Tuesday, 3 July 2018

This week. #7

This week...

I won a skein of yarn in an Instagram giveaway! It happened first thing on Monday morning and it made the week start on such a positive note. It’s coming from a girl all the way in the US so I hope it doesn’t get lost!

I had to go to Rome for a couple of hours on Tuesday and I had to leave very early in the morning. Mum brought me to the station- we had coffee together and we went for a little walk while waiting for the coach. It was absolutely lovely. The day was super tiring and stressful between having to carry a huge stack of library books and dealing with a professor that hasn’t quite gotten how to use computers yet, but the morning at the station was just lovely.

I finished my first ever pair of socks (and another single sock, too). There’s a massive difference in terms of quality between the first and the second one I made, but I’m really proud of myself. I’m using some inexpensive, quite scratchy yarn to practice, and I can’t wait to make a pair out of some soft merino. I also finished the yellow lace top and it fits really well! I’m almost certainly going to dye it blue once I have the time to go out and buy the dye.

I realized I haven’t read a book in two months, which is strange to say the least. My reading usually slows down when I’m in the middle of exams but never actually stops. I have a few books that I got for my birthday way back in March and I’m so looking forward to reading them at the beach in a few days!

I bought a pair of high heels for the university gala night on Wednesday. I have this love-hate relationship with them because they’re very pretty -I wouldn’t have bought them otherwise- but they’re high heels, and I’m probably going to wear them once a year if at all. I hate spending money on items that I know upfront I’m not going to wear often but that I have to buy anyway because I need them. I asked some friends if they had any heels that I could borrow, but they didn’t go with my dress (and obviously I didn’t want to buy a new dress). Ugh.

I received some yarn in the mail for my upcoming knitting project, which is a Summer cardigan. I have been meaning to make one since before I even knew how to knit and most importantly I really need one, so I am beyond excited to start working on it once I’m done with exams.

I listened to the new Florence + the Machine album and I love it SO MUCH. It’s the same Florence as always but at the same time it’s a more mature, grown-up Florence and I’m IN LOVE WITH IT.

I’m thankful that it started getting really hot only three days before my exam so that I didn’t have to study in the heat. I have been incredibly lazy lately and I really hope I get lucky at the exam in two days’ time. 

I want to get better at taking photos of my day-to-day life.

Saturday, 23 June 2018

This week. #6

In the past three weeks... 

I ate the first peach of the season.

I made two potholders for my Grandma, who loved them and told me they were too pretty to use but shortly after proceeded to put away all her other potholders and replaced them with the ones I made her.

I went on a hike in memory of my uncle, on the same mountain where he slipped and fell last November.

I found a little bird on my balcony one day, and realized how despite the fact that I love nature and animals so much, I am completely clueless when it comes to rescuing them.  

I learnt about the life of my grandma's best friend. One night after dinner my mother started talking about her; she told us that after the war she traveled alone all the way to Canada to meet her husband who was working there; she told us the reason why they didn't have kids; and that she lost a brother when she was really young. I have known this woman all my life yet I really didn't know anything about her.

I got the top mark on an exam and it was wonderful! I think it was one of my favourite subjects this far, and the exam in itself was very challenging and rewarding. The morning after I finished knitting my grey sweater while watching Call Me By Your Name and it was AMAZING. 

I started doing some physical therapy for my tendonitis and it's going much better.

I celebrated my brother 18th birthday - he's already started having driving lessons and it's making me feel very emotional and very, very old.

This week... 

We found a little cat in our courtyard. He looks like he's in very good health, and he's very playful and affectionate. We can't keep him, so we are trying to find him a family but I don't think it's going to be easy. I have been taking so many study breaks to go in the courtyard to play with him!

I bought tickets for the university gala (ball? prom? however you want to call it), just because it's my last year and I never went before. Also, because my best friend who is coming back to Italy from Australia only a few days prior decided she wants to come as well! It's going to be super weird, considering it's going to be the first time I will see her in a year and I have an exam the same morning. 

