A weekend with a film festival, a birthday and lots of tea

I was really sad when Gonzo left at the beginning of the month, as I actually thought I wouldn’t see him until December. (We usually manage to see each other every two months – as in: he manages to come visit me every other month.)
But then an invitation to a short film festival, to be precise The One Shot Film Festival, appeared in Mister Cotelo’s inbox: there were two tickets reserved for him and a “plus one” to attend the final screening in London, for which his film Mamma had been selected. Exciting news!

In the spur of the moment, Gonzo asked for holidays again (just after getting back from a three weeks leave) and we booked our flights to London! Most excitingly, the screening fell on the same weekend as my birthday – which meant a birthday with Gonzo, all our friends and lots of tea in our beloved capital of the UK!
I felt very fancy, telling my friends in Rome that I’d be going to London in order to attend the screening of a film I produced in an official festival. I have to admit that I didn’t let an occasion pass to bring it up. Sorry, if I was annoying!

When I arrived in London, Gonzo was already there. We spent the weekend catching up with our friends and the city. (how can so much change in such short time?) I haven’t been to London in almost a year, but as soon as i set foot in the tube, something clicked and all the habits came back.

The festival was really tiny, and we din’t win a price in the end, but it was a lovely excuse to dress fancy and celebrate my birthday! On Saturday, my actual birthday, I woke up to lots of text messages. We had a slow morning and got up late, had fancy London brunch (avocado and eggs Benedict on rye bread – how much London-ier can it get??) and coffee with Andrea. Later we strolled down Oxford street and looked at all the shop windows. For dinner we met up with Isi and Isa and had Hamburgers at Byron, where I met an old work colleague, now manager, who brought us massive desserts! And to top it all off went to the cinema to see Bladerunner 2049. It mightn’t sound too fancy, but I was the happiest girl. For me, it was a perfect day. ❤

Sadly Gonzo had to leave a day earlier than me. But my friends were there to cheer me up. I was spontaneously cast as an extra in a short film, had a bunch of English sweets and cookies and met an Irish actor. On Monday morning I finished my blitz visit in London having breakfast with Isa, including lots of tea and gossip.

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When I got back to Rome, it seemed to me that I was away for at least one week. My little suitcase was full of birthday presents, tea and biscuits and the loveliest memories!

London will always feel a bit like home, as our friends there have long become family. ❤

XX, Angie

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A completely incompetent observation on style

One thing I observed while being in Spain is that Spanish women are so absolutely elegant. I can’t say I’ve travelled Spain far and wide, but I’ve seen it wherever I’ve been, Malaga, Barcelona and now in Coruña, and it just stuck with me. I also can’t exactly say I’m an expert, but to me it seems to be the attitude. A certain nonchalance and airiness. And I wish I could ever look as effortlessly graceful as the young woman I saw in one of the narrow streets of Coruña, wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

I’ve seen it in some Italian women too, elegance and sophistication. “Beh, I’ve just put on what I had on hand…” But the Italian women do love a bit of sparkle and wear those glitter applications on tops, hats and shoes with pride. Oh, and some high heels of course.
But again, it’s that style. Noting too fashionable or tight. Just the right bit of daring. After all, it always seems to be so very tasteful.

According to me the British ladies on the other hand seem to compensate what they lack in style with fashion. No belly button will ever be hidden, if fashion dictates otherwise. And what about the Austrians? Well, ask my sister! 😉

There you go, that’s my completely unasked two cents worth on fashion and style.

XX, Angie

¡Encantada, Galicia!

After my really long holidays back home I didn’t go straight back to Rome. Gonzo came from Kuwait and we met in his hometown, La Coruña.

I was so happy to finally get to know “his” city. After all, I’ve only heard about it and he showed me pictures, of course, but seeing it in real life was quite impressive too. Since we’re together, Gonzo has been to Austria a couple of times, but I’ve never been to Spain with him – and it made me even more excited!

I finally got to see where he grew up, I finally was able to fill all the stories he told me with images and place. I discovered that he can hear the ocean from his bedroom window.

La Coruña is beautiful – I fell in love! We spent a couple of days there and Gonzo showed me around the lovely, intricate, little city, knowing it like the back of his hand. We had tortilla and tapas and churros and sweets with angel’s hair. We went to the Celtic museum  and I took a lot of touristy pictures. We had sunshine and classic Galician rain (“like it mostly is”). One day we even went to Santiago where Gonzo showed me where he used to live as a student and told me many stories. And I finally got to see the famous Hercules Tower. 🙂

It was only a short stay, but enough to make me fall for it. The stone houses and narrow streets remind me of Edinburgh, and the Students in Santiago made me think of Salzburg. But then again, it’s something completely different all together; theres the ocean and the beach and the little verandas to keep the houses warm and cortado and lovely people  and it makes me want to come back soon.

