four months now, since I have come back from America and it's really time to move again.
The one day trip to Milano doesn't count, obviously.

Therefore, tomorrow morning my suitcase and I (and, well, about 10 bags full of presents for my family and also stuff that they wanted me to buy for them - stuff that you can't buy in Italy!), well, as I said, my suitcase, my plastic bags and I will be on the road again.
I not only look forward to travel but also to have 10 days off. That will do me good.
I was just thinking about why I actually hadn't moved these last four months.
Simple.
In August I've been to the US.
September was about ... being back.
October was about ... working (i.e. earning money) to pay for my credit card bill!
November was Milano and more work.
December was work as well (we had some crazy months at the office, let me tell you!).

This will have to change in the first couple of months of 2014 but for now I'm simply glad ... to hit the road again!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Winter Solstice

Today is the shortest i.e. darkest day of the year.

Just a couple of days ago I realized how illuminated our world is (even in the night) because, getting off of the train, I stepped into ... a dark world. At first I didn't get it. Something was different but I didn't immediately get WHAT was different. Then I realized that ALL street lights of the township I live in were ... dark. Total darkness all around me!
Wow.
And creepy/scary at the same time.
I had to walk home in total darkness. Luckily, the lights in the houses were still working and therefore I had some light - but not enough to clearly see where I was putting my feet. Luckily, the full moon helped!

This was a new experience to me. Darkness in the city. It was kind of frightening but at the same time the full moon was awe-inspiring. A magical moment!
At that precise moment, walking home, I realized how much our world (at least in the Western hemisphere) is always illuminated. 
Imagine how dark the world must have been back in the days? And still is in some parts of the world?

PS: Happy Solstice! It's getting better now - day after day :-)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Other's World: OWNING A CLOTHING STORE

I've met Dusanka during a brunch organized by a common friend. She then handed out flyers of her new shop and I immediately thought of her being an "interview" on my blog. It took me several months though to make it come true but here I am now.

Before the interview I had never been to her shop and I must admit that I love it (and I'm not saying it just because she agreed to be interviewed). It's stylish. And I love the clothes and accessories she sells. They're stylish as well. What I liked best though is that there were items for every budget. I bought a bracelet (which I have worn often since) which was just perfect for my budget!

Have a look at her webside: http://jobrauer.com/ or like her on Facebook or if you live in Zurich, make time to visit her shop. It's worth it!

Now, let's hear what she has to say about her dream come true. You'll find the English translation, as usual, at the bottom and, as usual, all mistakes are mine.

Enjoy!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Eating Habits

My new life, from a nutrional point of view, is getting along pretty well. I keep "organizing" my meals and find pleasure in trying out new recipes.

What I do like:

I like the variety of my meals.
I like the oatmeal for breakfast (a warm breakfast, it turns out, is not only more satiable but keeps me warm from the inside out - not irrelevant during winter time).
I like to discover new recipes (it's like traveling - discovering new stuff!).

I like it that I spend less money (more money for shopping left).
I like it that I "produce" less waste (this is a very nice and a very unexpected side-effect - not eating convenience food means using less plastic which is good for our world!).

Just one thing I don't like:

LEFTOVERS.More specifically leftovers the third day (total no go) and leftovers during the weekend (boring - weekends should be special - even meal wise...).

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Power of Gratefulness

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (a scientist) once said (I've read this in a paper somewhere - don't remember which one - I simply cut out the sentence):

"Menschen, die mit dem Schicksal hadern, richten ihre Aufmerksamkeit auf das, was sie unzufrieden macht.
Die Glücklichen hingegen haben ihren Blick trainiert für die Dinge, die erfreulich sind."

"People who struggle with destiny focus on what makes them unhappy. 
The lucky ones however set their sights on things that are pleasant."

 I love these words!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Meditation

The last couple of minutes of our yoga class are dedicated to meditation. I have no idea if it's 10 minutes or 15 or less or more. My notion of time during yoga lessons somehow gets ... all blurred.

I absolutely love the part where we get to lie down on our back and get to loosen up every single part of our body. We start with our face and go down our body. I love it. At the beginning it was hard for me "to let go" but with time I learned how to do it.

It gets more difficult with the part where we have to let our thoughts go. Oh my. We are sitting on the floor, cross-legged, and our teacher tells us to concentrate on our inner being, to the light, feel how it gets warmer and brighter. Sounds pretty good, doesn't it?
This is how it goes with me (short version of my inner dialogue):

"How wonderful is the light in my belly. It feels so warm and bright. You see, I can concentrate on nothing but my inner light."

"Thinking of lights. Have I turned down all the lights in the office? Mmmh, I think I did.

Oh shit, my dear, you are supposed to feel the light in your belly not thinking about the office."

For a second or so my attention goes back to my belly.

"My landlady is coming home tomorrow. I need to park my car on the street - she won't be happy if she finds my car parked in her parking space.

Simonetta, Simonetta, please feel the belly.

Where do I buy the presents for my nephews? Where do they sell nice sweaters for kids? I could try...

THE BELLY!

Next week I am gonna put some "spaghetti al tonno" on my weekly menu. I haven't had spaghetti al tonno in a while and I have an appetite for tuna."

The second I tell myself to stuck with my belly and NOT with my to-do list for tomorrow ... the gong indicating the end of the meditation session goes off.

Oh hell, that went well, didn't it?

