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I mean, is this really happening? Read on and tell me that this is just not true.
What's wrong with people in Arkansas? How are you raising YOUR children? What is the image of the world you are giving them? And who the hell is running that bloody food store? Fred Phelps?
The love and joy of a family treated as offensive material?
Thanks to Andy Vorzimer from Vorzimer Masserman for sharing. I, for one, need to go to the toilet and throw up the two cupcakes I just had with my tea.

I will be suing Harps Food Stores for damages to my appetite.


See ya later.

Q


Back in the late nineties, when the Spice Girls were still pretending to sing and Tony Blair was riding the tabloids on a still buoyant economy, I arrived in London with my (then) best friend. We drove from the roman countryside on a 'Thelma & Louise' kind of car, its exhaust held together with wire, escaping the stillness and boredom of our villages for the jolt and chaos of the metropolis.I still remember my mum's tears that early morning, november 28, as I hugged her goodbye and jumped into the car. She never got to see my tears. But I cried. I cried for a good couple of hours until my friend Sacha had to say "Ok, enough bullshit now... It's time for breakfast", and pulled up at the Autogrill service station.
Cappuccino, croissant and cigarette.
I was already feeling so far from home.
I arrived in London two days later, and, after shedding tears and leaving my old identity behind with the rest of my old life, I was ready and felt tinglings of excitement at the thought of starting afresh in a brand new city.
I was 22.
As my english was not as accomplished and polished as it is now (it is...right?), the first job I landed was at a crappy Mac Donald's, as responsible for the 'Filet o' Fish' section in the kitchen.
I still think that a place like that, it's most definitely where they send bad souls to atone for their sins.
A miasmic atmosphere ridden with eternally frying oil, vinegar exhalations and the worst collection of body-odour imaginable.
It was like the UN of sinners, a Babel of underpaid workers where the levels of knowledge of the english language, literacy and manners were well below standards.
I saw managers blowing their noses in the kitchen sink, I saw employees pick up a chicken patty from the floor and slam it back inside the sandwich for a 'demanding' client (...maybe he just wanted a 'no mayo' sandwich...), I saw timid looking girls hastily stuffing their backpacks with bread and bags of frozen chicken nuggets on their way home.
I need to mention that, being paid £3.60 an hour, this was most definitely closer to slavery than a proper employment.
I knew I was in for a bumpy ride the morning I traded my perfectly stone-washed jeans for a pair of drip-dry polyester trousers and a polo-shirt that felt like sandpaper.
The Mac Donald's uniform: wear it to the point it stands by itself, then chuck it in the washing machine at 150.000ºC and pull it out ready to be worn again. To me, a fashion student that just got his degree in haute couture tailoring, it was simply profane.
The equivalent of a muslim being forced to wear a Lady Gaga's dress made out of pork chops. But I had to start somewhere, and that was my start.
Obviously, being a gay guy refusing to get back in the closet and working with so many muslims, had its complications.
Not that I was flamboyant or things like that, but I simply refused to lie about who I was and would talk openly about myself to my fellow slaves, whenever they enquired.
Soon, names like "AC/DC", "Batty Boy", or "Philadelphia" kept coming up whenever I was around. Whispered in the staff cantine, from behind magazines or coffee cups. I wasn't deaf, but I wasn't bothered either as I wasn't really sure what they meant, in my ignorance of the english language.
It was my first experience of sharing a space with people from so many different cultures. I can say that, by far, the spanish were the friendliest and less put out by my sexuality; the greek were very curious, the nigerian were feeling very sorry for me being gay ( "I will pray for you" was what one of my colleagues said once...), and the muslims were relentless in their childish humour about kissing men and "..entering through the backdoor...", as they nicely put it.
What c**ts though uh?
The final straw came when two of the floor managers came over to me in the back-room, holding each other's hand, to ask me "Which one of us do you fancy?", giggling like two retards.
I must underline the fact that, apart from being constantly stinking of onions and B.O., these two were quite unfortunate in the looks department. One, skinny as a broom, hair that looked like it was combed using mayonnaise; the other, fat and pert as a self important turkey on Thanks Giving and a face so covered in pimples and spots that could have been Braille.
I couldn't believe it, but I had to give them a lashing:
"I wouldn't piss on either of you smelly bastards if you were o fire...... Now, thank Allah that I am a gentleman, otherwise you'll be out of a job and your poor wives would be selling vegetables on the road to pay for your cheap aftershave.....".
Obviously this escalated into a formal complaint. Incredibly enough, it was THEM that complained about ME! They referred the whole incident to the store manager, he was persian, sufficiently educated and hated nuisances. After hearing my version of the story, he ended up apologising to me on their behalf.
"They're idiots, ignore them..." he just said, but I knew better.
I had enough. So, one fine day I entered the Gap store opposite and asked for a job. I did explain that I was being bullied by my bosses and that I was desperate to get out.
It turns out that Gap was fully staffed, but Dylan, one of the managers, and himself a homosexual, was so taken back by my situation that he offered me a full time job anyway. To this day I am very grateful for the break he gave me 13 years ago.
I simply stopped showing up for work at MacDonald's, treating my contract as the joke that it was.I met my old store manager only once in the street, by chance, few weeks later. He pretended not to see me and walked off.
I think he knew that by me leaving, he was avoiding worse complications. Like having to face the fact that his managers were complete homophobic twats.
He accepted it when he shouldn't have.
I left it all behind.
I was finally in the gay land of fashion retail and things could only get better.



