Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Elizabeth - The Golden Age and Other Good Films

Last night me and Antonia went to see "Elizabeth - The Golden Age". It is a stunning film. If you have seen the original expect the same but with a lot more money being spent! Antonia loved the horses, dresses, princesses and Elizabeth dressed as a knight! I now have to dig my son's knight costume out of the charity bag for her! But if I could look as good as the image above I'd be wearing it too! ;)

Basically the season for watching movies has started again. There's something about going into a cinema at twilight and coming out to darkness that makes it a good thing to do. I don't know why! I love walking back in the dark, it feels like I've had a night out, even if it is still only 7.00 p.m.

Recently we have seen "3.10 to Yuma" - a great cowboy film, helped by the prescence of Christian Bates and Russell Crowe in the leading roles. One of my favourite films is "Once Upon A Time in the West" so I really enjoyed this one. It's a definite for the DVD collection.

"Stardust" based on Neil Gaiman's best selling fantasy novel was good and liked by both my kids. Robert de Niro as the cross-dressing pirate has to be seen! If you liked "The Princess Bride" you'll love this.

"Shrek 3" went down a storm with Antonia and no more needs to be said if you have already seen the previous 2!

Finally I went to see "Disturbia", the re-make of "Rear Window" as a teen horror movie. Better than expected and funny in the tradition set by the movie "Scream", another of my favourites!

Monday, 29 October 2007

Alice TV

This has to be one of the strangest things I have come across! I have a wi-fi box from Alice and at the time they were bundling it with their TV decoder for a few euro's a month. Somehow I ended up with these gadgets - I still haven't worked out how! But I wanted the wi-fi so the TV too was just a bonus.

Anyway it has taken me 3 months to finally connect the TV up to a tiny TV in my bedroom. Basically, you plug an ethernet cable into the back of the wi-fi box and the TV decoder, connect to your TV and you are away!

But, this is not tv as I know it. Everything is on archive from RAI and you scroll through until you find something you want to watch e.g. Friends, season 5 - pick any episode and watch! You can pause, rewind and fast forward. It's like watching a DVD. There don't appear to be any new shows on unless you subscribe to Sky, which I have on my main tv and don't need again! There is no language option, so everything is in Italian, unlike Sky where you can change the language.
The picture quality is amazing! If this were my only option for TV..... As an added extra it is amusing and will help with my Italian I am sure, but otherwise, it is just so weird!

Sunday, 28 October 2007

One Year On!!

Yep, we've finally done our first year here in Florence! I'd like to say it has been an exciting roller-coaster as that seems to be what most people expect when you move abroad, but I would be telling fibs! It's been a relatively painless transition and my life is pretty much what it was in the UK! The language is still tough and I wish I had taken classes much, much sooner. I have made a lot of good friends, some English speakers, some Italian. School for Antonia is pretty much like school anywhere and she is picking up the language fast. My son is back into school in the UK and loving it and, so far, keeping up, which is a relief for us all. So life just goes on. I could probably write a book as many before me have, but without embellishment and lies it would probably be the most boring book on life in Italy yet. Which only makes me wonder about all those others....

However, life has been pretty hectic in the last few weeks. All my possesions arrived from the UK - finally! What a lot of c**p I stuck in storage in the panic that was my packing this time last year! Boxes and bags of stuff have been dumped or given to charity or friends. It was good to see favourite books, films and CD's again. The look on Antonia's face when her scooter FINALLY arrived was worth all the hassle!

A few days before delivery this appeared outside our door to warn people not to park:

Not surprisingly on the removal day itself there were at least 3 cars parked up in our designated space. Luckily a friend who had come around to help permanently has the police's local number on her phone! So 10 minutes after the van arrived, and upon presentation of all the required permissions, the space was clear!

Anyhow, my things are here, so I must be staying, mustn't I?!!

Tuesday, 2 October 2007


Since moving to Italy I have heard many bad things about its TV programmes. However, since installing SKY Italia I have had very little to complain about! Admittedly I rarely watch anything in Italian, but that is because the programmes on the English language channels are good enough that I don't want to struggle along with a game show I barely understand, or for that matter, want to understand!

Last night all my dreams came true! Lost Season 3 finally started on FOX! 3 Episodes, back-to-back with barely an ad break in any of them! I wish all TV could be shown like this. The closest is the BBC in the UK but they rarely get the big US shows and wouldn't show 3 at a time anyway.

Anyway, with a glass of red, it was a good night in!

Monday, 1 October 2007

Birthday Parties and Wine Fairs

Antonia went to a friend's party on Saturday. As you can see she had lots of fun! As I didn't know all of the kids there I've tried to pick a photo that only shows Antonia! I'm not sure how I would feel if she turned up unannounced on someone else's blog. It's a difficult one in this day and age. Anyway, she had a ball at the party. New friends were made by both of us. It was really exhausting, and all I did was watch and eat peanut butter and chocolate fudge :)! It was a safari theme, hence the binoculars. She also decorated a white safari hat and made a bracelet!
To recover (!) I went on to the Piazza Pitti Florence Wine Event. This started on the Friday evening and finished Sunday. For €10 you received a glass and a card allowing you to taste up to 16 different wines, some white, but most red. It was a really good event. I went back on the Sunday to try a few more - 16 is a little too much even for me in one evening! Some stands gave you the equivalent of a small glass rather than a taste as well! I bought a couple of bottles from the stand in Piazza Santa Spirito from Fattoria Dianella Fucini. Bizarrely the wine I bought wasn't the wine I had tasted, but I thought they were worth the risk as the one I had tried had been really good. Many of the wines were not available to purchase which I thought odd, the selection on the sales stand was very small compared to what was on offer. Of 42 producers, each having 2 or more wines per stand, only 11 had wines available for purchase on the sales stand! And not all of those were the wines included in the tasting. Anyway, it was still an interesting event and I have discovered wines that I will now try to find in the shops here.

We finished Sunday off with an ice cream from the gelateria near Ponte alla Carraia. People rave about Grom - I can only assume they have never visited this one! I had strawberry cheesecake and yoghurt with Nutella! Fantastic! Their fig with ricotta is another gorgeous combination. Antonia had ciocolatta, most of which is soaking off her t-shirt in the sink. All in all a good way to finish the weekend!
Posted by Picasa