Friday, December 6, 2013

About Full Bellies

I was just reading an article written by Angelo Sica in Grazia Italia. It was about a trip he did with Fondazione Francesca Rava to Haiti to tell about their doing in this devastated country. In Haiti Angelo met a priest (Richard Frechette, an American) and quoted him as follows:

"Quando mangiamo, il sangue dalla testa va alla pancia: diventiamo meno reattivi. Nelle società occidentali abbiamo sempre la pancia piena, per digerire cibo, comodità, cose superflue. Ma è quando si digiuna che i sensi tornano all'erta, nell'uomo si risveglia l'istinto primitivo del cacciatore pronto a sentire quello che gli dice la natura, i suoi simili, quello che gli dice Dio."

"When we eat, our blood wanders from the head to the belly. We become less responsive. People in occidental societies always have their bellies full - digesting food, comfort and superfluous things. While we are fasting though our senses get back to being wary again, the primitive hunter insticts awaken and we are ready to listen to what nature, the like-minded and God has to tell us."

I am not into fasting, I have to admit. But I like this idea of "abstinence of food" (could mean eat less food for instance - one hasn't got to fast necessarily) to become more responsive.
It's worth thinking of...

Monday, December 2, 2013

Trip Down Memory Lane

What an afternoon yesterday! I indeed sorted out my photo albums and my shelf looks quite nice now (new space is always welcome - you know that I have only a one bedroom appartment and therefore space is precious to me). Most importantly though, I stumbled across my old diaries.
Oh wow.
I had forgotten that I kept them with my photo albums!
I read my very first diary, written when I was 12 years old. So funny (reading it today - back then life was not always funny - it's hard to be a 12 year old girl - nowadays and back then!) and so interesting. Interesting because some of my girlfriends back then are no longer part of my life today. I don't even know what they have become or where they live. If someone had told me so back then, I wouldn't have believed them - I'd even called them liairs. It was unimaginable to me. They were sooo important, so vital to me and my life.
Some other girlfriends though are still my friends. The unexpected ones, I'd say. The ones I called "strange" back then. Funny, don't you think? And somehow foreseeable.

I didn't read all the diaries - the afternoon was too short. I had to read the one written when I was an au pair girl in Paris though. My first really big adventure (well, maybe my second - the first being my four weeks around Europe with a friend doing Interrail!). Never homesick. Full of energy, new ideas and impressions. I remembered the person I was back then (not so different from the one I am today - fortunately!). Fortunately, also, I am wiser today. I realized that while reading my words.

I don't believe in living in the past. I want to live today, right this minute (at least I try). Stepping into my past for the duration of one afternoon though wasn't only fun but reminded me of where I came from and that ... THE JOURNEY IS THE REWARD. (DER WEG IST DAS ZIEL.)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Lazy Sunday

It's Sunday. My mind tells me to:

- go to the gym
- if not to the gym, then at least to go for a long walk to take advantage of this sunny winter day
- do some laundry
- do my nails

My heart though speaks another language. It tells me to stay at home (and enjoy the sun through my windows) and to tidy up my shelf where I keep all my photo albums.
I've postponed doing it because I told myself that it wasn't urgent. NOT URGENT AT ALL. The thing is I have all these albums and not enough space any longer. I need to sort them out and to decide how to classify (digitize?) them.
I know I should go to the gym. I know it! I am just not in the mood today. I am totally more eager to spend hours looking at my old pictures! Therefore... hell, let's spend the afternoon enjoying my old pictures ... and I promise, I will go to the gym tomorrow, do my nails then as well and postpone the walk to another Sunday (it won't be the last sunny Sunday of this winter, right? Hopefully not). I can handle the laundry at the same time though (luckily the washer doesn't need my help!).

From time to time it's soothing to just let the heart decide what to do :-)

HAPPY SUNDAY

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Life's Lessons

Some lessons, that life puts on my way, show up at my door once and then again and again ... until I REALLY get it. At the end, I want to shout: hell! I got it now. You can stay out of my life now!

Interestingly enough, I read an article in Marie Claire Italia about just this topic. Imma Vitelli is a journalist and a traveler and she shares her thoughts and adventures/experiences with her readers once a month (she's got her own column). I love what she has to say generally but this time she spoke directly to my heart. A friend of hers handed out advice that started her thinking. Imma was convinced to have failed (it's not mentioned what "the failure" consisted of but it's not important). Her friend told her:
"Hai ripetuto l'anno. Ne avevi bisogno." (You have repeated a year. You needed it.)
(NB: like in school when a student needs to repeat a class...)
Then Imma continues with her own thoughts:
Ripetere un copione è lo sforzo, inconscio, di impararlo, di capirlo, di farlo tuo, per superarlo.
To repeat a scenario is the effort, unconscious, to learn it, to understand it, to make it yours, until you finally overcome it.

Wonderful words. Next time, when life has something to (re-)teach me, instead of getting angry at myself (for NOT getting it again), I will think of them. Next time I will be more gentle to myself. I will know that I simply needed to practice it again.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Mindfulness

Being a more mindful eater is starting to please me very much. It does my body and mind well. The next logic step, at least it seemed logical to me, was to take up yoga classes again.
Luckily enough I found a Friday night lesson near the office. I had been looking for a new yoga teacher (my old one stopped giving lessons) for the last couple of months now. Nobody inspired me enough though. Only now, and thanks to my "old" yoga teacher, I "found" what I was looking for. You see? Things arrive when you are ready for them!
I wanted to do yoga on Friday night. I think that Friday is the perfect night to do yoga. The week is over and it's an ideal way to leave all the stress, the bad vibes and the too many thoughts accumulated during the week "behind you".
Last Friday was the first lesson with this new teacher. It was good. It was more than that. My body felt relaxed and "stretched" after two hours of being aware of only my breathing and letting all my thoughts go as soon as they appeared. For someone like me who thinks too much, NOT thinking is like going on a vacation :-)
This weekend I read an article just about "mindfulness":
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/03/fashion/mindfulness-and-meditation-are-capturing-attention.html?_r=0
(written by David Hochman)
Interesting.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Our World ... is Ashamed

