Wednesday, 31 July 2013


Cave Rave · Passed! · Lake Garda
Venice · Arena di Verona · My lover

This month mainly revolved around Italy and it was fabulous. I'm missing the sunshine now though, as I sit staring at the sodden garden that the rain has caused. Boo.

I also passed my driving test! You should all definitely be wearing a seatbelt now I'm allowed out. My mum has let me have a few test runs in her car which was a lot different to the one I learned to drive in, let me tell ya. It was hilarious to see her clinging onto the door handle when I first took her out.

I don't have much else to report really. I'm filling in my summer holidays with lots of reading and language learning and lying outside whenever the slightest beam of sunshine manages to break through the clouds. I really don't want my Italian glow to fade, everything is so much better when you don't glow in the dark.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Said I Had A Dirty Mouth

I'm sorry, I thought I could stop myself but my inner fangirl is screaming "TELL THE WORLD" right now. I'm pretty sure most of you will have already seen this video if you love One Direction (and if you don't, I don't know what kind of sick world you're living in) but I'm going to post it anyway and we can all get our obsession on.

Firstly, is it just me or are all of them pretty nifty actors? Like when did this happen? Louis and Niall are the perfect double act in those fat suits behind their desks and Liam aka Leeroy proves he's a triple threat with those camp-tastic moves. I admit that Harry is my favourite and always has been so naturally I love his geeky character of Marcel just as much (too much)...aww how cut is it when he fumbles in with his equipment. But obviously all of the characters are hilarious, particularly Zayn as a girl (he's even prettier than half of the female population!). Finally, the dance sequence with all of the boys makes me way happier than necessary.

I would say 1D are my guilty pleasure but, let's be honest, there isn't anything guilty about it. I can't imagine how anyone is going to cope with the 90 minute film This Is Us. I'll probably see it twenty times.

p.s. James Corden and Ben Winston, you geniuses.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Italy #3: Verona

Pretty building in Piazza Erbe · Paintings · Casa di Giulietta · Shakespeare quote · Lover's wall · Arena di Verona · Inside the amphitheatre · View of Piazza Bra from the arena

Last instalment of my Italy trip! As you can see, the architecture of Verona is beautiful. However, it is quite varied as the buildings range from the Scaligeri ruling in the 1300's all the way to present day. An architectural pick 'n' mix, if you will. Arriving in Piazza Bra, the Arena di Verona immediately caught my eye with its grand presence looming over the square. Currently only the internal wall and a part of the second, external wall remains.

Second stop was Piazza Erbe, full of little market stalls and ristorantes. I loved the colourful buildings in this square, some even had paintings on the side. Everywhere in Verona is just so romantic. On the topic of romance, 'Juliet's Balcony' is situated in the city as well as 'Romeo's house'. I use inverted commas because, although it is true that the Montagues and Capulets were real families living in Verona, the houses were chosen at random - the balcony was even built on just for us tourist's delight! It was so cute to see all the padlocks and tags of lovers names surrounding the house. There was also a statue of juliet in the courtyard where the balcony was and apparently if you touch her right breast with your right hand you will be lucky in love and if you touch her left breast with your left hand you will have luck in money BUT you cannot have both. I thought that was cute.

I also got to go into the amphitheatre later in the day and it was grand. The view it gives you, not only of Piazza Bra but also of the inside of the arena, was amazing. I can't imagine how fabulous it would be to watch an opera or a concert inside, the acoustics would be like nowhere else. Even just sat in the square outside you could probably enjoy the concert just as much.

Lastly, I just want to share a hilarious quote I heard as I was walking through the square. Basically there was a guy asking people to sign signatures for some sort of anti-drugs campaign. Upon being asked, this guy of about twenty just replies "I'm from Holland, that would be kind of counter-productive" How fucking brilliant was that.

