Another flood in Rome

We have had non stop heavy rain last night here in Roma and its still raining even now! Its crazy amounts of rain it seems all over Italy as even Pisa and Florence are experiencing it!

The news is advising people not to leave their homes unless its really neccessary and that its better to stay indoors.

Alot of the metro stops are flooded so they have closed them and lots of places around Roma are underwater or badly flooded. Its crazy how much damage rain can do in a short amount of time and so quickly!

Several of my expat friends here have said the rain on the roads are like rivers theres so much of it!

There are alot of photos and videos on facebook and twitter of all the flooding which is quite alarming and i thought i would share some on here.

1653771_10152147134773810_1732986491_n BfSxcTdCEAANn2g

14811_10152147169788810_1360392973_n

1618587_10152147083293810_1592466858_n

1654353_10152147103693810_570424316_n

untitled

Im quite happy to take their advice as even though i have to run today i can wait til tomorrow or sunday.

I really dont want to risk my life over a run that can be done later on especially as my running park is right next to the river Aniene which is already heavily swollen with water. (Pics below is of the river from my window)

At least if i run in the day i can see where i am going and what the river is doing! Hopefully the rain will have stopped by tomorrow fingercrossed.

I may be a crazy runner but im not that nuts 🙂

1795534_10152244963708594_395844790_n

Macabre Crypt: Capuchins Crypt Rome

In the basement of a capuchin Church in Via Veneto here in Roma lies a very macabre little crypt which is open to the public. Here the skeletal remains of 4,000 Monks/Friars who died between 1600 and 1800 decorate the walls of each little room where they were laid to rest.

The display is ment to be a silent reminder of of the swift passage of life on Earth and ones own mortality. images1

I have visited the crypt several times where you must be quiet and are not allowed to take any photos of the bones, i guess as a sign of respect to those who are dead. And of course i have never taken any photos there as it just wouldnt feel right and i wouldnt want to be disrepectful therefore all my photos are borrow from Google images on this blog post.

images3

Its a strange feeling to wander from each little room to stare at the collections of bones and skulls and witness the macabre way they decorate each room in a different way. Many of the bones are nailed to the walls in intricate patterns which has you staring at them for ages wondering how and who took their time to do this.

Another thought is who were these men who’s remains now reside here? what were they like? And i wonder if these monks/friars who’s bones adorn the walls ever thought they would have so many visitors centuries later.

Its an amazing site to see and you do slightly feel like you could be in a horror movie in a way. And its probably not for the faint heart but worth a look if your ever in Rome as something like this is quite unique.

untitled2

Suffolk a favorite place

Another place i cant wait to show Peanut is Suffolk in the UK! Me and Alex adore the small village of Thorpeness in Suffolk when we stay with family there and in Norfolk. Staying with my Dad we arent far from the beach and even on a cold day its lovely to have a wander around.

wpid-IMG_20140110_085114.jpg

4455_101380128593_8060649_n

403551_10150947993008594_375403084_n

Theres also the Meare which is just down the road to which is a man-made lake which is only 3 feet deep. Its filled with ducks, Swans and other water birds. Here you can easily hire a little row boat, canoe, kayak, punt or sailing boat and row out across the water in the summer. You can take the children down to feed bread to the ducks which is always fun.

4455_101373218593_1972824_n

32580_432852013593_6764100_n

540614_10150938685078594_1866775700_n

32580_432862583593_4277723_n

You can walk along the beach to the next town which is two miles away called Aldeburgh. Theres lots of nature to see around you on the walk and theres always someone walking there dog or enjoying the sea. As you get closer to the town you see all the fresh fish shacks and brightly coloured fishing boats. You can imagine how nice it is to go for a run along the beach and i really enjoy the fresh air.

wpid-IMG_20140110_084956.jpg

32580_432860783593_1626915_n

32580_432861553593_7765020_n

75239_10150938740848594_2044771858_n

32580_432862543593_6592711_n

wpid-IMG_20140110_095327.jpg

Aldeburgh is a very popular sea-side village and although its not very big it has a nice parade of shops, cafes and restaurants. The fish and chip shops here are very popular and on a sunny day its nice to buy some to take away then sit on the beach and eat them. But be warned the seagulls there are not shy and will bravely roam close after a chip or anything you leave.