It would be more correct to say that WE (as in humanity) should be ashamed of the way we treat our world!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Milano ... again

15 or more years back when traveling abroad, shopping was always an adventure per se. As these trips took place before globalization, the shops in the various cities were different from the ones back home and therefore unique (hence the adventure).
I am not saying that "old times were better" - on the contrary. I like present times pretty much.
I am just stating something that seems obvious to me.
I remember one trip to Paris (1990 or so) - just to mention one of so many. I came back with a coat, a skirt and boots that NOBODY ELSE had over here. That was so freaking cool. I admit it. Dressing in a different way always pleased me very much!
These days it's become more difficult. I don't say it's impossible. It's just more difficult.
All big European and American cities have shops of the globalized brands. I usually avoid them. I prefer to go looking for the "other" shops.

This Monday though I "discovered" a store of a globalized brand that I would very much like to have in my city.
Do you know "& Other Stories" by H&M? www.stories.com

I knew of if because I had read about it in various magazines but I had actually never been to a store.
I totally and irrevocably fell in love. Deep down in love.
Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to really go through all the clothes and accessories. So many things. So different. I liked it.
Next time I travel to a city where they have a shop, I will schedule enough time to go ALL over the store.
Promised.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Milano - one

I spent my Monday in Milano shopping with a friend.
That you know.
Sometimes during the afternoon, while walking from one shop to the other, enjoying myself, the city and my purchases (!), I thought that probably I had to change my idea of a bag I wanted for this winter (this is how I shop BTW - I start with an idea and then adjust my wishes while shopping because reality not always matches my dreams, unfortunately!). In all the shops we had been (and there were many of them, believe me!) I hadn't seen ONE bag that even roughly looked like the one I had in mind. NOT ONE.
I was just thinking that I had to re-think the whole bag issue when my friend suggested that we enter the Benetton shop. We had a bit less than one hour time before we had to take the taxi back to the main station and therefore ... why not?

It was like destiny SMILE.

There it was. My dream bag. Dark green. Leather. Rectangular. Rather big. Can also be worn with a strap in order to have both hands free (this is important while riding the train in the morning - makes life simpler).
In one word: WONDERFUL.
Well, a tiny bit expensive but as the train was soon leaving and I didn't want to re-think the whole bag issue and the other stuff I bought wasn't that expensive and and ... (list whatever good excuse comes to your mind - I had them all!).
In short: I bought it.
And am so glad I did because wearing it to work this morning with my dark blue coat? Well, it looked fabulous! Can't wait to wear it with my new gray coat :-)


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Getting Ready ...

... for a shopping spree in Milano!
Yes! I am going to Milano tomorrow (first train in the morning to go and last train in the evening to come back).
Can't wait. I have a real long shopping list and I hope that I will be successful :-)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Other's World: MOVING TO SHANGHAI (CHINA)




I've met Emanuela in Chicago, back in 2009. Incredible but true. We were in the same language school and met because I heard her talking Italian in the hallway. Both our time in Chicago was short and therefore we just had coffee once (at the Lavazza coffee shop just a few blocks away from school - where else?). Thanks to Facebook we remained in contact though and I followed her moving to Shanghai. It was clear to me that I had to interview her for my blog and I am glad she agreed to do so!
Even though I don't know Emanuela that well (I actually don't know her at all, one coffee doesn't give you that much time to get to know each other), she is however one of these persons who leave an impression on you. Do you know what I mean? It has probably something to do with energy. Reading her words now though made me understand why we clicked all these years back - we have similar opinions and the same view of life.
Anyway, I am not only delighted to have her words and pictures in my blog but also grateful that I now have an excuse to travel to Shanghai!

The pictures are hers, by the way, and you'll find the English translation at the bottom (as usual, all mistakes are mine!). Buona lettura.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Do You Listen?

Do you listen to what your body has to say to you?
That was a question I asked a friend of mine but I should actually have asked this question to myself:

Do you listen to what your body tells you?

Why is it so much easier to hand out advice instead of actually giving this same advice to ourselves? You know why. And I know why. Giving advice is easy. It's just words for others. But when the same words concern your own life? It gets harder because YOU have to actually DO something...
And often, I come to realize, I give someone an advice which actually would apply to me as well. Interesting. As if my problem is being reflected by what my counterpart tells me. Or what I appear to actually hear. Oh my. Do I just hear what I want to hear? And are my words subsequently rather meant for myself then for my counterpart? I repeat: oh my!
That line of thinking is for another day.
Today is about: Listen carefully to what you say to others. It often helps you understand what is going on with you. It helps me a lot. I am into eating healthier BECAUSE I asked myself: Do you listen to what your body has to say to you?
I hadn't. Not lately at least. But this has changed now and I am very grateful to my friend for bringing up her health problems that evening a couple of weeks back. It made me realize what I wanted / needed to change in my life / for my health :-)


Our World ... is Overcrowded


Friday, November 8, 2013

Got Mail!

I got mail today! A very nice surprise actually!

