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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¡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

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

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

But first: home!

I know, I know – But you just arrived! you’d say. I know. And believe me, my fist few days in Rome were quite intense: looking for a flat, getting to know the city and straight away attending a summer school.
But since leaving London, the idea has always been that if by the end of September and before the official start of lessons at uni there is some time left, we’d be going home. Well, initially I also wanted to spend some time in Galicia, but unfortunately flight schedules and prices didn’t cooperate – so I spent a whole of 10 days in Austria!! 😀

And it was amazing! The weekend I arrived, the fair was in town (the prefect occasion to wear the Dirndl), the weather was beau-ti-ful all week long, I spent a lot of time with my little sister and my family and both my grandmas agreed that the best was to get some more flesh on my ribs was to feed me proper traditional Austrian food.
Actually nothing outstanding happened, apart form afternoon coffees and cakes in the sun, stunning autumn days, long chats with my friends, cookie binges with my mum and motorcycle rides with my dad and my sister. Everything was just normal – but a normal that has become so rare for me that it was like the best thing ever to come down after a crazy summer and let me charge my batteries looking ahead to a stressful first semester.

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And all I can say is that every time I get home, I am again surprised by the beauty of Austria – I guess by now I’m annoying everyone back home with my sudden exclamations of joy when we drive down a super ordinary street. ^^ And everything is even more beautiful in autumn, when everything slowly turns orange!

Anyway, now I’m back in Italy, fully relaxed and full of food and sunshine, ready to tackle a new challenge.

Hab euch alle lieb daheim und ihr fehlst ma jetzt schon!

XX, Angie

Summer 2015 stop #4: Italy (again!)

After some crazy busy and colourful days in Malaga and Barcelona, I went back to Italy; prossima fermata, next stop: Milano (again).

Well, when I came to see the Expo about a week before, I had absolutely no time to see the city, friends or even the Duomo. So I simply had to come back!
I haven’t been to my beloved Milano since I left about 2 years ago after a crazy year of Erasmus. I honestly think I spent some of the best time of my life in Milan and for that I am ever so grateful.
The city holds a lot of special memories for me, and so I guess you can imagine that I was really excited and emotional about coming back!

Just the fact of arriving in Milano Centrale, where over the year, I embarked onto so many journeys and taking the Metro worked like a time machine for me. It felt a little like coming home.
And what can I say? Although the stay was of course waaay to short, I had the most amazing time! Walking in streets and places that for me are so heavily coated with memories was a bit of a strange feeling at first. I felt somehow sad, because I don’t live there any more and that carefree and crazy period of studying abroad is over, and because all my friends are now scattered across the globe – but on the other hand I felt so happy being back, discovering what changed, what didn’t, having Aperitivo in the same places we used to and meeting with friends I haven’t seen in ages simply because we are all too busy with our lives. ❤

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It was definitely about time to visit the Duomo, check on the gelateria della musica and discover the new part of Navigli. I feel like I couldn’t have made a better chioce for the final stop of my summer travels! 🙂

Grazie Peppe, for being there and hosting me in Casa Palermo, and for cooking amazing Carbonara! Ti aspetto a Londra! 😉

Grazie a tutti! Mi manchate un sacco!

XX, Angie

PS: looks like I’m gonna be back soon! 😉

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