TBC









Hi all,


what a depressing time of the year! Outside is cold and wet (here in London...), the VAT has shot up to 20% leaving us all lighter in the pocket, we're all struggling to get to the end of the month to replenish our bank accounts with some cash. In the midst of so much bleakness, I could only welcome the news coming from Italy about Silvio Berlusconi having to fend for himself in court against allegations of having paid for sex with underage girls. Against all, expectations though, in a stroke of genius and with the precise intent of avoiding all accusations against him, the italian premier has 'confessed' of being in a secret, long-term relationship with a mistery-woman ever since his wife told him to get lost.
So all the allegations of immoral and illegal behaviour can drop to the floor without a sound. He thinks.
We must remember though that who's talking is a 74 year old man that (as my friend Simo described) wears as much make up as a slut and that could be buried under the mountain of allegations, accusations, confessions and general discrediting material against him built up throughout the years of his political career.
Hence the hilarity of the whole story. I must concede though, the man is definitely creative in his bullshitting. Somebody went as far as to imagine the Premier coming out as gay in order to escape accusations....
Let's see what happens.
There was another piece of news that stirred up my bowel this week: the three Anglican Bishops being re-ordained as Catholic Priests in Westminster Cathedral.
Now, I am for the 'live and let live' principle, so, if you feel like trading one set of complications for a worse one, then be my guest.
What really pissed me off was realising that the motivating factor behind their decision to abandon the Anglican Church in favour of the Catholic one, was the decision of the former to start ordaining women bishops.

Even worse was my realisation that all three of these men are married and yet allowed to be re-ordained. So, now it turns out that you CAN be a catholic priest and be married, but you can't be a woman and be a priest.
"Oh, but we have that covered!" says Ratzy, back at the Vatican, meaning the 'married' bit, not the 'woman' bit, that's still a no-no... Ok?
It turns out that, in fact, these three men will be the pioneering group belonging to a brand new church.
Its name was unveiled as the 'Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham', led by one of the three newly re-ordained priests, Father Newton.
He will preside over a church within a church, where normal Catholic rules don't apply. As well as a married priesthood, it can use its own prayer books and rites, imported from Anglicanism.

What a historical effort!
"Do you find yourself at odds with your current church but you happen to be married? No problem! I'll create a new church just for you.... As long as you become one of us!".
Sounds like Ratzy has a lot to share in his demeanor with the Emperor from Star Wars (he kind of looks like him too don't you find?).
Jokes aside, what could really be the start of a new catholic sensibility towards human nature and represent something good and a force for change, unfortunately doesn't do anything else but confirm the church as a staunchly sexist establishment.
Usually, married men cannot be ordained as Catholic priests unless the wife dies (!!!), although there are a series of examples within the Eastern Christian Orthodox Church of married priests. If you are a Catholic, you must ditch the women (and the men...) and embrace a sexless relationship with God.