Do you remember the guys from this post? http://simonettasworld.blogspot.ch/2013/09/the-others-world-launching-new-product.html

Well they just sent me ... their energy bar for tasting. Yummy! And not only. I hear that that their project is still going strong. Let's keep our fingers crossed for them :-)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Eating Habits - Suite

Do you wonder what became of my resolution to eat healthier i.e. to be more attentive to what I eat (see post http://simonettasworld.blogspot.ch/2013/10/eating-habits.html)?

Well, it's going pretty good. Not as structured as I had imagined I would be but well nevertheless.

First conclusions after these two weeks:

1) I spend less money on grocery shopping:
Two reasons for this: a) I buy only what I am gonna eat. Before, I often bought too much stuff that I eventally had to throw away (honestly, what a waste of food! I am a bit ashamed!)
and b) convenience food (as it's called nowadays) is more expensive than a real cooked meal.

2) During the week I spend less time on thinking what to eat and have therefore more free time. It's totally liberating :-)

3) I like what I eat - it's varied and yummy.

What I do like less though is the time I spend thinking about the menus i.e. skimming through my cookbooks. On the other hand, this may become easier with time. Don't you think?
Anyway, it was a good decision. As I said, I am not always as structured as I imagined I'd be and therefore sometimes fall back on my old menus (like pasta with something or good old salad) but I sincerely don't mind (also because I like pasta and I like salad!).
Keep you updated!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Wintertime

Do you know the exact moment when I really (but really - like deep down) realize that wintertime has arrived, no, let me rephrase it: that wintertime IS actually already here?
When I clean my balcony and put away my (balcony) chairs and table.
SIGH

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Other's Words: Words of Wisdom

While reading an interview to the photographer Éric Bouvet in Marie Claire Italia (November issue), I was touched by his following words:

"Vivi semplicemente, fai attenzione al tuo corpo, prenditi cura del tuo spirito, stai con persone sorridenti e gentili, non farti dire quello che devi fare, sii padrone del tuo tempo e del tuo spazio."

"Live a simple life, be attentive to your body, take care of your spirit, spend your time with smiling and friendly people, don't let anybody tell you what to do, be the master of your time and your space."

PS: for more information on the artist: www.ericbouvet.com


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Other's Words: When You're Happy

I just read the following words in a newsletter I receive from the "Art of Non-Conformity" writer Chris Guillebeau (I had read his book and subscribed to his newsletter). I love the way he thinks! And these words kind of expressed something I have been feeling quite for some time now but I have actually never been able to put those feelings into the right words. Sometimes other's words say it best (that is why I am starting a new section called "The Other's Words"):

"As I was editing a new book manuscript, one story caught my attention. A man makes a lot of changes in his life. He adopts a new lifestyle, sells his possessions, and spends his time on intentional experiences. So far, so good.
But then, he doesn't just make the changes - he wants to tell people about them. He tells everyone he meets, even people who are busy with their own lives and don't want to hear about it.

He is so happy!

Finally, his mother says something to him in a phone call: "John, when people are happy, they don't have to tell everyone about it. They're just happy."
The man realizes that she's right. He doesn't need to persuade anyone to adopt the same lifestyle. He doesn't need to scold or criticize anyone who doesn't think as he does. He just needs to live according to his ideals.

**********

There's a wonderful freedom in living life by your own design and making choices for yourself. When you first create this freedom - for freedom is usually created, not merely found - you may find yourself like John, wanting to tell everyone about it.
[ ...]
Your happiness may lie in going against the grain of opinion or preferences. But sometimes, you should just go with the flow once you're there. Let it settle in. Enjoy it for yourself.

Those who long for the same discoveries will seek them out. Those who are envious will never understand anyway. Everyone else can just live their life as they see fit.

If you're happy, you don't have to tell everyone about it. 
You're just happy.

PS: See his homepage if you are interested in more: www.chrisguillebeau.com.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Jewelry

Yesterday morning, while dressing and deciding on what jewelry to wear, I thought that I actually needed new jewelry because my style has slightly changed recently and the jewelry doesn't fit perfectly any longer. As I am off to Milan in two weeks, I didn't dwell too much on the topic and went to work. 

I forgot all about new jewelry during the day until the evening when I met a person for an interview for my blog. She runs a shop (clothes and accessories) and while I was waiting on her to get ready to talk to me, I had a look around her shop. What do I see (well, besides some very nice bags and some nice blouses)? A bracelet. Golden. Wonderful. And not expensive.

Needless to mention that after the interview ... I bought the bracelet and went home feeling good. I not only had a cool interview on tape but owned a new shiny bracelet as well!

PS: Her interview will posted in a few weeks!




Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Eating Habits


A couple of days ago I decided that I wanted to be more attentive to my eating habits. It's not about losing weight (even if I wouldn't mind losing some SMILE). No. It's about being more attentive to what energy I feed my body with.
My menus are not varied enough. Besides the fact that this can't possibly be healthy, I also noticed that I spend a lot of time thinking about what to eat but I always end up eating the same anyway (total lack of ideas). I suddenly felt like I spent too much energy on "bad eating habits" and that the result was mediocre at best.
What to do?
Unfortunately, I am not an imaginative cook. I can't just open my fridge, look at the stuff in it and then combine whatever to a wonderful and healthy meal. I simply can't. What happens is that I look at the stuff in my fridge or my pantry and I usually end up eating pasta with something or bread and cheese or whatever uninspired menu I can think of. It's easier during summer time when my fridge holds plenty of fruits and vegetables (salad variations are always a good solution). But in wintertime? Impossible. Then there is the worst case scenario: I am in the grocery store, after work, thinking about what to eat for dinner, staring at the shelves full of food and coming up with nothing. Result: I buy too much and the usual stuff.
Again: what to do?
I came up with one solution: I need more structure. I need to think of several menus for my week in advance and then go grocery shopping once. Then I will start deep-freeze some stuff (should I not be that perfectly organized, I can fall back on that). Now when I come home in the evening I choose a menu from my list and start to cook.
These first couple of days things went pretty easy and I already enjoy ... how relaxed I feel. Let's see what I will say in a couple of weeks. Will I be able to stick to my plan?

