Wednesday, 30 December 2009

How have I survived?

Not sure. I want to tell you this story in case I don't make it back from Italy. Holy crap, the drivers here are insane. First of all I have seen, on more than one occasion, a person driving with a child under the age of three on their lap or wandering up front near the driver. Second, people here don't know what the lines on the road are for and road signs are just a suggestion. Third, and the ultimate story, we were in the left lane on the highway and with only two lanes altogether, a guy passes the car beside us by going BETWEEN our car and the one in the right hand lane. I might not make it home alive! And I know I've said this before but people in the UK are WONDERFUL drivers!! I think my driving has become much more polite sine I've lived in the UK. And I also know that most of my family is Italian but I don't think I inherited their INSANE driving skills. Although, I did do some of my own pushing out into traffic today. Whenever I hear honking, I just assume it's for me. And what's with the flashing of the brights ALL THE TIME!! In England, if you flash your brights it's a "thank you" or a "you may pull out ahead of me" signal. Not here. In Italy it means "get the hell out of my way or I WILL run you over along with every one else on the road tonight!" Think of the worst driver you know and put him (or her) in EVERY vehicle on the road.


PS- Other than that, Italy is pretty fantastic:)

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Someone once taught me

how to knit. It was a random occasion in 2002 when I was in a church band that traveled to different churches every day. If you don't know that part of my life, I'll tell you another day. One evening we were having dinner at a church when I spotted a lady knitting and said "I've always wanted to learn how to knit". The next day we had a day off and that same lady came over to my host family house with three skeins of yarn and a pair of needles. She taught me how to knit prayer shawls and for the rest of the time I was on the road, the majority of the time I spent in the van, I was knitting. Well, other than the times I was driving.
This is a photo of me and my teammate Heidi with two ladies from the church that taught me how to knit. They gave us a prayer shawl to take with us on the road. When our year was over I gave the shawl to the kids in the Youth Encounter office to pass on to the new North East team. I would like to think that they still have it...I wonder where that prayer shawl is?

And that is the beginning of my current obsession with wool.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Catching weekend at a time

I went on a little outing this weekend while Victor was staying home sick. So I looked up a few places to go in my English Heritage book and headed out the door.
First stop was Avebury stone circle. It is a World Heritage Site and is considered to be right up there with Stonehenge, except that no one really knows about it. Well, no one outside the UK. I mean, seriously, how many of you have heard of the stone circle at Avebury?

And then I had lunch at Appleby's which is pronounced like the US chain Applebee's. And even though they may be pronounced the same, they are nothing alike. I prefer the UK version.

In the afternoon I visiting Farleigh Hungerford Castle and saw a 600 year old painting on the chapel wall. 600 years! This is OLD!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

The contract is up!

My last day of work at Tile Barn was last week and I can hardly believe it's been a year! I really enjoyed working with the kids and getting to know the staff. I've learned a lot by working at Tile Barn and most of it has been about English culture and words you shouldn't say in front of kids.

I loved working outside every day, even if it was raining. The only thing I didn't like was raking leaves. And now it's on to bigger and better! Well, it's on to keeping house and figuring out where to travel next. It's a rough life but someone's got to do it.