But here we have witnessed the bending of some pretty strong rules, to accommodate a certain situation, and yet, when it comes to women, every door is shut.
You can be a nun of varying degrees of importance and servitude, but when it comes to sitting at the board with the other big shots, no one wants you there. Actually, they make you feel bad for even wanting to get there because, as pope John II put it "Ministerial priesthood is an expression of service, not of domination...".
You greedy women!! Who do you think you are? Go back to dusting... You left a little bit of dust over there by the way... Just behind the crucifix... No.... NO WOMAN! To the LEFT of the altar....
What was I saying? Ah... Yes...
So why is that women get the shitty end of the stick all the time?
"The Bible says that Jesus had 12 apostles and they were all men!" I heard somewhere.
I can appreciate this statement and dismiss it as ignorance.
I believe that history is written by the winners. The same winners, in this case, that decided to select 4 out of the dozens of Gospels ever written and stick them together to form the greatest best seller of all times: The Bible.
But perception is reality, and, as misinformed and manipulated as this perception is, it has formed the centuries-old basis of Catholicism.
So I let this one go.
"Woman and man were created equal, but with very different, albeit both important, roles to play: the man to conquer, the woman to aid (serve) man".
Here you are. An army of bona fide housekeepers. Just as nature intended.
Are you having a nosebleed? I bet you do.
So, to put it bluntly, the women have been intended solely for the supporting roles in this man's world.
Even worse, women should feel honoured in their role. They are doing God's work in the world. They cannot become priests because it would mean 'reducing the importance of the bigger part they have to play'.
Or maybe, always to put it bluntly, for every woman sitting at the board, there would be one less standing at the ironing board.
In the following article is described the condition of women within the Catholic Church as seen by another woman, obviously in agreement with the whole thing.
Some of the points that really make me wish I had a vagina, just to have the excuse of flashing it at his holiness Ratzy, are the following:
-when talking about the role women have in the world, there is a weird recurrence of words like 'sumbissive' and 'humble'.
-when talking about the steps society has taken towards sexual equality, it's implied that women reach power through birth control. As if deciding to have an abortion is first and foremost an assertion of power for a woman.
-a woman that chooses to die to save her unborn child is somehow better than the one who chooses to live. Hence the implied notion of a woman that reaches her purpose only through sacrifice.

What is apparent to me is that there is no women left in this desolate land.
Only two things: Madonnas and Whores.
The first kind is good enough for heaven and barely good enough to worship or teach, the second kind is the stuff of nightmares.
Where do you fit?


Q



Hi folks,

One of my friends just commented to me that, to have the traffic I have on my blog, the number of my followers is kind of low.
So I got thinking.
Am I boring?
Am I full of shit?
Am I alienating people?
I don't mean to sound full of myself, but I had to answer NO to all of the above.
I had the temerity of asking to a couple of people on Facebook what they thought of the blog and if they intended to start following it.
It turns out that they thought they were following my blog, when in fact they "only" pressed the 'like' Facebook button thinking that meant becoming followers.
YESSSS! I'm not boring after all! It's all a misunderstanding...... I'm so happy!
So, I explain to you how it works.
See the 'FOLLOW' button to the left of your screen just above the lovely pictures of my clever and classy followers?
Well, click on it and follow the on-screen instructions. If you need to, you will be asked to enter your details to create a google account (tooootally free and quick to do...). If you become a follower, I cannot promise I will send you little gifts or vouchers for the weekly food-shopping on a monthly basis, but at least you will get to comment on whatever post tickles your pickles....
So, what do you think?
Come on, show me some loving....


Qx

Hi folks!

I just got tweeted some interesting news regarding our beloved star-signs!
It turns our that they are no longer 12! Apparently, another sign has been pushing "italian style" in the queue to get in....
Meet "Ophiuchus", the 13th sign of the zodiac.
Apparently already in use 3000 years ago with the babylonians, credited for having "invented" the zodiac, Ophiuchus, running approximately between 29 November and 17 December, got excluded arbitrarily when the babylonians decided to work with only 12 signs (and we thought that only Catholics would arbitrarily exclude parts of their religion to suit them better...).
Now, 3000 years later, thanks to a shift in the Earth's axis, and according to Parke Kunkle, a board member of the Minnesota Planetarium Society, our old, familiar signs, have also shifted seats, creating room for a 13th guest.
This is some more information on Ophiuchus.
Go and check on this page if your sign has been affected, whether you believe in the Zodiac or not (I don't, but it's amusing...).
I am still very much a Taurean, but, if Mr. Kunkle is to be believed, my son is actually not a Gemini, but a Taurean as well (version that I would actually prefer, as Gemini men are all über intelligent heartbreakers with the attention span of a fruit-fly... Allegedly...), and my husband is not a Piscean, but actually an Aquarian, which I can appreciate, since Pisceans are quite devoid of any aggression, but Aquarians can be cosmic rottweilers if they want to, and my dad is actually not a Taurean anymore, but an Aries, which suits him fine as he displays the "teak-head" stubbornness of this latter sign.
If you happen to be so very lucky and be born between Nov 29th and Dec 17, then YOU are an Ophiuchus!
Congratulations!! How do you feel?
Not a catchy name, I admit, but at least you are original. Don't get put off by the strangeness of the name! Soon enough we will stop reacting to it like it's an infectious disease ( 'Hi, I'm Joe and I am an Ophiuchus... Am I still getting laid?' ).
It remains to be seen where the sign characteristics of Ophiuchus are. Has anybody written them yet?