 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Being Busy

I don't like people who are always soo totally busy. I don't think that being busy ALL the time is a good way of life.

Having said that I have to admit that I am sometimes pretty busy as well. I try to avoid it but can't always. Take the last 10 days. Oh wow. I haven't been too busy but too busy to ... think clearly (and I am not mentioning having time to actually not think at all!).
There has been my cat-sitting week which was pretty time-consuming. Cool and sweet but time-consuming nevertheless (the cat and I became friends at the end, by the way!). Then a friend visited and it was all about catching up and shopping (strictly window shopping for the two of us - we are both on a tight budget!). Then in the office things went crazy and each night I came home totally tired. Too tired to think!

Therefore, here I am. Saturday. After a good night's sleep. Nice weather. Two days just for me ahead.

Cool.

So, I just decided that my first action for today would be tidying up my closet. This has been taking up a lot of place in my head SMILE. Before returning to ... think I need to clear out the pending matters in my brain, needn't I?
I urgently need to put away my summer clothes. And I am going shopping to Milan in two weeks (my strict budget month is over! yeah!!) and therefore I need to know the content of my closet before heading off to my Italian shopping spree.
I can't wait to re-discover my Winter clothes (I tend to forget what I own!).
And can't wait to take up... thinking clearly again!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cat-sitting

I am cat-sitting this week. I moved my office to my friend's house in order for their cat not to be alone the whole day. She is an almost 18-year-old lady and when my friends went on a vacation last year, she had to go to a kennel. She was totally traumatized when they picked her up two weeks later, therefore, this year, they wanted to handle it differently and asked me if I could do this deal with the office. My boss fortunately is a cool lady and so I moved temporarily to their appartment.

What to say?

The cat lady is not a big fan of mine.
If she were a person, I'd say she is sulking :-)
She seems to say: WHAT? They dared to leave ME with YOU?
Fascinating.
She is totally ignoring me. No, acutally, not totally. When I arrive in the morning, she waits for me at the door. When I try to pet her, she walks away (I almost, but only almost, take it personally!).
As soon as I open the can of food, there she is again (now you know why she was waiting at the door!).
Then, no news the whole day (I had been told that cats, and especially old cats do sleep their day away!).
At 4 / 4.30 pm here she comes out from under the bed. One loud meow is the sign for me that she is ready for some food.
Which, as a humble server, I promptly serve.
She eats and there she goes again ... under the bed.

What to say? Not everybody can love me, right?


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Another Website


I found this other website and this other project that I found fascinating.

Hank Bought A Bus: www.hankboughtabus.com

Have a look. What a wonderful idea. What a wonderful trip.What a wonderful intention.
This guy is an architect and I love his idea of living in a bus / of having converted an old school bus into a home on wheels. I see so many houses/offices that may look nice from the outside but what about the inside
I am all about being practical. I think that architecture shows its best when it's about being beautiful AND being livable.
Look at Hank's bus. In my opinion it's not only cool and stylish but (apparently, as I haven't lived in it) habitable.

PS: I would LOVE living in a bus :-)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Friday, October 11, 2013

NOT Ready For Winter

It's getting cold over here. Well, not yet cold cold like in temperatures below zero but cold nevertheless.

This morning, while waiting for the train to arrive (on my way to work), even though I was wearing a coat ... it was cold. It was then that I realized that I am not yet ready for winter. Neither mentally nor physically. Not at all ready. I am happy to have bought this cool gray winter coat. I love to think about what else I want to wear this winter (not only thinking but also buying SMILE). That I do definitively love about winter.
But to really feel the cold wind, noooooooooooooooo sir, that I am not ready to do. Not at all.
What can I do though?
Nothing.
I have to "hang in there"! What else? Well, maybe thinking about a nice trip to warmer regions (sometimes during this winter)??? That may be a solution. Just thinking about it makes me feel good and ... warmer :-)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Other's World: PARTICIPATING IN A TV SHOW

I. was a colleague of mine when I was working at the bank. By chance I heard from another former colleague of mine that she had participated in a TV show and had won some serious money! I had to know more of her adventure on TV and was glad when she agreed on answering my questions.

The show is called 1 vs. 100 (read more about the game on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1_vs._100). Before meeting her I had no idea what that game was about but I was nevertheless impressed by her undertaking. I don't honestly know if I could have kept my calm on live TV :-)

Read what she has to tell about this adventure (the pictures are hers - from her trip to New Zealand - paid by the money she won... but don't let me anticipate anything - read for yourself...). You'll find the English version at the bottom.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Edward Burtynski

check out this webside: www.edwardburtynsky.com

Wonderful pictures. Wonderful topics. Simpyl wonderful work.

