Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Who'da thunk it?

Hang on to your hats folks. Here's a startling revelation for you:

Learning a foreign language is actually pretty hard.

You're stunned, I know. Try to recover because I'm moving along.

Last week was my very first Italiano 1.1 class. It was so fun what with all the counting and alphabet-reciting and introducing ourselves. Mi chiamo Heather! I have uno sposato and due gatti. I enjoy vino rosso, caffe latte and long walks on the spiaggia. I'm almost trente anni and I'm molto molto excited to be here! Everything is bellisima! How do you say "puppy dogs" and "ice cream" and "rainbows" in Italiano?!?

This week was my second Italiano 1.1 class. Holy verbs and adjectives. Maschile/Femminile. Formale/Informale. Plurale/Singolare. Does it end in an e? An a? An i? An o? Who the hell knows?

How do you say "Oh Sweet Lord Jesus please help me with my memorization skills lest I may perish at my very desk" in Italiano? Mio Dio.

Because it's my blog and I can do whatever I want. That's why.

Even post about things that happened two weeks ago... This is old news in our world but Monique recently emailed me this picture Murray took of us when they came over for dinner. They were bringing the dessert and instead of some generic ready-made from the shop, they made this super-cute (and delicious may I add) decorated cake! We just thought it was so thoughtful of them.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Circus... Ole!

Last night, Jason and I went to see Alegria, Cirque du Soliel's show. Or as Jason insists on calling it, "Circus Ole!"... All I can really say is this: Wow. And, in case I didn't make myself clear: Wow.

I was pretty amazed. The contortionists were unbelievable and there were lots of acts that just blew my mind really. And the fact that it was in Royal Albert Hall made it that much better. RAH is the best theatre in London in my opinion...

And lastly, I must admit that I came a long way in mending my psyche in relation to my fear of clowns. The clowns were actually funny and not just stupid like at the regular circus. And they didn't look totally creepy. I got a little nervous when they came into the crowd because we were right down by the front (ringside as they call it..) but all in all, I found myself actually laughing instead of cringing. And folks, let's just say that's a pretty vast step forward.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Hazards of Learning

Il gatto, George D. Kat says "Mio Dio. I think these Italian classes have gone too far. TOO far."

Meanwhile, everything in our flat has a sticker on it with the Italian word for it.

Did I have coffe this morning? Unh-uh. Caffe!
Do I take it with milk? Nope. Latte!
Do I look out the window? Indeed I do not. La finestra!
Did I turn on the lamp when I came downstairs? No way. Lampada!
Might we hang some more pictures this weekend? Hells no. Quadros!
Am I sitting on the sofa while I type this? Are you crazy? Il sofa! Oh wait...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

URGENT UPDATE Re: Snooooooowwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!

What was it I was saying earlier about it being "the perfect snow" and how it makes everything pretty but doesn't bring the city to a screeching halt?

Yeeeeaaaaahhhhhhh... Here's the thing... It actually DID bring the city to a screching halt.

I stood on the District Line platform for an hour before they finally told us that no train would be coming. Que the groans from everbody and the shuffle of a thousand feet to the overland train platform.

After nearly breaking down into tears because I thought I wasn't going to make it to my first Italian class, standing on a PACKED train squished up against a divider window like a plush Garfield suction cupped to a Honda Civic and then sprinting through Belgrave Square lugging a Starbucks to-go mug and a Chloe Edith (I don't recommend it), I arrived with about 30 seconds to spare. Snaps for me.

And now, just because I can, and well... Really, when will I get the chance to post snow pictures again? Here are more photos of the white stuff, this time in actual daylight (as opposed to the "breaking-of-dawn" variety of yesterhour):

From our bedroom window:

From the hall window:

On my walk to the station down our street:

Richmond Green, or shall I call it Richmond White?:

Snowmen! Vertically challenged snowmen! But snowmen nonetheless!


To me, there's nothing like waking up to a blanket of white outside. Or more accurately, Jason nudging me awake at 5:30 and whispering "It's snowing..." It's the perfect snow. The kind that makes everything beautiful but doesn't make the city come to a screeching halt. Especially since I have my very first Italian class today. Especially since I paid through the nose to take Italian classes at the Italian Cultural Institute of London instead of through the borough.


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Silent night, Holy moly I'm glad I'm almost done catching up

Sorry, but there's going to be considerably less pictures posted on this one because my internets is running slow today. Who am I kidding, it's actually not running. It's walking at a leisurely pace. But all the pics will be on Image Station.

For Jason's dad's visit, we made homemade gingerbread men for smores. Katie was all over this for about 8 minutes.

I, too, had a short attention span for such activites and therefore amused myself and Jason's sister Erica with other snack foods.

We've got a situation here. There's a baby going for the Hickory Farms. I'm gonna need backup.

Back to Nana's house for the sausage-napper.

Gingerbread Smores at 9:00 + 3.5 year old. Always a good idea.

And the resulting madness: Katie and Heather's Dance Party Fun Time Hour!

The end-of-evening fashion show:

Here's the link to the rest of the photos on Shutterfly.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Silent night, Holy loud afternoon

Otherwise titled "The Katie and Anna Show".

The chaos that is Christmas afternoon at Jason's mom's...

Anna, who's still in the "I'd rather play with the wrapping paper" phase. She's all "Hey! Why are you throwing away all the good stuff?? If I was just a little bit taller, I could so get in that bag and get it all back."

While her sister Katie is in the "I just like to open the presents I don't care who they actually belong to" phase.

She could not possibly be any cuter if she tried all day.

Whoops. I guess she could...

Katie in her cape. She's a fashion icon at only 3 1/2 years old.

This one rarely stops smiling.

Who wants a present? I do! I do!

Katie is the absolute best gift-opener of all time. Last year, every gift she opened, she said "Oh WOW! I want to play with that RIGHT NOW!!!!" This year it was audible gasps of excitement everytime she tore the paper a little more. I mean before she even knew what it was, she was gasping with excitement.

So you think they would notice if I packed her up and took her back to London with us? Yes, you think? Oh well...

She's such a little show off.

Already with the splits...

And the standing... Why, she's a child-progidy, she is!

Katie in her new Disney Princess sleeping bag.

Why, God, why... Why do they strap these children's toys into the packaging so fiercely? This could withstand gale-force winds.

Jason demonstrating his exuberance at how well our gift to his step-dad went over. He's notoriously hard to buy for and we nailed it this year!

Even his mom got in on the action.

You may have already guessed that those are not the "Princesses".

Double score! Wearing the headphones AND eating the peanut brittle we got him.

Me trying to figure out who my Secret Santa is...

There was no question as to the identity once I saw the book.

Only one person in the family would give this book:

This Secret Santa business is puzzling.

Git along little doggie!

More Secret Santa revelations...

"This part where those big people open presents is totally boring."

Here's the link to the rest of the photos on Shutterfly.

And there's one last Christmas one to follow. Get ready for the grand finale...