Tag Archives: Italian

Home update, diet change & differences

I am still writing and I still intend to get published in the future, but my timeline has had to be shifted dramatically because of a lot of new things happening in my life.

An old friend has reacquainted themselves with me and along with this I am also preparing the house to take in Ukrainian refugees, as well as trying to manage the worsening symptoms of my disabilities.

Also with this, Paul has bought it to my attention that we may also move house within the next few months and so there will be an even bigger upheaval.

My original publication goal was to send my work to an agent at the beginning of autumn of this year, hoping to be published within the next two years – but with these new events going on, it may be pushed back further, because I am very dedicated to working to the best of my ability to help the Ukrainians settle in and feel at home.

We’re unsure whether or not I will get a brood bitch for the service dog charities and do that this year, because of all the other things going on now.  But I hope to definitely be a brood bitch carer sometime in the future.

Also my hearing has got far worse, even with a hearing aid I am struggling and my hearing is now at 6 hertz, very low, without a hearing aid.  Because we are unsure what is happening with the refugees we will be taking on, we are holding off approaching a charity for a hearing dog for me, but it is something we have thought about.

Paul gave me some good news the other day that the bad neighbour may be moving out soon with his girlfriend because her daughter wants more independence around her house and she is tired of the conflict he is causing with her neighbours.  It still means that for this year I have lost another prime growing season, but hopefully next year I will be able to do my gardening again – it is desperately needed as things are overgrown to a very anti-social level now, primarily due to the fact that I feel sexually harassed by the neighbour when I am out there as he stalks me and acts lewdly around me – lewd for me is something that will shock people who know me well… because… well let’s just say, I am not known for being a prude!

This may mean if he moves out before Paul’s timeline, we may actually stay after all!  As we were only going to move out because of the bad neighbour, because I need the freedom to go in my garden without harassment and bullying and hearing him make loud speculations about my life to whoever is visiting him at the time – often crude and outlandish speculations at that!

Henry has been very distressed to the point of suicide because of bullying at school and the fact he may have to leave what he feels is his ancestral home, because of another bully next door!  Henry’s family on Paul’s side has lived in this house since 1956, that is 66yrs that this house has been in the family and Henry is proud of that, because also the family has lived in this village for 325 years next summer!

Not many children this day and age in the UK can claim such a heritage and Henry is not happy about breaking these family traditions of remaining in the area, even though it is Paul and I’s dream to move to a more secluded region.

We have a double bedroom available for Ukrainian refugees, we feel that we could put in a bunk bed, with a single bed and a cot, but whether or not whoever is arranging this for us, will agree to that, we do not know!

But hopefully whoever comes does not have a pet fur allergy as we have a house rabbit and would like a dog.

I have always enjoyed learning languages, I know French and Italian to better than tourist level, but not fluently and I am willing to learn how to speak Ukrainian to help them.  But Paul is all in for integration and has been coaxing me not to learn Ukrainian so that they have to learn English.  I have learned some words in Ukrainian and found that it is very similar to Slovakian, my sister in law is Slovakian and some small words she taught me are actually the same in Ukraine.

I have Latvian, Russian and Lithuanian friends, who live in this street, so they will have people to socialise with, readily. 

We researched the culture of Ukraine and I was delighted to find that the diet they have is exactly like or very near to my own personal diet – because my diet is much different to Paul’s and Henry’s because of my multi-cultural heritage.

Paul was delighted to find that too, because a lot of the food here is often thrown away as I can’t eat enough of it, and he and Henry don’t like it so won’t touch it – this means less waste for us!

I home make sauerkraut, pickles, I eat a lot of baked or pan fried fish, I have a lot of different soups and I make bone broth for myself a lot and I use paprika in 75% of all my dishes and we have crepes with berries at least twice a week, they’ll feel at home, basically!

Paul and Henry try to eat the Italian side of my heritage along with Paul’s English food, but other than that, they don’t really eat what I eat.  My personal diet isn’t very English – if I have a roast I have things that English people only have at Christmas time, cranberries and apple sauce for example, which Paul has got addicted to recently – the apple sauce – he isn’t too keen on cranberries.

