Monday, 30 July 2012

Palagano & Baby Boom

Well, the relations departed Saturday, so the house suddenly feels very empty. Noemi’s been a bit strange; it probably has something to do with that, but the heat came back too. It’s taking another break now but is due to attack again on Thursday.

I was very glad to be able to go to Palagano: unfortunately it was a very difficult day and night for Monica, after Lorenzo had gone, so I didn’t get to enjoy myself guilt-free. Anyway, we get on very well at work, so swanning around with my colleagues was a welcome change. The landscape in Italy rather dictates a somewhat windy quality to their roads, especially if you go up into the hills, where Palagano is. We don’t have a car so I’m not used to being driven, and I get a bit carsick in general, so these excursions can be a bit strenuous, but it went fine. One of the villages on the way decided to have a competition making scarecrows (sparrows), so we had a look at those as well. They were pretty good and plentiful too considering that it was the first year they’d done it. Alessia’s favourite was a little old lady waiting for the bus.

We went, among other things, to eat ciacci (like borlenghi, but definitely different or they kick you out of the village). It’s a sort of health food; you fill them with flavoured lard. They set up the ciacci stand in the same piazza as the birreria, so I got to try a few beers of Germanic origin as well, in the most pub-like atmosphere I’ve experienced for some time. Despite having food and four drinks, I hardly paid for anything: I have generous colleagues, and I even had a beer on Alessia’s moroso (local term for boyfriend, not “morose”, oddly), Gianpi (not sure how you spell it), despite the fact that we’d never met and we didn’t speak a huge deal.

There’s been a whole lot of maternity going on at Omnia: three translators and one project manager are at various stages. I already mentioned Patty and her daugher Giulia. Lovely to see her and Giulia up there. At three months, she’s very small! It seems like an age ago that Noemi was that size. Very calm too. Not much eyelid batting going on there. This morning we heard that Manu had given birth on Saturday as well, to Viola. Everything tickety boo apparently. Alessandra has been at home a while now, and Linda a bit more recently. The saga continues.

Yesterday Monica was very good and made an attempt to watch Alien, even though she doesn’t do horror. Or sci-fi. But since I said that I really liked it (and Aliens; I picked them both up at our local bookshop the other week) she decided to give it a go. She’s not impressed so far (bored, doesn’t care about characters), but said she’ll give it another go because it’s due to kick off in another 5 mins, at least according to comentary by Ridley Scott.


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Generic Update

You might have noticed that I’ve been fiddling with the comments system. This naturally led me to the reflection that no-one has anything to actually comment on, so I thought I’d better redress the issue, and I shall try to blog a bit more (heard that one before).

I understand you’ve all been inundated with rain; opposite problem here, weeks and weeks of tiring heat and humidity. The heatwave has decided to take a break, but it’ll be back to work at the weekend.

We have some visitors at the moment. There’s my sister-in-law Vane (Monica’s sister), my niece Bea(trice), who’s just learnt to call me “zio” and my mother-in-law Gabriella. There was my brother-in-law Lorenzo as well, but he’s just cleared off with the Protezione Civile to help in the area affected by the earthquakes. The house is a bit chaotic, but it’s nice to see everyone.

I’m taking the opportunity afforded by my relations to clear off into the hills with some people from work to see Patty, a colleague of mine who’s on maternity leave; I’ve never met Giulia, her daughter, so I’m looking forward to that as well. Hopefully I’ll be able to grab some good beer as well, since there’s some kind of festa going in in her village.

That, apparently, will have to do. Work calls. Funny how the really important translations are always the last to arrive…


Monday, 2 July 2012

Salve Regina for Night Prayer

Hi there.

I was labouring for some time under the delusion that Night Prayer includes the Lord’s Prayer, and was thinking about blogging a musical setting of that. Then I looked, and found that this was not the case. What do feature in Night Prayer are the Marian anthems, which I must admit I’ve never included, probably because you have to go to another page, and I find it always seems a bit late to turn to another page at that stage – I expect my canonisation is in the post.

Anyway, I can remedy that if I commit an anthem to memory, as I’m trying to do with the psalm tones, so I shall. There are four anthems, for various periods of the year, but I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew, so I was planning on learning the one which seems to correspond to the most “ordinary” liturgical period (first Vespers of Trinity Sunday until None of the Saturday before Advent!), the Salve Regina.

An mp3 (no. 545) is available courtesy of the Adoremus Hymnal site.

I intend to memorise some of the psalms in Italian, since my daughter is Italian (100% British, 100% Italian – a bit like the hypostatic union) and I shall have a go at learning this in the Latin original. In fact, loads of people here seem to know it off by heart already, and it might be the same for English Catholics for all I know. Well, I don’t know the words, what they mean, or the melody! Here’s the chant notation, with the Latin, and a literal translation that I lifted and modified:
Hail, Queen, merciful Mother,
[our] life, [our] sweetness, and our hope, hail.
To you we cry, exiles, children of Eve,
to you we sigh, mourning and weeping
in this vale of tears.
O, therefore, our advocate,
turn your merciful eyes toward us;
and Jesus, blessed fruit of your womb,
to us, after this exile, show.
O kind, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
Now, here's a thing I've done for my own benefit, a learning module for MemoryLifter. I like plugging MemoryLifter, since it helped me to learn a lot of Italian vocabulary despite my lousy memory. Anyway, my module has the text broken down as above: you try to remember the next line. I've also inlcluded the literal translation, audio and the notation above. With any luck it should all trickle into my brain together, and since I made it for myself I've put it here too.

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