Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Have a merry Christmas and happy New Year!

We wish you a very merry Christmas and a fantastic new year!

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

20/11: having lunch at school with Agnese

Agnese's school has organized an initiative that I found brilliant: they allow parents - for a certain period of time - to have lunch at school with their children.
And so I went, to have lunch at school...
It was very nice and interesting to discover a portion of their daily life.

One thing that I completely forgot was the feeling with the noise caused by... many children during lunch time, and coming from office life, which is typically silent, that was a kind of shock!
Again, was I a silent boy at school? OK, let's not go there...

Agnese was super happy... but one of her school mate was very annoyed because his mum would have gone there two days later, and he insisted that he was not fair! ;-)

At that ages, priorities in life are completely different!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

17/11: sweet children!

17th of November, general update...

Agnese lost her second tooth... nothing major except for the way it happened...
Coming back home, Agnese run towards me telling that her tooth - which was about to fall - had finally drop out.
I asked: 'how did it happen?'
Agnese answered: 'I was playing with Rachele, then she kicked me in my mouth and the tooth drop out!'.
What a lovely children!

General status update: everything is going very well.
Paolo keeps on growing up. He plays with little soft toy, likes to practice voice and smiles really a lot! It is enough to look at him to get a big smiles.
The sisters love him.
Rachele is very happy at the kinder garden, Anna Maria a bit less because it is always very difficult to pick up Rachele from there: she just doesn't want to leave!
She is becoming very creative and she is always with her head in the clouds...
Just today Anna Maria let me notice that it is not possible to know what Rachele eats at the kinder garden, since she forgets it immediately and then makes up something... which changes five minutes later... and then again...
Agnese is happy at school as well, although at the beginning she was complaining that there is little playing time and much more reading, writing, counting etc...
She is becoming very precise and she is prone to lose the temper as soon as something doesn't go in the way she planned...
Malicious voices said she resembles the father, but not evidence has been provided about it.

31/10: gardening...

We usually do some gardening, but honestly I don't care about flowers.
I prefer to plant what I call 'useful plants', meaning these that provide food...
We have tomatoes, different varieties of lettuce, rocket salad, sweet peppers and some fruits, like blueberries and very successful strawberries.
I also planted a grape, and the plant has grown a lot.... maybe next year we'll have some fruit.

But what happened this summer was... unexpected.
Leaving for holidays, I went to throw away rubbish and I noticed a strange plant in my garden...
taxi came and there was no time for further investigation.
When I came back that weird plant had grown.
Now it was quite clear about the species... but to be sure I had searched on Internet and sent some pictures around: there was no doubt, it was cannabis.
Interesting enough it was the male plant of cannabis, which apparently is good for nothing...
But even more interesting there is quite plenty of use that a non smoker person such I am could do with cannabis: butter, cakes, textile for shirts, petrol similar to diesel...

In any case, after first observation period, none cared about it and the plant has been removed, but the question remains: how was it born there at first?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

21/10: Wedding Anniversary

21st of October: today we celebrated the 7th Wedding Anniversary.

To the girl's question about 'what does anniversary mean?', we answer: 'it is the birthday of our family'.

Since we have been silent for a long while, we give a quick update:
Agnese is at year one of school (they start at year zero, which is reception). After 3 weeks the new teacher asked to Anna Maria if it is true that Agnese speaks also Italian... and she was surprised to hear that English is not her first language, since 'she is so fluent' - she said.
Rachele started the daily kinder garden: 3 times a week she stays there for 5 hours, two days a week for 2h and half. She's starting to speak English and she is quite happy there. Her personality is becoming more and more evident... as it is clear that she is always with her head in the clouds.
Paolo (now 3 months and half) is growing really well and quick (7.5 kg!). He is a good boy and complains only about stomach each (no wonder, he eats so much!). He doesn't like to be apart and enjoys to watch the sisters playing. He starts to play with sounding toys as well.
He smiles a lot, especially to the sisters who love him.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

5-21/8: vacation in Italy

From the 5th to 21st of August we were all in Italy for vacation.
Few days in Cupramontana, at 500 m on the sea level, where the hot temperature was not so extreme; then the rest of the time on the sea side, at Marcelli di Numana (AN), where it was extreme.
I saw a thermometer once: it was 19:00, in Ancona: +31!
I don't want to know what was at noon.