wpid-IMG_20140110_085041.jpg

32580_432857978593_3941103_n

32580_432859948593_1827381_n

32580_432857238593_7448213_n

4455_101704568593_4244251_n

4455_101695128593_1756047_n

Of course theres also the food! Some foods from the UK i miss alot like proper bacon, sausages, pie and real fish and chips from the chip shop! So you can imagine how much i enjoy the few weeks im there visiting food-wise. If i miss something i try to have it quite a few times for lunches and dinners. And my Dad Always makes the best roast dinners in the world.

wpid-IMG_20140110_084841.jpg

405010_10150938644488594_1132619651_n

548536_10150947987073594_639989561_n

32580_433804773593_1843233_n

A lot of the time its just nice to wander around thorpeness and soak up the atmopshere of the place which is very relaxing. And you can Always see the ‘House in the clouds’ which is an Amazing house which you can rent for a week. Or theres Always the small thorpeness windmill which is a charming little sight.The houses and cottages there are so pretty to with there olden day look.

wpid-IMG_20140110_085156.jpg

4485_101384163593_31741_n

4455_101382458593_7165928_n

4455_101642208593_8341504_n

32580_432855813593_4013432_n

4455_101378308593_2741505_n

Then theres always the Dolphin pub to drop into for a drink and a bite to eat or the Meare shop to browse in with its local foods, gifts and sweets. In the summer the villages can be very popular for tourists and visitors. Theres also a lot of coastal walks you can do there if you buy a map and they also have a race along the beach once a year.

4455_101391213593_6679515_n

306149_10150938791533594_1785900089_n

542999_10150947992403594_1150264937_n

32580_433796948593_1601011_n

306201_10150938654458594_29693125_n

301718_10150938649383594_359572942_n

4455_101375458593_7093543_n

wpid-IMG_20140110_095246.jpg

I can’t wait to take Peanut to feed the ducks for the first time or go down to the beach with her. Also perhaps this year explore the other villages, beaches and parks around or even the zoo! It will be a Holiday of first times for her and i cannot wait. 🙂

Hipster Hash! Rome Harriers

I had heard of the Rome Hash Harriers a few years ago but when i attempted to join their Group it seemed it wasnt running anymore.                             images

So i was very happy and suprised to see a few random blog posts about how it was up and running again once a month! woohoo!

images4CPCIVOC

Its a social running Group who then go to the pub afterwards for a drink!(A drinking club with a running problem they call themselves).

There are chapters of the Hash House Harriers international running club all over the world from what i have seen (1500 chapter so far around the world). The Rome chapter was founded back in 1986 and growing ever since.

It really does sound like a lot of fun and a good afternoon/evening out depending what times they hold the Group. Sometimes its held on an afternoon and other times its an evening event.

They also have people who act as the ‘Hare’ who everyone has to chase around as well as having to dress up on some of the themed runs.

Its not all running though as you can go at your own pace and theres also a walking Group as well with a walking ‘Hare’. 🙂

images5RNX4453

The next run they have scheduled is” Hipster Hash”! on Sunday the 26th Janaury at 2pm and you are encouraged to wear a ‘Hipster’ top for the run.

I had planned to go but am unable to this time but they do have other runs/walks scheduled for the next few months. So im planning to go along to one of those when im able to as it does sound like fun.

So either the The red dress run on 15th Feb or The Ides of March on 15th March.

But if your in Rome i encourage you to go along to one of the meet ups the Group is made up of mainly English speaking people and expats. And from there website they all seem like a friendly bunch of drinkers with a running problem! 🙂

http://www.romehash.com/

images2SFRFYJ0

I must admit when i saw the word ‘Hipster’ i wondered what the heck this was! I had images of the 50’s and 60’s when it was cool to be a Hipster! But this is what i found for the modern Hispter:

What is a modern Hipster?

