Friday, September 23, 2011

Il satellite

I managed to blag myself a day off work today, and being the radio geek I am I've spent the whole day listening to Deejay. And the same subject's come up all day - il satellite. The satellite. The satellite that's fallen out of orbit and is on its way back down to earth. It seems to be the one topic that everyone's talking about everywhere today, and the Italian superstition's well and truly come out to play. Of course, everyone mentions the mathematical probability of parts of the satellite actually landing in Italy, which are very slim... But then straight on to where the satellite could land, how much damage it could do, how you could be outside with bits of space junk falling out of the sky... Of course, luck comes into all of this. Italians love the concept of luck and bad luck, especially bad luck. Colloquially it's called sfiga, but the standard Italian word for it is sfortuna. And just about everything could potentially porta sfortuna - bring bad luck. So there's this whole discussion about how sfigato or unlucky you'd have to be for you or your house to be hit by the satellite. Because it doesn't matter what the actual scientific calculations are, oh no, it all boils down to how unlucky you are in Italy!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Don't ask me why, but for as long as I can remember I've had an interest in football, without being a fan of any particular team, and since being in Italy I've been following the Serie A. I can't even put my finger on why, I just find it interesting, and even moreso than British football, maybe because I didn't grow up with the Italian calcio culture.

Last night newly promoted Novara were playing world champions Inter. Novara's a city in Piedmont, its province shares its eastern border with the province of Milan, and it has a population of around 105,000. When I moved to Italy nearly three years ago I spent a couple of weeks in the province of Novara with a friend who had very kindly offered a place for me to whilst I got myself sorted; so I feel quite attached to the city, and was very happy when they were promoted from Serie B at the end of last season.

The game ended 3-1 to Novara, much to my surprise, even though Inter have had a bad start to the season. Amusingly I heard a lot of noise coming up from the trattoria next door - who'd have thought there were so many Novara fans in my part of the country?? And after lots of speculation this latest bad result has resulted in  Inter's coach, Gian Piero Gasperini, being shown the door after just three months with the club. It's certainly proving to be an interesting start for the Serie A this season!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bye bye Summer...?

Finally it looks like Summer's over. Unlike most people in this country I'm glad to see the end of it. No more days of 30-odd degree temperatures and sticky nights unable to sleep. Over the weekend many areas of Northern and Central Italy saw a lot of thunderstorms, apparently 80,000 lightning bolts struck the North of the country in the space of 24 hours! In Milan it all kicked off Saturday night, and after a stormy evening I was woken up by thunder which sounded as if it were right over my house at 7am - luckily I always get up quite early on weekends, otherwise I really would have been annoyed!

And when it rains in Milan it rains. Especially in the summer when it gets really humid. Full-blown thunderstorms that you can see coming miles off (or maybe I should say kilometres??) that clear the air, at least for a bit. We don't really get much of that can't-really-be-bothered drizzle that the UK gets all year round. Oh no, when it rains here it doesn't mess about with it!

Here in the space of around 24 hours the temperature dropped around 10 degrees. For the first time in months I woke up cold this morning! I'm hoping I can dig out the duvet soon, I'm looking forward to curling up in it during the winter months. Today it's blowing a gale outside, the many leaves that have already fallen are swirling around. If I were a couple of kilos lighter I'd probably get blown away!!

There are rumours though that it's going to start warming up again this week though, I'm hoping it won't be the case...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Welsh Miners

The first news bulletin I heard on the radio this morning at 9am didn't include any mention of the events from my homecountry. It was like it had never happened.  Nobody even mentioned the miners to me yesterday and Thursday, it was just me on my own trying to keep up with the sad events online as they were unfolding.

It was as if nobody cared. As if nobody cared about the four miners. Their friends and family. The closely-knit mining community they were a part of. The news slowly filtered down to Italy, but even during the evening I was having to explain to Italian friends what was happening back home.

Right up until the end I was still hoping for the best, hoping that it wouldn't end how I feared. I know this tragedy's affected the whole of Wales. I can't remember anything like this happening in my country before, and just because I'm far away from home it hasn't affected me any less. It's such a sad loss, something you would never imagine that could happen in the country you grew up with.

My heart goes out to the four men's families and friends. Cysgwch yn dawel bois.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Song of The Week

La notte dei desideri is Jovanotti's latest single from Ora. It was first played on radio on Friday, and the video was released at midday today!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lost in Translation 2

So there I was, eating the remains of a bag of biscuits for a snack as I tried to hold out for supper, when I noticed something that I hadn't seen before...

Yes, the English part of the front of the packet says "that promove good digestive healt".

Seriously, if you're going to translate the Italian that's on your products, please get it checked...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Song of The Week

Meglio prima is the second single from J-Ax's album of the same name, and continues with the tongue-in-cheek nostalgia that we saw in some of his songs from his last album, Deca dance (The single Deca dance being one, and also his fantastic collaboration with Jovanotti on Vecchia scuola, which includes some lines where they quote each others' lyrics from the past). Here the question is, were things better before or 'meglio prima'?

Friday, September 2, 2011

My Milanese Pet Hates - Part 9

The people on their scooters and motorbikes who use pedestrian crossings.

Pavements, and therefore pedestrian crossings, are for people, not for vehicles.

And this is especially true first thing in the morning when it's difficult enough trying to keep myself awake.

Just stick to the roads, ok?