He is starting to get used to the idea of paprika and or cinnamon in everything too!  I am trying to get him into the habit of remembering to use fresh herbs when he roasts meats and to baste with the herbs some of it, but that needs more coaxing!

I won around five years ago, to move him away from boiling veg to steaming or pan frying instead and cutting out salt in almost everything; though I acquiesce you need salt on some potatoes, sea or rock salt though!

I don’t think I will ever get him to like beetroot though – not even in crisp form.

I have recently learned that a lot of my food intolerances and allergies were not the things that I thought they were… this have opened doors for me again! 

I found out I was not intolerant to gluten or lactose, but I was intolerant to the products that contain soy or soya instead!  This is amazing and also I found out that I need a reduced fat diet because having fat too much in one day can make me react like a person who has lactose intolerance, so now I have managed my diet to include lactose and gluten, but I must remain strictly soy free and low fat!

I would never have found this out if it weren’t for my re- acquaintance to my friend Frank, who was very concerned at the prospect that I was becoming malnourished and were visibly losing muscle density.

So now I may eat lactose and gluten again, but I must avoid all soy and soya products, unfortunately it means no Chinese food, until I can home make them soy free!

Soy is in everything though, so though it has opened a lot of doors to me, I must check everything I buy to eat like some kind of paranoid creature because as Paul has found out… one product will be soy free, but the same product in another store from another factory may not be!  We was caught out the other week with Snickers, they were soy free and I had 9 bars in a multi-pack, but then we bought a single bar in a different store and I reacted badly that night, confused, we dived down the bin for the wrapper to find that it does contain soy!  But not all Snickers do!

It’s odd.

Anyway, thanks for reading – there will be an art update soon!

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Researching religion to its core

In my previous post I mentioned a book that I am reading called “A History of Judaism” and some of you may be curious as to why I am reading such a book?  There are in fact two major reasons for me reading this book and both are to do with simple research.

Firstly I wanted to get to grips in understanding Judaism from its core because of a couple of specific themes I want to write and I don’t like to be ignorant when I am writing about culture.

Secondly, I want to find out why my ancestors left Judaism at the turn of the twentieth century just a decade before the Second World War.  Why some of the very oldest members of my family admit they were originally Jewish, but get rather aggressive about it and somewhat evasive.  I am also interested in finding any new books regarding this subject but set in Italy and Italian Jewish history in particular.

My son Henry absolutely loves learning anything at all about his family history and he has become less afraid of R.E at school since we have been learning the differences between what we know to be Evangelism, J-Witness and Judaism.  My family became Catholic and Evangelists when they left Judaism and part of that branch that left Judaism, also became J-Witnesses.

Part of my problems growing up was the cultural confusion my extended family had on supposed opposing ideas and therefore my understanding of religion was warped over the years; as literally my family would rage war on each other over their beliefs.  According to my grandmother, my great grandmother’s sister reacted so violently against her leaving Judaism for a Catholic man that she threw her into the fireplace and she escaped barely scarred.  Another incidence was that I was reminding an anti-Semitic evangelical relative of mine about how Jesus was a Jew and their response was to slap me across the face!

It astounds me how so many religions are at odds with each other when they all share the same core, corrupt the word of the core and kill each other in the name of the God that is the mainstay of the core.

However, as I am teaching my son, I am reminding him that you cannot hate anyone regarding this, because you cannot blame them for their ignorance.  Most people simply do not have the time on their hands to research as much as we do and therefore, you must always react to their violence with kindness if at all those people could make it possible for us to remain passive and kind that is.  Self-preservation kicks in for us all eventually.

The crucial thing to understand about all religions and cultures is that most people do not have time, they are too busy, they have other priorities and over the years many people have surrendered their personal research to trusted authoritive individuals who may or may not be corrupt within themselves, with the aims of controlling their particular congregations etc.  To be fair, everybody wants to try and honour their ancestors by keeping to what their parents believe and it wasn’t until the last century or so, that humanity in general were largely uneducated due to class differentiation and lack of opportunities.