From what i have googled and read Hipsters wear tight jeans, sandels, flowery, flannel or plain coloured tops (nothing bright) usually tucked into their trousers,they have large thick rimmed glasses and dont wear make-up and keep there hair either down or in a bun. They dont do popular fashion as its mainstream which isnt being a Hipster. They like and Always shop in second hand shops, dont like Brand stuff (clothees, bags etc), listen to indie music and obscure bands no ones ever heard of, eco-friendly extremists,their usually passionate about their views but dont have political ones. They are usually vegan or vegetarian and dont believe in athletic ideals. They also dont like anything thats popular or Mainstream, if your mainstream your not a hipster (so im guessing Facebook, twitter, Instagram are to ‘Mainstream’ lol) and drink lots of black coffee or tea.

imagesP3I300ZX

 

Dolomites a favorite place

Over the years in the summer we have always gone to the mountains in the Northeastern part of Italy called the dolomites. Alex has family living in a small village there and i absoultely love the time we spend there!

Everyone is so friendly and most of the village are Uncles, Aunties and Cousins to us so we are Always greeted warmly and theres Always someone to chat to or visit with.

This year i can’t wait to go up there with Peanut as we didnt get to go last year because i was heavily pregnant over the summer. Everyone there can’t wait to meet her finally as they love all the photos we have emailed them. Its funny how once you have a baby every time someone phones they just ask after him/her lol.

So this post i decided to share some of my photos of the dolomites so the mountains through my eyes and camera lense. 🙂

wpid-35262_449646873593_8350186_n-1.jpg                       wpid-37515_449647223593_5265692_n.jpg

Every so often the shepherds will bring there flock through the village to get to a different pasture. You can imagine the mess left behind but people are soon out there brushing the poop into the grass next to the river. I imagine its very good for the plants 🙂

35319_449563313593_2855239_n              wpid-37475_452181718593_593646_n.jpg

The views from our house arent bad either on everyside you can see the breath-taking mountains which just amaze me everytime we go there!

362_10151101927998594_100979757_n  270501_10150308514708594_5703177_n

262315_10150308514233594_7808242_n

262073_10150317231263594_7649855_n

Sappada is another village close to ours and a little drive to get there. Its very popular during the winter for the snow and skiing but we love to wander around it in the summer and soak up the atmopshere and enjoy the food there!

271158_10150314419888594_5280865_n     37515_449647248593_6921446_n

315496_10151110315663594_1496086003_n                    541457_10151110316058594_364443958_n

34780_449649538593_5913482_n     394685_10151118110308594_598930495_n

Another place we like to visit is S. Anna al Lago which is a beautiful lake which has a hotel beside it which does amazing food! Its lovely to sit on the balcony area and eat lunch while looking at the lake and nature all around you.

35319_449563313593_2855239_n 38228_449649853593_5079364_n

38229_449644938593_6997443_n 523925_10151101925793594_1309724100_n

35319_449563323593_76540_n 38033_449643343593_258008_n

The village we stay in is called Campolongo which means long field. Its a small village but beautiful with all the natural beauty all around you. You can easily go for long walks and get lost in the views all around you which can be awe inspiring.

38228_449649873593_1521100_n

269976_10150308523838594_1104919_n

38228_449649893593_346319_n

Misurina is another place which people love to go and there are Always tourists here looking round the huge lake and countryside again which is very popular in the winter time!

38240_449653273593_6396024_n

534499_10151110319718594_156971270_n

San Candido or Innichen as its known by both names is a small Italian/German village. Here the people speak German first and then Italian which is a little strange. But its a lovely town to visit and even the food has a German/Italian flavour and flair to it!

362_10151101927998594_100979757_nn

37724_452190313593_3698915_n

38614_452183293593_3227951_n

265071_10150317235173594_3071302_n

263024_10150317237648594_3177422_n

One place we love to walk around is Val Visdende which you have to get to by a winding road into another part of the valley we stay in. Here its all open grass and forrest land where people let there horses, donkies & cows roam free. On a sunny day its a wonderful place for a long walk and then to stop at a rustic restaurant for some pasta.

