My Sunshiny Life











{July 29, 2009}   NO-vember

I love shopping.  I shop a LOT.  I’m like a little magpie who can’t live without the latest shiny thing – or this morning on my way to work how I couldn’t live without a new pair of shoes and a scarf.  NAUGHTY! (they are gorgeous though).  When you move you realise how much crap you’ve accumulated, not that I’ve moved recently but the memory is still fresh from last year – lugging all my stuff up four flights of stairs.  I vowed and declared then that I’d minimise, economise and not buy so much STUFF.  You just forget though don’t you.  If you’ve got good storage in your house it’s easy to forget.  

So I’ve decided that I’m going to go one whole month without buying anything.  That means no trips into Accessorise,  SpaceNK, or Dotty P’s.  No trips into Boots, just to walk around and see if I need anything… how do those trips always end up with me leaving laden with shopping?  So all shops will be out of bounds.  The only thing I’ll be able to buy is food.  I hope I don’t turn into a blimp by the end of the month!  I quite enjoy food shopping and if this is going to be my only shopping activity I think the shopping trolley is going to get quite full.

So the next thing is, when to perform such a challenge.  Well, August is out because I need to buy some bits and bobs for Missy G’s hens do.  Plus I’m going to the Big Chill and might pick up a few things for there…  September I’m going to Missy G’s wedding and because I’ll be in Italy – well it would be a shame to miss out if I see an item I just can’t live without!  October – the weather will be getting very cold by then (not that it’s balmy at the moment!) and new winter jackets will be flooding the stores, I don’t want to miss out on a good one!  That leaves NO-vember.  See what I did there.  I liked the way that fit in to my new frugal regime, NO shopping for LMS in NO-vember.  NO spanking the credit card and NO “I just might pop in to have a look” visits into any of my favourite stores.

My one month abstinence may even go some way towards saving the planet.  All this consumerism is destroying our delicate earth, so I’m going to think about what I buy more carefully in future.  Perhaps it wouldn’t hurt to show a little restraint after NO-vember, for the sake of the planet AND the health of my credit cards!

Shopping

Advertisements


{July 26, 2009}   Street Art Extroadinaire

I totally think this guy is a legend.  He makes transient chalk masterpieces that fade or are washed away.  Pure genius.  Check out his other work on his blog http://madonnaripugliesi.blogspot.com

Genius!

Genius!

Hope he makes loads of money, he deserves it!



{July 26, 2009}   Benefit Betrayal

Maybe Baby

Maybe Baby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have just written an email to Benefit to tell them how unhappy I am.  Worse than unhappy, I feel let down, disappointed and betrayed.  Why?  Well they’ve stopped making my favourite perfume EVER, Maybe Baby.  How dare you Benefit!  Really, what were you thinking!  So yesterday I stocked up and bought five bottles.  That will last me for a little over a year.  Tomorrow I’m going to a department store and am going to stock up on more bottles, as well as have a little smell of the Gwen Stefani perfume L.A.M.B.  I’ve been on forums with other devastated Maybe Baby fans and they said that L.A.M.B smells similar.  I don’t know how I feel about wearing a scent called L.A.M.B.  Being from NZ that is just like an open invitation to get the p*ss taken out of you!

Apparently Benefit have some new perfumes that are going to be better – or so the lady behind the counter said.  I don’t believe her.  Anyway, even if they are (which they won’t be) how do I know they won’t whip them off the shelves once I’m attached to them.  I can’t trust you anymore Benefit, if I didn’t like your make up so much we’d be all over.  But in the perfume stakes you better believe we’re through, unless you bring back Maybe Baby!

Maybe Baby

Maybe Baby



{July 25, 2009}   Drinking Fountains in Rome

Before going to Rome, Lisa told me there were drinking fountains all over the place so you could fill your water bottle up.  Little Miss Sunshine doesn’t do tap water and I sniffily dismissed the notion.  But this water was spring water anyway and absolutely delicious.  Fresh, cold and wonderful in the city heat. 

