Okay so I guess I’ve been enjoying these past few weeks so much that time has flown by. This last month or so has been incredible - and busy! I’m exhausted! 

I’ve had two lovely visitors throughout the month of May - the lovely Claire followed by little Oonagh. I went to heaven on earth - i.e. Cinque Terra (via Genova) for a girly weekend. I got the best kind of shock ever when Veronica surprised us by ditching Malta for a few days and visiting us instead! I’ve been to Lake Garda about a million times. I ran the 5k Straverona with Kristiina in 30 minutes without stopping. Time disappeared into thin air as Maire went back to Glasgow last week, it’s not quite right here without her. I have just been informed Switzerland and Glasgow’s finest Eileen and Gordon are coming to visit next week. And in two weeks time, Steven and his family will be here to help me enjoy my last ever week here. So much to smile about and so much to look forward to.

Where did the time go?

So I guess I’m reviving the ol’ blog. I’ve been extremely lazy at taking/uploading pictures lately and haven’t been motivated to blog… oops! But I love seeing all my memories in one place so I’m going to try to keep this up for this last couple of months as it would be a shame to let it go to waste. 

How do I begin to describe these past two months? 

The highlights - 

Jessica & Natalie came to visit - cue girly times and a trip to Venice. Steven stopped by and we pretty much stayed in bed and watched Breaking Bad from start to finish. A brief but lovely trip home for Easter, with a little weekend in Edinburgh thrown in there. Back to Verona and finally making the most of 1 euro Sundays - climbed to the top of Torre dei Lamberti and explored Teatro Romano. Several (!) trips to the lake… Peschiera del Garda, Bardolino and the breathtaking Riva del Garda. Travelled to the charming city of Mantova (thank you Christian for the informative tour!). 

The lowlights - 

Not many to be fair. Anyone who is close to me is already fed up of hearing about this one… while I was in Milan with Steven, somebody stole my bike seat AND the wee metal bit that connects it on :( What even is the point? It cost me THIRTY EIGHT EURO to repair. Thanks, Italy. Well I guess it could be worse, my lovely flat mate Laura got her (entire) bike stolen a couple of weeks ago. Other than that (just needed to vent), it’s much the same - heaps of slow-walking tourists arriving in Verona each day, crazy ass drivers trying to run me over or opening their car doors suddenly while I’m cycling past, Italian men being unbelievably sleazy. And rain for an entire week between sunny spells… what’s up with that?

Still to come - 

Vicenza tomorrow. Claire arrives next Thursday for an extended weekend! A few days after that I’m off to Genova for 3 nights. Then shortly after that Oonagh gets here for a week. Eileen may come at the start of June? And last but not least Steven and his family get here on the 24th of June for 5 days, and I’m going to leave with them… for good! 

I can’t believe this year is almost coming to a close… but I’m not going to expand on that as I’ve already rambled too much on this post. Til next time, and next time won’t be too long.

Good times in Verona… 

Carnevale di Venezia / Pancake Tuesday / Surpise roses from “mio ragazzo scozzese” / Goodbye Choi & Lee (okay that was sad times but I will never forget it!) / Verona nel Cuore (the most sickeningly romantic city in the world) / the arrival of my lovely new flatmate Laura (she is a better cook than me!)

Natalie & Jessica are about to arrive! And next week Steven arrives <3 

Life could be worse ;)

I’ve been back in Verona for almost two weeks now… I should have updated this before now so this will be a big post! It’s good to be back. I had such a nice few weeks at home spending time with Steven and my family, catching up with friends, cuddling up with Poppy. Christmas was crazy as usual, and it was lovely to have my grandparents over from Ireland and Jasmine home from London for a great feast. I think I feasted a little too much when I was home though! Kind of glad to be away from all of the delicious (unhealthy!) food and Steven’s amazing cooking, but I do miss it! 

The best thing about Erasmus is that you make friends with people from all over the world that you would normally not have to fortune of meeting, and it was lovely when Choi and Lee came over to visit us for new year and we were able to show them around Glasgow, my much-loved home. They insist that we visit Korea one day, perhaps we will take them up on the offer! 

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It was a little strange settling back into my Veronese life - getting used to not waking up next to Steven wasn’t my favourite (sorry for the cheese!). And it wasn’t particularly welcoming when I came down with a dreadful cold/flu before my flight had even touched down in Italy. Welcome back - enjoy 3 days being bound to your bed, feeling lonely, scrounging fruit and vitamins from your other ill flatmate because you don’t have the energy to go to the supermarket… it would only happen to me. 

Feeling worlds better now, I’ve wasted no time in getting back on my bicycle and catching up with my wonderful friends. Verona is so beautiful but the people in it are even more beautiful (why am I so soppy?). Verona isn’t always so charming though, not when you’re in Campus with Maire, just the two of us, on Erasmus night, with a 4:1 ratio of guys to girls. Guys that aren’t even Erasmus? Yes, we have boyfriends, no you can’t buy us a drink, even though “your boyfriends are in Scotland… you are not in Scotland”. Boy were we pleased when more of our friends showed up. Hoping there won’t be any more nights like that, I think there were enough creeps for the year already. It really isn’t like that every night though, thankfully!