39034_452184468593_6867664_n

38033_449643373593_5751692_n

As you can imagine its a wonderful place for runs! I have run here several years in a row finding old roads, tracks or even just round the village.

38229_449644973593_1393635_n

39153_452183398593_7050295_n

I cant wait for our visit this year and to be able to show Peanut just what an Amazing place it is and also find some new places for us all to explore and love 🙂

268393_10150314420623594_3301305_n

547751_10151118111753594_452739121_n

 

Week 1 C5K

I started the C5K (Couch to 5k) app this week to start me off slow with getting back into running as i can run 3 days a week now which would build me up over the weeks.
5595_10152125025629438_237902446_n

Alex has started the maternity thing at work where hes allowed to come home 2 hour earlier everyday for a year and so i can go out to run as soon as he gets back.

So im planning to go out 3 days a week with a rest day in between 🙂 I also want to avoid running on weekends if possible at the moment as there already very busy with Peanut.

I started the C5K app day 1 week 1 on Monday afternoon to see how it went and how my back felt. It was around 5pm when i went out into the little park and it was cold so i was glad i had my zippy jumper with me. There were quite a few people walking about so it was nice even as it grew darker.

I felt fine doing the short runs although half way through my legs and ankles started to feel heavy as i was running to fast and had to slow down. I got 2 little twinges in my right hip but i have been experiencing that since seeing the osteopath and being re-alined. When i was on cool-down a painful stitch kicked in which wasnt nice which reminded me i needed to start drinking a lot more water.

Tuesday it was 20 minutes of gentle stretching and tonning yoga.

Wednesday was the next run C5K day 2 i went out a little late so it was getting dark a bit quicker but that didnt stop me. I felt really good and motivated again and saw a few other runners. Legs felt strong and hip was fine this time and i seemed to have a bit more stamina this time as i think my body is starting to remember how to run. Only thing was i got stitch again on the cool down even though i had drunk 1.5 litres of water and 5 cups of tea in the day. Im now wondering if its just my body just not being used to running again for so long so im hoping it will eventually stop.

Friday i was supposed to do day 3 of the running but wasnt feeling well mostly likely as i got up at 5am that morning so moved the running to the next day.

Saturday i still wasnt feeling myself and thought maybe i was coming down with something so didnt run.

Sunday which is today i woke up knowing i had to run but then found my gum infection i had over Christmas has returned and i could feel the gum was swollen with my tongue. I realised this was probably why i had been feeling crap the last few days and hadn’t realised!

images323FM9KA

So now im back on antibiotics from this morning and seeing the dentist tomorrow to find out when i can have my last wisdom tooth removed which is causing all the problems.

So i wont be running today but hoping the antibiotics will have kicked in enough tomorrow morning for me to start Week 2 of the C5K plan as theres not a huge difference from week 1. If i do have the tooth removed this week im hoping i will recover enough to keep on running this week to but lets wait and see.
 

999638_627147690683306_1463713605_n

Signed up for Euroma2 5km Race!

So i just did something a little crazy ……i signed up for the Euroma2 5km race on the 2nd March! Im hoping my back is completely recovered now im running/walking again and feel fine so far.

I did this 5km race back in 2012 so i know the course and you get nice shiny medal, a t-shirt i wore on race day and a goodie bag with food at the end which was pretty nice for a goodie bag.
                                        428979_10150708954713594_976834938_n

So for my first race for 2014 i think this could be pretty good and exciting woohoo! 🙂

I dont need a Doctors certificate for this race as well so no mucking about with that thank goodness!

I have signed up online and paid the 10 euros but will have to go at some point to pick up my bib and race top closer to the race day.The place is easy to get to on the metro so theres no problem there.

RMO014_5KM_Logo_Colore_ORIZZ-T_r0-300x167

My friend Jenny who is going to run the RomaOstia Half Marathon on the same day has suggested we go togeather to pick up our packs as it will be the same place! So that will be fun plus we can check out the running expo which will be there.

