Tiddley-Bits tea

Tiddley-Bits tea

Friday, 31 January 2014

{kitty take 2}

If you follow my blog you'll know I attempted to get a kitty at the new year, which failed... (it's a long story)...so this weekend, attempt number 2 at getting a little kitty!
the flat is alllllll ready for you, furry friend!
{gallery wall just for kitty!}
{her own reading material a friend gave to me (I Could Pee on This and Other Poems by Cats)!}

{she's even got her own miniature Persian rug!}

pics to come of the new little addition to my home!

Thursday, 30 January 2014

{quotable thursdays}

Busy busy times around here, so I'm afraid it'll be a short post today:

{words to live by}
Even if life is busy and we have goals we want to achieve, we also need to live and enjoy the act of living. we only get once chance!


Wednesday, 29 January 2014

{research trip to Modena}

{flying over the Alps}

I returned on Sunday from a quick research trip to Modena--where they hold the archives from the court of Ferrara (15th c). I lived in Modena 7 years ago--in fact I moved there in early January 2007...it seems like yesterday and yet so much has happened since then. I was a novice researcher--I had never used an archive before, I was inexperienced in deciphering fifteenth-century script, and even more inexperienced in figuring out what the words were saying when I did finally decipher the text...I was at the beginning of my PhD, not entirely sure of where I was going or what I was doing or how this large project was going to end up, and yet it consumed my every thought, looming ahead of me like a beast that might never be tamed...a book that might never be written. At the same time, there were so many possibilities. I was meticulous, because I had 6 months in those archives and I didn't know what I might want recorded at a later date. So I recorded almost everything I came across that had some faint relation to my thesis. Good thing I did, because my PhD thesis in the end changed dramatically, and was largely written based on what the archive provided. It was a methodological approach that ended up informing the whole thesis...and indeed, my career.
When I began archival research I thought that it was about big discoveries--finding an undiscovered letter from Mantegna, or a famous artwork by Leonardo... while these things do happen (but only very rarely & only after going through 1000s of letters that aren't relevant) what archival work is really about is the small things--finding traces and bits of info and linking them together to create a whole. It's about hard work, long work, and then some thinking... & more thinking. I take this as a metaphor for life. Life isn't always about the big moments (of course those are important too) but it's also about the everyday--the goodmornings  & the i love yous that you say every day to the people around you. It's about the comforts of a cup of tea...it's also about hard work and perseverance. & to keep with the PhD idea, it's about reading a little every day and writing a little every day to eventually come up with one very big piece of writing!

What was also amazing for me, being back, was to walk those streets of Modena, thinking of all the things that had happened since then--a written thesis, a Dr in front of my name, years of teaching, living in 4 different countries, teaching in 3 different countries & all the people who I have encountered throughout those nomadic years...and finally a permanent position in my dream city. Life has a funny way of sometimes working out for us!
that's not to say there weren't many struggles along the way!
anyway enough contemplation, I know you want to see pics of la bella italia! I ate lots of yummy food, drank plenty of wine, did loads of archival research in just a few days, and saw some sites...
I also managed to buy 3 pairs of gorgeous boots! ha!

{the archives}
{stairs leading up to the archives room}

{beautiful Modenese palazzo}

{the main cathedral (duomo) in Modena}

{Modena cathedral's spire in the background}

{the icon outside my old flat's door}

{a day trip to Bologna}


{Collezioni Communali d'Arte, Bologna}

{had a fabulous lunch here at the Osteria dell'Orsa}

{the results of a good lunch = empty bottle of vino & clean plate!}

{beautiful bologna blue sky!}

{porticoes in Modena}

{Sunday antiques market in the Piazza Grande, Modena}


Thursday, 23 January 2014

{quotable thursdays}

Ciao d'Italia!
This week I'm in Modena on research. I used to live here and haven't been back since I did archival work here in 2007 for my PhD. How time flies! Most people don't visit Modena, but it's a lovely little town near Bologna...famous for its production of balsamic vinegar and the birthplace of Pavarotti!
So in honour of Pavarotti (who died while I was living in Italy):

If children are not introduced to music at an early age, I believe something fundamental is actually being taken from them.
Luciano Pavarotti

Pics to come, but here's a couple of me & my cousins in 2007 in Modena:

xo, L

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

{flat warming party}

This past weekend I had a flat warming party (aka pink piñata party!) I thought it was about time now that my boxes were unpacked...
this was the evite:

I decided to make a pink piñata:
& I filled it with baggies that contained mustachios, paper hats & questions of trivia about London...and candy of course.

{waiting to bash the piñata}

{piñata basher extraordinaire}

{hats & mustachios!}

{getting ready for the party}

{there's a party INSIDE!}

{cheese platter}

{cheese & meats spread}

{drinks ready to be consumed!}
had such a blast and so happy to have had such a great group of guests!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

{quotable thursdays}

 I'm having a flat-warming party this weekend, so today's quotes relate to home & decorating.
{dressing your home}

{Morris quote}

My friend Sylvie is coming down from Leeds for the weekend and another girlfriend, Anu will join us for one evening, so we're going to have a fun weekend! Pics to follow of the flat-warming...
& I'm off to Italy next week for a quick research trip so more on that soon too!
ps: I've secured another kitty, who will be arriving in my life on 2 Feb!