Saturday, 31 December 2011

Shadow puppets

The Sunday before Christmas I went to my old Church in Bradford, they were doing their nativity service. The church doesn't really have many children but does have a lot of very talented teenagers. They put together an amazing shadow puppet nativity with power point back drops, such a simple idea but so clever.

Friday, 28 October 2011


Strolling around Villa Borghese a week or so ago, I noticed these fine gentlemen.
I'm not entirely sure who they are or their significance but they all seem to be suffering some sort of nasal problems.
Two have completely lost their noses and the other two have slightly miss fitting noses.
I love on the broken nosed men that they have a small spike on which to attach a new nose and I'm quite taken with the idea of having several spare noses to wear whenever the mood struck you. A bit like Mr Potato head, you could swap pieces over to give you an entirely new look.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Playing with my camera

I realised a week or so ago that my camera can do this amazing magical thing where it sews pictures together all by itself- each picture takes a couple of tries from me to line things up but its so great. I love having these bigger pictures and I really like the way the first one plays with your sense of perspective.
First two pictures are in the Pantheon, the last one is the column in Piazza Colonna- there is another very similar column near to Il Vittariano, neither of them is mentioned in my guidebook so I don't really know anything about them, they're so different from other columns and relief work I've seen and I really like them

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


Today I'm about being peaceful and thoughtful, a later start to my working day and a walk in the park should help that

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Angels and Demons

1)I am living in Rome
2)I like reading books
= reading "Angels and Demons"

Since coming to Rome I've been trying to find a copy of "Angels and Demons", with a couple of other au-pair girls I know we've been hunting through every bookshop that has even one shelf of English books to see if they had a copy. Finally on sunday I found a copy at a large branch of  la Feltrinelli, ( a big chain of bookshops). It cost 11.30 euros- far too much! but I was so pleased to find it and I was just wondering around by myself so I splashed out and bought it.
I have actually read the book previously and I saw the  film when it was in the cinema but over the years it got a bit confused in my head with "The Da Vinchi code".
I should preface my review by saying that I am a fan of some really trashy books- I've read the Twilight books several times, I'm happy with my nose in a Marion Keyes,  but this is a bad book and not in a so bad its good way. Its not the main storyline that I have a problem with, secret societies and cults are always going to interesting and sensationalist, I have a problem with factual inaccuaracies, racial stereotyping and lazy research.

Firstly I have an issue with the fact that the bad/ violent/ evil character is an unnamed middle eastern supposedly Muslim man with a massive grudge against the Catholic church and a huge appetite for sex and violence.
The book is about the established Catholic church and science, it just plays into lazy racial stereotyping to have all the violence perpetrated by this supposed Muslim character- not cool.

My other main problem with the book is that the action in Rome seems to have been written by someone without much knowledge of Rome and maybe without studying a map.
For example the lead characters go to Santa Maria della Vittoria to see the Ecstasy of St Theresa apart from they don't, they go to Piazza Barberini. The piazza is very close to the church and if you're going to the church then the metro stop Barberini is your absolute best bet but the church isn't in the piazza at all, its a good 5 minutes walk up hill to the church, you cannot see the church from the piazza or the piazza from the church- there is no logical reason for the characters to be in the piazza and to hang about there.

There is another point when some other characters are trying to find Piazza del Popolo. If you've ever been to Rome and even glanced at a map you will know where Piazza del Popolo is because several main roads feed into it, it looks like the top point of a triangle, it is not at all hard to find.

Then there are small instances that are just wrong- there is journalist who is mentioned as working for British Tatler but is supposed to have written shock, tabloid type stories- pick a different publication, Tatler is a posh, fashion and party magazine with articles about spas and restaurants, if you wanted a journalist who was some sort of tabloid scum it would've been legitimate to have him write for The Sun, The Daily Star, OK Magazine, Take a Break even, a one minute google search would have provided this information.

All this being said it was interesting to read about places I've seen in the last few weeks. I was a bit surprised at just how many of the places mentioned in the book I'd already been to, I thought it might make me curious to find new places but I knew everywhere that was mentioned.

This is a lot more of a rant than I ever normally write but this book made me a bit ranty

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

more Roma/ Cairo

I've been thinking some more about this, maybe its this arch shape that has struck a chord?

Taken around the citadel, I forget exactly where, maybe the Alabaster Mosque?
so its not exactly the same but this arch is the most recognisable feature of Rome's most recognisable feature
maybe this is what links these cities in my head?

Friday, 23 September 2011

Roma vs Cairo

Having been here three weeks now I've been trying to figure out Rome a bit more, I expected that Rome might feel a bit like Paris but I'm more reminded of Cairo.
I think this is partly the fact that there is so much around that is absolutely ancient.
In Cairo the Pyramids loom on the horizon where the city meets the desert.
In Rome, the Pantheon is slightly hidden as its quite low and seems to appear suddenly around the corner

Wednesday, 21 September 2011


I feel like there's a bit too much in Rome.
a bit too much to see and experience and take pictures of.
I did love going to the Pantheon though. I felt that even in the midst of all the hundreds of people swarming around me, looking and taking pictures that I was able to experience being there.
Its an engineering marvel that the dome can stand without the central circle in tact. The intricate pattern on the ceiling also helps the roof be lighter than usual.
I've been a couple of times, nice place to sit and ponder

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Climbing trees and flying

Back in August I went for a very scary day trip with some college friends.
We went to a Go Ape centre, there are quite a few places all over the UK where you can do this. They give you a harness and a brief description of what to do and instructions on how to stay safe and then let you out to play in the trees.
The woods are public land so lots of people are there walking or jogging and watching the crazy people in the trees.
I am absolutely scared of heights and took a good twenty minutes to do the first obstacle but it got easier in terms of my fear as we went on.
It was so nice to spend the day having a real proper adventure!


Are all around us
At least in Rome!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Ostia Beach

A week ago we spent a day at the beach- it was pretty busy but nice to be in a different place.
A lot of Italians won't swim in the sea here because the water is a bit murky and the sand quite dark and pebbly- I have no such qualms and will happily swim anywhere there is relatively clean water and sunshine

Friday, 9 September 2011


I'm eating it every day!
This was banana flavour bought on my way to the Vatican, I was very pleased that this enormous pile of ice cream only cost me 2 Euros

Yesterday I went to this highly recommended geltari, San Crispino, its mentioned in my guidebook several times as the place to go. Its also featured in Eat, Pray, Love she goes back three times.
I had Ginger and  Cinnamon ice cream with Black Fig sorbet yum yum!!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011


Things just seem  fancier when you're somewhere new.
I know its partly the "exotic" feel of being different to what I'm used to being surrounded with, but I love seeing new and beautiful things around me.
Rome is particularly fancy looking though

I loved these pigeons sitting in the shade away from the midday heat

Monday, 5 September 2011

Spanish Steps

I love and hate touristy spots.
I really like people everywhere and colours and guessing what country people are from before hearing them speak, but I also like a bit of peace and quiet and things not to be incredibly overpriced.

This girl was sat reading peacefully right in the middle of the steps in the sunshine while people surged around in the shadier part