Agnese lost her first tooth. In UK apparently there is the tooth fairy, while in Italy there is the tooth mouse (really?) and we were not prepared for this. So everyone asked: 'what did the mouse brought you?'.
I think she must be in love with cats by now...

Paolo seems to have learned to sleep properly during nights (I am not saying that aloud; technically I am just writing it!). He is even smiling on purpose now: very cute!
It doesn't seem possible that in few months he will be scratching my freshly painted walls!

Rachele (who is typically afraid of her own shadow) became suddenly fearless of the water, so we had to keep an eye on her.
She was swimming all the time in deep waters, careless, but obviously with the inflatable arm supports (whatever they are called).

We had a good time.
The 21st I came back in UK, while the rest of the family is still in Italy.
But they grant me they will come back too... (maybe!).

9/8: Paolo's Baptism

Paolo was Baptized the 9th of August, in Cupramontana (AN), St Leonardo Church (the same one where I had my baptism).

His baptism names are Emanuele (given by her good mother Rosa) and Matteo (by his good father Luca).

He was sleeping all the time, including when he had water on his head.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

1/8: Paolo's first month

1st of August: Paolo turns to one month.

His weight is 4,8 Kg (!) and the comment of the midwife was - referring to the mother: "that's why you are very tired!".
At the same age Agnese was decent/good enough with her sleeping.
Rachele was fantastic.
Paolo cries so much that even on average we are no longer lucky! :-(
The problem seems to be that he has frequent tummy each (no wonder, since he eats so much!).

He is definitely an High Consumption boy!

Agnese and Rachele are still enthusiast about him and they tend to look after him quite a lot.
We are looking forward to the first _on purpose_ smile!

Monday, July 14, 2008

14/7: starting at Airvana

Today I started a new working experience at Airvana.

Obviously I was a kind of nervous and excited at the same time... like before the first day of school.

From the technical point of view the job looks very interesting and it is very much in line with what I previously said I wished to do in an 'ideal position'.

Of course now everything is new and it may take some time for me to settle in.
But to be very honest, I must say that today I missed the NemeriX atmosphere.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

11/7: leaving NemeriX

Today my NemeriX experience comes to the end.

A bit more than two years have elapsed since I joined (16/5/2006) and doubtless it has been a great time and it was a very good experience. I've learned a lot of things and I had mostly a very nice time in the company.
I am sure I will miss very much my colleagues, who since first day made me feel at home and who helped us - as a family - to settle in UK.

For these and other reasons it was very difficult for me to resign. But sometime one has to be brave and make some steps towards the unknown...
They say that "you regret only things that you don't do" and that "changes bring good sleeps".

I leave NemeriX with gratitude and although I was in through difficult times, I am sure shortly in my mind there will be room only for nice memories.

I miss already my colleagues...

8/7: Paolo's first week

Paolo is already one week old.
The impact of his presence at home varied with time: at first Agnese and Rachele were over excited!
They have been waiting such a long time for him than when the morning of the 1st of July - few hours after he was born - I told them that mum was not at home because she was in the hospital with a baby, they started screaming of joy and celebrating.

Few days after he came at home the enthusiasm slowed down: tha baby is mostly sleeping or crying, so no much use of him for two sisters who are waiting to play...

Generally Agnese accepted him more naturally: she is looking for him, wants to hold him, gives him the dummy and she is very happy when she succeeds to make him stop crying.
Rachele was a bit more reclutant to have a contact with him: she didn't want to hold him and she didn't like at all the umbilical cord he has. She is _just a little bit_ jelouse.

Paolo himself is becoming quite good, but the first nights were terrible.
Now he still stays awake at least one hour in the indecent portion of the night (around 3). But it looks like he is improving... slowly actually, but he does.

