Monthly Archives: July 2017

” A friend who dies it’s something of you that dies” Gustave Flaubert

This day is never easy for me. Whoever said that time heals all wounds, was lying because each time I walk past the place where my best friend was involved in a car accident, I still close my eyes. And honestly I still wait for her to pop out from behind a tree how she used to do in our games or to hear her voice when the phone rings.

If the bond was strong, friendship never fade despite death, time and having new friends. We were 17 when it happened, we grew together, we had a special place where we used to play with dolls or Barbies, the same place that has witnessed our secrets and confidences about our first crushes. It hurts sitting there alone.

When a friend grows their wings it’s hard above all because it’s about someone like you, around your age and in the following years, at every milestone of yours, you ask yourself how your friend could be. Alessandra. Would she be a mom? Would she have a job? Would she be happy? Would us still be friends? I don’t know, I just miss her.

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This is a personal blog, so don’t look here for a way to cope with grief for a friend’s loss. Personally the only thing that works for me is music: artists can express what it means better than any so called “expert”, their words may caption perfectly how you feel. Look for your grief song, the one closest to your experience and play it on repeat, there also are dedicated playlists on Spotify. It helps a lot, above all on days like birthdays or anniversaries.

Mine is “Never Fade” by Josh Devine and Ollie Green: JD experienced the premature departure of one of his closest friends who was very young and put in music his feelings. Those above are the words I held in my heart, unable to express them until this song came out. I’m playing it since this morning: I’m sure Ale likes it, she loved music so much!

I love you my friend: you will be always missed and never forgotten.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Who knew – Pink

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“If it wasn’t for music I’d be dead” Chester Bennington

I wish music was enough. Another one gone too soon.

I can’t call myself a real fan of Linkin Park, I just loved their songs and be grateful to them because they introduced me to nu metal; then I started listening to Korn and POD and many others. I have a playlist on Spotify with the most meaningful songs of my life, among the many beautiful ones of Linkin Park, I chose “Crawling” because it has always touched me emotionally. How many times I’ve listened to it, curled up in my bed, crying. I added another one today, from the band’s last album, that is “One more light”; I find it devastating, all the lyrics of last album are shattering if carefully listened after Chester’s passing.

“Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
We’re quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do”

Goosebumps.

Many things have been written about Chester Bennington, the most heartfelt came from fans and colleagues, personally JD’s glistening eyes while talking about how much his songs influenced him and inspired him to make music, were more meaningful than a billion of empty words.

Media seized the moment to talk about mental illness, depression and how it’s important to ask for help. For sure: opening up to someone, therapy and meds works, but let me be brutally sincere: not all depressions can be cured. Not if you’re a grown up person who realised the real entity of their problem, if you’re trapped in a dark tunnel with no exit. Looking for help may help if you’re a young person who can still change their life, not if you’re Chester or Chris or someone like me. I know that depression will be on my side, I have good days, even excellent moments, but I know she’s always with me, ready to devour my sanity when I feel sick, hopeless, ignored or simply down.

Another thing. A real depressed person barely shows it or talk about it: look at Chester’s pics on his Twitter, read what he said about his new album or about his life (“I have such a lust for life now, such a positive outlook” he said). He looks happy and passionate, he loved his family, job and fans.

I’m wondering what Chester was thinking when he wrote his farewell letter to his friend Chris Cornwell, if the sentence “I pray you find peace in the next life” was something he hoped for himself.

“The best traveller is one without a camera” Kamand Kojouri

<We were walking and you exclaimed:

-You’re pretty when you smile: you get dimples,

-They’re wrinkles.

You laughed, then you looked into my eyes and sweetly said:

-I love you because you never take yourself seriously!

So I grabbed your arm and screamed in my head: “Please, say that you love me again!”>

As I told many times, I love exploring London. One area that is barely mentioned despite of being surrounded by posh neighbourhoods like Maida Vale, West Hampstead, Queens Park and Kensal Rise, is Kilburn. I hope that the fact author Zadie Smith decided to set her new novel “NW” here, will give to Kilburn more visibility.

It is very easy to get there since the transport link is fantastic, I came here from the Bakerloo line, hopping off at Kilburn Park.

