Over the last two weeks, whenever I went to the market, I found that apricots and peaches are slowly appearing on the stands. For me, that’s like the ultimate sign that summer is just around the corner. So this weekend … Continue reading →
Exam season has officially started – actually, come to think of it, it never really stopped in the first place… 😛 Anyhow, this weekend I got a little break from it all and spend two lovely days in Ronciglione, a tiny village just out of Rome.
The bus ride was about an hour, departing from a small train station in the outskirts of the city. It reminded me a lot of when I used to commute to Salzburg while doing the bachelor’s degree.
I went there to celebrate the birthday of my friend Ilaria and, as you might imagine, the festivities consisted mainly in eating – the proper Italian way! 😀
On Saturday I arrived just in time for lunch: Ilaria’s mum had prepared the most amazing Parmigiana! But of course there was also a Primo and a Frittata and after the main dish some fruit and of course dessert (not the birthday cake, mind you!). After lunch, in order to avoid falling into a coma, we went for a walk and Ilaria showed me the streets she grew up in.
In the evening the actual party started, friends and family members gathered and some more food got involved. Ilaria’s mum had baked a massive Torta with strawberries and vanilla cream and was constantly worried that there might not be enough for everyone. It was an absolutely lovely evening, people complimented my Italian, we spoke about music and movies and eventually watched Harry Potter films.
This Sunday was Mother’s Day both here in Italy and in Austria. When I told my mum that I was gonna spend the weekend with Ilaria’s family, she was happy that I’d be with some mum at least.
In the morning we had a nice walk to the local park where we had fun making flower crowns and gossiping. After another amazing lunch (which was very poor and only the leftovers according to Ilaria’s mum ^^) I took the bus back to Rome.
When I walked down Via Boccea, I felt like I’ve been away for at least a week. It was good to get some rest and not study at all for a bit.
Now I feel revived and the stress can begin again 😉
So tomorrow I have an important exam – and what would be more adequate now than baking a fresh plum galette? … Studying? Revising? Meh! I believe making sure to have a fulfilling breakfast for the next day, that will allow me to start the day in the best way possible (with freshly baked goods obviously) and therefore focus perfectly on the exam, has to be my absolute priority now 😉
In my defense, plums are finally in season in Italy and they just looked so juicy and sweet. I mean, they basically asked for it! I promise it was a very quick bake and afterwards I returned to my desk and went over all the important con concepts of Web Marketing one last time.
Edit 6.5.: We got the marks, and let me just tell you: I did well. The cake definitely helped 😀
Being aware, that it’s probably one of the last days Isa and me will be off together for quite a while (Isa found a job at a restaurant, which basically means no weekends off and I’ll start my proper office-hour job next week), we decided to make the most of the sunny day and went out for a lovely walk in Hampstead Heath park.
Now, I have a bit of a complicated relationship with Hampstead Heath. We went there to see the fireworks at New Years Eve 2013/14 (omg, how time flies!) and I fell in love with the park and the view from Parliament Hill (well, as much as you can in a rainy night surrounded by thousands of people). Anyway, there and then I adopted the resolution to come back and explore the seemingly marvellous park. Well… needless to say that I didn’t. And to make matters worse, for more than half a year, when I was still working at Finchley Road, I passed it every day on my way to work. And it was tempting me and reminding me how easy it’d be to just go there on a day off and that I just couldn’t manage to do so.
But I finally last summer, we did go there; on the hottest day of the year. And I talked Gonzo into going for a swim in one of the muddy ponds! It was a lovely day and we actually managed to go for a walk and enjoy the daylight view from the hill. It was gorgeous and I was so happy that we finally came back!
There, now you know how it took me about a year and a half to do a simple thing as visiting a park. And that’s how Hampstead Heath became somehow a reminder for me: how in London it sometimes can be hard to keep plans and how little it effort it would actually take.
Anyway, Isa and me took the tube to Finchley Road and from there walked through posh Hampstead Village to the park. It’s a really beautiful area, but you can basically smell the money as you walk through; big old houses, CCTV cameras on the fences and expensive-looking cars (not that I really have an idea) in the streets.
The park itself is, as described in length above, is absolutely lovely and we truly enjoyed the walk. But even though it was a sunny day, it was very windy and we both got cold and hungry, so we decided to have an emergency-merienda. We had a not-too bad cup of tea and sad defrosted slice of cake in the uncharitable park cafe. But it did the trick and we went on to the top of the hill and around the pond. Eventually we rewarded ourselves with some very nice carrot cake at the bakery across the street.
And all is well, that ends well.
Or: if the cake is good, the day is good! 🙂