Monday, February 27, 2006

A night at the Opera

This is the promised photos of us at the Opera last week.
We watched Manon Lescaut

Italian opera is very leisurely.

We started at 9pm and finished past midnight. 4 acts with 20 minute breaks in between.

By the way - that is my new Max Mara dress that I bought. Black is so flattering on pregnant women - don't you think?

Friday, February 24, 2006

snorts and sniffles

I am having a cold, so Pins has gone to Milan by herself today, and will come back later for dinner tonight.

I am just having a sore throat, sneeze and sniffles etc, so no antenatal swim class for me this week.

I am not sure how come I got sick... Could it be just because I am more tired easily than I used to be? Could it be because I lack sleep/vitamins? Could it be because I didn't put enough warm clothes on? (I'm not always sensible in making the difficult choice between looking like a hot mama in skirts and boots but freezing, and warmly clothed but looking like michelin tire man) Could it (hahahah) actually be the over-consumption of chocolate and chocolate-related products?

Anyways, whatever it is, I am (rather belatedly) wrapped up in blankies on the couch with laptop and surfing through gems such as this..

Diary of a pregnant Dad

I guess I find this all very amusing because our own parents had an interesting blend of the traditional roles and interactive/attachment parenting, so Fabs and me did have fairly long discussions about it all before we got married. If you are thinking of marrying someone, I can recommend such discussions (generally when you are on holiday) because it will prevent nasty shocks later on...

These are the 2 important questions we asked each other:

(1) What do you admire about your parent's marriage and the way they raised you? This is an easy question, most men I have dated and most of my friends come from reasonably stable homes.

(2) What do you disagree with in your parent's marriage/ your own upbringing? This is a hard question because you have to be quite critical and objective without being disloyal/defensive.

Then (this is the hardest bit of all) we answered these 2 questions for the OTHER person. Meaning that you actually assess your beloved's family and upbringing and value system and TELL the other person. I therefore recommend that you do this when you are on a relaxed and isolated beach!

Most churches have marriage preparation classes, but you don't have to be religious to want to be careful about who you make such a major commitment to. So better to know the worst before you go on to entrench yourselves in each others lives. I think having these kinds of converstations made us more aware of each other's values, and provided us with a basis of common goals to raise our own kids with.

Of course, talking is no substitute for doing, so the rest of our family life together is going to be the real adventure. But it's kinda of nice before you head out on a long journey with someone to have a discussion beforehand of where you eventually want to be - right?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Stuff we've been doing thus far

This post is DESIGNED to make you envious enough to book your flight and get yourself over here before the blackout periods ... you _know_ who you are

Some Sound Bites:

1) Pins thinks she's died and gone to shopping heaven. She went to the Serravalle factory outlet on Monday whilst I was at work, and yesterday we went to the Max Mara outlet. She bought a work shirt for 15 EUROS!! I got a dress for 70 Euros. A salesgirl told me that the dress was being sold for 130 euros retail. I have no idea what the retail price of the shirt is, but it sure aint 15 euros...

2) Olympic Fireworks are great, but I don't like Avril Lavigne with her new white-blond hair. There have been fireworks every night for the medals ceremonies, followed by free concerts. Fab and I already watched Jamiroquai , and last night it was Avril, but we prefer her with her grungier look. As Pins said ... Not enough eyeliner!

3) Pins tried Torino Chocolate. She had a tortolina - which is essentially a chocolate/almond/creme caramel kind of little cake, and hot chocolate (you aint had hot chocolate till you had a Torino one) and gianduja ice cream. She now is wondering if she can start a business bringing it to Singapore.

Okay dokes

That's it for now. Will post again with photos in a while... we haven't had time to upload yet. Tonight we are going to watch Manon Lescaut at the opera! Then a 250 happy birthday wolfgang concert tomorrow night. And another one on Friday before Pins leaves!!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Yay! Pins in Torino

This week Pins is in Torino.

