Thursday, April 28, 2016

My Trip to Italy

I just got back from some very intense days spent in Italy, visiting family and friends. I didn't have much time, just four short days, and so many people to see and places to visit.
Well, I did my best :-)
And it was wonderful!
The one recurring thought I had during these days was one of ... gratefulness!
Do you know the feeling?
You meet people, talk to people, visit places and in the evening, before you fall asleep, you think: thank you! You lie there and are grateful, tired (very much so!) but grateful.
What was I grateful for? Oh well, let's see:
  • For a very intense lunch spent with a girlfriend talking about life and men and dreams and wishes
  • For meeting friends again that I hadn't seen in a long time, spending a moment together (with good food, better conversation and much laughter)
  • For the fact that a few of my family members are really nice. Not everybody (I am honest here) (there is no perfect family that is for sure!) but those few are worth the whole bunch!
  • For visiting the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, sitting on a bench, admiring "La Muta" painted by Raffaello 
     
  • For listening to my aunts talking about how life was when they were young! (I love listening to old people who talk about the old days!)
  • And last but not least: for walking the mercato, buying a really cute white handbag, and later on strolling along the beach! It was a cloudy day but nothing beats walking along the beach!


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Friendship

Last Saturday a friend of mine and her husband invited me for dinner. While sitting on their nice patio, drinking champagne (yes!), my friend suddenly says: I am glad that you are here with us on this special evening.
My mind went from zero to hundred in one second. Special evening? Did I forget something??
Before I could say anything (and probably seeing my baffled face), she went on explaining.
"It's a special evening because yesterday was my last day on the job. The last day before retirement. It is a good coincidence that you were there on my first day on the job and are here again after my last day!".


A really good coincidence, that's for sure. I had been there on her first day on the job. I remember. I was 22 at that time and have had many jobs since then. She stayed there all these years - having had good days and bad ones.The two of us though stayed in touch and our friendship grew.

How quick time goes by, doesn't it? I remember working in the same office with her. The laughs we shared. I remember how I admired her life style. She had no kids, never wanted any and she and her husband traveled the world together (still do, BTW). Looking back I have to admit that getting to know her helped me becoming the person I am today. She was the first female co-worker I had who I admired. A woman who led the kind of life I wanted for me as well. She gave me the courage to go my own way. To become my own person.
And for that I am grateful. And, obviously, for our friendship as well!


Friday, April 15, 2016

Making Room

Lately, I have been thinking about "making room".
Not in the sense of getting your house cleaned. hihi
No. About making room for something/someone new in your life.

It happened during one of those conversations where you talk about someone else and suddenly you realize that in fact you are talking about yourself.
Let me explain.
I was talking to my sister-in-law about someone who wants to have children but in conversations with people keeps saying that her life was OK the way it was. That having children wasn't soo important.
My reply to my sister-in-law? Well, if this woman really wants to have children then she should start admitting it to herself first and to others as well. I stressed that she needed to make room for this wish of hers otherwise it would never become reality.



As soon as I had spoken the words out loud ... the truth of my own words "hit me".
It's not about what kind of wish you have.
It's about admitting it ... to yourself in the first place. To others later on.
I call it: making room for it.

And here I am not saying that you have to tell everybody your deepest wish. No, it's not that. It's the denying part that isn't clever. Don't deny it to yourself. Don't deny it in front of people. Instead of denying it, just keep silent, if you don't want to talk about it.
And when I write "you" I mean "I" as well! Because all this is valid for me as well! I am pretty good at this whole denying game. I always thought that admitting my wishes would bring bad luck or something. That by saying it out loud it somehow wouldn't happen.
Well, I was wrong.

Admitting my wish makes room for it. Only then it can happen.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Friday, April 8, 2016

Potty Training

I dogsat my sister-in-law's dog for a couple of days. What an interesting experience.

1) Dogs force you to follow a rather strict routine. To say it bluntly? They have to pee. At least three times a day. They need to poo-poo. At least once a day. That means I had to take her out at least three times a day (in order to keep my appartment clean SMILE). I call that quite the routine. For someone like me, used to do whatever I want to do, these days with the dog were structured.

