Welcome 2013 and it`s challenges!

Happy New Year 2013 to all my followers! I wish you a year full of wonderful things, good health and happiness!

As I scrolled through all the blogs I usually follow, most of them were of course focussing on the New Year and some were analysing 2012. Well, I think an appropriate post for the start of a New Year is to briefly discuss this book:

Bear Grylls

To me, Bear Grylls is an explorer, an adventurer, normally known to do some daring things..I had not previously come across any of his books, so since I  found it at our local library last December and as a bonus it looked pretty brand new and unused, I decided to give it a go!

There are 75 chapters in all. Each chapter is quite short and opens with a few, key, punchy statements. The author recounts several difficult moments in his life and how he tackled them…it very much focusses on the attitude and behaviour one needs to adopt in life, to embrace it`s struggles and emerge as a winner and a much stronger person than ever before!

Some of my favourite pieces include:

Chapter 1- Have a Dream: “Dreams are powerful. They are among those precious few intangibles that have inspired men and women to get up, go to hell and back and change the world”.

Chapter 11- There is no education like adversity: ” It is a cliche`, but it`s true: diamonds are formed under pressure. And without the pressure, they simply remain lumps of coal.

Chapter 12- Know Yourself- “Above the gates at Delphi, a short inscription greeted every weary traveller: Know thyself.”

Chapter 20- Dreams require sacrifice “ Success requires sacrifice. Get used to it.”

Chapter 30- Storms make you stronger “ The time to shine is when it is darkest.”

Chapter 74-Crisis = Danger + Opportunity  ” Opportunity will be hidden among the chaos. Storms clean the oceans, winds carry seeds.

And with that, I leave you to plough through the new year…may the words above offer you some inspiration and direction!

Christmas Greetings!

In a few days it will be Christmas and most of us tend to celebrate this occasion with the family, amidst tonnes of food and drink and merry banter! I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for this festive season from adiaryofanewife and many thanks for following the blog and your supportive comments!

2012 Christmas Wreath

The photo above shows this year`s Christmas decoration which I placed on our front door- a bit different to the one we had last year, which you can see here: https://diaryofanewife.wordpress.com/2011/12/17/10-days-before-christmas-2/

What do you think? Which do you prefer?

One year and still going…

One Year!

One Year!

Tomorrow diaryofanewife celebrates it`s first birthday, since  it`s now been a year, since the first day when I jotted down some thoughts in the blogospere. This was the first year of married life for me too and it has been quite a tough one I can say, not due to married life per se but because of external factors which impact on us both individually and this of course projects a negative effect which we have to deal with.

So, the motto I learnt quite literally is…Whatever Life throws at you, Do not Despair or Feel Negative, instead Rebel and Fight back and look at all the lovely things you have: a loving husband, family, friends, and anything which you have which makes you feel good. …..Indeed, a wise friend once told me, “ When you have a problem, do not feel down, instead be happy and take it as a challenge, the challenge being that you have a brain which you will use to overcome any adverse circumstances and indeed, turn it to your advantage”…..

What do you think my friends? Can we all live up the motto above??

Love

Camilla Rose

Kill the Routine!

So lately, hubby and I have decided to embark on a new project. Since we both love to travel and discover new places, we decided to start exploring the counties around which we live in, by visiting a ‘new’ village or town every week.

Swans having fun in St.Ives

Swans having fun in St.Ives

Admittedly sometimes, we don`t manage to go anywhere  during the weekend but when we do, it`s a great feeling, as one has that anticipation…..as in “Where do we go?”, then ensues some active discussion and after the Decision: “We`ll go that place!” and then the excitement of  finding the map on internet (hubby`s job usually) and driving out into the ‘unknown’…..new, unfamiliar roads…pretty, little houses clustered together, a stream or river running parallel to the B road  we`re travelling on…little, maybe insignificant things for some, but for us, it`s a break from the usual routine…it`s another place on earth we have discovered!

And in the post you can see two photos of St. Ives, a little market town in Cambridgeshire, taken on a bright, crispy, Sunday early afternoon, just 2 weeks ago.

Tree in the Middle

Tree in the Middle

Change in mood!

