Sunday, July 31, 2005

public displays of affection

When Fab was in China, I went to watch this dance performance in the park with some of our Italian friends. Our friend - Manuela is a professional dancer. This is a shot of us at some good cause formal dinner some time back. She is the tall one in the pink dress. BTW I know that this talk of good cause dinners makes me sound like a real tai tai, but I assure you that I am NOT, so lets get back to the blog ...

Manuela is a great dancer, and did an interpretation of physical love through a pretty sexy pas de deux - it was suggestive stuff! Firstly the costumes show off the dancers great bods but don't leave much to the imagination, and secondly since they are supposed to be making like rabbits on stage, the male dancer gets to cop quite a few feels (all artistically managed of course). This would not make me wonder too much online, except for the fact that her boyfriend was sitting right in front of me, and I thought I percieved a couple of flinches during the performance.

I wondered how it must be like to have the rest of the world see what a great bod your girlfriend has, but yet see some other guy's paws on it. At which point is it "purely professional" and at which point does it cut too close to the bone? Not had a chance to ask him yet, but it looks like a wierd cocktail of pride and discomfort.

For me - hey if I could dance like that I WOULD NOT REALLY CARE! The costume anyways is just to show the world what lovely form you got, and if my girlfriend/boyfriend had a line like that, I would be proud as punch I would...

Friday, July 29, 2005

London Calling

Just got back from London last night, so will post a bit more when I have finished the more mundane crap such as washing my clothes and unpacking. It was wonderful meeting all my friends again (*waves at them*). They seem well in spite of the possibility that you might get blown up on a bus just as easily as get run over by it. In fact some of them seem more annoyed at the fact that we are being charged 9 pounds for white rice at Four Seasons, when the quality of the duck seems to have plunged...

It is really strange how Italy is starting to become familiar. When the plane came into Caselle airport, I found myself thinking "it is good to be home".. I guess it is because the language is begining to make sense. One major breakthrough today happened when during one class, I found myself writing the explanation of another word IN ITALIAN. Which means that now I can start using a REAL italian dictionary instead of an English - Italian or French - Italian one. Amazingly enough, it is easier to learn Italian using French as a medium of instruction as opposed to English.

The washing machine has stopped, so I will come back and post again in a short while..

BTW for those who have been following the saga, we FINALLY have wifi in our house!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Parma ham Posting

One of the absolute greatest things about going to Parma for a holiday was the parma ham.

“Prosciutto” is from the Latin “perexsuctum” meaning “dried”. It was in 100 BC that Cato the Censor first mentioned the extraordinary flavour of the air cured ham produced around the town of Parma in Italy; the legs were left to dry, greased with a little oil and could age without spoiling. Not much has changed about the way they prepare this, and if you go to Parma you can have these marvelous tasting tours!

I have always been pretty partial to the stuff, and when I bought some, I had to figure out what to do with it, so this is my Parma Ham Posting, where I have put up some REALLY simple Parma Ham recipies scoured from the internet - you can fix these even if you are a busy lawyer.

Parma Ham and Fig Salad (as opposed to the normal parma ham and melon)

You can also try this one if you are more ambitious:

Roasted fillet of monkfish wrapped in Parma ham

As of now I cannot think of anything which you can do with Parma ham for desert, but tell me if you are feeling creative. BTW I am in London now, and all seems well although sadly there was the death of a brazilian technician, wrongfully shot by police at Stockwell.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Weekend in the Alps- have you read Heidi?

This is a photo of some of Fabien's friends, and the girl in the pink shawl on the left is Marie, and her husband - Denis, is standing next to her. The reason why I am showing you Denis and Marie is because we have just spent a weekend at their holiday house in the Alps. When Fab first described their house, he began by asking "did you read this book called "Heidi"?

The house is situated in postcard kind of surroundings, with this glacial and magnificent mountain in the background, and meadows and cowbells in the foreground, and you half expect some singing nuns and yodelling cowherds to appear any minute.

It was absolutely beautiful, but I have not uploaded the photos yet, because Fabien has taken the camera to Beijing (he is currently there for a conference), and he went straight to the airport on Sunday from the Alps.

We went canoeing up this river, and swam in the huge artificial lake (there is a hydro-electric dam nearby). We had barbeques in the garden and I re-read The Name of the Rose whilst Fabien, Denis and Marie went to play golf at the Grenoble golf course. We also went along The Route Napolean and saw the statue of Napoleon on horseback, depicting the moment when he encountered troops who had been ordered to stop his march on Paris. He walked toward the soldiers, flung open his coat, and challenged them to shoot their emperor. Instead, they threw down their muskets and joined his army.

Friday, July 15, 2005

weekend in Parma

Last weekend was spent in Parma -- mmmm foood, and also big castles, museums and an albino peacock!

This is a photo of us just outside the stables of the Chiarratorre . The Chiarratorre was built by the Count Pier Maria Rossi between 1448 and 1460, for his mistress (and later wife) Bianca Pellegrini da Arluno.

The origin of the castle is quite scandalous because when Rossi and Bianca met each other, they were both respectively, respectably married to other people. So they had to leave their respective spouses (from child marriages) and run off with each other. This castle was part of the massive PR exercise to integrate back into polite society, and many great banquets were held in the dining rooms to buy approval from all the other counts and countesses..

So yes, money can buy you both love and social acceptance unfortunately...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

On Skinny People and Nudity

I joined a gym near my home, it is called "il pardo" and it is used by skinny women. Lots of them. I suppose it has something to do with the fact that this is a reasonably up-market gym - for those of you in Singapore think - more towerclub than california fitness. so I am surrounded by 50 year old italian women with botox faces and cellulite free bodies - I hate them all! However it is pretty comfortable, and convenient, they have pilates and yoga classes (taught by the flamboyant gay guy that seems to be a fixture in all such gyms - you have to air kiss him before the start of the lessson!) and anyway I need the exercise to go to the beach without any hangups.

There are turkish baths (i.e. what we call a steam room with pretty murals) and sauna and cold pools and stuff like that on one floor, and Everybody walks around there in the buff. It is really a bit unnerving the first time, but you look like a freak if you are NOT naked. i suppose this is the way the gym motivates people to go and excercise. I mean - you really do not want 20 other people to look at your cellulite and grin smugly do you??

Friday, July 08, 2005

The sad state of the world we live in

Just checked with most of my friends in London - they are all mostly fine - Thank god.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Holiday time is here again!

Whoopie dooo, I am planning HOLIDAYS. I think you really need to stop working once in a while, and holidays are just to very important to keep mind and body somewhat intact. Sooo here is the plan - London to see friends, and then [blank space to insert choice]. Fabien and me are thinking of (in no particular order): Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Croatia, Southern Italian Islands, Sardinia, Corsica or Spain. Some reasonably sun-drenched spot, but also with other interesting things to see... Will update you guys more about it later. In the meantime, short weekends are: This weekend in Parma (home of the parma ham!!) and next weekend in Grenoble at one of Fab's atas friends family holiday home..