March 31, 2017

Just One Book

This month I've only read one book, but it was a good one. I read All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven.


I've had this book in my reading list for ages, ever since Zoella first mentioned it in her June favourites video in 2015. I was attracted by the cover and the title and really curious about the plot.

When I started reading it I was captured by it, and I read it quite quickly. I found it very well written and deep. I loved the characters and the themes that were touched by the author (mental health, death, suicide, seek of one's own path in life...). I was also happy to find out that the sticky notes, birds and flowers on the cover had a meaning in the story and were not only some sort of decoration.

Being a big John Green fan, I found this story to be some sort of mix between Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns and The Fault in Our Stars, but I absolutely mean it in a good way. I do not think that the author stole someone else's ideas and I do not want to take anything away from her ability to create, because I believe she's brilliant and I'd like to read more of her books, I just think that the topics and deep characters somehow recall John Green's ones. I strongly suggest that you read both John Green's books and Jennifer Niven's anyway, because they are all definitely worth reading.


Book challenge 2017:
All the Bright Places: a book about a difficult topic

Have you read All the Bright Places? What did you think of it?

Marti xx

March 26, 2017

First Job, First Day

Today I started my training week. If it works out, this will become my very first paid job. I am so excited for such a normal thing, I know. But I'm really looking forward to the day I'll be independent from my parents money-wise.

The people I met so far were great and made me feel welcomed all day long. The thing that I had to learn and do were many but quite easy, and at some point I even started wondering if this job would be way too boring in the long run, but the pay is good and the company even better, and there are a dozen little things that I love about this job and that make me really hope they'll ask me to stay after the training week is over.

I have decided that for now I won't say too much about this job, just to protect myself from any random stranger that might read this, but at some point I might let you know a bit more. If you are a lovely person and you are honestly curious about what I am doing, you can always send me a message on Twitter anyway. 

I am pretty sure I won't be able to keep up with the three posts a week thing, so next month I think I'll switch to two a week. I hope I'll manage to upload all of this month's posts anyway, but I might miss one or two, that's okay.

Let me know if you have any request, as I have a few posts in mind but I'm always open to new ideas.

Have a lovely day,
Marti xx

March 24, 2017

One Month

One month ago I was graduating. Today I had my first job interview.
It seems so weird to think that all the things that I have done this month have happened in such a short time.

I graduated.
I moved to London.
I opened my first bank account.
I requested a NINo.
I wrote my CV.
I signed up for the local library, I got all the cards from coffee shops and supermarkets (I can't help it, I love cards), even the organ donor card (just in case).
I filled in applications for jobs.
I got a call from someone saying that they were interested in me, so we organized a job interview.
I went back to Italy for a few doctor appointments.
I came back to London and went to my job interview.
I got the place as a (paid!) trainee for a week.


I am so excited for everything, and also scared, but mostly excited. I am happy to start settling here and put everything into place. The only major thing I need to do now is register at the local medical centre and to AIRE, but most things are done. I gave myself a rule when I came here: to do at least one "grown up" thing everyday. I am so happy with what I have accomplished so far.

I was told by fellow blogger Aishettina to write some posts about moving out to a different country and about all of the stuff I said above, so expect that in the near future.

Along with all the grown up things I did, I also decided to start keeping a new everyday journal. It was inspired by a combination of things: I wanted to keep a one line a day diary, but also a five years journal to document success and failure over time (but mostly success hopefully). I also read about the idea of keeping a gratitude journal, where you write down everyday what made you feel grateful in the past hours. I thought that something like a grateful journal could make me feel even more happy and satisfied with my accomplishments and help me remember the good things even during the hard times, because there's something good in every day, so I started a mixed up journal where I sort of document all of it.

I am grateful for everything that has happened to me in the past month, from the silliest little things like discovering that I like apple+mint juice to the big things like going to a job interview. I am also thankful for my parents and family who help me following my dreams and for my boyfriend who supports me all the time and puts up with my mood swings and general weirdness.

