Mia: 29 years old, female, Londoner, consumer, teacher, penpal, sister, wife, animal lover, dreamer, planner, crafter, joker, love. My Instagram

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Occupying oneself.

When you are unemployed, you have to create an occupation for yourself. Some people choose to be professional TV watchers. In London I was a professional internet surfer and Weight Watchers advocate. Here in Cameri I'm struggling. The TV is in Italian and the internet time is limited which also has a knock on effect on the WW advocation.

Here are some of the things I've turned my hand to since becoming bored in Cameri.

Painting my nails.

I suddenly realised the other day that I bought a bunch of nail varnishes with me, so I sat on the front step and dutifully painted my nails. I don't have any tiny brushes, so the nails aren't very detailed, but it ate up some time and looked pretty for a while.

Unfortunately I neglected to bring a top coat with me, so the colours chipped off pretty easily :( Just an excuse to practice more nail art I guess ;)


My bf's parent's subscribe to a great cooking magazine Cucina Italiana. The recipes are always delicious looking and those we've tried have always been amazing. In Torino there was a copy of said cooking bible in the flat which we pored over and decided to hijack and bring back home with us. The main reason being a recipe for White Chocolate macaroons. It's odd, because although I've eaten and enjoyed macaroons, I've never once considered making them. I thought they would be too difficult and complicated. I was right. But never fear, one day I shall conquer this beast of deliciousness and you, dear readers, will be among the first to find out how it went.

Until I muster the courage to tackle such an involved recipe (and find a food thermometer) I decided to bake some simple things. Mainly to try out the oven I brought with me, but also because it would slay my boredom. The results are to be found below.

I made a batch of 12 plain cupcakes. ½ of them became butterfly cakes filled with apricot jam and buttercream icing.

The other half were butterflied, but without the addition of the wings and were filled with strawberry jam and buttercream icing.

The apricot jam was a little too delicate for these cakes, which is why I decided to go with strawberry for the second half of the batch. They were yummy and were devoured in two days... by two of us! (Oh the cake loving shame!!)


I've once again developed my love for reading. It is at times like these when I great really into the written word and throw myself head first into a volume, only to surface for cigarette and toilet breaks.

The day after my interview I picked up Murakami's After the Quake. It is a short book. A series of short stories. They were wonderful, a little heavy, a little strange and everything I love in a book. I read this within an afternoon and my thirst for fiction had been awoken.

I picked up Murakami's After Dark the following day. I started reading it that morning and finished it the following afternoon. Again, it was strange, a little dark, a little fantastical and full of unanswered questions and stories. I really liked it, but was glad it was finished, those hours of night just before dawn can stretch forever if you are longing for the light. This was how the book made me feel... that I wanted the morning to come and yet it seemed it never would.

We went to a couple of book stores in Novara. After two or three steps into the first shop, we realised we had made a mistake... the titles for each section seemed to be centred on theology, philosophy, spirituality and there were Nuns there, running the book store. Yes, we had stumbled upon a religious book shop. The nun's kindly informed us on where we could find a book shop that sold English books and my dear beloved spent over 60 Euros on virginal pages, longing to be devoured by some hungry mind.

He kindly bought me a book too. After saying I'd never read any Austen and declaring I wasn't interested, I gave in and asked him to pick his favourite Austen book for me. The change of heart came from one of my resolutions this year, which was to read more new books, but also to expand my reading repertoire. I decided this was a good way to keep that going and I should push myself out of my comfort zone every once in a while.
I've only read about 10 chapters, but I like it already, I can see humour in the characters which I am not sure is meant to be there, or if I am bringing the humour to the book like some intrusive alien. Whatever the case, it's making me chuckle, which is always a good thing.


Now that I have my wonderful bici, I have been exploring Cameri much more and have found many a beautiful nook and cranny. You don't have to go far to find yourself in the middle of the country side, surrounded by canals, farms and rice paddies. It is a lovely trip to get slightly outside of the little town, the land here is very flat, so you can see for miles and it never fails to take my breath away when I look up from the road and see the snow capped Alps staring back at me.

I'm sure there will be many posts about mine and Shirley's adventures :)


  1. Pretty nails and those cupcakes look YUMMYYY!

  2. They were! Too yummy in fact ;) Next time I won't make the mistake of baking on a friday, so the bf can take leftovers into work instead of us pigging out, hehe