Anyway, we are happy and celebrating, as the last picture shows.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


The 1st of July, at 1:05 a.m. PAOLO was born!
He weights 3.45 kg (7.6 pounds).
Everything went and we are all very happy!

A Warm welcome from Michele, Anna Maria, Agnese and Rachele

Monday, June 30, 2008

29/6: Histon feast - parade

From the 27th of June up to the 5th of July our village hosts the Histon Feast.
On Sunday the 29th a parade took place.
All associations and groups of Histon and Impington villages organized vans to go around the village in a line opened by a musical band.
The purpose of this is to rise money for all the groups activities.

As pupil of the 'Lady Bird playgroup', Rachele was in one of the vans.

In the picture she is taking the most out of the sun shine.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

30/5: Agnese is 5!

30/5: Agnese's birthday!

Agnese turns five... and as written for Rachele, she has been growing a lot.
Few days ago she was chatting through Skype with me a work and I was amazed.
Of course there were errors in the sentences, but yet they were making sense.

We had a birthday party for Agnese & Rachele, with friends and school mate.
The main attraction was surely Emil the Magician (or the Juggler, as Agnese called him).

Our friend Emil came to visit us from Finland and since we remembered he mentioned he was an illusionist we asked him to prepare something for the kids... we submitted this request like 10 minutes before the party started, and he was simply amazing!
Maybe the show was more astonishing for parents than for kids, because at that age the kids really think: 'He has done a very funny magic! He is really magic!'.
At the same time all the adults were asking themselves: 'how did he....???? that's amazing!'.
A mother asked me how much did he cost us.... well you know, he came all the way from Finland! ;-)

The party went well and the weather hold the rain. We realized at the very end - with disappointment from Agnese - that we just forgot to play all the games we prepared beforehand for the possibility of an indoor party... it will be for next time.

Monday, May 19, 2008

18/5: Rachele is 3!

18/5: Rachele's birthday

Another year has elapsed for Rachele, who is three now!

She is completely another girl comparing to the one very calm and quite we knew as far as she was... two.

For her birthday she was proud of getting rid of diaper during night... just few weeks after the dummy went to the dummy-fairy. 
So now she has reasons to claim that she is really a grown up.

In the afternoon we had a double party: we celebrated Inter 16th scudetto.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

5/5: Melford Hall

In UK they don't have a bank holiday on the 1st of May, as in other countries, but the first Monday of May (which is cool, because there is no chance that a bank holiday is going to happen on Sunday).
The 5th was a real summer day! 

We went for a day trip to Melford Hall. We spent most of the day in the property's garden, but we also visited the house.
And there I found a nice surprise: the land lord use to be admiral Hyde Parker, about whom I have read in O'Brian novels series! He was one of the characters that just appeared in one or maybe two stories, but still it was a kind of... 'being in real touch' with the novel. (It is the series that inspired the film Master & commander).
Obviously I had some questions about the admiral and I tried with one of the guides of the house... who also happened to be a fan of O'Brian and had read all of 20 books!
And he knew quite a lot, like: 'did you see these vases on the stairs? these were taken by the admiral when he captured a Spanish vessel in year...'.
Quite entertaining really!

The rest of the day was just as good the first summer day can be.

Two years were elapsed since we first landed in UK (2nd of May 2006).
Many things have changed since then... and more news are coming. Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

19/4: to the theater: last time out for... how long?

Saturday the 19th we have been to the theater.
This is going to be last time Anna Maria and me going out alone for... quite a long while we believe.
We went to theater to watch 'South Pacific'.

It was the first time for me I saw a live musical in English, and the second time we went to the theater in Cambridge...
We'll go again... maybe in 2010 or so!?!?

Special thanks to our friends Bonamico, who made this happen by looking after Agnese & Rachele.

Friday, April 18, 2008

12/4: Histon fun day

Histon's shop owners organized the Histon Fun day.
It was a very nice village event, with several attractions and activities.

We first went to visit a wind mill, where the owner explained many details about it (considering the date since when it was first invented, it is a fantastic piece of engineering).
Then we went to meet the fire fighters: Agnese and Rachele could visit the lorry and see what it looks like.