There will be many updates in the future of my reading lists and there will be many different types of cultures and religions I will be study over the course of my life, because I have an insatiable yearning to understand humanity.  In fact in 2009 I signed up to the OU to do a Social Science degree, but I couldn’t cope with the demands of a new-born baby and running a house so went on extended leave, which is still ongoing!  The OU is lovely in that they have still left it opened for me to return whenever I want to, and I may eventually, as I miss it.

I feel I must apologise to some readers who may have found the tone of this post offensive, because no doubt, there are some who do.  But it is by no means an attack on religion, simply a passive eye opening, hoping that, with the tools of the modern age, that you will find time to research the roots of your beliefs to the very core and not just what your local parish tells you.

Thank you for reading.

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Push me to be productive

WordPress has updated some features I think?

I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a streak counter before, there is one now and that poses both a solution and a problem to me; I am a sucker for maintaining long streaks on various websites, so this will now mean that I will be obsessing over maintaining this streak of blog posts, because of the streak counter.

I have this same problem on DuoLingo it isn’t the lessons keeping me there as much as it is the streak counter and the same thing too, with 750words.com though saying that, I am very serious about learning Italian to fluency. 

I have been learning Italian on DuoLingo now for 432 days!  I do a minimum of one lesson which is 10 minutes per day, to sometimes 1 hour.

I had to give up my streak on 750.words.com because I can no longer afford to pay a monthly fee.  That really grinds me too.

If I am to be a productive person, I mean really productive. I need streak counters and tight schedules set by others, or I don’t tend to take things seriously.    This is how I know, if I am ever published, I would be addicted to writing more than ever, because of the pressures that my colleagues may or may not impose on me to do things.  I at least hope it to be the case anyway.  I guess it will be so, because I do love schedules and maintaining streaks etc. 

I think this is why I tend to finish NaNoWriMo early on the times I do it undisturbed.  I have been unlucky to get pneumonia one time doing this and very unlucky that my son became extremely sick with gastroenteritis another time. 

One thing about me is that when I have been in work, I have become quite quickly a workaholic.  But it takes me a long time to recover if I am released from positions for whatever reason.

I thrive with work and tasks and I literally wither away without it.

The thing is, Paul can be too liberal with me, he isn’t pushy like other people have been in my past and that is both nice and also in some ways bad too.  Because I need someone to nag me, shouldn’t you be writing now?  I mean you have been on Spore now for 4 hours…

I do lose track of time and sometimes I need that wake up call!

“Gosh 4 hours, you sure? shit I don’t have time to do this other thing too, yes, I should write”.

But no, that doesn’t happen here, I lose days at a time by being consumed by games, books and YouTube videos and nobody brings me back to reality, I am alone in trying to figure that one out for myself.

Paul just seems to think and feel that I need to be left alone, to do whatever I like, like some spoiled child.  He does spoil me, lets me get away with far too much and I am not so sure he should to be honest! Though it is nice he is so liberal, it is also very frustrating that he doesn’t seem to remember to help me get back to reality, you know?

I am not blaming him for my lack of focus far be it, but I do feel I need a personal nag machine.

Maybe this will change when Paul gets the Amazon dot, maybe I can program Alexa to nag me?

Worth a try, I think.

Happy Reading! 

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Birthday poem for Nanny Howe

I miss you now you are gone

I miss your funny ways

Such as waking up at six O’clock to carboot it all the day

I miss your dusty, ashy house; I miss how you used to swear

I miss everything about you gran, I wished you was still there

I know a lot of people would call you crass and uncouth

But if you weren’t there every day, I would have had a worst youth

You showed me what normal should be like

You bought me down to Earth

You taught me nothing domestically

But you always had a warm hearth

Literally, like in the summer, we are all baking hot

And you will still put the fire on, killing us lot

I miss how you used to guzzle tea and mispronounce your words

I miss how you used to talk about the fights you had with birds

I miss all of your gypsy superstitions and your weird little ways

I miss you so much gran, I think I will always

Happy Birthday Nanny Howe

This poem was for you, you silly cow ❤

For those who don’t know my gran, she really wouldn’t have been offended by the last line, it was more or less something everyone said to her and she was so confident in herself she literally rolled her eyes and ignored us.

