It’s Christmas in Milano!

I found it hard to believe, but there are two people that actually read this blog!  I know this only because they told me.  In fact, one of them complained that most of it was boring, so, basically, they only read the first few lines!

Of course, that meant that they had missed some information that they would have been interested in, so I am supposed to mark the bits that are interesting.  Now, how am I supposed to know what is interesting and what is not?  It’s mostly interesting to me and, as you will know, I am very able to ramble in real life, so why should my blog be any different?

Of course, the other thing that immediately came to mind was ‘what have I written?’  As I was under the impression that nobody actually reads this, I guess I was really writing this for myself.  Whereas it’s nice to know I have an audience, it means that I have to make sure that I’m not offensive!

Anyway, it’s that time of year and a year since I started this thing.  So, first, Happy Christmas!

Milan is beautiful again with its (mainly) white lights.  Also, they have done up the old customs houses at the end of Porta Venezia, where we live, and turned one of them into an art gallery, so, this year, they are lit up so that the whole building is covered in a colour.  Sometimes, they have the lights on a rotating colour scheme so that it changes from blue, to orange, to red, etc.  Incredibly beautiful.  The traffic is worse than ever (it took me half an hour to go about a mile this morning and an hour and a half to get home the other day.

This year we have 8 people coming for Christmas Day!  So, we have ordered two oche (geese), which are expensive here.  We didn’t actually invite anyone, they, sort of, invited themselves.  Ah well, I guess it will be OK.  It’s mostly English, with one American and two Italians (oh, yes, and one Welsh – which is really like being English, except for the accent :-P).

We went to see our friends G and S who live near Novi Ligure (a lovely town about an hour from Milan) on Saturday.  They have a baby of 6 months who is cute, but, unfortunately, she has reflux which makes her very unresponsive.  Such a shame for them, but she’s now on medication and seems to be improving.  So, whilst we were there we stocked up on delicacies of the region – some special salami that we like, some wine, some ham and some amazing gorgonzola.  Now, of course, the thing to do is to try and keep it until Christmas and not eat it all beforehand.

Novi was lovely with their Christmas lights and piped music in the street!  It was a really festive feel (although it did rain quite a lot).  We had an aperativo in a really nice bar, met up with S who was taking the baby to her Mum’s for the night and then we went and had a pizza at a fabulous restaurant in the evening and then drove back to Milan afterwards.  We got home at about 2 a.m. but both agreed it was a lovely day.  We also managed to do all our Christmas shopping whilst we were there, so that was good.

Yesterday we decided to take a trip to the dreaded Ikea (ee-kay-ya).  As it turned out it wasn’t so bad and we got all the plates and glasses we needed, which was good.  So now we are set for Christmas, apart from the food!

V has been working for Alfa Romeo at their call centre since September.  Now he is on full-time and last week it was ‘suggested’ to him that he should apply for the Team Leader job that has been advertised internally.  I’m really pleased for him.  It’s typical V to do so well.  Assuming the suggestion is so that he will apply for the job that is his, then it won’t start until about February, but it probably means he will have a permanent contract with Fiat (who own Alfa), which will be incredible!

I’m still here at F as one of two Project Managers.  It’s OK, although at the moment there are some problems that are difficult to sort out.  Still, we’re into our last week before Christmas, so I’m sure it will all be alright in the end.

I did go to Hay for the Winter Weekend – though only to work.  However, it was nice to see everyone, especially my best mate.  In fact, she’s one of the people who read this and complained about it being boring, but she’s really difficult to please sometimes.  I guess I’m safe to write that here because she will never read this far!

So to the three of you, I hope you have a great Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

>With all our love,

A & V

p.s. I’ll try and make my blogs more exciting for next year – my one and only New Year’s resolution!!

p.p.s.  I’ll try and get some photos of the lights and things up here to make it more festive.

p.p.p.s  Rufus sends his love to all!

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