The stories of my life on a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea ... and my occasional adventures beyond these shores.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Tunes On My Playlist – Christmas Medley

It’s that time of year again – my favourite time of year. Amazingly, or perhaps not, it seems as if each year the time between one Christmas and the next only seems like a few weeks instead of twelve long months.
Below are some of the songs and tunes that I look forward to hearing as soon as December 1st dawns. Cheesy? Perhaps. Christmas memories are always special and these tunes all take me back to happy moments.
Queen: Thank God It’s Christmas
An evergreen song from a legendary band. Freddie belts out this classic in his inimitable style and fervently makes me hope that the joy and goodwill of Christmas will last throughout the year.

Band Aid: Do They Know It’s  Christmas
This the Christmas song from my teenage years – a time when most of the guys singing this song were the major heart-throbs of many a teenage girl. I remember this was one of the first singles I bought – if not the very first one. Of course, that was before CDs were invented – or at least, if they had been they had not yet made their way to these shores.

Charlotte Church: O Holy Night
Uplifting and beautiful. Charlotte Church has a voice like an angel and her rendition of this Christmas classic is one of my favourites.

The Corrs: Silent Night
All the Irish need to do is speak for the words to sound like music. The Corrs’ version of this most popular of Christmas carols has a wonderful  Irish lilt to it. This carol always moves me to tears and I love it in any language that I hear it sung. It also brings back childhood memories of cold, December nights back at a time when it seemed like we actually used to have a winter. Or maybe my memory is getting hazy …

As you may have noticed, I have not been visiting much lately. The reason is because I have been busy packing and preparing for a long and special trip. This year we will be spending Christmas with my husband’s family in Missouri. I will do my best to come round and visit as soon as we are settle and, hopefully, will have time for some quick posts myself. In the meantime, I wish you all the best that this wonderful season has to offer …

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Wednesday Wanderings: Breezy, Beautiful, Bewitching Burano

Venice -  June 2007 (95)-1
Burano bewitched me. That is a fact. From the moment I set foot on this colouful little island situated a few miles away from Venice, I was in love. After the splendor and decay of Venice, Burano had more of a village feel to it. The canals and waterways are wider here, the houses less tall. It was less crowded and with more open spaces. More importantly, we could feel the remnants  of a breeze rolling off of the Adriatic and winding its way through its streets.
Venice -  June 2007 (80)-1
Venice -  June 2007 (82)-1
Without a doubt, comparisons are odious, and there is no way that the humble fishermen’s houses of Burano can ever compete with the grandeur of the palaces of Venice. But the simplicity of this place is palpable.
Venice 2007 from Lorna's perspective (26)-1
From the leaning tower of the church of San Martino, to the cheerful houses lining the canals, Burano seems to be a completely different world. The contrasting colours of the pretty houses and their reflections in the water of the canals are a photographer’s dream.
Venice -  June 2007 (108)-1
There’s something endearing about a place that paints its houses in such boisterous colours; something intrinsically appealing. I couldn’t get enough of Burano. I would gladly have walked its peaceful streets till sundown, enjoying the glimpses of homes that I got through the curtains that, in summer, doubled as doors; smiling at the unabashed lines of washing strung across sleepy courtyards and all the time wondering what it must feel like to live in the proximity of such a famous neighbour. Burano is in no way pretentious but I came away with the certainty that it has an innate charm all of its own.
Venice -  June 2007 (99)-1Venice -  June 2007 (103)-1

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Tunes On My Playlist: Skin

Skin is a single from Sixx AM’s album This Is Gonna Hurt.  Sixx AM was formed in 2007 and is a side project of Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx.  While most, though not all, of Motley Crue’s music is probably what many would describe as ‘dark and heavy’ I find Sixx AM’s music to be more poetic and mellow. Skin is a wonderful song with thought-provoking lyrics. A recurrent phrase in the song is ‘you are not your skin’. I have written about  Nikki Sixx and his addictions in my review of his first book The Heroin Diaries. This year Nikki launched a new book entitled This Is Gonna Hurt which showcases his photography and more of his journal entries. I have not read the book yet but I have listened to several tracks from the album that was released to promote the book. Skin is about the homeless, the drug addicts, the disabled, the prostitutes. It is about the marginalized members of our society. Those whom we see but render invisible. Those we do our best to ignore.
Skin is a powerful song – it is an invitation to look beyond the physical and search instead for the beauty inside. I could write so much about how evocative I find the words of this song. I could write so very much … But I won’t. At least, not today. I’ll just say that the subject matter is very close to my heart.
I am including the lyrics to Skin because, even if you do not care for the music that comes with them, they are beautiful in their own right and deserve to be read like you would read any other poem.
Paint yourself a picture
Of what you wish you looked like
Maybe then they just might
Feel an ounce of your pain
Come into focus
Step out of the shadows
It's a losing battle
There's no need to be ashamed
Cause they don't even know you
All they see is scars
They don't see the angel
Living in your heart
Let them find the real you
Buried deep within
Let them know with all you've got
That you are not your skin
Oh [X2]
When they start to judge you
Show them your true colors
And do onto others
As you'd have done to you
Just rise above this
Kill them with your kindness
Ignorance is blindness
They're the ones that stand to lose
'Cause they don't even know you
All they see is scars
They don't see the angel
Living in your heart
Let them find the real you
Buried deep within
Let them know with all you got
That you are not your skin
Well they don't even know you
All they see is scars
They don't see the angel
Living in your heart
Let them find the real you
Buried deep within
Let them know with all you've got
That you are not
That you are not your skin
Oh [X2]
Words by Nikki Sixx via A-Z Lyrics

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Fabulous Fridays – Chocolat

I’ve seen the movie. Twice. And I’ve read the book.  I usually prefer the book to the movie but, in this case, I really have no preference. The movie brought to life all those delectable chocolate goodies that the booked described so well. So how could I complain? Of course, casting Johnny Depp as Roux was the frosting on an already delicious cake – chocolate, of course. 
                                                                        Source: via sheshome on Pinterest

I love chocolate. I love it to the extent that I would happily skip a meal to indulge in a chocolate bar or  a cup cake. Dark, velvety and rich is how I like it – the higher the cocoa-to-milk content the better. I have eaten chocolate that consists of 95% cocoa. Sinfully delicious – yes I can totally agree with that. While the Olympian gods feasted on nectar and ambrosia, the gods of the Mayans had their fill of the cocoa bean. I have no doubt as to what I would be eating all day long if I was a deity with no concern for my waistline.
I will leave you with some pictures of delectable chocolate creations which I wish I could reach into my monitor and eat.
                                     Source: via James on Pinterest

                                                                      Source: via Michelle on Pinterest

                                                          Source: via Kelli on Pinterest

                                                          Source: via Cassandra on Pinterest

                                              Source: via creactivity on Pinterest

Are you hungry yet?
And, of course, I could not help but include some memorable scenes from the movie.


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