Sunday, 7 December 2008

Christmas is a coming!

One for Courtney - the Christmas play at school is looming large!!!

This year Antonia is a Star! Just how many seconds will she be on stage I wonder! We didn't make last years play as she was really sick on the day, but I got hear all about it from Courtney! This year she can have the pleasure of hearing about it from us!

We have to pay to have the costumes tailored - only in Italy! Then it is in a theatre about 30 mins or more bus ride from where we live, we also have to pay for the theatre! Last year it was about 3hours long, but we missed it, I can't wait! The summer play was 2 hours. This is only the Asilo kiddies, not the whole school! I dread to think how long the Media productions must be! Oh well, it's all in a good cause! My darling husband is managing to miss it by being in the UK, but Alex will be able to accompany us, tee, hee! I love watching my kids in their shows, but 3 hours for a nativity, please! 

I also have Antonia's end of term Ballet Recital. This is less than an hour, much more like it! If nothing else expecting little ones to last for hours is unreasonable, but never mind. Looking forward to the ballet! 

Saturday, 8 November 2008

The Dinosaur Park and Golf....

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The first picture is of Antonia's first golf lesson, but it didn't seem to fit in anywhere else so I thought here was as good as anywhere!

The dino park is in Peccioli - I hope I have spelt that right! The name is somewhere in one of the pictures. The huge dino is one the biggest full scale models in the world and took 4 years for the brothers that own the park to make! It is dedicated to their dad. Not sure what the implication of that is, but hey ho! It is a great park for young kids. Not much for any above 8 I would say, unless they are obsessed dino fans that is! It was a lovely day, as you can see and the surrounding area was pure Tuscan countryside, really beautiful. A good day out.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Broken Record!

Well, we almost got through a whole month without an absence, but it wasn't to be! So far this week Antonia hasn't been in school at all. Monday she woke up hot and tired. Her temperature was over 39c! I dosed her up and sent her back to bed. I don't have a regular doctor here - I have to go private because of all the weird and wonderful constraints the various Italian governments have put on EU immigrants trying to live in their wonderful country. They are aimed at stopping people who can't support themselves sponging off the state here, but it impinges on all of us who are trying to live here. Consequently I have to have expensive medical insurance in order to have a doctor. Or pay as I go. At the moment, because of the minefield involved in finding the right insurer etc. I pay as I go. Luckily, having had all this with my 13 year old it takes a lot for me to dash to the doctor anyway. If I'd called for an appointment in the UK they would have told me to do exactly what I did - give her fever reducing medicine and then check if that was taking the temperature down. Well it came down a little, so I dosed her back up and she slept most of the day. When she was awake I was checking her for rashes, making sure she could put her chin to her chest and touch her toes! She was the one going around turning lights on so I knew she didn't have light aversion!!

All the sleep in the day then threw out her night time, so she was waking at midnight expecting me to get drinks and food! Cool, huh! By Tuesday her temperature had gone down to about 37c, so still borderline, and then the cough started!! That night was the worse, as soon as she lay down, cough, cough, cough. But rarely heard during the day. So another bad night Tuesday! Wednesday we managed a little trip out to a new bakery and the weather was warm, but when we came back she started coughing again. That night I was making warm milk and honey at midnight and stacking up the cushions (why I didn't do this earlier, I don't know!). Finally, peace! But then I woke at 5.00 a.m. with my head full of stuff, so when I finally got back to sleep at 7.00 a.m. it meant another school day had bitten the dust!!

So, of all the things that are definitely wrong with Italy is easy access to its healthcare programme. I can just take her to the A&E and if I had thought meningitis had been a serious risk I would have done, no question. But how many out there are seriously endangering their kids by not even considering this?

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Happy School Days!

Antonia finally returned to school with a smile on her face and a spring in her step! From the tears and hysteria of last year this was such a relief! She has had one cold already, but when she realised it would mean staying in bed and no school or ballet, she soon decided she was well enough to go!

This year she is being taught by one of the nuns at the convent where the school is based. Sister Virginia. She is new to the school, but not to teaching. I think she lives at the convent, but I may be wrong. Antonia likes her and that is what matters.

The most interesting thing that happened in the first few days was that she made friends with the boy she hated last year! Luckily this has petered out by the second week, as she was still complaining about him even though she was playing with him. One of her little friends goes to the same ballet class, so they have now become firm friends! I was hoping to fit in a few other activities this year, but with ballet and the fact I want to start teaching her to read English a bit more formally this year, I'm not sure I will fit it in!