If anyone wants to know what she was like, I am telling you now, the likeness of personality between her and Catherine Tate’s Nan is amazing!  It is almost like Catherine Tate knew my Nan herself!

But my gran physically looked very different, very exotic to some.  She had dark olive skin, thick black tight curly hair like an Italian style, she always said we had Romany gypsy in us, Italian, Chinese, Hindu and black, but no one ever believed her.  I was told to ignore her, but I never did, I always felt she was the most honest person I ever knew.  As it turned out, two years ago I discovered she was right about certain things genetically.  I found it wasn’t a Chinese man who was supposed to be her great grandfather, it was a Vietnamese man, I found out on GenesReunited.com he adopted the surname of his English wife to fit in to Victorian Britain.  I also found out that her great great grandmother from 1840 was born in Boston USA and was mixed race, her mother’s former owner was so kind about her situation he had her educated to become a teacher but something happened by the time she was twenty three which meant she needed to go to Gibraltar, I don’t know what, but there she met a sailor who was British, married him and went to live in Kensington London.

So my gran was right to attack my mum all those years about racism, she was right in saying “we’re not all white you know”.

I was never sure of the gypsy claims though, but I do know that she took me to Portobello Rd Market once and introduced me to Old Gypsy Lee who lived under a bridge and he recognised her as kin.  I do know that Nan was raised on a farm in Enfield and that gypsies in the olden days often worked for farms, so it could be true, the family do have a big love for horse brasses.

Haven’t found the Hindu bit yet, but there was something in her history which showed in the 18th century that there was a Spanish lady who apparently was thought to be of Muslim origins, which makes me wonder about another claim gran had – the one about us being Egyptian somewhere down the line too.

I never forget the time that I was arguing with my mum about grans claims; mum was adamant we have an all-white and all British history that goes back before time, so I asked her to explain grans colouring and mum was quite offensive with her reply.  She said that she got her colouring for not being hygienic and washing enough, gran was there at the time and slapped her one, it was classic.

I got a slap too and was chased to my bedroom and threatened with all sorts of things by mum when I blurted out that she deserved that as it was a disgusting thing to say.

I believed gran more than mum because I have found evidence of these things a lot since leaving home.  I found out that gran was right about great grandpa Ernie being born and raised in a workhouse and he ran away aged thirteen and stole food from allotments to survive until someone employed him as an assistant gardener.  I found his workhouse papers on Genes Reunited; mum reckoned this never happened because she would have known about it as she was close to her grandpa Ernie; but mum fails to understand that before the 70s a lot of people didn’t like to dwell on a bad past because life was tough enough to go around wallowing in self-pity and many people liked to be private, so they never did talk about things, not even to family it was almost seen as a taboo to be nostalgically gloomy and my mum likens herself to being an avid historian – yeah right.

God I miss my gran.  I miss staying with her overnight, watching wrestling, horror movies and the shopping channel, whilst munching on fish and chips as she couldn’t cook to save her life, I reckon its why she visited us every day, because we fed her.  She wasn’t at all domestic, not the type to keep house, granddad did all that when he was alive, me and a couple of cousins tried to keep on top of it for her when she was alive, it was why I spent a lot of time with her.  Mum allowed that because it would keep me out of her hair and secondly it was to keep an eye on my dippy gran, as gran would do stupid stuff and that was normal even before her dementia.  She was in every way a bimbo and she knew it and she relished in it, because a bimbo can’t help it see, it works out good for her in a lot of things – to play ignorant that is.

It was a miracle my gran was alive at all, born in the early 30s with a heart condition and having a heart operation every 18 months her whole life and being on warfarin since she was in her mid-twenties, one of the first she claimed to get that medicine, coincidentally as gran was accident prone she was also haemophiliac which was scary as she was given a snappy jack Russell called Star.

You are probably wondering why I keep skipping from gran to Nan a lot when talking about her, it is common even when she was around, everyone called her Nan but I always alternated.  Her name was Doris-Dorina but everyone called her Dolly, which suited her bimbo nature.