Thank you,
Marti xx

March 23, 2017

Nesli: La Fine

Before I start I should let you know that I don't know much about Nesli and I am not an expert on his music, I only ever listen to this song I'm talking about here. 

Nesli is an Italian singer, rapper and music producer. He is Fabri Fibra's younger brother (I am going to talk about the rapper Fabri Fibra some other times, because I know his music way more than his brother's, but if you are into Italian rap - wow, didn't expect you to be - then check him out yourself if you like).

I found out Nesli existed when I went to Mika's concert back in 2010 (best show ever, seriously) and he was the opening act. I didn't really pay too much attention to him because his music didn't really talk to me that day, he was nothing like Mika and I still don't understand why they thought it was a good idea to pick him as an opening act, but nobody's ever going to tell me I guess. 

Anyway, later on that year (or month, or week, I don't remember) my friends and I found this song called La Fine and really loved it, so I sort of changed my mind about him and was glad I knew he existed.

La Fine (The End) is one of those songs whose lyrics can be interpreted in different ways, so I'll translate some chunks and share with you some thoughts as I go on.

First of all, please go and listen to it so you can have an idea of its music and mood.

Artsy picture taken somewhere foggy in Germany in 2011

Okay, now let's move onto the lyrics.

The bit that is easier to comment is the chorus.
Vorrei che fosse oggi, in un attimo già domani
Per reiniziare, per stravolgere tutti i miei piani
Perché sarà migliore e io sarò migliore
Come un bel film che lascia tutti senza parole
I wish that today turned quickly into tomorrow
To start again, to twist all of my plans
Because that will be better, and I will be better
Just like a film that leaves everyone speechless
I have often felt like I have done enough for the current day and that I am in need of a fresh new day to start again and fix things that are upsetting me, so I really like this chorus, and I really appreciate the comparison of this situation to a film that surprises its audience. It feels hopeful and I believe that hope is important.

Then there are some bits that talk about his personality and experiences, and teenage-Martina could really relate to that. I am a bit different than I was back in middle/high school but I still understand the lyrics and I totally see why I related to them. To some extent I still do, probably, because I feel like a mess lots of times and I tend to be insecure and blame myself for every silly little thing, but some words here are maybe a bit too strong for me nowadays.
Io non lo so chi sono e mi spaventa scoprirlo
Guardo il mio volto allo specchio ma non saprei disegnarlo
Come ti parlo, parlo da sempre della mia stessa vita
Non posso rifarlo e raccontarlo è una gran fatica 
I don't know who I am and I am scared to find that out
I look at my face in the mirror but I wouldn't be able to draw it
The way that I talk to you, I have always talked like that about my life
I cannot repeat it and even telling about it is hard
Tutto questo mi ha cambiato
E mi son fatto rubare forse gli anni migliori
Dalle mie paranoie e da mille altri errori
Sono strano lo ammetto, e conto più di un difetto
Ma qualcuno lassù mi ha guardato e mi ha detto:
"Io ti salvo stavolta, come l'ultima volta"
All of this has changed me
And I've let my best years being taken away from me
By my paranoia and a thousands other mistakes
I am weird, I admit that, and I have more than just one flaw
But someone up there has looked down at me and told me
"I am saving you this time, as I did the last time"
Quante ne vorrei fare ma poi rimango fermo
Guardo la vita in foto e già è arrivato un altro inverno
Non cambio mai su questo mai, distruggo tutto sempre
Se vi ho deluso chieder scusa non servirà a niente
I would like to do so many things, but in the end I don't
I look at life through pictures and yet another winter has come
I never change on this, never, I always mess up everything
And if I have disappointed you then saying I'm sorry won't fix it
The last bit I really like is harder to explain, but it sounds right to me and I feel like it's meaningful so I'm leaving it here and somehow translating it as well. The comparison with films is back and I really like the fact that the artist has played a lot with it during the song.
Arriverà la fine, ma non sarà la fine
E come ogni volta ad aspettare e fare mille file
Con il tuo numero in mano e su di te un primo piano
Come un bel film ma che purtroppo non guarderà nessuno
The end will come, but it won't be the end
And as always I'll end up waiting and queueing a thousand times
With your number in my hand and a portrait of you
Just like a beautiful film that no one will ever watch
What do you think of this song? Had you ever heard it?