Usually its all running shoes, clothes, running groups, massages and advertising other races over Italy over the year. So i will probably collect all the leaflets and have a look through to see if there are any races which look fun and interest me.

So just less than 7 weeks and counting until this 5km race! I should be on the last few weeks on the C5K running app by then as well.

I can’t wait!

imagesCAB82WNN

Bruschetta quick & easy

I usually dont write about food i make myself but today i enjoyed what i had for lunch so much i decided to share it with you.

So this morning i had to quickly do the food shopping and while walking round the shop came the same old question ‘what the heck could i have for lunch?’. I didnt want anything to heavy and i didnt want something i always had, today i fancied something a bit different.

As i collected my veggies for the week it suddenly hit me Bruschetta! I hadnt had this in over a year and suddenly i had a craving for it.

Its a typical starter in Italian restaurants and homes and something i have never attempted before! There are different types of Bruschetta toppings you can use like smoked salmon, patè, mushrooms, truffles and more but my favorite is the simple little tomatoes.

Once home with all the fresh ingredients i got started on preparing it. I havent read any recipes on how to make it but while watching them make it in the Italian restaurants here in Roma i knew it was pretty easy. This would be my first attempt at making it so i was pretty excited.

These are the things you will need: IMG_20140112_122015

1) Chunky bread to toast
2) Garlic
3) little tomatoes
4) Olive oil
5) Basil Leaves (i didnt use any this time)

First of all i washed the little tomatoes well then drained them and after this i cut them up into little chunkys. Then i added olive oil to them and mixed it all well togeather.

IMG_20140112_122357

At this point you can add salt and pepper if you want to but i decided not to.

Next i popped the crusty slice of bread into my toaster and made sure it became nice and crunchie! Bruschetta is usually very hard but i like mine a little lighter than this.

IMG_20140112_122306

Once the toast was done i took a piece of raw garlic peeled it and then rubbed it vigorously up and down the toast slices before cutting them in to half. Then it was time to add the chunks of tomatoes and the oil which they were in.

It was so unbelieveble tasty and even though its a simple thing to make i was very proud of myself for doing it well.
IMG_20140112_122107

Even Alex once we saw it decided he to wanted some for lunch and also said they were very very good, which coming from an Italian is a very high compliment. He only asked that next time i use more garlic on the bread! lol.

So my easy Bruschetta lunch was a big success!

IMG_20140112_122220

My running plan for this year & Next

So now i’ve been given the all clear to run again i have come up with a plan for this year. I know i might be jumping the gun slightly as i havent started running yet but i like to plan ahead for if all goes well 🙂 1005385_611781785519817_2025132980_n

Im planning to do several small non-competitive races here in Roma if i have the time for fun. I already kinda know which ones im thinking of already.

Then i want to focus on doing more runs in the UK when im visiting there in May and October as you can just pay for your run and do it and even pay on the day at some of them. (I have some really fun ones in mind already!).

Theres no messing about of having to get a Doctors note or anything like that and you pretty much always get a medal for the races. My younger sister has agreed to do some of them with me so thats even more fun for me with sisterly-bonding time.

I want to ease back into my fitness level i had before being pregnant and losing the left over baby weight. Basically i want some fun and just to find myself again through my running this year.

I also want to ease back into my weight training and yoga which i really enjoyed. I have already gone back to my clean eating which means no processed foods which i had been doing for several years before getting pregnant.

Its amazing how good you can feel from cutting out things like that and just making your own meals from scratch with fresh ingredients!

So thats my focus for this year 2014!

Next year in 2015 i will focus on doing my first Half Marathon and more professional races as they call them here in Italy. Which basically is running longer than 5km’s which is annoying if you run for fun.

I will have to get a Doctors note from a sports Doctor and have some tests for my fitness done. You also have to join a running association as well to get to do these races. It does cost money to do these but they will last me the Whole year.