 

Abundance of floral beauty from a cactus!

Abundance of floral beauty from a cactus!

Hello Folk!

Has been a while since I blogged…sometimes it is difficult to go back to do something you were so routinely used to do before!

Life is indeed strange  but anyway, I thought I`d share with you my thoughts today: this morning I woke up not so happy as it`s dull and gloomy outside..indeed at 3pm it felt like 7pm..anyway,  my eye unexpectedly fell on a cactus which I thought was long dead but a truly different sight appeared before me… it was bursting with beautiful pink flowers..like an  eruption of floral therapy really!

It makes me think really……sometimes we may look at situations or even people who on the surface, seem dreary, boring….not in line with our particular style or likes, but then the Eureka moment happens, our eyes are opened, the heavy mist disappears and we see the true situation or person as they really are!! 🙂 🙂 

 

 

Sharing some culinary tips!

Some time ago I noticed that our meal routine was not the epitome of health and wellness styles…with the endless Tesco pizzas (served with salad mind!), quiches, a quick pasta with ready-made tomato sauce…..the occasional Chinese take-out.  To be frank, we had very busy work schedules, arriving at 7pm everyday after nearly 12 hours away from home…nerve-wrecking to say the least.!!  So what could we do whilst we were part of this ? Nothing really..and whats the point of cooking for a whole week and freezing the various bits and pieces as some family members advise, if that means you need to spend most of the weekend inside and then the week is bound to start again with you not even having had time to de-stress properly??? And the great disadvantage of this would be, what would happen if the the safety had to go off whilst we`re not at home and that means the fridge would have defrosted by the time we reached the house? You might say, well, that`s a rare occurrence, but not to us..it actually did happen to me and I did have to dispose of a great deal of meat and lovingly pre-cooked food!!

So, the opportunity to slightly enhance our quality of life arose when I changed my work schedule.

I got hold of a very handy ally..101 SIMPLE SUPPERS BBC Books Good Food Magazine..and I then started to plan the weekly meals…….an example of such a venture is:

Chez Moi -Planned Weekly Menu

Mon: Spicy Tomato Chicken

Inspect the result for yourself..I served it with potato mash…

Spicy Chicken

Spicy Chicken

Tue: Mediterranean Couscous Salad

And here you can find out whether you would fancy such a plate!

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Wed: Vegetable Satay Soup

This was my special favourite!!

Vegetable Satay Soup

Vegetable Satay Soup

Thu: Paprika Pork

Hubby liked it but I`m not very much a porky person..rather prefer chicken for most of my dishes!

Paprika Pork in a bed of rice

Paprika Pork on a bed of rice

Friday: Spinach, bacon and pine-nut pappardelle.

I loved this..it`s so easy to cook and tastes divine!!

Pappardelle with Spinach, Bacon and Pine Nuts

Pappardelle with Spinach, Bacon and Pine Nuts

The advantages of the weekly plan is that you can sort all the shopping out and avoid buying extra stuff.

Also, whilst I was toiling on at this project and gaining my husband`s confidence in my culinary abilities I also decided to enter the baking world and these lovely Devil`s Chocolate cupcakes are a highlight of this!!

Delicious Devil`s Chocolate Cup-Cakes

Delicious Devil`s Chocolate Cup-Cakes

Wishing summer never ends!

As I write this and gaze out of the window…I can see the sky….an ashen-grey hue and hear the rain….foretelling the months to come..….autumn and winter!

So I ask myself, what is the best method to counteract this feeling of foreboding, the imminent gloom which forecasts the dark months ahead??….

And here we go, let me tele-transport myself to a few months ago….my summer holidays in the sun…in Taormina, Sicily, last July 2012…3 days of absolute bliss with two special ladies, bathing in the ice-cold water and lying in the Mediterranean sun, basking in the golden rays!

And here are the highlights!!

Taormina is perched upon Monte Tauro, hence the name. It`s an explosion of historical architecture, culture, bustling Italian life, good food and breathtaking views.