This area has been traditionally Irish for a long time, but now it has a huge and diverse mix of nationalities and races (I saw a large presence of Italians, for example). It is claimed to be dodgy at night, but the main street is always full of people. This one is a very long road called Kilburn High Road and it has chain stores (Primark, M&S), pound shops, a beautiful library, a famous cinema (The Tricycle Theatre), independent stores and a few pubs. Fun fact: Ian Dury formed his first band in 1970 and called it “Kilburn & the High Roads”.

Despite of being originated as an ancient trackway, a part of a Celtic route between Canterbury and St.Albans, High Road it’s not very attractive. Just a long serie of two storey buildings that make it look cheap.

In Kilburn Square there’s a very lively market where you can find mainly fabric, candles, hand made stuff and flowers.There are plans to redevelop it and revalue the whole area, but until now nothing has changed.

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I didn’t eat there, so I can’t suggest any gluten free option.

Last year I visited the S.Augustine Church, an Anglo-Catholic Parish Church consecrated in 1880 and affectionately known as the ‘Cathedral of North London’, one of the finest examples of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture. It is beautiful! I don’t like taking pics inside churches, so if you want to visit it, the church is generally open half an hour prior to the advertised service times and for up to 20 minutes afterwards. Additionally there is normally access on Tuesdays and on Saturdays in the morning.

I will surely come back: there’s one thing left to see, The Good Ship, a well known music bar actively committed to bring the best bands to Kilburn; it is also a place where you can see performing a large variety of artist, since every kind of entertainment is welcomed. Moreover there’s a 100 CD juke box and until the coin mechanism is fixed (probably never, they say) it is free.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Periscope – Papa Roach feat. Skylar Grey

“We don’t know how strong we are until being strong is the only choice we have”

Breast cancer is a devastating experience for a woman, she faces death and of course her first desire is to beat that monster. She also sees her body changing, she may lose her hair or go through a mastectomy and when the fight is over, her wish is to return quickly to her old life, to set a “new normal”. The thing I’ve often heard from cancer survivors is that they wanted to feel a whole again, but how is it possible when the scars remind them of what happened? Moreover, many of them got their nipples removed, so when they look at themselves in the mirror, they see a sort of alien.

Many hospitals offer a rudimentary tattoo and nipple re-pigmentation, but women should know that there are better options and that they come from those tattoo artists who practice a 3D technique. This makes inked nipples looking very realistic which, of course, helps women to regain self esteem.

Unfortunately many artists ask an incredible amount of money for that, something like an average price between 400 and 800$ per nipple (these are American prices, but here in Europe they aren’t cheaper at all). It’s a madness: why do you have to further charge a woman who got through a hard time of her life? There are several associations that help financially women, but I think it’s humiliating anyway.

Now here it comes the good news: there’s an American artist named Mark Corliss who do that for free, who tattoes  stunning realistic 3D nipples getting back nothing but gratitude. This is amazing! It all started while he was covering with tattoed flowers some surgery scars and the costumer asked him to ink her nipples. He later found out how much other artist asked for that kind of work and decided to do that for free.

Other parlours should follow his example, I don’t say they all should do that for free, but definitely at a reduced rate.

Mark said: “The world needs some good right now, so I think it’s a good time to spread the word”, so, please, help him to share this, so it can go viral.

Mark Corliss works in Cape Cod Massachusetts. Visit his Instagram profile here https://www.instagram.com/mark_corliss_tattoo/ or at http://www.spiltmilktattoo.com for more info.

Please tell me if there are other artists who give cancer survivors 3D nipple tattoes without asking them money: I’ll be happy to add them to this post. Thank you.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Don’t Stop Believing – Journey

 

“Some people make the world more special just by being in it”

I’m poor in money, but I’m rich in friends. My health is horrible and my future dark, but no matter what happens, I can always lean on special people who know how to comfort me and help me to focus on what’s good in my life.

Three days ago it was JD’s birthday: he never fails to inspire me and to make me smile, that’s why the anniversary of his birth is so important to me. I wish he could get back all the good things he spreads in the world and above all everything he does for me. My doctor says he should be bottled and sold as a lifesaver medicine or as the most effective painkiller.

So this is for him. (don’t look at my miserable numbers on Instagram: I’m not popular on there, I’m not popular anywhere, but honestly I don’t care. Unless you make money from social media, being famous on there is like being rich at Monopoly).