Q



Hi all,

see what having a nanny can do? I cannot believe that I can write more than once per week now.
My friend Cristiano just passed on to me this interesting article.
A little bit of hope for us all and a good model to follow for us europeans.

Grazie Cristiano!


Q




P.S.
I have no relation whatsoever to the baby in the picture. Whoever took that photo has a really, really, really expressive child..... :0)


Per un avido frequentatore di cinema come me, quasi due anni di servitù in balia di mio figlio di 19 mesi è una eternità di privazione.

Ho mancato film come Avatar, diversi episodi Harry Potter, Il secondo Sex and the City, Twilight "New Moon", Twilight "Eclipse", "Transformers 2", "Terminator Salvation" ed altri titoli minori di interesse.

Adesso, permettetemi di aprire una parentesi sulla saga di Twilight.

Voglio dire, ok, dovrebbe trattare di vampiri e lupi mannari, ma, l'ultima volta che ho controllato, i vampiri erano creature notturne piuttosto voraci con un debole per il sangue di vergine e per le bare.

I lupi mannari erano mostri pelosi del tutto irragionevoli che non potevano fare a meno di stracciare a brandelli chiunque fosse cosí sfortunato da capitar loro a tiro durante la luna piena.

Che cosa ci offre "Twilight" invece?

Un gruppo di mostri-fighetti-adolescenti che passano le giornate a tenere il broncio e fare i sexy.

Non un canino in vista, uno schizzo di sangue (a meno che la povera Bella non decida di fare un atterraggio di fortuna sul vetro del tavolo del salotto e spaccarsi una vena, o due.... ).

Inoltre, con l'avvento della televisione ad alta definizione, anche il trucco degli attori lascia molto a desiderare.

Potrei giurare di aver visto il fondotinta bianco del signor Cullen raccogliersi in righette sotto gli occhi ogni volta che sorride.

Da qui il broncio perenne.

E, infine, che cavolo!! Cosa ha Bella di cosi’ speciale eh?

Voglio dire, la ragazza ha solo da poco imparato a usare il trucco e a spazzolarsi i capelli. Perché ogni creatura delle tenebre esistente e’ ossessionata con lei?

E poi tutta questa l'intensità sull’amore, la morte, la vendetta ... Che diamine, si suppone che i protagonisti abbiano solo 17 anni (con l'eccezione di Edward, che ne ha probabilmente 217 ...), da qui la mia teoria che, con tutto quello stress, entro i 30 anni saranno tutti morti.

Bah ....

Voi mi chiedete, giustamente, "Perché allora ti guardi i film di Twilight?". Elementare!

Perché Jacob il Cane Palestrato ama indossare i pantaloncini in denim.... E basta!

E se questa non sembra una ragione sufficientemente buona per voi, allora mi dispiace di avervi deluso.

Sono solo onesto.

E gay.


Comunque, quando "The King's Speech", ha aperto a Londra la settimana scorsa, ho deciso che non potevo perdermelo.

Il film parla della storia di re George VI d’Inghilterra, padre della attuale sovrana, afflitto da una tremenda balbuzie e del ruolo di re che gli capita tra capo e collo a causa dell’abdicazione di suo fratello maggiore.

La narrazione si concentra sulla relazione tra il sovrano ed il suo logopedista, e come, grazie alle tecniche poco ortodosse di quest’ultimo, re George VI riesce ad evitare il disastro di essere a capo di una nazione in guerra con la Germania e non riuscire neanche a fare un discorso ufficiale.

Troppo bello! Quando uscira’ in Italia andate a vederlo....


Il fatto che i miei genitori siano ancora qui a Londra con noi, ha aiutato moltissimo con Gabriel. Così, io e Steven abbiamo deciso di vivere un po’ e uscire da soli per andare al cinema, come facevamo quando eravamo una coppia senza figli.

Oh, la gioia di sedersi per due ore e mezzo per vedere un film senza interruzioni! Il piacere di avere una enorme busta di pop corn in grembo e una bibita gassata in mano mentre tuo marito ti dà da mangiare un hot dog ....