I love you gran and wished you were still here.  But blimey gran, you’d be 88 now if you were. 

She died too young by today’s standards.  She died in 2006.  She was absolutely fine before she got ill; she got ill because of a car accident.  She had a car crash which caused her to have a head injury, like a fool she didn’t bother to go to the doctors and the crash was so mild that neither parties car was damaged and so she and the other party decided to not mention it to anyone and gran went home, she suffered migraines for a while and started to do silly things over a six week period – eventually we took her to the doctor as she was showing signs of dementia and a quick forming one too – turned out we were right and it the dementia was so fierce that within six months gran couldn’t talk anymore and would only stare into nothingness and needed to be forced fed.  Within a year of silence, gran died of a heart attack whilst at hospital waiting for a place to go into councils old peoples home.  She was living in a hospital for over a year waiting for some other old biddy to die so she could have a new home being cared for properly.

Apparently it can happen even to young people, a head injury in a certain way and within months you can become vegetative.

My gran hadn’t even retired when the accident happened, she was a cabby.

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Art, Life, Goals and Disability

It is not just writing that has gripped me as a creative person; over the years I have tried to practise art, but never seriously and I also have an interest in wildlife photography – again, I have never taken this seriously. 

I am a self-taught artist who practises a few days every few months, so I do not practise daily and I have been doing this for the first time in my adult life since around 2012.  I have decided to change this.

I have decided after watching a video on YouTube by Love Life Drawing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzhVOU47aSo  to practise art daily for just one hour per day because it is said that if you practise doing something for 1000 hours you will become quite good at it, so an hour a day will make it approximately 3yrs before I become a much better artist and to me that is enough to prompt me into action.  Three years is really such a little time.

I have never stopped learning something daily, so therefore I have the ability to continue learning new skills, some people when they get to a certain age give up learning altogether as they feel it is not necessary for them to be learning new things or because they feel that they are too old to change radically which I personally think is (excuse the language) bullshit; I am going to be thirty seven on my next birthday and I am already making radical changes in my life.

The changes are to learn how to become a better writer, learning grammar and punctuation, something ironically I have never bothered to learn before, shocking I know!  Learning math, because I was mostly home-educated and math was a weak point for my main teacher (mum) so therefore after the age of eight I hardly learned math at all.  Practising art, which is something my adult self never took seriously as well as wildlife photography – Paul is a former photographer so he is thrilled I want to take this up!  Also I have a life-long goal that I have never taken seriously and that is to learn five languages before I die, I know enough French and Japanese to survive as a tourist in those countries if I ever go on holiday abroad, but I also started to learn Italian last November.  So my five chosen languages to learn in life fluently are French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and German.  I am on the cusp of level 2 Italian right now. 

So those are my goals, also my goal is to try and find some way in defeating my auto-immune problem or at least trying to work my way around it so I can actually get a life, a life I want as I am tired of merely existing to keep doctors in their jobs. 

I am also determined to offer myself up to medical science whilst still alive, to find a way in repairing lost hearing, because I am nearly completely deaf and I am scared of losing the tiny bit of hearing I currently have.  Recently I have lost enough hearing that I no longer hear certain beats and rhythms in music that I knew existed before and it really makes me depressed as I lived my life in music before the left ear started to fade away too.  I learned the piano by ear (no pun intended) I can’t read music; I started to learn the guitar just months before my left ear started to play up.  Music composure is another goal I always had and I have done some composing in the past; but when I learned I could be completely deaf by the time I am fifty and I was told I should learn British sign language, I decided to give up music and I don’t care about how Beethoven did just fine with his hearing loss, to me, I love hearing, I love language, I love music and it is hard for me to know I will hear less and less over the years.

I should really add a sixth language goal, to learn British Sign Language but I am afraid that the universe will take this as a resolution that I will go deaf and would make it happen faster.  Stupid I know, I suppose I should give up Italian to learn BSL but I am denying things will get that bad… idiotically no doubt.

