Back in London

It’s been almost exactly half a year since I left London. Actually it’s a bit of blur; I mean: I can pin down the exact day we left, but we’ve been to CinemadaMare in between and I didn’t move to Rome straight away. But anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve been to Good Old England.

I missed London a lot! I left a bunch of really good friends and lots of very dear memories at London and I think about them a lot. But it wasn’t until we arrived at Stansted and I got excited just by seeing a Costa and a WHSmith that I realized just how much I really missed it. It’s my comfort zone, I know the places, the shops, the language (my Italian is still weaker than my English…)

After being with my family the last week, Gonzo and me had some quiet “us time”, some lovely mornings waking up to the rain on the window and just not caring about it. But I also felt like re-discovering the city. I got really excited walking down Oxford Street and seeing all the shops I know and noticing little changes. I felt half tourist, half old friend. It was a good, but somehow strange feeling.

London_Collage

One of the best things was to see my friends in London! We had breakfast, teas and dinners, I invented a peanut butter and jelly cheesecake and it was just like always ❤

I still miss you guys ❤

XX, Angie

Advertisements

Roman Advent Adventures: Gingerbread

I made gingerbread! For the very first time actually and I am really quite proud: I precisely followed the instructions of the recipe of my grandmother and I have to say that they turned out amazing! The whole flat smells like Christmas and the gingerbread tastes like home.  ❤

Funnily gingerbread is not a known thing in Italy. Some know gingerbread men from american movies or the gingerbread house from fairytales. But most are completely oblivious to it; just like my flatmate who had no idea what I was talking about when I told her about my baking plans for the weekend and who never tasted gingerbread in her life – but when she did, her eyes widened and she said “but… it’s like christmas to eat!”

I prepared the dough on Friday evening and spent all Saturday afternoon making and baking the actual cookies. And that’s the result:

I wish you could smell my flat right now!
(another grandma-level unlocked!)

XX, a very proud Angie

Off to new shores!

After spending all Sunday (actually the whole last week, to be honest) cleaning and emptying our flat, Gonzo and me said good-bye to our lovely sun-flooded, memory-filled room in London and left super early today and spent the night at Luton airport, watching Netflix and trying to sleep in the luggage hall.

When we finally took the plane at 7:00 in the morning, I still didn’t realized fully that we’d never get back to that flat, that we sent everything but our summer-suitcases home and are in fact completely “disrooted”.

RoomCollage.jpg

After a delayed flight, several hours killed in a little café near Napoli Central Station because of a missed train connection and another delayed train, we are currently riding trough Italian landscapes waiting to join our friends and CinemadaMare in Maratea, a beautiful seaside-village, ready to get a tan, have caffé and cornetti every morning and shoot short movies.
We are loaded with ideas, equipment and expectations for our summer.

CDMCollage.jpg

What comes after? We’re up for a surprise – let’s see where we’ll land in autumn.

Off to new shores!

Tanti baci, Angie

Nighttime ice cream in Shoreditch

GelatoCollage

Imagine after a stressful day:

greek dinner, fancy roof-top drinks in the sunset, a walk past street food stands and hipster clubs, colourful streets, more or less deep thoughts about the life in London, no doughnuts for dessert, conversations at a gazebo, plans for the future, nighttime ice cream and a spontaneous drum and dance party – what else do you need?! 🙂

Vi voglio bene, ragazzi!

XX, Angie

Sunday Shoot

Isn’t there a nicer way to spend a finally sunny Sunday than locked inside a studio all day long? 😉

M&M_ Collage.jpg

Following a spontaneous call by James yesterday evening, today I did the make-up for Morrissey & Marshall‘s new music video “Stand Down”.
Don’t worry, I had my fair share of sunshine – I simply set up my little make-up-station right outside the studio doors. Natural light is simply the best to work with! 😉 I had a really good time and surprisingly wasn’t sick of the song by the end of the day – with can only be a good sign!

Can’t wait to see the final edit!

XX, Angie

Shall I compare thee to a Midsummer’s night?

