Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!

For the first time ever I'm away from home for New Year's, experiencing New Year's eve Italian style! And it sounds like it's going to be quite the meal tonight!

So, a happy new year & felice anno nuovo to all, bring on 2009!!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Back in Milan!

After 11 hours travelling, I finally got back to Milan last night. I had a lovely Christmas at home, quite a quiet one, as they usually are at home, but I saw plenty of relatives and friends. I'm really glad I got to go home for Christmas, it just wouldn't have been the same in Italy. And Italians just don't do the Christmas dinner I love, turkey, stuffing & all the trimmings!! There's nothing like a homecooked Christmas dinner! The week went far too fast though! And now tomorrow I'm back to work!

11 hours travelling though, I was destroyed when I got back! As I have to fly from Bristol (can we PLEASE have some direct flights to Italy from Cardiff???) it means I have to make my way there on the train, which can be anything between 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 hours, depending on the connections. And yesterday was a nightmare, 2 train connections, thanks to a 30 hour wait near Swansea (my 1st connection) because of a points failure, I missed both! At one point I thought I'd miss my flight!! But after speaking to the conductor about it, he very kindly printed me out an itinerary of my new connections, and I managed to get to Bristol 10 minutes after check-in opened by the skin of my teeth!! Never again!! When I was home I discovered that there's now a direct train from Aberystwyth (around 1-1 1/2 hours in the car) to Birmingham International, sorted!!!

As for today, I'm hoping to have a lazy Sunday, a bit of relaxing, before I go back to work tomorrow!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Home for Christmas

Holiday yay!! Today I'm flying home for Christmas, and I'm going to be back there for a week! Obviously, I'm very excited about going home! Christmas just isn't the same in a different country, I'm glad I've got the chance to be able to go home and spend the holiday with my family and friends. It's only for a week though, so I'll be back in Milan before I know it! But now, I'm looking forward to a mahoosive Christmas dinner, lots of chocolate, and Christmas tv!!

So, to everyone I know, and to those I don't yet, have a merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Milan at Christmas

















Pretty isn't it?

A Welshie in Paris!


Last weekend I was in Paris, for my work's Christmas party!! Nice huh?? We had this lovely hotel, just off the Champs Elysees, a proper prime spot! I'd never been to Paris before, and I had such an amazing time! Because of the weather I didn't see as much of the city as I would've liked, but I loved what I did see! Paris is just so magical, it's just got a completely different atmosphere to anywhere I've been before, especially now at Christmas! The Champs Elysees with all the Christmas lights was absolutely beautiful, I've never seen anything like it! We all partied far too hard, and I've been battling the Parisian lurgy all week!! Small price to pay though I guess, for such an amazing weekend... Very much hoping I can go back there soon, and spend some proper time round the city!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Countdown to Christmas!

So Milan's all pretty in its Christmas lights and decorations! I love Christmas lights, and all the Christmassy things in the shops! It's lovely walking to and from work every day under the lights outside some shops! Piazza Duomo's got this MAHOOSIVE Christmas tree with decorations on, it's as big as the Duomo itself! I went into the centre of Milan on Sunday, there was a huge market on, everywhere was packed, but the stalls were really pretty, it was a really nice taste of Italy at Christmas too! I'm liking how the lights and everything have only recently been put up though, the run-up to Christmas always starts far too early at home. I've still got to start my Christmas shopping though, that's going to be fun in Milan!! I'm going home for Christmas for a week, so obviously everyone wants authentic Italian things, so next week I'm going to be on a bit of a mission!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Biondina Part 2

Funny thing is now, all the blonde Milanese people seem to be coming out of the woodwork! 2 blonde women when I was in the pizzeria last night, and 2 when I was going home on the metro earlier today! And no, they weren't the same 2.....!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Biondina

To Italians, without a shadow of a doubt, I'm blonde.

Not the case for Brits.

Ok, so I am growing my blonde highlights out (the last time I had them done was before my graduation in July) as I figured before coming out here that there'd be no point dying my hair blonde in any way as my natural hair, for Italians, was already blonde! But according to me and anyone I've ever asked about it at home, I'm not a natural blonde. I'm light brown, which gets darker in winter, but yes, I've had blonde highlights since September last year. So it's not like I've got anything against being blonde eh?

When I was studying in Italy 3 years ago, when my hair colour was all natural, I discovered just how blonde Italians thought I was. It wasn't always a good thing, and with my blue eyes too I was always identifiable as a foreigner. But even now, the reactions of Italians I meet to my hair colour and fair complexion is always surprising! The phrase "bella bionda"'s been used a lot much to my amusement (it's like there's a guarantee that someone who's blonde's would be pretty!), I've been asked if my hair's my natural hair colour, and if everyone else in my family's as fair-skinned as I am (which they're not, btw, I'm the exception!). There's always that sense of standing out in the crowd, being the fairest-skinned and blondest person in a metro or train carriage, it's not something I'm always comfortable with, though most of the time it's just another novelty thing for me.

But either way, I guess I've just got to get used to it again!