XX, Angie

An Austrian summer

Basically I’ve spent the whole summer at home. Two and a half months: from the beginning of July to the middle of September. I guess that’s the perks of being a student! 🙂

I haven’t spent a full summer at home since I left for my Erasmus 5 years ago. Of course I usually came back for a couple of days during summer at some point, but I never spent that amount of time at home. And let me tell you: it was beautiful. I actually had time to arrive at home. I do confess that I never actually did empty my suitcase and it was just a messy little island in my room all the time, but I had time to breathe while I was home. Usually when I come home, it’s for a certain occasion, such as a wedding or Christmas, and then generally lots of appointments and catch-ups are involved in a rather short time. What I mean is that this time there were days in which I had nothing to do, when I went to my grandma’s for lunch, baked yet another cake or lied in the sun reading. I had time to do nothing.

And while I was home, I had time to reconnect with the little pleasures, that started to slip my mind. Like a late swim in the lake on a hot day or a spontaneous barbecue on our terrace. I had almost forgotten about the fireflies. I had time to rediscover and be astonished by the beauty of our region. I stared to suffer from that particular case of homesickness which I mentioned before: it always ever strikes me when I’m home.

Here’s some things that happened or which I enjoyed while being back home in Austria (and be sure it’s not an exhaustive list):

  • My amazingly talented sister got her degree in traditional dressmaking and the whole family dressed in our traditional costumes and celebrated
  • I did an internship in a web marketing agency
  • My dad and me got soaked at the open air concert of Zucchero
  • Having ice cream with Kathi in Salzburg
  • Hiking with my dad
  • We went to see the famous play Jederman and mingled with the rich and famous
  • My dad, Kathi and me went to Italy over Ferragosto and had lots of cappuccino and cornetti and saw a fantastic firework
  • Lots of barbecues on our terrace, some planned, some impromptu
  • Lots of baking
  • Lots of coffee with friends and family
  • My grandmas cooking for me
  • Making marmalade myself for the first time: apricot and whiskey flavour
  • Motorcycle rides with my dad and Kathi
  • Lots of bathing in our beautiful lakes
  • Kathi tailored a bespoke and absolutely beautiful Dirndl for me
  • Meeting up with my high school friends
  • I got a new pair of glasses
  • A blitz visit to Vienna, to participate at a Trekkie meeting, me being dressed as an intergalactic hitchhiker
  • The leaves started to turn orange and slowly but surely autumn kept coming
  • A weekend in the spa with mum and Kathi
  • Lots of reading
  • Seeing the Rolling Stones live in concert.

After seeing the Rolling Stones (!!!) live in concert (!!!) on a muddy race track and sleeping an estimate hour and a half, I left to Galicia early in the morning on the 17th of September. But that’s another story and shall be told in another blog post. 🙂

In the meantime enjoy some summer photos of my hometown, my family and some mountains.

XX, Angie

 

Pre-holidays

I have to admit I did a bit of a crazy thing: right in the middle of the exam session I went home to Austria for a whole week!

Well, let me explain: The main reason for going home just before exams ended, was my cousin getting married. Otherwise I’d probably waited until exams are over in order to go on holidays (like any sane person would…) But given the facts and the circumstance that I happened to have 13(!!) days without any exams right in the middle of June, I decided that instead of coming home just a couple of days for the wedding and stressing everyone out (including me), I’d stay the whole week. Easy.

It was a gorgeous week of early summer, filled with a beautiful wedding, barbecues on our terrace, motorcycle rides, a fashion photo shoot, many coffees in the sun and lots of cake, a walk in the narrow streets of Salzburg, going to the ballet with my sister, hiking with my dad and just being home. ❤

I suffer of a very particular case of home sickness – I only ever get it when I’m at home. When I am away, I’m mostly happy and don’t miss being at home very much (apart from that special occasion, when my relatives send me photos and make me miss them). But once I’m home, I realize how beautiful it is, how cozy and lovely and I miss being here all the time. I am not entirely sure if any of that makes any sense – but to me it does. 🙂

I’m back in Rome now – for exactly two more weeks. I’m charged with energy to finish those exams and in a bit I’ll go on holidays again: back home to Austria!

XX, Angie

Arabian Nights

or: “the Kuwait Kilo” (we ate so much!)

Did this actually happen? Did I really travel 14 hours to Kuwait, spent 8 absolutely fantastic days in that incredible city, then travelled 17 hours back and am here in my little colourful room in Rome now? It seems like a dream. Everything is back to normal, my routine has me back.