2) This strict routine forces you to go out (rain or sunshine, they don't care!). That made for a lot of fresh air!

3) They are good company.

4) Going places isn't as easy as it is without a dog. Especially for someone like me with no dog experience. Taking the train, the bus or any other public transportation? No go for me. I worked from home and moved around with my car.

The most interesting fact though? While walking the dog and stopping every while (because she had to sniff whatever she smelled), I noticed how much dog poop there was around the streets and the parks. Tons of dog poop! Disgusting! And here I thought that dog owners were obliged to collect their dog's poop? Well, apparently not only dogs need to be potty trained but their owners as well!

PS: Don't worry. I won't buy me a dog now. I am away far too often to provide a dog a good home. But I won't mind any future dogsitting!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Fears

I have been thinking about fears lately. How fears can limit one's life (I will have to write a longer post about this). First though, I wanted to share this quote which I like. Very much so!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Mediterraneo

While I was having lunch on my first day in Marseille, I was thinking about my recent trips. I then realized that I had actually chosen three destinations all around the Mediterranean Sea.
Malta.
Palma de Mallorca.
Marseille.
I didn't even chose them on purpose - it just happened!
"I will have to do a photo book of the three destinations together - to show how similar but not identical the places are", I remember thinking.
I usually do a photo book of my trips. I put some effort into doing that after each trip because I don't want my pictures to remain in my computer, seen only by me. It is an effort, each time, I have to admit. Taking pictures digitally means that I take many many pictures (too many). I take pictures first and decide if I want to keep them only once I am back home. Digital photography made me lazy :-)
I come back from a trip and have hundreds of pictures of the place. No one (not even the kindest of friend) wants to look at hundreds of pictures. NO ONE. Therefore, I choose the nicest pictures and put them into a photo book. Then, when I have friends over, they get to look at my most beautiful impressions of my latest trip. And even me, when I'm feeling down for example, I take out my picture books, leaf through my memories and almost immediately start to feel better :-)

Anyway. Today, I am working on my Mediterraneo photo book (that's the title I decided on). On the cover I always put my favorite picture. With this book it had to be one for each destination.
Do you want to know which one I chose?

The streets of La Valletta

Port of Palma

Notre Dame de la Garde with the old port

Friday, April 1, 2016

Marseille: Some Words

It usually takes me a couple of days to digest a trip. Especially when I travel alone, I seem to absorb much more as when I am visiting with someone. Makes sense, doesn't it?

Marseille wasn't like other French places I know (all of them in the northern part of the country to be honest). People were so nice and funny and smiling and helpful. I am not saying that the people up North are not nice or funny or smiling or helpful. It's just that it takes them more time to show visitors some feelings. Here, down south, it was love at first sight all the time. Big smiles all around. Just the way I like it :-)
I mentioned this impression of mine to the guy from the shop where I bought my white Adidas Stan Smith (yes!! will tell you about them!!!). He suddenly got all serious and advised me to be careful. People might be smiling, he said, but don't you trust them too much. Well, the guy, I found out, was Parisian and therefore biased :-) You know what? I don't care. I am not going to move down there. I was just visiting. And I like visiting places were people are nice and smiling and helpful. Sue me. But that's me hahaha

While talking to other people (nice, funny, smiling and helpful - remember? hahaha) I was told that the city nowadays didn't look quite the same as 10 years back. Several millions of Euros have been invested before she became the 2013 European Capital of Culture. The renovations continue these days due to the EURO 2016 (soccer) (the semifinal will be held in Marseille). It's like Barcelone. There is a before and an after city! In Barcelona it was the Olympic Games. In Marseille soccer and culture!

I need to add "good food" to my list of "nice, funny, smiling and helpful". Oh my. The food was great! When traveling alone, I don't usually spend much time in restaurants. During this trip though I was totally into having lunch, in nice restaurants, sitting outside, enjoying the sun and the great food!

PS: If you ever go to Marseille, take a few hours to visit the MuCEM (Musée des civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditeranée). It's worth your time, I promise. A wonderful place (and not only architecturally speaking - the exhibits were totally interesting as well!) and the view from the gardens was breathtaking!