Marti xx

March 17, 2017

Sunny Days and Busy People

Hey everyone! This month I've messed up my schedule quite a lot. My next post is going up on March 22 (hopefully) and after that I'm going to do a full week of posting. I'm getting close to my 100th post so I've been thinking about doing a giveaway, but I'm still not sure, because I have like three followers and probably nobody would even care about it, hahah.

Anyway, the past few days have been sunny and warm here in London, so I have been enjoying long walks and exploring streets where I'd never been before. One night I went out with my boyfriend at 10.30 pm looking for ice cream, and I even managed to find it, yay! (Snowflake Luxury Gelato in Wardour Street is open until 11.30 pm during weekdays, just so you know).

At the moment I am ill, everything hurts and my life depends on tissues. Okay, I'm over exaggerating a bit, I'm not doing that bad, but I hate to have a stuffy nose because it makes me feel like I have a temperature, it gives me headaches and it doesn't let me sleep well at night.

Tomorrow I'm flying back to Italy for a few days. I'm not taking my PC with me, hence my inability to stick to my blog schedule. I have some medical stuff to do, but I'll be back in London soon. 

When I started this post I had no idea what to write, but now that I'm trying to finish it I realised that I actually really enjoyed writing random things down here. Maybe I'll do posts like this more often, we shall see.

Have a nice night,
Marti xx

PS. In case you read the previous post, I just wanted to update you on my nails: today was their 22nd day and they're still looking good. I can't believe it. They have started chipping a tiny bit but only on the surface, so the shape and colour are still perfect. The major problem there is the regrowth (I'm pretty sure I just made up that word but you know what I mean). I really have to thank the girl at the salon for her flawless job, and also thank OPI for making such a long lasting kind-of-gel polish.

March 12, 2017

Russian Navy

The day before my graduation my mum took me to a small beauty salon in my hometown to have my nails done. I'd never had my nails done professionally before, so it felt like a little pamper for me. I went for a soak-off gel lacquer by OPI, as I wanted my nails to last a bit more than the average nail polish but I didn't want a proper full gel manicure. As my theme colour for the big day was blue, because of the blue birds on my dress, I decided to pick a blue gel colour. I went for the one called Russian Navy, because it looked classy but also had some sparkles in it.


The application of all the layers of base coat, colour and top coat didn't take too long, under twenty minutes I think, and the result really surprised me. I loved the shape of my nails and how the colour suits my skin and I think I could seriously get used to have my nails done all the time, which is something I didn't quite expect before.


The thing that surprised me the most, however, is how long lasting this is. As I said I'd never had my nails done professionally before, and the only time I had a gel manicure was about two years ago (a friend did it for me, and she did a great job considering she was just starting out at that time), so I'm not used to this "perfection". As of today I have had this nail polish on for 18 days and it is still glossy, glittery and it has not chipped. The only problem of course is that the nails have grown quite a bit. And I have done everything with my bare hands, including washing up the dishes everyday, cleaning up the kitchen and the bathroom, opening my Pandora bracelet (those of you who own a Pandora bracelet might know how hard it is to open the clasp without chipping the nail polish) and assemble Ikea stuff. Everything. Well, the first week I paid attention and used some rubber gloves, but for the past week or so I haven't and they still look brand new.


I can say I am really happy with the result and whenever I'll have a reason for it I will surely go and have my nails done again.

Marti xx

March 11, 2017

Eugenio Montale: Ho sceso, dandoti il braccio, almeno un milione di scale

Eugenio Montale is a well known poet and writer. He was born in 1896 and died in 1981. In 1975 he won the Nobel Prize in literature. He worked as a journalist for most of his life and at the same time he wrote and published several books.


The poem I picked here is one of my all time favourite poems, not just out of his work but in general. I find it really sweet and deep.

He wrote it after his wife passed away, and dedicated it to her.