Yeah so I'm basically in love with Italy.
Have you guys ever been and did you love it as much as me? (that would be a lot)

Italy #1: Lake Garda, Italy#2: Venice

Monday, 22 July 2013

Italy # 2: Venice

Piazza San Marco · Gondolas · Lovely blue water · Markets on the waterside · Bridge of Sighs · Me being sassy

Okay, before I tell you about how beautiful the city of Venezia is, it was damn hot. I stepped off the boat and just about melted. You could just feel the sun entering every pore of your body. Aside from that, I thought the place itself was beautiful, it's unlike anywhere I've ever been before in terms of structure and architecture. The water was a lovely, clean shade of blue and the bridges (there's over 400 of them!)  gave great view down the canals between the tightly packed houses. You could basically kiss your neighbour if you wanted to. On the topic of bridges, one of my pictures is of the 'Bridge of Sighs'. The bridge links the Doge's Palace and a prison so the name comes from the prisoner's sighs as they took their last view of Venice before being sentenced. I thought that was a pretty fun fact.

I went on a lagoon tour that introduced us to the other islands within the region too - I had no idea there were so many! Only one island, Lido di Venezia, allows cars and road traffic whereas all the others do not; people rely on water transport or their feet to go places. It was weird to see locals just canoeing or boating between islands as part of their daily life.

So, in general it's a big thumbs up for Venice. Although the heat and the sheer amount of people was a bit distracting, the place is beautiful. I'd love to go in the evening, or have more time to explore some of the quieter backstreets.

p.s. who's watched One Direction's latest video? I just don't understand how you cannot love 'em.

Italy #1: Lake Garda, Italy #3: Verona

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Italy #1: Lake Garda

Ciao! Well as you have probably already guessed I have just got back from a week in Italy and it was fabulous. I've fallen in love with the Italian language, Italian sunshine and Italian dudes. Seriously, us single pringles need to get our arses over there. I stayed in the north of Lake Garda, the biggest lake in Italy, in a picturesque place called Riva del Garda which is a hub for watersports aka lots of dudes with bronzed, shirtless, six-packed torsos. Anyway, I'll divide my little diary into three posts as there is a lot to digest: Lake Garda, Venice and Verona, the latter two places we went to on a day trip.

Riva del Garda · The lake is huge · I wish England had buildings this colourful · Cars lined up for the Stella Alpina rally ·  Waking up to the view everyday was alright wasn't it ·  Bastione Castle and the view · In the midst of the mountains ·  Phallic shaped pasta anyone? ·  NUTELLA ICE-CREAM ·  Near-by town of Torbole · I think I'm in love

Surrounded by the breathtaking sheer drops of a mountainous background, with the cool breeze of the water it's hard not to be taken aback by the beauty of Lake Garda. I went for a swim in the lake one day and it was so liberating with the scenery surrounding you (that's if you looked away from the jam packed shoreline. Man, Italians love to sunbathe.) The main way to get around the perimeter of the lake would be to cycle  or walk, the path takes you around directly next to the water so you're never far away from the stunning views.

I stopped at a lovely hotel that opened up right out onto the water and the service was amazing. Food wise, we were treated to a four course meal each night, even dining with the sound of a quintet playing to the guests on one occasion. The waiters were excellent, they ran up and down non stop and could all speak English and German as well as their native tongue. Service out there is much different though; I'd be lucky to get a smile from some waiters here but the Italians were always greeting us with 'buongiorno!' or 'buonasera!' They were all so handsome too. Speaking of handsome, I have decided I'm emigrating to Italy and marrying this lifeguard. Italian guys are clearly doing something that other guys aren't.

See you in Part two!

Italy #2: VeniceItaly #3: Verona

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Cave Rave

Today has been hella hot. And what better way to spend your time lying in the sun than with Crystal Fighters transporting you from your back garden to somewhere tropical?

I've been waiting for some tribal, exotic and just generally uplifting music ready for the summer and Crystal Fighters are just that. The band's magical combination of traditional Basque instruments, bass-driven rhythm and electronic synthesisers is so perfect for this gorgeous weather. Released in May 2013, their second album offers a range of diverse tracks that each capture the band's distinct sound; LA Calling just makes me want to bust some tribal moves, Love Natural makes you aware of the band's Spanish roots and These Nights showcases a delicious mix of light vocal harmonies with a drum and bass rhythm.

Wave, the first track from Cave Rave (and try to resist the urge to get up and dance around to this):
I implore you to listen to the album, it is so damn cheerful.