I discovered Burtynski while visiting Washington (that was in 2009 - wow, time flies!). I walked by a museum (they do have wonderful museums in Washington) and had kind of a hunch. I had to enter (I am glad that I didn't ignore my hunch). I loved his pictures. I was fascinated. I looked at them over and over again until the custodian started glancing at me with worried eyes :-) The exhibit back then was "Oil" and I still regret not to have bought the book of the exhibit. You know how it is: too expensive, too heavy, I have to carry it the rest of my trip, etc. etc. Right. But I should have bought it, nevertheless :-)

Now the guy has a new book "Water" and there is even a documentary "Watermark". Hopefully, his work will be shown in Europe as well!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Longing

I sometimes think that this feeling of longing (to travel somewhere) keeps me going. It's like an inner fire or something (I am no poet - sorry!). Sometimes it hits me. It hits me hard. Like yesterday, for instance.
One of my line dance friends took her ex-husband's niece to class. The niece was visiting from Italy and she didn't want to stay home alone and therefore accompanied her aunt. As the niece didn't speak German, we started talking in Italian. We had a very nice chat and there, suddenly, it was.

All I had to do .... was talking in Italian to her. The sound of my own (Italian) voice. That's when it "hit" me. Like a wave. A wave of longing.
While talking I decided that it was time for me to go back to Italy.
Even if it's just for one day.
Very soon.
I have to go very soon.
Well, not this month (remember my credit card bill?).
But next month.
Certainly next month.
As soon as I will get my salary.
Can't wait.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Changing Hair Style

One of the most important advantages having short(er) hair is ... that you can change hair style every other month!
When I had long hair ... I had long hair. The only thing changing was ... that my hair got longer.

Now, since I'm wearing shorter hair, I realize, I can change hair style every time I go to the hairdresser. Or every time I feel like it.
Ok, I have to admit that my hair grows extremely fast (not my opinion, my hairdresser's) which helps the progress, of course.

Today I felt like a new hair style.
I had them cut shorter. Not short short (my hair is not ideal for short-haired style: with no gel it then looks like ... fur ... and I DO NOT exaggerate!). Now I have a cute little bob with hair that stops just short after my ears.

I look younger. But maybe THAT is wishful thinking :-)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Stationtostation.com

I've read about this project when it was already over. Unfortunately. I would have liked to follow it day by day, stop by stop.

Do you wonder what I am talking about?

The project "Station to Station" (www.stationtostation.com). Totally cool. I love it. During three weeks in September a train traveled from New York to San Francisco, stopping at 7 train stations on its way.
The whole project was made possible by Levi's and the money goes to museums all over the US.

I think this was a wonderful project. Have a look at their homepage, I loved the pictures and the films. Particularly the films: the short movies shot during the train rides (like "somewhere in Minnesota" or similar), all the "Road Trip" movies and the "minutes" of the various cities. Wonderful. Amazing.
Made me want to be there.
Made me think of my last year's trip.
Made me think of possible future trips (well, the latter is not surprising - so many things make me think of future trips BIG SMILE).

21st Century

TV-wise I have now (finally, some would say!) arrived in the 21st century. I am now a proud owner of a flat screen TV that is 80 cm wide! 80 cm! I can't believe it. Quite the change from my old one which screen was smaller than the one of my computer!
My appartment now looks kind of bizarre with this big black ... "thing" in it but watching movies on a large screen makes up for the ugliness of the TV :-)

Do you think that I bought a new TV even though last week I was complaining about having spent too much money on new outfits (remember? the coat??) and having to pay my credit card bill (remember? the charges from my US trip?)?
No, no, don't you worry.
I simply got lucky.

My uncle (on my mother's side) decided to buy himself a new TV (a really huge one) and didn't know what to do with the old one that was still working fine.
He thought of me.
I am glad he did.
My old TV, an inheritance as well, was getting to be a hazard, I'm afraid. It was at least (AT LEAST) 20 years old and I was always afraid that one day it would ... start to burn ... or something. Do you think that it's exaggerated? Believe me, it's not. I know what I am talking about. My old TV was also a relict (and also an inheritance from a friend) that one fine day started to burn - well, it didn't really burn but there was a loud popping sound followed by a strong odour of smoke. Oh wow, it was like in chemistry classes hahahaha.

To cut to the chase: you could also call me the TV "recycler" :-)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Words

I am on Pinterest now. Have been for a couple of weeks. I just like it! I preferably follow other people who pin about fashion, art, photography and ... words of wisdom. I adore the words of wisdom. Just yesterday, I read the following on my pin board - so true!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Locked Words

Some times (like today for instance) my words remain locked in my brain. I am able to speak, that yes, even though I avoid profound discussions. I manage the usual daily small talk. That yes.
But don't ask me for more.
And especially don't ask me for funny or interesting posts in this blog.

Just don't.

The words are there - I can't almost feel them spinning around in my head. The decisive part being: in my head. They refuse to come out.

Well, what am I to do in such cases? Nothing. Be (almost) silent and patient. Usually, they come back to me pretty soon.
In the meantime: bye! Have a nice weekend :-)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fall Shopping

I needed new shoes. I desperately needed new shoes. Last week, during the few rainy days we had, I realized that I didn't have adequate shoes for just this kind of weather. Being the kind of girl that owns just a few pair of shoes and boots (I live in a one bedroom appartment and don't have much space!), come the end of any season my shoes / boots are literally worn out!

So I went shopping. Looking for shoes that were something in between my flat ballerinas and my boots with 10 cm heels. I found the ideal pair of ankle boots in dark brown with a 5 cm heel. Beautiful. In the same store I bought a pair of boots that will be perfect for when it'll snow (yes, it will be snowing - probably rather sooner than later - sad but true).