I finished knitting one single sock (minus the heel, which I will add later on) and I have almost finished making a sleeveless top out of some inexpensive cotton yarn. It was my first experience with lace and I didn't find it too difficult, only it required more attention than I can currently give and so there are a few errors here and there. The yarn is bright yellow and I'm thinking of maybe dying it blue, so I can get more wear out of it. 

I'm studying for my next exam which is in 10 days. I can feel my energy slowly diminishing every day as the weather gets hotter. I honestly have no clue how this exam will go, it depends on how much effort I can put towards studying in the next 10 days. 

Sunday, 27 May 2018

This week. #5

This week... 

I had an exam and I am proud of how I did. I had studied hard for it, I felt actually prepared and for once I felt like I was on the same level as the professor. I got a high mark but I decided to retake it in two weeks to hopefully get a higher mark (you can do that here in Italy) and I really hope I don’t regret this decision.

I had a super lazy day the day after the exam. I sat on the couch for the whole morning watching QVC -my guilty pleasure- and knit a little cotton headband from start to finish, which I had been meaning to do for ages. I had lunch with my Dad, which never happens usually because he always comes back home late, and then went for a walk with Mum. It felt like the first day of Summer.

I went for an evening walk with my brother and Mum yesterday, which was unusual (in a pleasant way of course). We had ice cream and walked into one of my childhood friends' parents and had a little chat.

I visited my Grandma, who I hadn't seen in ten days. The weather was gorgeous and put me in a very lazy mood. I pruned a rosebush and planted some nasturtium.

I worked on my woolen sweater some more - the body is completely done, now I'm halfway through the first sleeve. I can't wait to finish it, but at the same time I have been working on it for a month and it's getting a bit boring now, especially because it's all the same colour. So yesterday I gave up and started a new sweater - I couldn't wait any longer! I also started knitting a hot pad but ran out of cotton yarn about three fourths in, haha.

I went grocery shopping with my Mum and brother in a new health food shop and it was so fun! We spent an hour walking around, calling each other when we saw something interesting and filling our cart with fancy food. I love going grocery shopping, I always find it so relaxing.

I feel weirdly relaxed - I say weirdly because I should be anything but relaxed, considering I still have two exams to do over the next month and a half. I need to start studying more intensely tomorrow. I also want to write at least one page of my dissertation.

Monday, 21 May 2018

This week. #4

This week... 

I’m feeling stressed about this exam and worried about not knowing what will happen if I decide to retake it.

I’m enjoying looking at all the little birds that come and sit on the tree outside my window, especially the blackbird. He always sits on the same branch every day!

I had lunch with my mother while we watched the royal wedding. It was sunny and our only care was this frivolous, happy event. Blissful.

I discovered the name of the two flowers in the photo above, which are making my room smell wonderful - honeysuckle and ‘Félicité et Perpetue’ rose.

I had a really fun Facetime with my best friend in Australia. I can’t wait for her to come back in July.

I was sick one day and felt completely fine the day after - I had a bit of a stomach bug and fever that made me feel totally wiped out. I’m thankful it wasn’t anything serious.

I love looking forward all day to watching a couple of episode of The Office with my brother. It’s a nice way to unwind and end the day on a positive note.

I haven’t been reading at all during the month of May and it makes me sad, but it’s always the case when I’m studying for exams.

I have been reminded that life is wonderful always, and a privilege.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

This week. #3

Last week... 

I couldn’t post because I had a bout of tendinitis in my right arm and I didn’t want to aggravate it any further. I still have to be careful now not to use my right arm too much, but it’s going better.

This week... 

I had one very good, productive day of study. I was the most focused I’ve been in a long time and it was very rewarding. I found that studying outside (only on the balcony, but still) makes me concentrate more than when I’m sitting at my desk.

I made progress on my sweater! I divided for the sleeves and now I’m working on the body. It’s all stockinette from now on so it’s super relaxing. I’m surprised at how easy to make this sweater is turning out, considering it’s my first knitted garment (well I’ve made a shawl earlier this year, but that was almost too easy).

