Friday, January 28, 2011

Alive. Currently coughing up chunks of lung but alive.

Remains of panna cotta, Bologna.

Let's not even talk about how long it's been between bloggings.

I'll just say I'm jumping back up behind the reigns of the blog cart and will blog off into the sunset once again.

What was my last report? I think it was waaaay back towards the start of Touzac times, and was basically along the lines of "wah wah wah I'm homesick."

OK. MAJORLY quick run through of the few months following my little sad face...

- 2 months in Touzac. At times driving me slightly nutty with its small town-ness, at times being chilled and exactly what was needed. Lots of lon long runs through French countryside, fellow (naughty) nannies from Australia, lots of wine, singing songs with lovely older men folk who welcomed me into their band lovingly, improved French. Craziest Christmas ever. I got a bit emotional. And a bit drunk. And a bit sick (the homesickness had decided to return, and felt like being physical.)

- An amazing week in Paris with fellow Aussie and beautiful new friend Steph. Our first Couch Surfing experience, staying with the amazing Eric in his little Parisian apartment, eating cheese and snails, watching movies, and playing many card games. Seeing Damien (petit frere) for the first time in 8 months and spending some awesome sibling time together. Catching up with the French family I lived with on my French exchange many a year ago.

- Amsterdam! A few days wandering and hanging out with Marty (who lives there) and meeting up with Mr Simon Gibbs.

- Berlin! With Marty and Simon. Markets, slushy snow, excellent food, Absinthe, a couple of nights in our friend's apartment, photobooth photos, an excellent new secondhand shirt, a cool cool vibe.

- Munich! Got there in a big van- first RideShare experience, met a beautiful Berliner named Raluca and blah blah blah-ed all the way to Munich (that's 6 hours of blah-ing.) Couch Surfed with David the beautiful Munich/Georgian man who gave up his bed for us, wore lederhosen, remarked that Simon looked like a junkie and made us eat lots of German meat.

- Zurich! RideShare again, this time in a.... silver JAAAAAG. Amazing little dynamo 65+ woman travelling with us who was extrememly enthuisiastic about Swiss knives and supermarkets. Couch Surfed with the very energetic, very happy and very helpful Jens, who also took me along to his running training session which was tough but good, and let me see some Swiss forests at night (and almost slip on my ass several times.)

- 2 amazing nights in Bergun, in the south of Switzerland- a tiny town of 500 that was fairytale-snowy, and has a 5km toboggan ride that we did at night and squealed for most of the way down. I got some weird sickness thing which involved me having super crazy fevers overnight, but at least we were staying in the most gorgeous little room imaginable.

- Tirano! Just over the border and into Italy. A beautiful little town. The Italian food obsession began with that first night: pizzocheri (regional specialty pasta- like grey fettucine) drowning in melted cheese and vegetables, a mammoth calzone for Simon, delicious wine and beautiful waiters.

- Lecco. a town by Lake Como. I was sick still. Didn't see much of it. Wasn't that impressed. The town appears to be run entirely by teenagers. And groups of teenagers can be a bit scary, to be honest. They make me feel like I'm definitely not cool enough for school. We ate some good pizza though, and had a bloody good breakfast in a B&B that was way too clean and stark.

- Bologna. Step down from ritzy overclean Lecco B&B to fairly dingy dingy hotel that was stinky. But that's OK. Ate in an amazing trattoria that's been going for over 60 years. I had this plate the size of three of my heads (and my head's already pretty big, remember) filled with grilled vegetables and cheese, and Simon and I desperately soaked up the last flavours on our plates with bread, before marvelling at the panna cotta before us: it seemed to be able to wobble so it almost fell... BUT NEVER DID. It was smothered in an almost-black berry sauce. The only photo I got was of the (licked-clean_ plate after it was completely finished (and that's saying something). We did our washing at a laundromat, we drank lots of coffee, we indulged our materialism with shitty shops and cheap clothes.

- To Lucca! (we stood in the train station at Bologna and just clicked on ticketing options randomly until something relatively close-by and cheap came up... and we're so glad we found Lucca.) A beautiful walled-in city. Cobbled streets, something in the vicinity of 30 churches in a very small area, lots of little marcellerias and pasticcerias and sexy old women and cord pants on old men and sunshiiiiine.

We're leaving for Rome tomorrow.

Distinct lack of artistry involved in that post, but something inside me feels at peace now at least I've got some of that out! The art can now return!

Side note: excellent thing making me really happy at the moment- sending postcards. If you'd like one, comment and leave your address or send it to me via email.

Claire xox