One thing I am letting her do is pick her home time. She can come out after lunch or at 4.00 p.m. Most of the time she picks 4.00 p.m. but I've noticed that mid-week she picks after lunch. All that learning, walking and ballet taking its toll!

One thing she did at home this week was copy her name when I wrote it down for her! I was thrilled. They don't start this until next year I think here, but in the UK she would be starting to practice, so I was relieved when she did it. Plus she wants to write and read and pretends to when she can. She is also counting and grouping things really well in English and seems to enjoy it. I'm hopeful for the reading!!

Saturday, 9 August 2008


Hope that's spelt correctly! See you all again in September!

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

The Summer Play!!

Well, we made this one! No sickness or other obstacles to stop us getting there.

The theme was the 4 seasons. Antonia was in the summer part. She wore a pretty summer frock and danced to limbo music and other latin-american tunes and pretended she was at the beach! Very cute! The older children in her season were girls dressed in swimwear who danced the macarena with boys dressed as Mexicans!! I just can't imagine it being allowed, never mind thought of, in the UK!

Other memorable moments were children dancing to Singin' in the Rain, complete with brollies, swifts and butterflies, mushrooms and snow queens!

It was all really well done but tooo long, 2 hours in all! It didn't start until 6.00 p.m. so everyone was hungry and tired by the finish. There was no interval or refreshments which would have made a difference and not enough seats for everyone. Plus the Nonna's who were seated kept standing up anyway, so we couldn't see all the time! Just for once I know it would have been better organised in the UK or more to the point the parents would have been better organised by the teachers and there would have been drinks and biscuits at least!

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Birthday Girl!

Antonia finally turned 4 on the 29th of March. We had a few friends over for the afternoon. As the weather was good we were all able to stay out in the garden and let the kids run riot!

I had her cake made at a local Patisserie - I only ordered it the night before! It was really good. Sometimes cakes here look great and don't taste it. This one was as good as it looked!

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Learning Italian...Fast!

Finally, Antonia is starting to attend school consistently - fingers crossed and all that!

The upshot of this is that her Italian is coming on leaps and bounds. To say she is streets ahead of me would be an understatement! Luckily, so far, I can still understand what she is saying, as, yes, she does switch from one language to the other and doesn't seem to be aware that she is doing it. Her accent also sounds spot on to me. People in shops talk to her in Italian and aren't initially aware she is English. In the TIM shop today, where they must get 100's of tourists and students who speak English and badly accented Italian (myself included!) they chatted away to her in Italian. It was only when I opened my mouth that they looked surprised! In fact the first question wasn't "Oh, you are English" but "Oh, do you speak English" in Italian, to Antonia!! It also throws people because she just happens to have an Italian name, which is pure coincidence as she was born 2 years before we thought of moving here.

The joke is always, and I do mean "always", that she is going to be "insegnante della mama". Unfortunately it probably isn't such a joke!

Monday, 3 March 2008

Blog Comments!!

Apologies for not replying to comments left on the blog!! My settings were such I didn't know there were any!! I'm really sorry - if you have left a message I'll get back to you pronto! I've also been getting spam without realising it! Grr! I just assumed both blogs would have the same settings.

And changing my settings has now deleted all the previous comments......

Paola, Courtney, Delina, Melissa - thanks for your comments! Melissa if you want to post your facebook details again.....

Tuesday, 19 February 2008


I've already talked about ski-ing on my main blog, but I thought it would be nice to post here about it too! Antonia had her first lesson ever and all in Italian. The ski Instructor was unsure at first, with my Italian being so crap but when she returned Antonia, she said it wasn't a problem and she had understood everything.

Alex had a lesson too, this is just before they set off on their lessons.
The downside was that Antonia came home with a dose of 'flu. I say 'flu rather than a cold as she had a really high temperature and just wanted to sleep all the time. She also had a headache on two nights. She was really cold on Sunday before we came home. I was really worried at one point and put her in the car to warm her up. Considering getting cold isn't supposed to give you a cold or 'flu the coincidence seems a bit strange. She still isn't right now and goes to bed at least an hour or so earlier than normal. Next time I will be really layering her up.

Thursday, 7 February 2008


We missed the nativity due to sickness, but I think Carnevale turned out to be much more fun!
By the way, that really is a Nun with a witches mask on her head!!