I thought about how if I could go back in time I would do university completely differently, both on the curricular aspect and the social aspect. Completely differently. 

I went for a walk in my hometown with my parents and I can’t remember the last time that that has happened. It was lovely. Then after dinner we watched a documentary together in the living room, and I can’t remember the last time we did that either.

I started working again on my Wild Violet cross stitch project and I’m really enjoying it. It’s a really small design so I should be done with it soon! I got myself a lap frame a couple of months ago so I can stitch two-handed and don’t put as much stress on my right arm, and it’s working!

I doubted my abilities, as always.

Monday, 30 April 2018

This week. #2

This week...

visited a Roman palazzo.

I received some yarn I ordered for granny squares and socks, and a yard of floral fabric that is brighter than I thought it would be. Still looking for a top pattern to use it.

I am tired already of dealing with my university library. They are so inefficient it's unbelievable, especially for how high the tuition fees are. All the books I need are in a separate warehouse and they can go and pick them up only once a week!!!!!!!! And I can only order five at a time!!!! And I need about a thousand books for my dissertation!!!!!!!!!!!! It's going to be so frustrating, I know already.

I am trying to organize my room a bit. There are crafty projects and books everywhere and although I love every single one of them, my room is only so big and I prefer clear surfaces. 

realized once again how my problems are truly minuscule and how much suffering my mother is carrying on her shoulders, all by herself.

I finished a linen tank top I started working on two months ago. I embroidered Yeats' Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven on the front, with a thread so similar to the colour of the fabric that it's almost impossible to see. Originally I thought I was going to have to assemble it by hand and that kind of put me off working it for about a month. Now I'm feeling more confident in my sewing machine skills and so it only took me a couple of hours to sew it together and hem everything! I'm so happy with how it turned out. 

started working on my first knitted sweater! I'm only a few rows in and I already know I'm going to make a mess of it. But that's ok - the important thing is to learn.

I am watching The Office again with my brother, every night after dinner. We love it so much.

I saw Infinity War at the cinema and found it incredibly boring. I only went because I love Benedict Cumberbatch so much and I will watch everything he's in until the end of time, but maaaan this was challenging. Really not my kind of thing.

Monday, 23 April 2018

This week. #1

I have been thinking of bringing this blog back to life for a couple of weeks now, and so yesterday I re-read all the post I have written here and oh. I was transported in another world completely. So many happy moments from last year came back to mind so vividly. I am planning to post at least once a week, to try and record the all the little things I want to remember.

This week...

I'm reading Italo Calvino's American Diary.

I watched Barefoot in the Park for the first time last night and loved it. I'm in the mood for old movies lately.

I'm crocheting squares for a blanket and I only just realized I need about 360. Oh well.

I visited my tailoring instructor's studio, which she shares with a goldsmith. I don't think I have ever been in a place like that - a place where creativity is lived and breathed daily. The goldsmith shared her immense knowledge with us and gave us a little demonstration of what she does for a living. I asked her if she's always been a goldsmith and she said yes, she went to art school and has been working with metals all her life. I have always known I am a bit of a coward but when I heard her talk about her "career" (such an awful word) I fully realized that I really am a coward. When I finished high school the recession was still very much a reality and I was scared to death that if I chose a more creative path I would have starved for the rest of my life, so I went to Law school. How many things I would change if I could turn back time! I love what I am studying and I can see myself working in the Law field, but still there's a bit of remorse. Anyway, the afternoon we spent in the studio was incredible and it reminded me how important it is to create.

I'm listening to Fiona Apple's Why Try to Change Me Now.

I'm enjoying the warm weather (finally).

I'm itching to try and knit a sweater, even though Summer is approaching. I bought all the yarn for it and started crocheting it a few months ago, but now that I am a bit more experienced in knitting I want to try and knit one.

I'm loving catching the scent of wisteria flowers when I walk down the street.