We're doing lots together, and will upload photos later. But so far she's seen snow (lots of it) falling during the day for the first time ... Eaten my cooking and survived (so far) ... Gone shopping at the Serravalle Factory Outlet.

Will come back with Photos in a bit, but it's great fun and I am so glad she managed to appear!

You know who you are -- When is it going to be YOUR TURN???

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Valentine Olympics

Fab and I spent Sunday walking around Torino, soaking up the great Olympics atmosphere.

It was a truly beautiful winter day - crisp clear and sunny with lots of people thronging the streets looking for last minute discounts (sadly all the sales are over and the summer collection is coming in) and trying out the chocolate fair on the streets.

We spent 14 Feb watching the women's ice hockey match between Switzerland and Germany. The German team were much faster and technically skilled, and although the Swiss fought bravely, the better team won. The Swiss fans brought cow bells into the stadium! I am upset because I left my camera at home on the basis that security/metal detectors would be very sticky, but they let a bloody cow-bell into the stadium!???

so yep, no photos, but you can read about it here:

Friday, February 10, 2006

Sharon in London

It was snowing when I left Turin. This is our Courtyard with fresh early morning snow - pretty huh?

This is us meeting for some kind of Chinese New Year dinner. Unfortunately, had food poisoning on the weekend I arrived in London, so only managed to just meet friends briefly but did not manage to go to chinatown at all!

From the Millenium Bridge, London kind of looks a bit Parisian. I liked Saint Paul's Cathedral so much that I went back twice to see it.

This is Rose and Martin a few minutes after we spoke to Jac on the phone in KL!

I wanted to show you Eddie's appartment, and warn you never to leave your prized plants with Ed or Eric unless you don't mind running the risk of losing them. Even if you have a "self-watering pot"!! That being said, it was a lovely weekend in Greenwich and everyone is doing great and I am delighted to see them all again.

This is Andrew checking up his big book of biographies for Sam Shepard. We just watched "The Late Henry Moss" in the theatre near his home, and we are trying to find out what the other things he had written. It's a nice potrait shot actually...

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Be Nice to Strangers

I was going to blog about my London trip but got overtaken by events. Coming back from London yesterday night, and a Japanese girl near me with food poisoning. I started talking to and helping her (buy tickets for the airport bus and small administrative things at the airport). On the bus to Porta Nuova, she explained to me that she was invited to a Winter OIympics opening ceremony and she gave me the extra ticket she happened to have ... It was for the opening of the Russian Olympic village, where all the rich sponsers and press were for a big party.

Anyone that thinks that Communism has overtaken the Russian imperialist mentality is mistaken - these people sure know how to party! Three things seem infinitely supplied here - Salmon, Caviar and Vodka. I couldn't take photos of the caviar table because it was too crowded, but here are some of the things we ate to go with it - tell me if you recognise anything.

There was also all the other foods (I don't know the names) and barbecued meats, breads and soups served by people wearing ethnic costumes. They were taking a press photo in their lovely clothes, so I quickly sneaked in and took one too...

I took some pictures of the vodka girls and there was also Miss Russia mingling with us (she is very pretty - so all you guys can get really jealous now!).

It is funny how many Italians think that my Japanese friend and I looked Russian, and start speaking to us in Russian. The only thing I found useful to say was Извините. [izvi`neete] Я не понимаю. [`Ya ne pani`mayu] --
Sorry I don't understand you

I had a glimpse into the VIP tent, where they were looking at the "Russia Air Balloon" getting fired up. They had also unlimited champagne to go with the even better categories of caviar, so forget egalitarianism! The only thing which was a bit tiring was the endless Russian music which gets a bit repetitive when you don't know the what they are singing about.

It appears that the Russian athletes are confident of wining quite a few gold medals this year (if not they may turn off the gas...ha ha ha). I took a picture of the woman's curling team. I hope they do well (they are also very beautiful). If you can read Russian, that's their mascot playing curling...

Anyway, the moral of my story is that you should always be nice to strangers, and if you are lucky then maybe there's a party you can go to at the end of it.