Archive | September, 2012

Viva Italia

27 Sep

My Nan and I have been bonding over food since I was a child, mainly because my mum can’t cook anything that doesn’t come with a microwaveable option, and I’m just as bad, if not worse. (Ok…honesty time…I am worse.) Nan and I have bonded over doughnuts, Christmas dinners, cakes, and that weird two weeks when I ate nothing but peanut butter.

Good looking and a fantastic chef ūüôā He’s actually got a pretty good sense of humour as well

So it only made sense that we should go spend some bonding time at the Italian Festival in Peterborough, and we were joined by our wonderful Italian hairdresser and his family, in celebrating the country that has given people all over the world pleasure and enjoyment. As if the thought of yummy free Italian food on offer wasn’t enough to draw me there, then the lure of lots of hot Italian men wandering around, including Gino de’ Campo, the Italian sex god of the¬†kitchen, was certainly enough.

Some of the stalls

It wasn’t just about the food though, the festival was about celebrating all the wonderful aspects of the fascinating Italian culture, that has had many a person entranced by these life loving Italians. I was very impressed by the musicians and vocalists performing the famous Italian operas, and honouring Italian recording¬†artists, a man and wife performing duo did a rendition of one of my favourite songs ‘The Prayer’ by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli, so it was dinner and a show.

Preforming ‘The Prayer’ I thought they were fantastic!

Walking round the stalls I stuck out like a sore thumb, my casper like complexion and shocking red hair amongst a crowd of swarthy dark Italians, I had no idea how big the Italian community in Peterborough was, they were open and friendly, welcoming me to chat and laugh with them. There are stereotypes for every culture, the French are meant to be sophisticated and romantic, the Chinese, honourable and lovers of tradition and heritage, we Brits are meant to have a stiff upper lip and be guarded with our emotions. Of course rarely do we ever live up to these ridiculous and outdated stereotypes. But at the festival I could see that the Italians live up to all the best aspects of their stereotype, they are loud and lively, they do embrace life with an enthusiasm and love that very few people manage, always seeming to make the most of a moment and enjoy that moment to its fullest, without worrying about the future.

The Italian community is surprisingly big in my area

ūüôā

So from my first visit to the Italian festival (despite the fact that apparently its been going for years…and I have lived here for years) I have tried to take away a few of the Italian ideals about life. To live for the moment, to enjoy¬†what’s¬†happening rather than always looking for what will happen next, and to embrace life (whatever life I happen to be given) with enthusiasm and without trepidation, because its like my very very attractive Italian hairdresser is always telling me…you only get the one. Viva Italia!

This guy gave out the most amazing different types of fudge ūüôā

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King of the road

7 Sep

As you may know from my previous blog post ‘In the pink’ I recently (by divine intervention no doubt) passed my driving test first time, which was a wonderful and very unexpected surprise. I thought I would be drawing my old age pension before I could afford to buy and insure a car, but I have been working very hard recently to add to my car fund, which I have been saving into since I was eighteen! After some shopping around, hilarious (and in the dealership owners case) terrifying test drives, and major research into reliable first car models,insurance bands, as well as some quite¬†fierce bartering¬†…I finally bought a car of my very own. (Milestone moment!)

Buying a car is a pretty overwhelming experience. I felt totally bombarded by some of the car salesmen, particularly when they opened the bonnet and started pointing out different¬†internal¬†features (responsible¬†and necessary for sure, but what do I look like…a mechanic? That’s how I gained two minors in my test before I had even left the test centre!) Still luckily for me my grandfather is an ex-mechanic, so I enlisted his help sharpish!

I’m a non conformist in most aspects of my life, and my first car choice was no different, in the end I went for the Suzuki Ignis 1.3 2005 plate. Compact, reliable, nice square hatchback making reversing easy, and the real miracle…cheap to insure! After all the horror stories I’ve heard from friends and family about insurance worth three times more than the car, I was pleasantly surprised when mine came to a reasonable ¬£711 fully comprehensive, considering I’ve only just passed my test, and haven’t reached the magic age of twenty five (apparently everything is cheaper when you turn twenty five?) I thought it was a very decent price!

Every girl should have her day in Meerkovo!

Making insurance fun, and spending your money on insurance bearable!

Of course it was still hard for me to hand over my hard earned money for something as¬†intangible¬†as insurance, I resent the fact that I’m spending so much on something that I hopefully wont ever need! Still thousands of drivers have had to hand over larger sums than me to insure their car, so I can hardly complain! And I got my insurance from Compare the market! So I got a free toy meerkat, and an amusing few days tracking his progress and playing some games in Meerkovo!

Not a conventional choice for a first car, but I like it ūüôā

Driving my new car has also been a real learning curve! I’ve never driven anything but a Vauxhall Corsa with my patient driving instructor beside me, driving a strange car by myself for the first time was terrifying, not helped by my brother, who was thrilled he’d gained another taxi driver to add to his list,and had me dropping him in town on the day I picked my car up, mysteriously figuring out how to tune the stereo to the drum and base¬†station¬†in under five¬†minutes, blasting it so that I was still hearing ringing noises the next day.

My new car!

People use to say to me¬†‘you learn to drive after you pass your test’ multiple times, and they were¬†completely¬†right! I’ve been driving to work for a week now, and¬†there’s been plenty of things¬†occurring¬†on the roads that¬†weren’t¬†in the highway code handbook, or lessons! I’ve had a few scary moments, a lot of stalling…but I’m finally getting to grips with my car, and no longer having the security of someone next to me. (Well…I’m alive and my cars¬†undamaged, which is a start)

So yes everyone I am on the roads! God help you all! If you do happen to pass me (you’ll be overtaking me no doubt) or come across me pulling a tricky¬†manoeuvre…be patient! Be kind! And remember what it was like when you first started driving. It will be a long time before I’m king of the road!

I find the square back makes reversing easier, and I could use all the help I can get!

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