I'm hating wasting time chasing my tutor about my dissertation. He won't reply to my emails, which is maddening to say the least, so I basically have to stalk him. On Wednesday I had about an hour to kill before I could talk to him, so I walked around the neighbourhood while eating a slice of pizza, and then sat in the park for a while, with a book and a ice-cream cone in my hand. It was lovely.

I received some fabric that I ordered online and started making a little two-colour bandana with it. I hand stitched it but when I go back home next week I will sew it with my sewing machine. I also received another bandana I ordered (I've been obsessed with bandanas lately) but was too embarrassed to wear it out because it's bright yellow. Silly me.

I need to remember to take more photos next week.

Friday, 13 October 2017


Trying to live in the now and not the past. I have actually never had any problems of this sort up until now, maybe the opposite - always planning for the next thing, projecting myself in the future, waiting for this week to be over and then the next and then the next. Trying not to live like the best, most exciting period of my life is over, trying not to compare the now with the past. Yesterday someone I follow on Instagram did a marathon around the town I lived in in the Netherlands and posted their track and I almost cried. I thought, I know what that street looks like! and that one! I have been there! That's not just a map -a bunch of funny tangled lines- those are actual existing places and I have seen them and lived in them. 

I absolutely know that significant, major things are waiting for me. Maybe even tomorrow, maybe even in an hour. But everything seems kind of dull in comparison to earlier this year. I'm trying my best to enjoying this quiet life of mine, to make a ritual out of every little thing, to make the ordinary extraordinary. It just irks me that I get to spend my days in the capital city of a country and I live the same life I would in a small provincial town. This city is stagnant and so are the people who live in it. A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine invited me to a dinner with a group of international students that she coordinates, and it was wonderful; no dull small chat, no gossiping about other people, only genuine excitement and curiosity and meaningful conversation. It was so refreshing and it made me realize how much I truly needed it. 

I'm trying to counteract the flatness of this place by creating as much as I can. I usually wake up before everyone else in the house, and spend the first hour of my day stitching or crocheting, and I have been absolutely loving it. It's just the best way to start my day, and it puts me in a good mood. Trying to become the person that I want to be little by little, day in day out, trying to let the things that I do define who I am. 

Right now I'm sitting on a coach heading home for un unplanned weekend. I struggled to breathe because of the pollution while I was walking to the station. I can't wait to breathe some fresh countryside air.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Notes from the Hornbeam: September.

It's the last day of September, but Fall hasn't quite reached this bit of the world yet. In truly Roman style, it's been warm enough to wear short sleeved-tops lately, and there are late blooms on the trees in my neighbourhood. It's a strange in-between season and of it's making me feel... uneasy, if that's the right word. Not in the right place. I think it's probably due to the fact that I'm used to cooler Septembers, and I'm having trouble adjusting to this Summer that is stretching out so much. 

Life in Rome is going better than I thought. More smoothly. The days are light, passing one after the other, quietly. I'm trying to cut out little bits of time out of my busy days to do the things I love.

Waking up before everyone else; sleeping in for no reason. Spontaneous breakfasts in posh cafés, listening to awful music while washing the dishes, my legs warmed up by the sun. Talking about the grocery shopping with my best friend. Sitting on a bench after Sunday lunch, the three of us eating ice-cream. Waiting for a friend near the tube station at dusk. These are the things that are fueling me, that I am treasuring.

Sunday, 17 September 2017


How do you get excited again to be somewhere? Some people would do anything to live here in Rome. I cannot wait to be done with it and go live somewhere else. Unfortunately I have never liked living here, from the very start. This place is too big for me, too chaotic; it never changes, it is always the same and will always be the same - they don't call it 'the eternal city' for nothing. I feel always out of place here, no matter where I am - at university, when I go out with friends, even at home sometimes. There's always a knot in my stomach when I am here. 

Right now I am torn between going home for the weekend as frequently as possible or trying to stay here as long as I can. On one side I feel like going home often would be like giving up, on the other side I think I've given this city a fair chance... oh I don't know. I only hope time will go fast.