Notting Hill Carnival? No thanks!

Notting Hill Carnival? No thanks!

So, it was Bank Holiday yesterday, here in the UK and the Notting Hill carnival happened.

It was the second time I went, the first time was back in 2011, I had been in London for a few months and I had very high expectations about it. Everyone was talking about the Carnival as this huge, beautiful event. I didn’t like it.

I decided to give it a go again, maybe this time it would be better – I thought.

It wasn’t.

nottinghillnottinghillcarnival_0Images sources: itv.com and standard.co.uk

I didn’t get to see anything close to the above pictures, although these are from the 2016 edition. Instead, I got to see many of the below scenes:

nottingNotting-Hill-Carnival-rubbish-cleanupImages sources: dailymail.co.uk and mirror.co.uk

Notting Hill carnival is Caribbean and British culture at its worst. I couldn’t really get to see the  parade, because there was a wall of drunk people, all with their phones up to record stuff they would not otherwise remember. I saw people passed out on the pavement at 6 in the afternoon, when the sun was still high. I didn’t want my son to see that. I’ve seen people getting arrested, getting violent and in general, I’ve seen more drunk people than people enjoying the event as it was. They were just wasted. Pissing everywhere, literally everywhere. It was disgusting. They could have been anywhere, they didn’t know anything, they were just wasted.

I didn’t like it and I didn’t feel safe, especially after reading that on Sunday (that was supposed to be the “child-friendly day”) 5 people had been stabbed. A total of 16 people have been stabbed this year at the Carnival.

Next year, I know I will stay at home, and save money to go to the Venice carnival instead, which is much much better on any level.

venicePhoto credit: M. Silvestri/Reuters
ITALY-VENICE-CARNIVALPhoto credit: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

Oh, I miss Venice! Such a peaceful city.

xx

Gloria

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Sensational Butterflies

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There is an exhibition that has been on for more than a year in London. It’s called “Sensational Butterflies” and, as you can imagine, it’s all about butterflies!

You get inside a huge sort of tent, right next to the amazing Natural History Museum and you enter the magic world of butterflies.

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I visited last August, and it was tough because I was 8 months pregnant and inside the tent is extremely hot and humid….which is the ideal climate for these butterflies, but not for heavily pregnant ladies! I have to admit, it was well worth it. There are so many different kinds of butterflies flying all over the place and you get to see them very close! If you are like, you might even get one resting on your arm 🙂

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I loved it, it’s only £5.85 to get in, and you can always pop in the National History Museum, which is FREE and leaves me with my nose up, gasping in amazement, every time I go there.

This is one of the things I love about London. Free museum. The fact that, even if you have half an hour, you can just go inside and stroll about; you wouldn’t do it if you had to pay, would you? And because it’s free, I tend to go there many times and to find different bits every time, so it never gets boring, because each visit is different from the previous one.

nhmPhoto credit
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nhm4Photo credit.

I think this could be an idea of how to spend a pleasant afternoon in London now that the weather is indulgent.

Until next time!

xx

Gloria

 

On the feeling of worthlessness

On the feeling of worthlessness

How many times have you felt worthless? Or “not enough”? How many times have you felt the pressure of how you should be at this point of your life? I know I felt this way many times, it still happens sometimes.

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It is not always a negative thing, though. At times, this is what I need, it’s the tough love that pushes me to get up and do something about it, take action. It’s a positive sadness that makes me feel like starting to plan my life in details, and it works.

But sometimes it hits hard.

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Sometimes it’s difficult to see the glass half full and not to compare yourself with thew rest of the world. That rest of the world that seems to be doing good. Or just better than you.

Luckily this gloomy mood doesn’t last long and if the sun is shining a long walk in park is the best therapy to lift my spirit.

Today is a tough-love day, I felt a bit low but decided I had enough and I wasn’t going to stay on the couch dragging myself down and whining about the fact that I still haven’t accomplished everything I would like to. Hell, I should go out and start working towards my goals! So I started by tiding up the flat. It’s still a mess, there is still loads to be done, but at least I managed to do a little bit. While I type, my little one is exploring my wallet and pulling out every single card I have in it, so I better go and stop him!

Have a nice weekend 🙂

xx

Gloria

Friendship on WhatsApp aka nostalgia today

Friendship on WhatsApp aka nostalgia today

Most of my friends live in Italy. I live in London.

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We speak to each other on a daily basis, but mainly through WhatsApp. We send each other vocal messages and all our problems, adventures, fears and dreams are recorded on our phones.

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Today I’ve been chatting with Yle, she’s a sweetheart, and she’s just been dumped by one guy she was dating. I was listening to the vocal messages she sent me and what i was hearing was a sweet girl trying to understand what went wrong, how and why. Trying to figure out the world.

I love being able to chat with my friends even when we are far away, but I really wanted to hug her today, and you can’t do that through your phone yet.

We had such a great time when we were living in Venice and I miss her and the other girls so much, but tonight just a bit more.

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This is us. I’m the one top left, with the brown jumper. We were living all together in Venice. Ah, nostalgic night…

xx

Gloria

The infinite possibilities of London

The infinite possibilities of London

It’s the third of August, my friends in Italy are boiling and complaining that it’s too hot (about 38 degree Celsius) and I am here, wearing a jumper. It’s not even 20 degree in London. Really feels like November.

Anyway, this is not a post about the weather, or about me complaining about the weather. This is a post about my slow fitting in the new neighbourhood. I like St John’s Wood. It’s posh, but nice.

I like the fact that everything is so close. After having lived in zone 3 for years, it still amazes me to realise that it takes me 10 minutes to get to the centre. And I can walk to Regent’s Park everyday.

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Yesterday I went to speak to a career adviser because I want and I need to go back to work, but I want to find a job that doesn’t kill me and where I don’t have to sell my soul. Of course, I still want to translate, but let’s face it: the translation industry is not going well for freelancers, it’s going well for big agencies that pay linguists close to nothing, and I didn’t spend years and money in education to get paid some insulting rates. So, I will keep that on the side for now, doing some volunteer translation to keep active. Anyway, back to the career adviser, it was a very inspiring session and I don’t understand why these services aren’t advertised more! I didn’t know about it, until I found a leaflet in the children’s centre where I take my son. I booked an appointment and yesterday I met this very nice and competent man who gave me plenty of advises and links to useful websites to help me in my research. He said there may be some training courses available for me, too.

My dream job would be speech therapist, but I would have to do it in Italy and it’s 3 years of university degree, so for now I will have to focus on something else, perhaps something similar. I was thinking of getting a certificate for teaching learners with dyslexia/specific learning difficulties, but it’s still unclear whether I qualify not being a teacher…

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I love being able to sit here and write about these things, sipping my coffee, it helps me putting things into perspective and making a bit of order in this mess that is my life at the moment.

xx

Gloria