Drinking Fountain in Rome

Drinking Fountain in Rome



{July 25, 2009}   Entrepreneurial Spirit

I had to admire this little guy who set up his lemonade stand on the main drag in Lipari.  I watched him for a bit, industriously making his lemonade and chatting to the locals.  But then I think I might have offended him, well puzzled him anyway, as I just popped the money in his container but refused the lemonade.  I just didn’t feel like one, but thought he needed to be rewarded for showing such entrepreneurial spirit.  If he’d set up several stands, franchise styley then I would have given him double!

How Branson started

How Branson started



{July 22, 2009}   Fireworks Festival

When walking around in Lipari last Sunday we heard cannons going off. It was a bit weird, but we weren’t going to war with the neighboring island, it was the sign to say ‘let’s let off a load of firecrackers tonight’. Not that we knew that at the time, as we continued about our business, slightly concerned we could be called to arms at any moment.

We went to play Scopa at a bar around the corner. It’s a Sicilian card game, which even has its own special deck of cards. I suspect the boys were making up the rules as they went along, but without Lisa’s guidance how was I to know?  It didn’t take long for us to befriend Katie, a Canadian nanny who was on her last night in Lipari. We had a few drinks and were joined by her friend Cassina, another Canadian nanny who had lived in Lipari for a year. What a fabulous way to spend a year! Local knowledge is everything and they let us in on the local’s secret, taking us down past the port where we watched the most sensational 15 minutes of fireworks. I don’t know what they were celebrating, I don’t even think the locals know… Something about a saint. Well that’s good enough for me, any excuse for a pyrotechnic extravaganza!

Lipari Fireworks

Lipari Fireworks



{July 21, 2009}   Sensational Stromboli

A couple of days ago we went on a boat cruise and took in the island of Stromboli.  To be quite honest I was a grumpy beeeeeatch all day on the boat.  I am not a seafaring sort of girl and have to guard my lily white skin from the sun as well, so I was under the cover of the boat canopy all day, along with the other sweating, speedo wearing old hairy men. GROSS!  Being brushed past by a wrinkly old hairy body (and thats the women as well) is not my favourite idea of how to spend ones day.  Imagine the whole day on a hot tube, while feeling slightly sick and being brushed up against by nearly nude old people.  Yep, it was that good. 

My grace and good humour was in short supply and I relished the time we had off the boat.  We had a quick look around Panarea but were going back there so didnt worry about an exhaustive trek.  Stromboli was another story, it was a funny little port town, with very few inhabitants and a live volcano!!! How is that for a draw card!  Before our trip the rest of my group had been enthusiastically trying to talk me into climbing up to the top.  Adventure is not my middle name and I didnt want a bar of it.  I dont have many rules in life but staying away from hot lava would have to be on the list.  When they realised it was a five hour there and back trek (in the heat!) they decided against it too. 

Taxi, Island Style

Taxi, Island Style

Then we went and had dinner.  I really felt like a lovely big prawn pasta to brighten my mood, but when the prawns came out, tiny with shells still on, it was nearly my undoing.  There were prawn legs all through my pasta!  WHY? Why would you do that?  Youre meant to eat the shells as well.  I wanted to throw myself on the ground and cry, stamp my foot, and kick off into an ear splitting, screaming tantrum.  Of course, I’m an adult so I did no such thing, I just whinged constantly through dinner and viciously poked the offending prawns to one side.

Lisa had squid ink pasta, which is delicious apparently.  I didnt want any, I only like calamari rings, thats as far as me and squid go.

Crustacean Pasta (with the crusts still on!)

Crustacean Pasta (with the crusts still on!)

Squid Ink Pasta

Squid Ink Pasta

Getting back on the boat wasn’t so bad, at least people had clothes on this time and because the sun had gone down I could join the rest of my group on the roof.  It made the world of difference to my grumpy persona, having some personal space and the fresh sea air. 
Then we settled in off the island of Stromboli in the very calm sea (things were looking up) to watch the volcano erupting.  How bizarre!  The photos I took on my little snappy snap camera were rubbish so Ive nicked this image from a postcard.  What a magical experience.  Every time the earth would eject a stream of magma, it would briefly light up the horizon and everyone on the boat would cheer.  It was a very surreal experience. We then lay back on the deck, and fell asleep under the starry sky for the hour long trip back to Lipari.  I must remember that if I’m ever in a grump again, watching a volcano erupt will balance my mood.  Very cathartic.
Sensational Stromboli

Sensational Stromboli



{July 20, 2009}   Crimes Against Fashion

Need I say more? A trim, fit man in his prime doesnt look good in them so why do middle aged overweight men persist in inflicting their bodies on us in all their glory.  It makes my eyes hurt.