But I did travel to Kuwait to see Gonzo and it was indeed amazing. ❤

Gonzo showed me around the city: the old market, the new malls, the futuristic skyscrapers; we ate in traditional restaurants and american food chains like Applebee’s, The Cheesecake Factory and Wendy’s; we had tea, hobnobs and baklava for breakfast and tried Arabian coffee and tea. We went for walks on the beach where I put my feet in the Persian Gulf and did big shoppings at the supermarket and wished that it was summer and Cinemadamare. I watched Gonzo shoot and I realized how much I missed it. We lingered on the hot mornings and went out in the night when the air was tolerable and a bit cooler. I enjoyed the view from his bedroom window on the 26th floor.

 

It was a an incredible experience! I have never travelled outside the western culture before, so for me it was a whole new adventure. It was strange to walk the boardwalk in Kuwait at night; when we sat down to watch the waves rolling in, it might have been Nova Siri and when we walked through the park in front of the mall, it could have been San Benedetto – except that it wasn’t. I hope this makes any sense!
I learned that money can buy just about anything and that shopping is an acceptable past-time in Kuwait, that apparently no tourists visit the city (measured according to the difficulties we had in order to find postcards) and that I needn’t worry so much about what I wore, people are very respectful.

All in all it reminded me a lot about southern Italy: hot, sandy, messy and noisy – but the people are incredibly nice! 😉

Last year we were in Edinburgh over Easter. Never in a million years would I have thought to go to Kuwait just a year later. It’s funny how sometimes life holds such unexpected surprises!

XX, Angie

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.

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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

In Erice…

I guess by now you know that each summer for the past four yeas, Gonzo and me spent traveling trough Italy with this amazing film festival for young filmmakers called CinemadaMare. Now, CdM holds an event every winter called “Waiting for CdM” where they invite filmmakers who have previously participated and evaluated the past summer, hold workshops, plan new projects and enjoy being together. Usually only Italians are invited, as otherwise it would simply be too difficult to organise: but hey, I live in Italy now too!

So when I got the official invitation-text message, I cheekily replied with “I’m in, and Gonzo too!” – So they had no choice! 😉

This year the “Waiting” was held in Erice in Sicily, where last summer Gonzo and me shot one of our loveliest movies and where I have a lot of very nice memories.

Last Wednesday Gonzo flew in from London and on Friday, at four in the morning (!) we met up with the other choosen guys at Termini station, had cornetto stuffed with nutella to kickstart our energies and then we all took the plane to Trapani together. Everything was organized for us and it basically felt like one big school trip!

Erice is a beautiful little world heritage village at the top of a (or perhaps the only?) mountain in the very south of Sicily, overlooking the sea. Did I say that it’s beautiful? Because it definitely is!
It was absolutely lovely weather all weekend long, but also absolutely freezing! I have no idea how the Italians do it, but I think I was constantly cold, even in the youth hostel. I guess the heating in our room was just there for decoration…

Anyway, we had a good time! We ate so much! I think we ate more than we worked! Every day we had freshly baked cornetti for breakfast (with Viennese coffee!) and a three course lunch, one night the local gastronomy school cooked a seven course gala dinner for us and the local pizzeria offered us a special deal – you get me, right?

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It was nice to have a little pre-Christmas get-away with Gonzo and all our friends who are usually filed as “summer” in our brains.

It was funny thought to see the cobblestone streets, overlooking the sea, decorated in christmas lights and a massive futuristic Christmas tree on the main piazza – in a place that means “summer, gelato, cannoli and holiday” to me. Now I’m ready for a proper snowy, mountain-y and Austrian Christmas!

XX, Angie

Mangia Mangia

So I actually set out this morning, having a short walk at Campo dei fiori and perhaps a coffee with Giorgio in mind, never would I have thought I’d end up in Viterbo!

I went to town by bus and actually had a very lovley walk and read in the autumn sunshine before I met up with Giorgio – who spontaneously invited me to his hometown for the weekend! And as I literally had nothing better to do, I said yes! 😀
We went straight to the train station and off we went to Viterbo, which is about a two hour journey away from Rome. Once we arrived, we pretended to be tourists and Giorgio showed me the old town. We had marzipan witch-fingers for merenda and went to a Spaghetti restaurant for dinner – they had over 300 options on the menu, but I chose to try classic roman Amatriciana, and it was amazing!

We started the next day with fresh cornetti and had a second breakfast at the station – we didn’t included the sunday timetable on our plans and had to kill some spare time…
When we came back to Rome, nothing was left of the beautiful sunny weather of yesterday, the sky was grey and rainy. So I went back home and spent the rest of Sunday with chocolate and books.

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Hope you had a nice and spontaneous weekend as well!

XX, Angie