I have a friend already signed up with a running Group/ association and shes enjoying it a lot so i might join her’s probably. Also they ask you what races you want to sign up for and pick up your racing bib and goodie bag for you. Then you just pick it all up at their office which isnt that far from my house which would be way easier for me.

imagesZT0AOF53

The reason i want to do this in 2015 is because i dont want to do it this year and waste it with not being able to train so much.

There’s seriously no point signing up and paying for all this if your just going to waste it and not do any races. And there are so many races out there now in Roma it would be stupid not to be able to run them after going through all that and the cost.

So by next year my back should be completely fine and i should be stronger without risk of injury again fingerscrossed.

Also from what i have heard the goodie bags can be quite good for these professional races 🙂 As you get race tops, sports drinks, food and of course the medals!(more shinnies!) So this makes them worth the price of the races in my eyes.

I only have the non-competitive race goodie bags to go by and sometimes they were good and other times disappointing.

Its important to me to keep active and do my running/races as i want to show Peanut its good and healthy to be active. And im hoping one day she will want to run with me to.

So watch this space! 🙂

1157649_537317576323561_1382312456_n

Instagram & Apps for a professional look

I recently joined Instagram before Christmas which is an app for your phone where you can upload photos you have taken or take at thatimages418CZA66 moment. These photos you can leave a little comment on and then they are shared on your own personal timeline. Other Instagram users can see your photos and comment on them or if they like them click on the little heart to show this.

You can also follow friends and they can follow you or you can browse the photos of others and click you like them or comment and even decide if you want to become a follower.

I have to admit i love taking photos so Instagram was very appealing for me once i had bought my new smart phone.

I became curious about other apps i had seen available to use with Instagram so decided to do a little research and see what they were all about. I discovered a lot of different apps that can make your photos look more exciting and proffessional looking with a click of a button on your phone.

Photogrid – This is one of the first apps i downloaded and its an easy and fun way to make your photos into grids so you can show more than one photo in a picture. Theres also options to colour in the borders, a big range of different shape frames and your able to add text if you want to.

PhotoGrid_1388326729455

Aviary – Is a great app to lighten dark photos, sharpen, illuminate, add different effects and borders. I have found this app really handy to make my photos stand out much more and its one of my favorites.

IMG_20140101_064737

Snapseed – Is similar to Aviary (which is easier to use) again you can use effects to change your photo, crop it, add a frame, sharpen the image.

Bokeh Effects – This is a cute app where you can add a light effect over your photo. So a burst of coloured hearts, shapes or just light which gives a fun and interesting effect if you want something different.

9eb5d8dd-c0f0-498a-8ecb-0300521e60a2

Retro Camera – You can take a photo using this app but you can choose from 6 different vintage camera’s. The app will frame your photo in the style of which camera you use making them a bit different and quirky.

Cartoon Camera – Is a funny little app where again you can take a photo through the app but this time it makes what you see a sketch. There are different types of sketches from coloured to black and White! Even different pencil strengthens which is a lot of fun to have a play with and easy to use.

CartoonCamera_1388650402140

Pixir Express – An Amazing app! I found it very recently and love it! Its now one of my favorites! You again can crop photos, make collages, use effects, lighten, darken and sharpen your photos. You can make a photo or use one from your gallery. You can overlay effects, add stickers and even add texts. The best thing i like about this is the different fonts you can choose from for the texts!

IMG_20140106_121421

wpid-20140106_145354.jpg

Comicstripit – I found this app this morning and am having great fun making basic cartoons strips. You choose photos from your gallery or take a photo then can add captions & speech bubbles. Theres also some effects you can use which are quite nice. The free version is a bit limited but good for making basic cartoons. You can Always pay to get the Pro version if you want to be able to do more things with this.

1495117_10152193155768594_79490676_o

All these apps i found on the Android apps site and all these app are free! Although some you can go ‘Pro’ with which cost a little money but i find the free versions excellent. I have to say they are all worth the download and can make a photo look so much more better, professional and so easy to do.

Previous Older Entries

Sicily Inside & Out

A Sicilian obsession

21097m

Training for my first half marathon

The Scribbler

The life and times of a writer, runner and triathlete