And I want to end this post in my best friend’s words, he once said that with money you can buy everything, you can buy even a friend, but a best friend is something valuable you don’t need money for. Seeing that this post is about wishes: I hope you all are millionaires.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Millionaires – The Script

“Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart” Haruki Murakami

<Do you remember when I bought that watermelon chap stick without realizing that it was a tinted lip balm, so I applied it totally random on my mouth? And that when we crossed Stamford Bridge it was a very windy day, so you looked at my messy hair and my smeared red mouth and told me:

-You look like that fat dude with lipstick you love. That singer from that band of grave diggers.

You have to thank your irresistible smile and the way you helped me to wear the lip balm off if I didn’t kill you.>

Reading Proust taught us that the taste of something can evoke lost or hidden memories; those can be triggered by a music, a smell or an object, like a stupid lip balm found in the bathroom drawer. So, before memories start tearing me apart, better move to another part of Fullham and start illustrating something nice you can visit in London if you love football as I do.

My best friend is a huge supporter of Chelsea, so I promised him to take many pics of the Stamford Bridge stadium. To get there you have to hop off at Fullham Broadway station and go ahead on Fullham Road. After a few minutes walking, on the left, within the Moore Park Estate also known as “The Brigde”, you will see the home ground of Chelsea FC.

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It was opened in 1877 and has been the venue of many football matches and has also hosted a variety of other sporting events including greyhounds races.

The North stand is named after former Chelsea director Matthew Harding, while the West stand is the first thing you see entering by the gate in Fullham Road since it’s the main external face of the stadium.

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There’s a Hall of fame and the statue of Peter Osgood sculpted by Philip Jackson and unveiled in 2010 by his widow Lynn in the presence of his friends and colleagues. He was a very important player and scored more than 150 goals. The inscription says:

Ossie King of Stamford Bridge
Stamford Bridge has many heroes but only one king. Graceful technician nerveless striker. Icon of the swinging sixties. Adored by fans, scorer of immortal cup final goals.
A big man for a golden age.

If you want to have an incredible experience you can book the one hour long tour that will take you behind the scenes of the Blues, giving you access to areas normally reserved for players and officials, like the press room, the home and away dressing rooms, the tunnel and the dug-out areas.

The tour include the entry to the Museum (that can be visited also without taking the tour), giving you the chance to see how Chelsea has evolved on and off the pitch over the years and to see memorabilia and get to know the most representative players.

Don’t forget to visit the shop!

TRACK OF THE DAY: Blue is the colour – Chelsea FC Anthem

 

“I like good strong words that mean something” Louisa May Alcott

As I stated in my previous post, this blog doesn’t contain any sponsored content: everything you will find here comes to my personal tastes.

I got to know MyIntent thanks to JD because they engraved the word Evaride, that it’s his band. I was curious to know more about this project so I started browsing the web and visited their site. First of all it’s not a jewellery company but a service project whose aim is to encourage people to share more truth and inspiration with each other.

How? Simple: you have to choose a word that represents you or the one you need in your life or something you need to look up to and fill the form. Words are engraved on a round token, you can choose between silver, gold or black (I chose this last one because it’s my favourite colour). You can have it as a twist bracelet, adjustable necklace (like mine) or chain, dainty or bead necklace. There is also a keychain option. If you want you can share your story not only with the person who’s going to make your jewel (in order to put more commitment in the process), but also with the community through social media.

MyIntent motto is “What is your word?” because words are very powerful, not only in a negative way ( “loose lips sink ships” or as we say in Italy “tongues kill more than swords”), but also in a positive way. Wearing your word may be either a powerful reminder or a daily inspiration; it can also lead to productive conversations: you will be amazed in finding out that everyone has an intent for their life and how many interesting, inspiring, moving stories are behind a simple word. It also helps you to question your life asking yourself:

You can also choose to make a gift to a friend or a relative, offering them the word they need the most.

Here’s my necklace, my word is quite peculiar since it’s an acronym.

F8 stands for many different things.

-It’s the FATE I can’t choose.

-It reminds me to have FAITH because things can eventually get better.

-It’s a daily reminder to FIGHT.

 JJD are the initials of a person who daily inspires me, gives me strength, pushes me to look for the light in every situation, reminds me I’m loved and worth.

Check MyIntent site for further informations, more inspiration, models and prices.

https://www.myintent.org/

So: What’s your intent?

TRACK OF THE DAY: More than Words- Extreme