I did it! Finally! After almost three years spent in London and many times talking about it and makings plans I finally saw a play at the Shakespeare’s Globe. And not any play! In fact yesterday after work I went to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream – one of my favourites! 😀

IMG_4061_II.jpg

I can’t describe how happy I am that I went. It was a little tricky at first, as initially it seemed that I wouldn’t find anyone willing to accompany me and then it appeared that it completely sold out – but one ticket left on Thursday night!
I have never been to the theater all by myself before, so it was a whole new experience. I usually regard going to the theatre as something “share-able”. I like watching a show with someone next to me, sharing the experience, someone I can poke with my elbow in crucial moments and afterwards discuss the staging, costumes and acting with.

But I have to say, being all by myself wasn’t as bad as expected. It allowed me to completely focus on the play and absorb the atmosphere in the venue. I would have loved to share the feeling, but eventually it’s something I wanted to do – and I did.
I had an amazing view, standing just a couple of meters away from the stage and two small screens left and right of the stage, captioning the play assured that everyone could follow the Shakespearian language.

As you might know, the Globe is an open air venue. Only the balconies are covered by a narrow roof, the “groundlings” (people with standing tickets in the yard – like me) are at mercy of the elements.
Let me just say that I was really lucky. It was literally raining all week long and my hopes weren’t too high, but it turned out to be cloudy yet dry all day long yesterday and just in time for the play to start, the clouds opened and made way for a beautiful sunset! It was a dry and clear night up until the part where the “rude mechanicals” start to perform Pyramus and Thisbe, when it started to slightly drizzle.

Ok, and now for the important part: the staging. It was simply amazing!
Firstly, the play wasn’t technically set in Athens and the surrounding forest, but the words were changed for Bankside, Hoxton and St. Paul’s forest. A small, but very nice twist – especially when Puck declares “Through the forest have I gone, but Hoxoton hipster found I none.”
The most significant change was that instead of Helena, the beautiful Helenus was fighing for the love of Demitrius. How great is that? It added another layer to the sexual and love confusion as the overall topic of the play and even opened the question why Demitrius changes his mind and persues Hermia – for money? or denial? Because the spectator knows that he was “was lying” with Helenus before.
Whereas all humans wore modern, yet exaggerated clothes, the fairies had absolutely astounding costumes: Elizabethan fashion such as ruffs, corsets and petticoats, paired with Indian tunics, necklaces, face paintings and some modern pieces, creating a colourful, vibrant and almost tribe-like mix. Gorgeous!
The stage design was minimalistic but effective. Orange flower curtains decorated the back of the stage and the balcony above it. Big white balloons and green fabric tubes were floating above the auditorium, extending the space of the play into the yard and distorting it into something mystical, whimsical, “a place where magic could happen”. Further big white tables served as stepping stones for the actors all through the yard, allowing them to jump, dance, interact and enter and exit through the audience. Especially Puck made use of that a lot and flirted with whomever she set eyes on.
Many long monologues had been adapted as songs, so now Lysander was singing a love ballad to Hermia when they enter the forest and Puck and Oberon were falling into a edgy chanting when plotting to bewitch Titania. I think that’s absolutely brilliant! Like this you keep all the “original text” but avoid long and dull monologues that deliver no new information to the audience. The songs were accompanied musically by a small band, sitting on the balcony above the stage, consisting of bass, keyboard, drums and an electric sitar.

Alright, that should do it. I guess I made my point quite clear, which is that I absolutely enjoyed every single minute of the spectacle unfolding in front of my eyes! Needless to say, that I was flying home on colouful fairy wings, eager to share with everyone how amazing it was to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Globe.

So good night unto you all.

Give me your hands if we be friends,

And Robin shall restore amends.

XX, Angie

San Juan bonfire in Hounslow East

One of the perks of working in a multi-lingual translation company is definitely getting to know customs of many different cultures and countries – and making friends and learning swearwords in a lot of different languages! 😉

SJCollage.jpgAnd I learned recently that a Spanish tradition to celebrate midsummer is to light bonfires – preferably on the beach, but if you don’t have any, a terrace is perfectly fine – in the night of San Juan (Saint John).
Being a bit liberal with the tradition, Diego moved the celebration from the 23rd of June (which was a Thursday) to the 24th (a Friday, obvs. 😉 ) and invited us all to his house for a big barbecue.
After a massive dinner, the guys moved the grill aside and strategically started to build a little bonfire on the terrace.
I was explained that you have to prepare two little papers to throw into the fire: one with your wishes for the year to come and one with things you want to get rid of. After burning your papers you have to jump over the fire – to make the magic work.