I could have gone home by then but as I was already "en route" I thought that doing a quick detour to H&M wouldn't be that bad. It definitively wasn't bad. Quite the contrary. I not only bought a new pair of jeans and two blouses (one dark blue, the other in light gray, slightly transparent both of them, you know, like you see them so often in shops these days), I also fell in love ... with a coat.
Oh my.
Buying a coat wasn't part of my budget but I had to buy it. I HAD TO.
It's a light wool coat in a light gray, straight cut, no collar. It's simple. It's classy.
As it doesn't have any collar I will have to wear scarfs with it. Depeding on the scarf I will look more classy or more sporty. I just love it!

PS: After that I went straight back home. God knows what I would have found in any other shop and my budget is rather tight these days as I am waiting for the credit card bill of my US trip!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Photo Art

I spent my Saturday in Bienne (Biel) visiting the Festival of Photography. Several museums / galleries showed photo art of known and not so known artists.
As I like photography and I like art and moreover I like to discover new stuff, a trip to Bienne seemed appropriate (even more so that I had never visited Bienne before and I was curious about this bilingual city).

The city didn't knock my socks off but this isn't what I want to talk about. The festival was worth the more than 1 hour train ride to Bienne. Totally worth it even though I didn't like some exhibitions ... at all! I looked at some of the pictures or the slide presentations and thought: are you kidding me? Why do I spend even a minute of my time looking at such BS? But art is also about ... not liking, right? And all the so-called great artists we admire today weren't always liked during their time (Van Gogh - just to mention one of many).

There were some jewels fortunately.

The short movie by Ursula Biemann called "Deep Weather".
http://www.vdb.org/titles/deep-weather (I found it on the Internet for those who are interested in ecology). What damages do we inflict on our planet?

The pictures of Dimitris Michalakis called "Burnout" touched my heart. He documented the consequences of the Greek crisis. Gut-wrenching. Why can't we stop this madness?

The pictures taken by Will Steacy called "Deadline" showed how the print medias changed over the years. How free is our press really?

I do like documentary photos, did you guess?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Our World

I had this idea a couple of months back. I didn't act on it because it was summer and I was enjoying lazy summer days and my brain wasn't much on new sections for this blog.
With the autumnal temperatures my brain is now working properly again :-)
Anyway.
I had this idea for a section called "Our World". I already have one that I call "The Other's World" (as you know) in which I write about ... other people, obviously. Having "My World" (i.e. Simonetta's World) and "The Other's World" I thought that I was missing ... "Our World" as in the world we are all living in.
This section won't be with many words. It will be one word (well, sometimes maybe two or three or four) and one picture.
Premiere tomorrow!

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Other's World: LAUNCHING A NEW PRODUCT

Chantal and I worked in the same company many years back. We somehow lost touch after I quit to find each other again through Facebook. She now lives in Geneva and we met a few months back while I was in Geneva for a birthday party. We had lunch and she told me that she got married and that together with her husband David they were launching a new product, a healthy snack bar actually.
While she told me all about their journey, I knew that I had to ask them questions for my blog. This is too amazing a project for me not to ask questions. Or do you know anybody who is launching a new product? Well, I don't. And you know that I love people that have courage and brilliant ideas mixed with a good spirit of adventure!
I will certainly keep you updated on when the product will be available to buy! I wish them luck anyway!

Let's read what they have to tell about their product (you'll find the German version further down):

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Summertime ... good-bye!

Do you know when I really realize that summertime is over? Like really really really realize it?

No, not because it's dark at 8 pm or even earlier already (long summer nights are magical in my opinion).

Neither because I have to cover up my suntan by wearing jackets and scarfs (you can't know how much this hurts my heart!).

And nor because the peaches I buy in the supermarket have no taste any longer (I'm eating apples again and plums are OK as well in September).

I only know for sure when I hold the September issues of my favorite fashion magazines in the hand. Oh yes, the September issues of fashion magazines are the proof that summer is over because all the pages of the (very thick) September issues are about ... what to wear next autumn/winter.
Then I know for sure.
Summertime is over.
Sad but true.
September issues have a healing side effect though. Well, I may be feeling sad because my favorite season is over but it helps (a lot!) to get over it by ... knowing that soon I will be buying new fashion for me to wear. A new season with new clothes (partially at least - I can't afford a new wardrobe every season!).
I can't wait to travel to Como and Milano to shop :-)

PS: It's sad anyway that summer is over!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Birthday

Today is my birthday. Getting older, fortunately, is not an issue for me but sometimes I wonder where all these years went!
I wanted to wish myself something for my new year but couldn't find any suitable words to do so. Then I thought of Mark Twain's words:
 
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
(Mark Twain)


This is what I want and need for my new year and I wish this to all of you as well.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Remembering ... Maine

When I now think about Maine, then I think about ... boats

 
Cute little harbors (and somehow the little white church was never missing!):

Marshes

Islands (inhabited or not)

Gulls
 
Lobster (restaurants)

 I could mention the lighthouses as well and then of course the trees, the beaches, the brownstone houses, the shells, the peninsulas, the fishermen, the cute little shops, etc. but I don't want this to get out of hands. I think you got it, right?

I've finished my photo book and that means I've finished "remembering". It's time to move on - at least on this blog. My head and my heart is another story altogether :-)
 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Remembering ... Cape Cod

Cape Cod was sheer beauty. BEAUTY. Wanna talk about the dunes...

 the blue (cold) water...
 The long walks along the shoreline noticing the details I'm so keen on...