An Iron Gate

An Iron Gate. Copyright www.diaryofanewife.wordpress.com

Some picturesque views which remained imprinted in my mind…

View from the cable car approaching the beach. Copyright www.diaryofanewife.wordpress.com

Another View from the cable car approaching the beach. Copyright www.diaryofanewife.wordpress.com

Cultural highlights…..Palazzo Corvaja, a mediaeval castle…

Palazzo Corvaja. Copyright www.diaryofanewife.wordpress.com

Palazzo Corvaja. Copyright http://www.diaryofanewife.wordpress.com

I Buratini...Copyright www.diaryofanewife.wordpress.com

And a fine close-up…observe the details…

I Buratini...a close-up view

I Buratini…a close-up view. Copyright www.diaryofanewife.wordpress.com

And finally we reached the beach…

The Bay of Mazzaro`. Copyright www.diaryofanewife.wordpress.com

View from my deck chair…

View whilst sunbathing...Copyright www.diaryofanewife.wordpress.com

And of course, I can`t forget the imposing Piazza del Duomo (where Italian VIPs, mostly from the  film industry tend to flock by night…)

Piazza del Duomo. Copyright www.diaryofanewife.wordpress.com

Sea- view from Piazza del Duomo. Copyright www.diaryofanewife.wordpress.com

And a final farewell from our hotel window…

Final Farewell from our hotel window! Copyright www.diaryofanewife.wordpress.com

Life, nice and not-so-nice people.

This post is going to be a little bit abstract, so readers, if you are not in the mood, turn away now! I don`t want to put you off but I do feel sad, slightly belligerent and bitter and I am in need of giving vent to all my pent-up emotions, to the blogging airwaves!!!

The proverbial ‘shit hits the fan’ is a common definition of life and unwelcome unpleasant surprises which may occur. These past weeks have been dwelling on an event which can be defined as ‘the shit’ and consequences of this! Well, a wide variety of people took the centre stage in all this…the majority of incredibly nice, supportive people who show you respect, love, comradeship and ooze with pure humanity and a handful of others who poison the environment with their lies, incredible  lack of humanity and pure incompetence. It is truly a very varied world, this world  in which we live in!!

Image obtained from google images

Image obtained from google images

Well, I have always been someone who speaks their mind- My arguments are either black or white…no fifty shades of grey! 🙂 🙂 🙂 😉

I believe in having morals and principles and I stick up for others who are afraid to speak out for themselves. I don`t tolerate bullies and wherever there are situations where people are suffering or which are inappropriate, I am the first one to speak up and try  to help, even if this does not directly affect me. However, in life, I see so many people who stand back in silence and watch and take the backstage, incapable of speaking out!

Is this fair? How do these people live with themselves? It is absurd if they think that by not speaking out, they are protecting themselves and their families, because I do believe in the concept of karma….and trust me, it will come back to haunt them.

What about you? What type of person are you? Do you rise up against unfairness? Do you strive to help your buddy who needs your help desperately, or do you prefer to turn your face the other way and slink off quietly and avoid looking directly at your friend or that person-in-need, pretending they don`t exist?

Image obtained from google images

Image obtained from google images

The Killing and The Bridge

Well, by now, those of you who regularly follow my blog, have realized that both hubby and I are film buffs! The latest films (series) we`ve seen which I thought were exceptional….were… The Killing 1 and The Bridge. Personally, I prefer The Killing to the The Bridge, although I liked them both very much.

It strikes me that there is distinct difference between Scandinavian and American thriller films. What is quite evident is that the Scandinavian films have a much lower budget than the American ones and you get this interesting‘black humour’ drifting through. To top it all, Scandinavian films do not usually have a happy ending, as do the big block-buster movies and to me it`s definitely something which I have not commonly experienced before!!