So I have decided to post up some art whenever I make it, I will try daily, but you know me, Procrastinator Extraordinaire.  Well here is what I have done today and I want to tell you quite honestly, this is my second attempt at drawing a hand, my hand.  Paul says that hands are notoriously difficult for artists to draw and he insists I have a natural talent for hands, I don’t know what to think about that, but O-K that’s amazing!  I think my hand looks hideous on paper drawn by me, but the hand in itself is deformed slightly, my left hand has a tendon problems that leads up through the forearm and it is twisting more than just my baby finger these days and its becoming painful, something the doctor needs to be alerted on soon as Paul is terrified that if I fall over or support myself the wrong way the baby finger is just going to snap, seriously it is getting that bad!

Sorry for being so graphically cringe worthy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Family tree research

So I unwittingly took the week off from writing, this wasn’t planned; I tend to go into fazes of genealogical research.  I have a family tree which I take great care of; especially for my father’s side of the family, nan told me as much as she could before she died and it helped me very much but she focused on her side of the family and didn’t tell me anything at all of granddad’s family.  I’ve neither idea what granddad’s mother’s name was, nor how many siblings he had other than great auntie Florence.

I’ve discovered many things about my paternal grandmother’s ancestors though, such as we can date one part of the family down to 1450 and another side is supposedly an old Roman family, who have been aristocrats for nearly two thousand years in Europe; I say supposedly because there was an Italian migrant in my family in 1480 to the UK who had the surname Senex and was an aristocrat who married a barons daughter and he had to anglicize the name to Maude when he bought some land; Senex is supposed to be an off shoot of a Roman family name Caesilius who are directly linked to Scipii and Secundus (that means there’s a possibility I am related to Pliny), though I can’t be sure and I doubt there’s going to be much information on it, though there might be records in Rome about Roman families, unsure.

This is all pure speculation because I found a website that can follow Pliny’s line to the present day, but I am skeptical because a lot of people just add any old connection to their surname without being sure if they’re true blood or not.

My paternal grandmother’s side of the family are both Italian and Dutch migrants who were aristocratic right up until 1840 when a lot of them started to migrate to Australia, America or marry beneath themselves, there was also an incident where a member of the family was heavily fined because they owned cottages and his people were found to have poached on a neighboring lords lands and was a little too sentimental about evicting them – also he gave a lot of money to the society of friends as he was apparently, very pious and found money a detriment to society, which is quite odd.

There’s information I’ve researched about my mother’s family, though some of mum’s cousins demand that my lead is wrong, because there’s a lot of tales of grandeur on that side; but I’ve bought records directly linking mum’s lineage from Kew itself when I’ve had some spare money and they’re wrong, I have proper recorded proof.  Such as my grandmother was raised in Enfield in farm cottages and her grandmother originates from Crawley as a dairy maid to a manor house, in fact all her family does and they even have the surname Crawley as they didn’t move from the area for hundreds of years.  My granddad’s family are half Jewish who converted to Catholicism for love which in those days was apparently sinful to marry outside of your religion; they owned a dressmaking boarding school and a tailor business in Soho, they were the original Jewish tailor business migrants of Victorian England, these days they have a chain of restaurants and don’t communicate with this side much and some have kept to their Jewish roots.

Mum’s cousins are very upset with my findings that great granddad was a foundling child – that’s similar but not as horrible as being a workhouse child; they insist he wasn’t a foundling, though they admit they never knew of his past as he never told anyone anything and was always evasive about it. 

Foundling children are different to work house children because they don’t remain working in the foundling hospital all the time, like workhouse children – when the children are 14 the boys are expecting to join the navy or army and live their lives as soldiers that are their fate, nothing else.  Girls tend to be trained in all domestic work so that they can be literally, sold into servitude for manor houses and wealthier people from the age of 14, though they can choose to leave as soon as they were an adult though life for them would usually be hard and terrible if they left their positions.  But all in all it was much better being a foundling child than a workhouse child.

Anyway, now you know what’s been keeping me from you, I am still involved with doing my tree, almost 2000 people in there now, but it does tend to gobble my time up as I get so involved with it all.  I want to get things right for my kids to sit back and look at where they’re from and how we’re likely to progress or digress as a family in the future, how the wheels of fortune constantly turn.

 

 

 

 

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