 


 
 
Absolutely wonderful


Remembering ... Boston

Boston felt a bit like a European city to me. I remember walking the Freedom Trail - interesting for a History buff like me.


I was fond of the Old State House

And the Old South Meeting House:

 
The harbor and the skyline though were my number 1:

Remembering ... Guides

One thing (amongst millions of others, obviously) I love about the US are the (mostly) retired guides they have in churches, old houses, museums. I absolutely love them and found out that they have a profound knowledge of not only the place they work at but of history (American and other) in general. What amazes me most is that these people are usually volunteers!
If you happen to travel the States and be in such a place - talk to them! You will be amazed. I was.

I talked to this gentleman at the small but cute Lighthouse Museum of Pemaquid Point.


He looked so incredibly old (his skin was like leather) that I supposed he must have spent his whole life on or around the water or at least outdoors. I didn't dare to ask for more details though.
He explained all about lobster fishing and how lighthouses are working. I could have listened to him for hours but unfortunately other tourists came in and he had to take care of them. Imagine listening to stories about his life as a fisherman or to adventures on the Sea (well, the guy could have been a farmer by all means but not in my imagination!).

In Portland I came upon this other guy who worked at the Observatory. An excellent story teller! For the duration of the tour I traveled back in time.

I remember the view from the top:

The most amazing guide though was this elderly lady (a former teacher) at this church in Portland:

The story behind this little church was interesting enough but the lady and I talked about many other topics like American politics or the economic situation in Europe. We talked (or should I say philosophized?) about life and faith and people in general. I could have gone on for hours but, here again, other tourists came in and she had a job to do.

I am grateful that they shared their knowledge with me!

Remembering My Trip

Today I am not working and I therefore decided that it would be the perfect day to start the photo albums (I order them online). It's best to start the albums as soon as possible because 1) it's easier to do them when the trip is still fresh in my mind and 2) I can show the albums to my friends and family (six months later, and probably one or two trips later, no one will be interested in my pictures of Boston or Maine!).

Doing the photo albums is about ... remembering. Obviously. While looking at all the pictures I have taken during my trip (and deciding which one was beautiful enough to make it in any album) I decided to start a couple of posts called "Remembering". It helps me tremendously in my sorting out process and I thought that you would like it as well.

Afterwards, I promise, it's time for new subjects. I have a new interview for the "Other's World" rubric ready and an idea on a new rubric. But please be patient with me. Let me indulge in my wonderful trip once more!

Friday, September 6, 2013

No Time?

I've been neglecting my blog. I am sorry about this. The first couple of days after my trip I was totally tired. Not especially jetlaged (once I was asleep I was asleep and didn't wake up in the middle of the night because my body thought it was morning or evening or whatever) but just tired. I must be getting old. This one night I missed (that happens when you fly from the US to Europe) was pretty hard to catch up on.

Then I am working again (which leaves me with less free time). In my free time I am sorting out all my stuff that I have accumulated during my trip. There are the pictures, of course, but not only. Various souvenirs, tickets, funny cards, etc. - stuff that I collected because it will remind me of this restaurant or that beach or that other boat trip (my pin board is thankful!).

But hey, I don't want to complain. Life is good. The sun is shining. My head is still full of impressions of my trip. And, honestly speaking, my soul has not yet arrived completely. It's still somewhere in between.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Trip Back Home

I left Portland and with that Maine by train. Have I told you that I am totally impressed by Amtrak? Their coaches are on time. The staff is nice and the trains clean and new (and full - who would have thought?). There will be other destinations to travel to with Amtrak, that's for sure!
Boston was so humid I decided not to stay in the city (I had a couple of hours between my train arriving and my flight departing). I took the water taxi to the airport. Yes, you read correctly. They got water taxis in Boston. The water taxi brings you to the peninsula where the airport is for only 10 bucks. From there the city/airport offers a free shuttle service to all gates! So cool! For me it was a wonderful goodbye - to leave the city by the sea, so to speak.
I spent a couple of hours in the airport, reading my book and enjoying the airport (I have this special feeling for airports and train stations. They make me feel good!).
And here I am again - back home. I am totally jetlaged and can't think clearly and this post will probably be strange and full of mistakes. I will do some laundry, have some dinner. Then I will be going to bed. I slept for what felt like two minutes on the plane (it was probably more 2 hours - the kid in the front row kept crying, poor little him. He sounded so afraid, it broke my heart!). I need a good night sleep.
I will go through all my pictures in the next couple of days and probably think of other stories about my trip to tell you.
For now: GOOD NIGHT

Friday, August 30, 2013

Impressions: Portland, Maine









Last Day in Maine

Back in Portland. It felt a bit like coming home. I know Portland a bit now and I could choose what I wanted to see again today. I climbed the stairs up to the top of the Portland Observatory (I missed that last week) and look at the view:



I decided to indulge myself  in a very nice dinner - kind of a farewell Maine dinner or whatever you wanna call it :-) I discovered this very nice square just in front of the Regency Hotel. The restaurant is part of the hotel and it's "plein air". It was wonderful. The sun was shining. The gulls were having heavy discussions above our heads. I could hear the ship's horns from the harbor. Wasn't this the perfect way to end my vacation? I even had a very nice glass of wine. I rarely drink when I am alone but tonight I felt like drinking. Cheers to Maine and cheers to my trip :-)

PS: my train for Boston leaves tomorrow morning at 8 am and if I can't find a baggage storage in the Boston train station I will probably spend my whole afternoon at the Boston Airport. I will see...