Then we met some friends from the village and we went to see africans bugs... spiders, giant snails, a very big scorpion... (all quite disgusting for me, but not for the kids).

Finally the most important child event: face painting.

A very nice day in the village.

9/4: one year home anniversary

The 9th of April we celebrated... (actually it would be more accurate to say: we realized the very last minute) one year at the current home!
Time really flies!
It seems yesterday that we were excited about contact exchange... then decorating... moving... all in a big rush!
So far we have been in one home for 18 months on average (4 places in 6 years).

This time we hope it would be longer... much longer!
But it looks like that... by nature, we are a kind of prone to the change!
You never know...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

23/3: a White Easter

Happy Easter to everyone!
(Or should I say Christmas?).

We awoke with a surprise: snow everywhere!
Until I saw it I didn't realize how much I was missing the snow.
There was none this winter and even this one didn't stand longer than few hours: still, quite nice.

Apparently one of the traditions for Easter in UK is that parents hides chocolate eggs and kids have to find them in the Easter morning. Agnese, having heard this at school probably, wanted the same arrangement. Fair enough.

So at 5:30 she came into my bed asking: "can we go looking for the eggs?".
I can't recall much beside the '5:30' on the watch, but I guess I said politely 'no, is too early'. She must have tried few other times until 6:00. After that, she asked every 5-10 minutes.
(That reminds me of Shrek 2, when Donkey asks: 'are we there yet?').
At 6:30 for some reasons she decided to go without asking, but of course first she awoke Rachele.
At that moment I really appreciated this Easter tradition!
And why search for chocolate eggs silently?
So every 2 minutes one of the two was back, asking for hints.
"Check in the living room".
"Check in the window of living room".
"Check properly the window of living room. For example the curtains".
"Check under the curtains of the window of the living room".

But the real question is: why these traditions (chocolate eggs, Christmas and birthday presents) involves events that ALWAYS happen in the morning of a bank holiday, when other people tell me they 'are going to relax and rest'?

A nice Easter otherwise.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The aXe

March 2008.

It has been a while since I wrote last time.
Everything is fine but last month was quite 'depressing' in a way.
My company is going through a reorganization and half of the people working in Cambridge are going to be made redundant.
The selection process was done very professionally and it took one month to complete.
People were grouped into pools of competences and each one was evaluated by considering a list of skills needed by the company future plans. Everyone of us had three interviews, to be sure that the evaluation was fair.

During this while it was very sad to stay in the office: the mood was lower than ever, and it was very difficult to focus on actual work, since I (as many others) didn't know if I was affected or not by the cut.
Every now and then someone said something about it, and everyone went to listen his/her point of view: uncertainty led to a lot of conspiracy and theories about what and how was going to happen. The result was always a total confusion and nothing more.

This week the process was over and in a way was a relief for everyone.
I am spared by the axe: I am still part of the Cambridge team.

In the picture how the axe works: the cut comes from the top. One piece of wood fall in one side and one in the other. If you are a piece of wood, you cannot do much to decide in which side to fall off.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

6,7,8/2: Lugano

I've been to Manno-Lugano, for three days for a business trip at NemeriX head quarter.
Previously I passed by Lugano ten years ago, and slept there one night.
I remembered it as a beautiful place, but not as such an astonishing be autiful place!

You reach it crossing valleys and looking at the Alps and suddenly you are driving beside Lake of Lugano.... that you eventually cross...
The landscape is as beautiful as it could be with mountains covered by snow at the tops, houses climbing on the hills, the clear water of the lake reflecting the sky.
In the office I felt continuously attracted by the mountains view, with the snow getting pinkish during sun set (yes, and my colleagues asking me to pay attention at the topics we were discussing inside the office :-).

Simply beautiful.
On Monday I was back at Cambridge office.... not a bed view neither: in one side of the building we have the rump-up exit from the A14 high way and in the other side a parking spot... all flat...

In the picture, someone well known for her love for the Alps.