On Hippies, Hoops and Happiness

hula-hooping

In keeping with my this year’s mantra (see previous post), “Take Care of Your (effing) Self” I signed up for a hula hoop class. Or, a-hem, for those of us “in the know”, Hoop class.

You cannot imagine how much fun it is. Or what damn exercise. I do feel a six-pack a-coming! Well,let’s not exaggerate. Maybe one can.

And it is SO NOT just about swinging that colourful circle of plastic around your middle. Oh no, my friends. There are tricks galore. None of which I can truly yet do, still working on swinging that colourful circle of plastic around my middle. However, check out Edo from Cyprus:

I met Edo at a drop-in circus tricks practice (hoop, poi, swords, tight-rope!!). I was happy just keeping my colourful circle of plastic swinging somewhere around my middle and there’s this blue-haired hippie with matching blue sweatshirt so to start a conversation I said, “So do you change the color of you hair everytime you change your top?” He gave me a shy smile and could barely look me in the eye.

He’s from Cyrpus and moved to Brighton one week before.

“I was the only person on the island who hooped.”

How did he learn?

“Youtube!!”

Brighton has a very established, “hooping community.” (OMIGOD I LOVE LIVING SOMEWHERE THAT HAS ANY FLIPPING KIND OF HOOPING COMMUNITY!!!!). So I asked him if that was why he moved to Brighton:

“Well,” the blue-haired 60s Cypriot throwback responded, “that’s one of the reasons.”

Then there’s Nick. He is one of the organisers of CircusSeen and he oversees these Friday evening open practices (what do YOU do on friday night???). Check him out in the video below! I have never even seen those little do-dads that he’s playing with!! They’re called something like Figure Eight Whatchamacallits. Ok so I don’t remember the name. But when you see them. you ain’t gonna forget them!

These colorful characters with their piercings and hanging pants and dreadlocks and tie-dyes were so kind and sweet and HAPPY.

And that’s what I needed… Hippies, Hoops and Happiness.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! We have a table, We have a table! Hallelujah….

IMG_5540

that’s a table under there!!!

To the tune of Hallelujah, please:

“We haaaaaave a table, we haaaaaave a table,
We have a table, a table
We haaaave a taaa-a-a-ble!”

Here, we’ll show you:

As I’ve expressed here and here, it’s a sad day when one does not have a table. And now I sit here AT THE TABLE with my cappuccino. (Moving to England ain’t changing that, oh no, nuh-uh — got me a mokka, a foam maker and I am ready to go to Timbuktu if needs be. Don’t try to come between me and my cappuccino.)

The landlord finally borrowed a table from his brother. I think he broke down after seeing us night after night cracking our backs and stretching our necks in the middle of dinner on the living room floor. We would sit hunched over, legs splayed in a V trying to scoop up salad from a plate set in-between our knees, constantly dropping green bits from our mouths. After dinner one night Frank said he had to work hard not to laugh because I looked like the Beast from Beauty and the Beast trying to eat normally. Visual aid below! Go to 0:27.

(Ignore dude speaking in Italian at beginning. No idea what that’s about.)

But Beast I am no more! Hallelujah!

We now have a table but — of course — no placement mats. So for today’s substitute, I’ve picked the “Money” section of the Sunday Times (no, dear New Yorkers, not the New York Times). Headlines include:

“Why it may still be better to give birth in Scandanavia”

“I donated some boots to a charity sale… and bought them back for £15,000”

And complete with a photo with the consigliere whispering into the ear of Marlon Brando as The Godfather, there’s the heading:

“Our savings won’t sleep with the fishes!”

Who says the Brits are so reserved? Drama and sensation amuck at least in the Money section.

 

Cheers, Me and Josh

The British do some very cute things: they say “Cheers” instead of “Thanks,” they say “me” instead of “my” – “Gotta call me dad,” and they add those darling question tags at the end of all their sentences — “Nice day, isn’t it?”, “Got meself pissed last night, didn’t I?”

But the cutest of the cute is that they name their houses. I noticed when I visited my friend, Alice. Alice lives in The Garden Flat, and it’s even included on her formal address.

Alice HerLastNameNobodysBusiness
The Garden Flat
2 Cambridge Street
Tunbridge Wells TN3 4SQ

I mean, besides plantations (Scartlett’s Tara from Gone with the Wind), and some holiday homes in Cape Cod and the like (Seascape, Sea le Vie, Vitamin “Sea” etc)  Americans don’t name their houses.

Here are some examples of British home names:

sometimes it’s food related —
IMG_5393

sometimes a posh name —
IMG_5400

then of course, there’s the royalty angle — IMG_5521

Thus, we decided to name our house, too.
We have called it Josh.
IMG_5502

IN DEFENCE OF ENGLAND

IN DEFENCE OF ENGLAND. SPELLEDT WITH A C.

People have— Ok, let’s be honest — I had, the most difficulty parting with Italy on the basis of two things:

1. Food
2. Weather

The food is goddamn good, ok. Period. No need to go on about that. Pretty obvious about the weather as well.

The thing is, England is known for two negative things:

1. Food
2. Weather

So, situation is effed up.

But now I come to her defense — I mean, defenCe. Oh, Mother England. See video below and please defend her as well in your comments!!!!

And take the poll. Winners will be announced shortly.

I guess it’s official. We’ve moved to England.

They really ARE white.

They really ARE white.

Yep, that’s what we could see from the ferry. The white cliffs of Dover. Through the raindrops. Through our exhaustion. Through our misgivings. The white cliffs of Dover.

We decided to move out of Italy last January. Trying to run a small business in Italy is … well, comical. Between the taxes and bureaucracy, — surprise surprise! —  there’s a huge black market.

I remember when I first opened a regular old bank account 10 years ago in Rome when I still felt romantic about immigrating to the county of my forefathers. Eugenio, the very pleasant bank manager, gave me some documents to sign in two places. I did and then I started to put my pen away.  “Non abbiamo finito,” he said. We’re not finished. I’m sure I smiled. Then he gave me another set of documents, six signatures I think. Then he gave me some more documents. Then more. More. More. At some point I looked at him and asked if there was a hidden camera somewhere and if this was a joke. He chuckled and said, “Welcome to Italy.”

Welcome to Italy, my culo. My ass.

More to come.

Terianne