Thursday, 28 June 2007

Yesterday my dad told me about something really stupid that happened in my village. In the church of St. Lucy, (the small church where during the summer we celebrate mass and where my sister got married) someone stole the gold votive things ( I don't know the word in English) that people left to ask for grace or to thank for grace received. There are 2 window cases at the side of the big crucifix which my village worships and they stole the content of one of them. I'm so angry! It's such a stupid, stupid thing!

Now I'm packing because tomorrow we are going to Hull for the baptism of baby Leona. And because of the rain I 've just bought my first pair of wellies. It's been quite hard to find them because now (being summer) you can find only flip flops and ballerina shoes. I bought them in Accessorize, I don't really like them, they've got big black dots, but I need them. I've always dreamt about buying something nice in Accesorize, like a treat, and I ended up buying these wellies. Anyway, I need them.

I've just got the results from the Uni and I've passed and I'm soooooooooooo happy!!!! I had a high mark on oral Spanish and did quite well at the written exam. My translation was good it never was so good during the year. I'm so happy!

Wednesday, 20 June 2007


I've given in the required hardbound copies, having recieved a grade of "Pass with no further corrections" from the second submission. I will graduate in July (Friday 13th in fact). In case you're wondering what I've been doing all this time here's the final version of my thesis.

I'm off to the pub.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Just logging in before flying home. In case you hadn't noticed yet, Amnesty International have changed their policy on abortion now - it was in the pipeline for some time I think.

Friday, 15 June 2007

Habemus datam! - cough.

We're getting married on the 23rd August 2008. We looked at one nice restaurant, where Monica's sister Vane had her meal when she married Lorenzo, and it seems to have been enough, 'cos that's where we're going. After that, we checked with the priest. In Italy, the restaurants tend to be booked up pretty early - Vane booked it two years in advance, so people book the restaurant first and then the church. This is known to wind Don Giuseppe (the priest) up, so we neglected to mention it.

Besides that...

I finished reading two books while I've been here, Rough Ways in Prayer: How can I pray when I feel spiritually dead? which I'd recommend, though it's probably a bit hard to get hold of - this one was published in 1991 and came courtesy of Sacred Heart's lending library. Readable and practical. Key encouraging and helpful thing to remember - Christians are in Christ, who intercedes for us to the Father, and the Spirit prays in us. We are also one, in Christ and in his love, with the whole Church, past, present and future and have the benefit of each others' prayers.

Then there was The Orthodox Church by Timothy Ware (Bishop Kallistos of Diokleia) which was very interesting. I gather it's the standard book when one wishes to know about the church which goes by the name of Orthodox. It's divided into two sections, firstly history and then doctrine. History is first - I wonder why? They're certainly not against doctrine. Anyway, too much subject matter to review.

Went to the Corpus Christi procession, as stated, and followed a tent under which was the Blessed Sacrament, saying part of a rosary and singing, and strewing petals all over the shop. Apparently Italian Catholics aren't mad keen on singing either. I bet they used to be.

Went to the beach a couple of times. I'm a shade darker, just about.

Got an amazing analogue thingy to practise Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring on. You can hear the circuits thinking and muttering between themselves, and only one of the F#s works, which I think means you can only play it in C major really.


Mostly been dossing really. I don't think it's done my Italian a great deal of good - I've been a bit too tired to try - not used to all this warm weather. Piano piano, as Monica always says. I'm hoping the Rai podcasts I'm subscribed to will help a bit. Rai is Italian state telly. ITV and Rai made Jesus of Nazareth together back in the day I think. And speaking of podcasts, I must give Audible's Jesus of Nazareth (Pope Benedict's one) a try when I get back.

Right, I think I'll pop off now - I'll be flying back tomorrow.

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Catch bus, train, tube, train, plane, taxi and train to Ancona:

Well, almost. It was a pretty good journey - one of the best flights I've had with Monica. She was fine. The fly in the ointment, speaking personally, was that I missed my bus.

I know that the H buses usually leave from a stop near the Pyramids, round the corner from where Monica told me that the bus would be. I was assuming that, this latter stop being the main stop by the coach station, it would be fine.

Never assume - it makes people resort to cheesy mnemonics.

Of course it wasn't, and I missed the bus. I thought I'd be ok as I asked Monica for the times of two buses - I might make mistakes, but I do endeavour not to be a fool. Sadly, did not agree with the bus timetable before my eyes at the bus stop. This being a matter of more than academic interest, I deemed it expedient to peg it all the way from the coach station to St. David's Station, in the hope I could get a taxi at a midpoint of Central Station. This is a course I would hesitate to recommend.

I was a trifle discomposed when I got to the station, sweating like a man who's woken at 5:30 and skipped breakfast to move as quickly as tenable with luggage for about half an hour. As I say however, the journey was fine by and large. I had a few headaches, had to wait around in numerous public spaces and Monica almost scalded my groin with hot camomile, but these are all things one learns to take in one's stride with the passage of time.

I even tried out some Italian with the train-ticket-selling-man at Pescara train station. I did ok, but he worked out I was English and told me the train left from "platform three" with a wink and a smile, both of epic proportions.

Having been in Italy for about half an hour, I saw about 5 nuns, 1 monk and a lady crossing herself as she walked through the city. Perhaps I ought to make some sort of graph. Should see a few more of those this evening, as we're off to the Corpus Christi procession this evening. Before that, mass and then we're going to hit the beach with Vane e Lorenzo.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

I've lost your phone number

My phone died. I've bought a new one (and have just moved the sim card over meaning my number's not changed), but I'd stored everybody else's numbers on the phone, so can't get them any more.

So please let me know your number again, or I'll be very confused when you ring me, and completely unable to ring/text you.


Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Saddleworth Beer Walk

Day: Saturday.
Clothing: Village People
Beer drunk: lots
Money raised for charity: quite a lot, I think

A full write up will follow (I'm off to hockey in a moment), but here are Mahinda's photos of the event: link, and a video of us after the finish: link. Unfortunately you can't hear the music in the latter.