Speedos should be illegal

Speedos should be illegal

This isnt as much of a crime, more like an infraction and my personal pet hate.  Wear a racer back bra girlies if youre going to wear a racer back top.  It just looks better! 

Racer Back Fashion Infraction

Racer Back Fashion Infraction



{July 18, 2009}   Pantsville Panarea

We left the sleepy shores of Lipari to party our pants off in Panarea yesterday.  The island is gorgeous, apparently like the Greek Islands, not that Ive been there yet.  White washed buildings, blue paint (the town must have got a special deal for the amount theyve used) and stunning ocean views.  There are no cars on the island and everyone gets around in golf carts.  We took one to the beach, a 20 minute walk in the heat of the day was not even considered and we handed over a kings ransom of nine euros to be driven 5 minutes.

Whitewashed Paradise

Whitewashed Paradise

Stunning Clifftop Sea View

Stunning Clifftop Sea View

The day was searing hot, a little bit TOO hot for my delicate constitution and even under an umbrella (AND parasol, just in case the sun got me) I lay there breathing shallowly, panting like a dog.  I had to retreat to the restaurant at one stage to get out of the brutal sun (any excuse for food is a good one!).  We finally got some relief from the sun as it dipped in the sky and our thoughts turned to our party plans for the night.

Knowing how expensive Panarea is we had our own mini party before decamping to the “clubs”. We bought food, grappa, wine and other necessary supplies.  So far so good.  We scoffed ourselves silly on the best Italian food – parma ham, buffalo mozzarella, stuffed artichokes, risotto balls. HEAVEN! 

Chad with the Grappa Grimace

Chad with the Grappa Grimace

Corruption of an Innocent

Corruption of an Innocent

Panarea was listed in all the guide books as THE place to paaaaartay, well I dont think the travel writers have been here recently!  The islands have been affected by the credit crunch for sure, as the emptier restaurants are obvious and slow trade in the shops is testified to by the locals.  We thought it might have been a bit quiet, but we didnt count on it being DEAD!  We couldnt believe there was no one in our demographic out and about.  It was like there was a war on and all the 20 and 30 somethings had been drafted.  We were left with the old and the very young.  Most disturbing to be drinking next to a bunch of 14 year olds, it was like a tragic school disco.



{July 18, 2009}   Holy Cannoli

I made a pact at the start of the holiday to eat a cannoli every day, I love it when I stick to a regime!  This has proven easier to stick with than my ambitious exercise plan.  I was introduced to cannoli by none other than Tony Soprano and I’d always hankered after one because they were built up so much on the show.  Well, let me tell you, these little delicious treats don’t disappoint.  They’ve all the makings of a decadent treat, lets start with the texture – crunchy yet yielding to soft cream as you bite into the ricotta centre.  I can’t do the taste justice, you just have to have one.  Sweet sweet paradise.

Cannoli Queen

Cannoli Queen

We’ve got our favourite cannoli shop and the other day the owner took us out the back and showed us how theyre made.  Her father had fried up the little wafer type shells that morning and she had a big tub of sweet creamy ricotta that she expertly pressed into the centre.  A little sprinkle of pistachio and you’re all good to go, head first into a taste sensation. 

Naked Cannoli

Naked Cannoli

Dressed and ready to eat!

Dressed and ready to eat!

I’m sure I’ll be getting cannoli withdrawal once back in London but thats a week away, although whether I’ll fit into any of my clothes for the trip home is another story.  I’ve got my eye on a very glamorous mumu that I think will suit my expanding girth rather well.



et cetera