Monday, September 24, 2012

A new house, Milan and some churches

so the running commentary of my life is back on track.  thus commenceth my 3rd week in my new house.  with one flatmate and one bathroom and an oven that is a bit temperamental. we just have to get to know each other a little better.
so this is a beautiful 4th century mosaic in the church of San Clemente in rome. you suck it up, pay 5 euros and you tour the underground passages of this church. the base level used to be a 1st century roman house, then converted into a mythrean temple, then the christians built a church ontop of that, then some more christians built the church that stands above the ground. its like a church cake. there is even water running at the lowest level where the marble tiled fishbone patterned floors of the 1st century noble man's house are still very much in tact and you walk through the tiny rooms. there are also very well preserved 4th century frescoes and because no photos are allowed, i could only sneak this photo of the mosaic men. but definately worth 5euros, you are literally descending into history.

then another church, San Giovani in Laterano. this is the first church  of the vatican, even before St peters. the vatican symbols are everywhere. it is huge and popping with gold. the ceiling is sculptural with the gold moldedness. it was sunday so there was mass at the same time in one section. but this church is so big that the sound gets lost before anyone complains

seriously, my floors are going to look like this, even if its painted on!

the ceiling is so high. you cant really judge the height from the photos but id be more than happy to show you if you visit me in rome :)

it is huge

vatican crest

trying to keep francesco and the rest of the heathen hoards out

its bigger than St peters cathedral

thats the church from outside. there was also this cool bio food market just outside the church where there was bio grown wine, olives, ooild, cheeses etc. very yummy, we did some sampling. they even had butternut!!!!! but it was too expensive to buy. (you dont get butternut or squash in the shops here really)

and back home. this is my new room where i live as a cripple because i paid an arm and a leg to live here

there is a balcony and a view

a kitchen... and lovely happy stickers all over the cupboards

in the dark hallway there is some lovely decorations . the landlord's aunt lived here, then she died and they rented it out. he took great care to mention she didnt die in the apartment but i did find her old satin gloves and some other eerie stuff when i pulled all the drawers out my dresser to clean it.

this is what you pay for.
and its worth it
off to Milan for the day to be suffocated by bags, thousands of bags.
there is a new fast train that gets you there in 2 hrs 45min. we were tired upon return.  a dirty,  uncharacteristic city. the  best part is the train station which i saw a lot of. built by Mussolini i think. it is completely huge and beautiful.

i went with Alessandra and Max

the station

now doesnt this look familiar. this could be China. the light is dim and the sun hangs low with a strange pale orange kind of light, JUST like china! so, its polluted in Milan and the weather is not really that great. also someone told me a story this week of a lady who moved to milan with her husband, then her husband left and she saw a strange triangle drawn near her door the next day. she looked it up on the internet and it was a sign to say that a woman lived here alone and therefore easier to rob/break in/ anything! how scary!

next to the exhibition centre. this is a building

the exhibition centre was designed by some cool architect and the whole building is this flowy reflective structure, quite cool. alright thats all i got folks, miss u and love u all lots. wish i had a braai or a public holiday for heritage day! until next time on Survivor!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Highlights of Home

so i thought, before i go forward and start blogging about my current life i should look back and  share some of the highlights of the past 2 months. these photos are in no way all the wonderful things that happened in SA, im sure ive left a lot out and there were so many moments that a photo just cant convey. fortunately there are many photos that captured the moment perfectly and here they are.
she like a spider on the climbing wall
climbing makes me happy
obstacle course at rocklands

Rio having an absolute ball. the funniest thing was when he jumped in the 'lava pit' (sand underneath the swing) and started doing tribal dances singing 'im in the lava, in the lava'

then i went to visit jen and her brood of cuties

she showed me around town and the various places that are dying to have her run their  restaurants
a beautiful winters afternoon

Pixie keeping a mental tally of the location of each of her puppies

it is deathly quiet here but very beautiful
Robyn and co. were also in SA at the same time i was so we did a few things together, including seeing the horses of course

greedy chalidon

chalidon again

gorgeous fluffy dogs!

like a ninja
Mayah brought her violin with her this time and played for us! she is really really good, we also watched  her performing in an orchestra

now you can see why Rio is standing on the wall..

went to go watch Matthews band play
his band


i had my very own italian guest visit me in south africa

getting cosy with Tutu

baby sharks at the aquarium

these crazy fish. they dont have an anemoni in their tank so they all squish themselves onto the glass together

whose watching who

went for drinks at Polanas and the tide obliged by being perfect height at sunset then crashing onto the windows a little later

brazilian flair
we drove on the most spectacular day around the coast way to hermanus. road-tripping to visit jen and ryno
we went to visit jen at her work, La Vierge
she returned the favour with wine tasting and an overflowing cheeseboard

we made pasta. jen made fresh pasta (francesco had never made it before) francesco made the carbonara. dont really  know who was teaching who here

we had such a blast that weekend. Dilo bought a crateful of crayfish and we spent the evening cleaning, braaing and feasting on them.
the chefs

the best hosts

and puppies of course

ryno rode his bike all weekend. thats francesco on the back

pix and her puppies

in the safest hands

not so safe hands ;)

ryno got this new HUGE bucky. we had to coax francesco inside. he couldnt believe we were actually going to sit in the back.

happiness is. i think that was the best weekend of my year, thanks to all who made it so great. 
Franceso cooked a meal for all of these hungry south africans. everyone being hungry for an authentic italian experiance, it started as dinner for 5 people then 7 then 10 then 14! he wasnt daunted and cooked up a storm of chicken and pasta deliciousness
somewhat sandwiched
we went to visit the penguins at boulders beach

the cousins, and the freezing water

at cape point. we did all the touristy things we could do in one week.

the point of cape point

up table mountain

devils peak

wheres the best place you've ever had a smoke?

the revolving restaurant. i didnt tell him it revolved, and he didnt notice. so i told him and he was shocked.  had a great evening of mussels and kudu fillet

live music 

went to visit the zoo that is closing down this year and because of this, half the cages were empty. what a sad sad sight.

who remebers the walk through avairy? well i do. it doent exist anymore. the whole place was deserted

well there were 2 lions. the fattest lions iv ever seen

not so comfortable in high places..

ah my gorgeous car. italian accesory not included!

it was Alex's birthday and we went to a restaurant on a wine farm for dinner

clare and Veronika

veronika looking fantastic

hmm italian kisses or south african kisses?

a happy alex and her present! what a lucky girl

she wouldnt get out
family at Alex's birthday party barndance. what fantastic effort on the costumes! and id like to add that my gramps bought 2 costumes and changed halfway through the night!

hillbillies and Dilo

hillbillies and alex

confused cowboy

all the cousins

delene looking sassy

the hall looking lovely thanks to mom's handmade meters of bunting! everyone looked really great and danced until  we were just a sweaty mess. oh right, that was just me.

the dancing began

us three.
well as you can see, there is a lot to be missed in south africa. i love you all, see you at christmas xxx