Ho sceso, dandoti il braccio, almeno un milione di scale
e ora che non ci sei è il vuoto ad ogni gradino.
Anche così è stato breve il nostro lungo viaggio.
Il mio dura tuttora, né più mi occorrono
le coincidenze, le prenotazioni,
le trappole, gli scorni di chi crede
che la realtà sia quella che si vede.
Ho sceso milioni di scale dandoti il braccio
non già perché con quattr'occhi forse si vede di più.
Con te le ho scese perché sapevo che di noi due
le sole vere pupille, sebbene tanto offuscate,
erano le tue.
I went down, giving you my arm, at least one million stairs
and now that you're gone I feel the emptiness in every step.
Even so our long journey has been short.
Mine still goes on, but I don't need anymore
coincidences, reservations,
traps, the scorn of those who believe
that reality is what they can see.
I went down millions of stairs giving you my arm
but not because four eyes may see things better.
I went down with you because I knew that between the two of us
the only real pupils, though much blurred,
were yours. 
I decided to translate this poem following the foreignization strategy, so if it sounds a bit unusual or unclear it's because I tried to stick to the Italian structure and lexicon as much as possible.

Now, I'm not going to pretend to be an expert here, I love literature and I learned it for years in school but I don't know how to analyze it perfectly or all the deep meanings that are hidden behind the text. I just love what this poem, or poetry in general, says to me when I read it, how it makes me feel and how much it makes me ponder on life and all sorts of things. So I'll end my post here, without adding a proper comment on the text.

Let me know if you like it, if it says something to you, or if something is too unclear.

Have a nice day,
Marti xx

March 10, 2017

Fascinating Birds

Every time I visit a park in London, I am left speechless by the number of unusual birds I meet. 

I've always found birds fascinating. Part of it is probably due to the fact that I wish I was able to fly. But I've also noticed that whenever I think of birds, in my head I think of a simplified version of them, so when I actually see them I am always surprised by the number of details I didn't remember about them. 


In Italy, in my area at least, when you visit a park you'll see plenty of pigeons, a couple of swans and some ducks and seagulls, but that's about it. I don't even know many birds' names, I must say.

Whenever I see them I would love to be able to tell them apart, know their names and recognise them, so I've decided I'll start looking up some information and maybe buy a book about London birds and sometimes I'll go to the park and observe them. So far I have found a website that helps finding out the type of bird you saw and I have saved the link. I have also discovered that the beautiful birds in this post are a male mandarin (the grey bird next to it should be a female, and I'm pretty sure I'd never seen them before in my life), and a grey heron (I had guessed this one right, yay). The heron is almost as tall as me, hahahah.


I've always found bird watching fascinating (ever since I found out it existed, thanks to the film called The Big Year), and even though I don't think I'll become a hardcore birdwatcher I would like to at least be good at naming them when I see them around. Maybe I'll also try to take some good pictures, why not. So far I've only taken a few with my phone and with my old digital camera, but thanks to my Canon I might be able to do something better.

Do you know things about birds? Do you like them as well? Let me know!

Marti xx

March 09, 2017

My Naked 3 Palette

This post is not going to be a proper review, because everyone and their cat has already reviewed the Naked 3 palette way better than I could ever do, with plenty of swatches and clever comments thanks to their deeper knowledge of makeup and beauty.


I am not that good at makeup yet, but I love to learn and experiment and I always notice that I get better quite quickly at doing things that once were unthinkable, like applying eyeliner, contouring my cheekbones and filling in my brows.


I bought the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette as a gift to myself on my birthday last month. Since then I have used it almost everyday, just because experimenting with colours and combinations makes me happy, and I must say I am really impressed. I mean, I've had my eyes on this palette since it was put on the market by UD, so I already knew that it was awesome and that I'd love it, but now that I've had the chance to actually test it for a few days I can really say that I'm loving every colour, every glitter, every detail of it. The shadows are super pigmented, which is not something I took for granted in a pink toned palette, they last all day without creasing (they last longer with a primer but they do well even without it, they just fade a little), and they look subtle, simple but super good. They change your look without being too in your face, which is exactly the kind of makeup I always go for.