Yesterday saw my amazing flatmate Anna return home after her semester here came to a close. I cannot express how sad I am, we really were like sisters. The thing I’m already missing the most is her knocking at my door every night to say “goodnight”. But we’re not really saying “goodbye”, only “see you soon” - I’m insisting she visits us in the summer, she doesn’t really have a choice. And of course many trips between Germany and Scotland to come. 

I will be gaining two new flatmates this semester - Fabrizio from Sicily and Laura from Germany (who, like Anna, is studying law - freaky!). The one tiny silver lining is that I will be forced to speak more Italian… I hope! I was doing pretty well before Christmas, even passed my language course (yay!) but now I desperately need to motivate myself again. Watch this space.

2013 will be a good year, I can feel it.

Let the holidays begin!

How time has flown by! Today I am returning to Scotland for a few weeks to celebrate Christmas and to see all those who I miss dearly - so I won’t be posting again until 2013 (if the world doesn’t end). I feel so ready to go home - but I think part of me will miss Verona a little!

Verona life has been pretty busy this last week, but in a good way! I was kept busy studying for my Italian language course test (which went well - I think!), but my weekend was especially crazy as it was my birthday on Friday! And to make it even more special, Jasmine booked a last minute flight to spend the weekend with me :)

I am blessed to be surrounded by wonderful people here - it’s amazing when your flatmate surprises you with this at midnight… 

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And my birthday just kept getting more special. When I woke up the next morning, Verona was covered in a thick blanket of crisp white snow. It was so beautiful - a snow day - what a great birthday present!

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However, even the best things in life have their downsides - because of the persistent snow (and Italian incompetence), Jasmine’s flight was delayed big time. Instead of arriving in Verona at 11.10am, she arrived at 5pm (after a 2 hour coach journey from Venice - long story)! But this didn’t spoil things at all - as I spent a lovely evening with a huge group of my friends at my favourite pizzeria. They also got me such amazing gifts, I was overwhelmed! What made it even more special was sharing a birthday with Lyn - we both feel a bit embarrassed at a fuss so sharing it seemed like neither of us was the focus of too much attention :) The evening got even better, of course, when we proceeded to Campus - lots of drinks, lots of dancing. Plus cupcakes made by Cherrie!

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^ Diana’s beautiful handywork 

I know right? How do I deserve such cute friends?

So all in all, my birthday was everything I could have wished for and more. But of course on your birthday you can’t get a break from sleazy Italian men. Let me recount my most terrifying moment in Verona, and it just so happened within one hour of Jasmine’s visit. This is probably going to sound more funny than scary to most, but I don’t care. On our walk to the restaurant in the dark and snowy conditions, we decided to walk along the (usually) tranquil scenic riverbank. I didn’t even notice the group of about five 20 year old guys that were hanging about until one of them called “ciao ragazze”. I obviously didn’t respond, but Jasmine, being new, said “ciao” - my heart sank. I led us away as fast as I could, and as she wasn’t even finished explaining to me that if we were polite, they were less likely to hit us with snowballs, when one hit us. I couldn’t really believe that this was happening. A group of guys around our own age acting like children. What made it scary was the fact that we couldn’t see anyone else around, they were following us and targeting us, we were scared of falling on the slippery pavement as we tried to go at a fast pace, they weren’t taking the hint no matter how many times we shouted “vaffanculo” or called that we were scared. And it wasn’t like they were just lightly throwing them vaguely in our direction. They were launching the snow balls at us with force, and then started to aim at our asses :( Absolute. Dickheads. It’s these sort of situations that makes me hate Italy. But then I remember that these are a minority and I shouldn’t let it bother me. We did finally get away from them, thank God. I’m also lucky enough to own a bicycle so that I never have to walk by myself.

But for every bad moment, there is a great moment, and the following day we bumped into a lovely lady with an adorable pug around the same area (the snow had cleared so we weren’t so worried) - we got chatting and eventually we exchanged numbers in order to meet up and do Tandem (we will meet up so that she can practice her English and I can practice my Italian). I don’t hate Italians after all!

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I had such an exceptional weekend with Jasmine (despite my rant about sleazy Italian men - sorry about that - I just had to vent). It was great to show her around the place I call home (for now), and I think she had a great time too. We even took a little day trip to Venice! Fortunately we were spared an emotional goodbye as I will see her in a week’s time when she is home for Christmas. 

I didn’t quite mean for that post to be so long - well done if you read it. Looking forward to blogging about my 2013 adventures soon!

My beautiful sister came to visit me!

❤ Happy Birthday To Me …
… Tanti Auguri A Me 

I love December.