The Killing I

For those of you who haven`t seen it and don`t want any hints, then look away right now. For those of you who are keen to explore this further and would like some basic information, then let me tell you that the opening scene is a girl running from her captor who is then caught and killed. The story dwells on the girl, the girl`s family and her ‘secret’ life which was unknown to her family but begins to unravel as the detectives proceed with the investigation. It is an intricate web which also involves some local politicians and the Mayor`s election. The lead detective is Sara Lund- a very unglamorous lady (but of course, a brilliant actress) who is clearly a workaholic, incredibly clever and you can immediately see the impact her work has on her personal life. She frequently appears wearing a woolly, fluffy jumper and goes around looking quite dishevelled and nothing like her Hollywood counterparts and let`s say it..damn realistic! She is the lead and works with a male partner who tends to do as he`s told (whereas in most American films, the lead tends to be a male) and the actress- Sofie Gråbøl is absolutely top class. So watch it and let me know what you think!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IZUWkghFeQ

The Bridge

This is perhaps slightly more gruesome that The Killing. The opening scene involved a dead body (which is actually from 2 different bodies- a Dane and a Swede) found on the Oresund bridge which joins Copenhagen to Malmo. The lead again here in a Swedish police detective-Saga Norén (part played by Sofia Helin) who works alongside Martin Rohde, a Danish detective (Kim Bodnia). Saga is very much a workaholic too (as Sara Lund in The Killing) and also has an autistic disorder which prevents her from forming friendly relationships with her work colleagues and she fears promotion as she feels incapable of managing staff. I liked this very human aspect being portrayed in the film. She is however, quite a character, very astute and also pretty, who again wears very casual clothes (a characteristic pair of leather trousers, which I thought were pretty funky really!). The story involves an ex-police officer who promotes himself as a custodian for a better welfare system and dwells on social issues such as racism, homelessness, vulnerability of children etc, broadcasting his deeds which involve further killings, via the internet under the name TT. In reality, this is a decoy, as the killer, is seeking revenge against Martin Rodhe. This only becomes clear at the very end of the film, as Martin had slept with the guy`s wife several years earlier and at the time, the killer was best friends with Martin.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83FcxzlXbKs

I leave it to you to decide which of the two you prefer!!

Winds of Change, Sheep, Sleep and Superheroes!

There is something about change that brings some waves of uncertainty, mystery even, and of course stress… but then if things move on seamlessly, then we complain of boredom and routine. These forthcoming months, hubby and I anticipate that we`ll have some changes in our work schedules, so we have regular conversations on ‘How is it going to work?’, ‘What if?’ and ‘Would we be better off than we are now or not ?’. In reality, we cannot really know until the moment comes, the change takes effect and we will be either better or worse than we are now…however thinking about it as we both are will not really help except further increase stress levels!!

So, with these thoughts in mind, I could not drift off to sleep a few nights ago (not helped by a cup of coffee I probably had taken a few hours before)….and had a go at counting the proverbial sheep leaping over a pretty little wooden-bridge. Funnily enough, my lot were quite rebellious and gave me the evil eye and aggressive Baa Baa! cries.

Baffled Sheep from bing.com

Baffled Sheep from bing.com

They trotted off in all directions and only a few got over the bridge as they were supposed to!! Well, having had such a bad experience with counting the sheep (and still no sign of any sleep) my mind drifted to another subject…Superheroes!!

I listed all the superheroes which I knew and made a top 3 list.

1. First in the list is Superman. What would I give to be a female version of Clark Kent, rush into the telephone booth and then off to soar in the skies, putting right everything that is evidently wayward!! I must admit that when I took my first chemistry classes at school, I had eagerly inspected the periodic table and got quite a shock when I couldn’t find any kryptonite- must have asked the teacher at the time too (though I don`t really remember)!!

Superman from bing.com

Superman from bing.com

2. Of course, second is Wonder Woman. Funnily enough I can`t really remember her actions as I do some of the other superheroes, though I do believe she could raise stuff just with her glance and had a protective tiara and bracelets which allowed her to do wonderful things. However, I must say that I never really acclimatized to her outfit, which even when a kid I thought it was too ‘loud’ and would have preferred something less glitzy. Why couldn`t they dress her in something less showy, resembling superman`s outfit?

Wonder_Woman from bing.com
Wonder_Woman from bing.com

3. The Incredible Hulk- Well, having a scientific background, how can you not love the scientist Dr Bruce Banner who had an accident (whilst he was working religiously and was so passionate about his work) which turns him into this huge, powerful green being? Would love to throw stuff in the air and stomp around just to let out some steam !!

Incredible Hulk from bing.com

Incredible Hulk from bing.com

And then it seems I slept…ah, the magic of superheroes!!!