Sunday afternoon finds me on a bench in Giardino della Guastala, facing the colourful building of the Synagogue. Life is good. Children, generously covered with sticky ice-cream stains are playing in the sight of their talkative parents. Young lady in jeans is walking a chocolate cocker spaniel while diligently texting someone. I am enjoying the lightness of my summer dress and the lightness in my heart. One more moment to enrol in my pleasure agenda for April and May.
No doubt the destination winner this time is our spring trip to Barcelona . We were delighted to see the world behind the walls and from the rooftops of several Gaudí’s architectural masterpieces, to get a thrill out of the Catalan and Spanish cuisine and to mark numerous of places that should be revisited.
End of April brought us in Venice for a day. A dear friend of us was visiting Italy for a short time and we used the chance to reveal some more of the Italian cultural setting. The radio in the car en route has been announcing rain for the region, but we were determined and for granted – rewarded. The sky remained overcast for the entire day, but not a single drop had fallen during our stay. It was my second time visiting the city after the hot summer days back in August 2012 as a part of our road trip from Budapest to Tuscany.
This time we took ferry trip along the Grand Canal which was crowned with a walk around Piazza San Marco. Lunch time found us in Campiello Rialto Novo, a tiny square all encompassed by old buildings. Trattoria Rialto Novo in one of the square corners welcomed us courteously with variety of dishes in stile veneziano like folpetti in umido, the little octopuses in tomato sauce, capesante al forno, baked scallops or tagliolini al’astice, pasta tagliolini with lobster.
We spent one of the first warm Sundays with dear friends in a small village, around 35 kilometers northeast of Milan, called Perego. The town itself did not impress with something peculiar, but after lunch we took advantage of the wonderful weather and took a stroll on the hilly surroundings, enjoying the impressive downhill view.
Identity by Milan Kundera was on my wish list for a long time and I definitely took my time to read it carefully once I obtained a copy. It is a short novel scrutinising the constantly evolving psyche of two people in a couple. Jean-Marc and Chantal are lovers. One day something small, almost irrelevant happens and becomes a trigger for an individual transformation in both of them. Kundera touches with brilliant language questions of love and communication, personal fear and duality, cognition and dream. Definitely a book I will come back to.
Nothing holds back the night by Delphine de Vigan is a story about a woman, a daughter, a mother. Delphine de Vigan dedicates this novel to her mother Lucile where in the first part of the book she tries to reconstruct the portrait of Lucile according to memories of family members, conversation with her aunts and some fictional description on the place of the missing ones. The second part of the book is based on his own memories about Lucile. This is where the book becomes more a documentary.
Reading all these pages torn of emotions, family secrets and self-examination I was becoming a part of the story of Lucile and Delphine. I loved every single part of it, especially the description of the teenage years of Lucile where I recognised myself numerous of times.
Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok is the book I am currently reading. The storytelling takes the reader to the immigrant experience of a Chinese girl who moves from Hong Kong to New York with her mother. I have not finished the book yet, but besides the scenes of desperate poverty, I have the feeling that the talented character Kimberley will manage to build a bright future for her mother and herself. What got me here, was definitely a program about the writer, Mrs. Kwok, explaining how many pieces of the story of Kimberley are actually autobiographical. Easy to read, definitely recommended for the warm seasons.
Torta Pasqualina for Easter
The new album of The Black Keys, Turn Blue.
Again Tempting by Jenny Toomey
Third Rock Radio
My birthday dinner
Baking cinnamon and chocolate moon-shaped cookies and some other successful cooking experiments
Having long strolls on Saturday afternoon together
Watching Korean horror movies