Ciao Verona! – Italia: Take 2

So,

It’s been a bit quiet on the blog side of things recently  – but quite the opposite in reality. On 20th January I moved back to Verona for the second semester of my year abroad. Having had such a lovely four weeks at home in the UK, I (secretly) wasn’t 100% pumped up to be returning to Italy. However, much to my surprise, all i’ve really felt since i’ve been back is….happy!? Obviously every day has its ups and downs, but overall I have found myself feeling surprisingly pleased to be back here 🙂

On the 21st I had my first exam (‘Storia del Teatro Greco e Romano’/’History of Greek and Roman Theatre’). Oral. In Italian. Whilst the preamble was painstakingly slow and inefficient, the exam itself very much went my way, and ended with my professor telling me I had achieved 25/30, and then proceeding to give me a copy of his book for free. Bizarre. But much appreciated! Grazie mille!

Since i’ve been back i’ve been pretty efficient with my time (which might explain my inefficiency in the blog area of my life…), going out for pizza, earning money at work and, most pleasantly, visiting my two great friends Bettina and Mona in Bologna. I met them in Siena in August, at a month-long intensive language course for Erasmus students. We bonded pretty much instantly, and whilst we are all different ages (22, 24 and 28) and from different countries (England, Switzerland and Germany) something about us just seems to work. I appreciate their advice, honesty and life experience – they get me and I get them. It was Bettina’s final weekend in Italy and one of Mona’s last, so it was a great way to round off our six months in Italy together. We ate prosciutto e formaggi, drank Amarone, went to the Terme (underground baths and pools), watched movies,  draank some wine, shopped, went sightseeing and drank some more wine!

It’s amazing how just a month can bond you so tightly. Even though we have no idea when we will see each other again, we all know it will happen sooner or later…even more exciting is that we have NO IDEA where on earth it will be! True friends can be made over a lifetime or over a single month – when you know, you know

Mona, Bettina and me with the winning contrada's flag ('Onda', meaning 'Wave') at 'Il Palio' in Siena (August 2013)

Mona, Bettina and me with the winning contrada’s flag (‘Onda’, meaning ‘Wave’) at ‘Il Palio’ in Piazza del Campo, Siena (August 2013)

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‘Latch’ing onto Berlin and Sam Smith

I’ve just booked to go to see Sam Smith perform in Berlin in March! Normally that might seem a bit extravagant, but seeing as i’m studying in Italy i’m already on the continent so it just makes sense….right?!

I AM SO EXCITED!!!

The man himself

I have seen him once before (in the Big Top at Bestival 2012) but he only came on as a guest in Disclosure’s performance to sing ‘Latch’. I say ‘but he only came on as a guest’, but he was the greatest guest i’d ever heard, yet never heard of before that moment.

He is truly incredible and has such a lovely voice as well as really soulful and gorgeous lyrics. Also, he just won the BBC Radio 1 Sound of 2014 Award, AND the Brits Critics’ Choice Award. I figure that with a voice like his, and exposure like that, he won’t be playing any more small venues like PrivatClub Berlin when his next tour goes around…and I suspect the tickets may be a litttttle more costly than €19 (roughly ÂŁ15/$25).

The fact that i’ve never been to Berlin before just makes this all the more exciting. I really really really can’t wait!

If anyone has been to Berlin and can recommend some cultural points of interest/bars/clubs/restaurants for us, that would be very kind and much appreciated 🙂 Also, we were thinking of using AirBnb – has anyone used this website before?

The first time I watched this video I had just been woken up by my alarm to go to my 9am lecture and I just sat and stared at my phone in complete amazement. And then I pressed replay to make sure my ears hadn’t deceived me (and no, I still wasn’t late for my lecture!). I love all of his music but if’ you listen to one song, let it be this:

Don’t forget he also puts his lovely chocolatey vocals to awesome garage/electronic stuff too:

If you haven’t heard of him before I hope you have found someone new you might like to listen to in the future, and if you have…well, i’m pretty sure you enjoyed having another listen anyway.

Why am I doing this (again)?!

I’ve sporadically kept a physical diary (I have about four books covered in scribbles in numerous hideaways), but after reading out some of my travelling anecdotes to a friend, and being greeted with laughter, I thought that maybe writing was a skill which I could really get to grips with cultivating. Naturally, that thought turned into a predictable nothing. While this year studying abroad in Italy (in Verona, with the Erasmus scheme) is really the perfect opportunity to provide an impetus for my writing, I must admit that that is not what provided said impetus. Vaguely put, it is the desire to explore my creative skills and possibilities – and, more specifically put, I was inspired to want to be creative again after spending hours and hours poring over other people’s blogs.

So, what does all that actually tell you about this blog?

Good question. My answer is this: This blog will be about things that I have found interesting, that I think someone else will find interesting too. That’s all you’re getting for now. Read on and follow to find out more. Aren’t I so very mysterious?

 

Encyclopedia page one: the journey begins!

Welcome to Encyclopedia of Lydia!

The Oxford Dictionary online defines ‘encyclopedia’ as follows:

encyclopedia

a book or set of books giving information on many subjects or on many aspects of one subject and typically arranged alphabetically.

So, while I can’t promise alphabetisation, I can loosely commit to the definition of this blog as some form of 21st century encyclopedia, giving ‘information on many subjects’.

This is what i'd look like if I had my own real-life encyclopedia to browse

This is what I’d look like if I had my own real-life encyclopedia to browse

ps. I’ve lost many a night’s sleep over the ‘encyclopedia’ vs. ‘encyclopaedia’ debate. After extensive research I have decided to once again rely upon Oxford Dictionaries, who say this on the matter:

Encyclopedia can also be spelled encyclopaedia, with -ae- after the p, but this is less common.

After all, they are the world’s most trusted dictionaries…