I can only imagine, that it must be quite an enchanting sight to see a beach in Spain full of huge bonfires and people celebrating the beginning of summer – but in the meantime a small fire and a bunch of friends in Hounslow East are a very good substitute!

XX, Angie

 

Happy Birthday, your Majesty!

As we all know, the queen has two birthdays – technically that makes her 180 year old this year! 😉

The actual 90th birthday of her majesty was on the 21st of April, but as the chances are higher in summer to have a nice and sunny (very un-british) day to celebrate, the tradition established to move the official celebration parade Trooping the Colours to a weekend in June. Well, this plan failed: today was cold, grey and rainy.

I honestly thought about going and watching the queen – after all, I haven’t met her yet, even after almost three years in London. But the weather, and actual “warnings” in the newspaper to avoid the crowded areas kinda put me off.
Instead I went to Trafalgar Square, to see the live broadcast on massive screens and celebrate with others of equally low rank. Games, animation and “commonwealth street food” (as in: Indian curry, Australian burger, Jamaican chicken etc) were enjoy by Londoners and true Britons despite the rain.

HM_Collage.jpg

Well, I didn’t stay very long eventually (did I mention the terrible weather?) and after I felt I had done my duty in celebrating, I went home and rewarded myself with a hot cuppa and biscuits. 😉

Happy Birthday, Liz!

XX, Angie

We’re fans of tea!

Today is the most beautiful and sunny Sunday in London! I’d love to say that on the spur of the moment, inspired by sunshine and summer feeling, Isa and me decided to have afternoon tea out in Greenwich – but actually we booked it weeks ahead.

We went to have tea in the Orangery of The Fan Museum, a small heritage site in Greenwich dedicated to hand-held fans, which offers a most exquisite afternoon tea in the hidden garden. Apparently it’s an open secret that they serve one of the nicest teas in London, hence booking is required.

IMG_3467_II

IMG_3460

IMG_3462

And it was indeed absolutely lovely. The Orangery is small and intimate with a beautiful view of the secret garden. It was so quiet and the smell of the flowers was delightful.

We had Earl Grey with lemon and an etagere loaded with scones with cream and jam, lemon drizzle, chocolate brownie and two enormous pieces of Victoria sponge cake with buttercream and raspberry.

IMG_3495IMG_3498

After Isa had to leave, I had a look at the actual exhibition of the museum and then went for a walk, had a look at the vintage market and eventually spent the rest of the afternoon reading and enjoying the sunny weather in Greenwich Park.

IMG_3484

IMG_3470

I hope you had a super lovely and sunny Sunday as well!

XX, Angie

Photos at Somerset House

Today I went to pick up Gonzo at Paddington Station when he came back from Maidenhead where he teaches drama and film on Saturdays. It was a nice and sunny, so we sat by the canal in Little Venice and had pizza for lunch.

For the last four weeks or so, the 2016 Sony World Photography Exhibition was on at Somerset House, and even though we really tried and made actual plans to go and see it earlier, we ended up going today, on the penultimate day of the exhibition. But hey! Better late than never, right? 😉

PhotoCollage2.jpg

The exhibition was divided between the “Professionals” section in the West wing and the “Amateur” section in the East wing. The different categories included Architecture, Smile, Conceptual, Nature, Sport, Portraiture, Travel and Current Affairs. It was really interesting to see all the different photographs and styles, from documentary to campaign images.

PhotoCollage1.jpg

We actually arrived quite late at the exhibition, but that meant when we saw the last couple of rooms, the sun was already quite low and dipped everything into heavy golden light – simply beautiful.

To finish off this lovely Saturday we had a walk on the Strand in the setting sun, and once home decided to have popcorn for dinner and made plans for summer. ❤

XX, Angie