I've tried more or less all of them on my eyelids and some of them as eyeliners, and I am impressed by how versatile they are and how different each colour looks once you've applied it.

I still love like crazy my Naked 2 and if I had to choose only one of them I think I'd still go for that one first, because it's always been love between the two of us, but I'm really happy now that I have them both, I feel like I don't need any other eyesahdow apart from them, and I am glad that I don't really have to pick one, I can just use both whenever I like.

What's your favourite palette?

Marti xx

March 08, 2017

Musical Theatre

One of the things I like the most about London is West End shows. I love the theatre. Being on stage or in the stalls, behind the scenes or just walking past it, with all of the lights and colourful posters. My favourite genre, as you can probably tell from the title, is musicals. I listen to musicals in my free time and whenever I can I just go and see them performed live. 

Here in London I have seen Wicked, Les Misérables (twice, with Carrie Hope Fletcher as Éponine, and I'm ready to watch it again soon, or everyday even) and Matilda. In Italy I have seen Spring Awakening and The Addams Family (with an hilarious Elio playing Gomez). In London I have also seen Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which is not a musical but is glorious and everybody should be allowed to see it at least once in their life.


Although I have already seen quite a few shows, the list of things I am yet to see is ever growing and at the moment includes the following: The Phantom of the Opera, Aladdin, The Book of Mormon, The Lion King, School of Rock, Kinky Boots and Hamilton (which I will probably never see because tickets are sold out till the day of my sixtieth birthday or something like that). I would also like to see Carrie Hope Fletcher performing in The Addams Family and see the non-musical show called The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.

I've decided that once I'll have a job I'll try to evaluate if I can afford to go to the theatre at least once a month. The theatre makes me happy and I'd gladly see the shows that I like again and again. I wish there was a season pass to see them everyday.


Before I go, let me tell you that there are other shows that I'd love to see but are not performed in London at the moment. Those are Miss Saigon, Funny Girl, Grease, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, anything Disney (Newsies, Belle and the Beast, Peter Pan...) and anything Kerrigan-Lowdermilk, because I lovelovelove their music. Most of all I'd like to see The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown, Henry and Mudge and Tales from the Bad Years.

I am pretty sure I forgot to mention something, so let's say that if it is a show and it has music in it I most probably just want to see it.

Marti xx

March 07, 2017

Life Right Now || March

I was supposed to be publishing my fourth post of the month tomorrow but I skipped three (!) last week and now I'm trying to make up for that.

As a start, I wanted to relaunch my Life Right Now series, because I started it last year and really liked the idea of it but never really kept it up. You can check out my earlier posts here and here. Ideally I'd like to update you every trimester or every time something major happens, but we'll see.

Without further ado, let's start.

Money

This month I've officially started looking for a job, so I should be able to provide for myself pretty soon, yess! At the moment my parents are helping me and I am really thankful for that, I'd never take that for granted. Also, last week I have opened my very first bank account and today I got my debit card in the mail, how cool.

Health

I am fine and happy right now, after the bad kind-of-flu that left me voiceless for over a week just in time for my graduation (how appropriate) I have not developed any more symptoms and I have been feeling well. I noticed that lately I tend to feel tired pretty quickly during the day, but that hasn't been too much of a problem so far and it might just be caused by the fact that I am still adapting to my new life in London.

Career

My university career got to an end in February, and now I am looking for a job in a cultural field such as a museum, theatre or library. I don't really know what I want to do with my life in the long run but at the moment the things that matter the most to me are to be able to provide for myself as soon as possible and, after I've managed that, to take singing lessons or join a local theatre group, so I can express the side of myself that I have just kept hidden for too long.

Love

Lorenzo and I are doing great, and I am happy to share a flat with him, just live with him and be able to see him everyday, even when we are both quite busy.


I hope you'll find this post interesting but, even if you don't, I hope you'll just stick around because this week I'm probably going to upload a post every day and I would love to read some nice comments here and there.

Have a nice day,
Marti xx