Qui a Londra vige l’espressione “As happy as a pig in shit”....

Andate pure a tradurre.

Abbiamo deciso di andare al Cineworld di Fulham Road, che è a pochi passi da casa e in genere attrae un pubblico più educato. L'ultima volta che siamo andati all’altro cinema di Fulham Broadway, un gruppetto di adolescenti scavezzacollo ha deciso di iniziare a fumare ganja nel mezzo di "Brokeback Mountain" e, una volta realizzato che il film narrava la storia di due cowboy gay, hanno iniziato con le esclamazioni pesanti, le battutacce ed i fischi...

Mica carino per il signor Gyllenhaall e la buonanima del sig Ledger...

O per noi.

L'auditorium era vuoto quando siamo arrivati, ma, una volta giunti all’inizio del film, non c’erano quasi piú posti liberi.

Questa coppia di mezza età finisce seduta proprio accanto a me. Lui era il tipico avvocato in pensione, lei la tipica signora-bene di Chelsea: capelli grigi corti, cerchietto, twin-set verde oliva , filo di perle ed un paio di occhiali da vista dall’aspetto costoso appeso al collo con una catenina luccicante.

Guardandomi intorno incrociai il suo sguardo e le sorrisi educatamente, mentre continuavo a masticare il mio hotdog.

Lei rimase indifferente.

All’inglese.

Il film inizia e, non appena infilo la mano nel sachetto di popcorn, il tizio seduto con la signora mi tocca sulla spalla dicendo:

"La potrebbe smettere di fare questo rumore?"

Ero sinceramente perplesso.

"Che rumore?" Ho chiesto sorridendo.

"Quel rumore lì!" Risponde seccato, indicando il mio popcorn.

"Oh... Ma è il sacchetto... É di carta! Non posso farci niente..."

Provo io a ragionarci, ma a quel punto la signora interferisce stizzita dicendo:

"Beh, non avrà di certo intenzione di mangiare per tutto il film vero?" ritagliando ogni parola con un tono paternalistico che finisce col mandare un getto di sangue attraverso il mio cervello.

"Beh, sa che le dico? Dal momento che ho pagato il popcorn ed il biglietto, e probabilmente più di voi due pensionati, ci mancherebbe altro! Ho ogni intenzione di mangiarmi tutto, finché non è finito..." ho risposto imitando il suo tono del cavolo.

"Incredibile!" scatta lei, sibilando da dietro gli occhiali:

"La gente come lei è proprio la ragione per cui non vado mai al cinema ..." voltandosi e scambiando di posto con il marito.

I miei occhi stavano rotolando nella testa come le ruote di una slot-machine. "ATTACCA ----- ATTACCA" era la scritta rossa che mi lampeggiava nel cervello.

"Ah sì? Si figuri che le donne come lei sono esattamente il motivo per cui sono così felice di essere gay! ". Risate generali dalla fila dietro di noi. Forse la mia voce era un po’ alta.

E scato in piedi.

"Cosa è successo? Dove stai andando? "Steven mi chiede, ancora assorto nel film.

"Torno subito!" Rispondo io uscendo dalla sala.

Sono quindi ritornato con altre due buste di popcorn e mi sono seduto.

"Che ti succede? Ma sei matto? Il popcorn non ti piace neanche così tanto ..."Steven osserva.

"Non è solo per me, anche tu ne mangerai durante tutto il film OK?" ho risposto, visibilmente arrabbiato.

Dopo avergli sussurrato tutta la storia, devo ammettere, ho dovuto trattenerlo. Steven avrebbe solo voluto gettare il sacchetto intero di popcorn sulla testa della stronza, ma non sarebbe stato opportuno o educato. Ha quindi fatto ricorso a qualche parolaccia a mezza bocca e sotto voce.

Eravamo al cinema dopo tutto.....

Sentivo sacchetti di carta frusciare per tutto l’auditorium, bottigliette e lattine di bevande gassate che sibilavano appena aperte, nachos masticati rumorosamente da voraci spettatori, alcuni colpi di tosse, degli starnuti ed anche un cellulare squillare in lontananza.

Eppure, quella vecchia stronza poteva sentire solo il mio sacchetto di popcorn.

Ora so che, ai gentili tra di voi, potrei sembrare maleducato, ma per l'amor del cielo!

Un estraneo che ti si piazza in faccia e ti dice di non mangiare popcorn perché il sacchetto è troppo rumoroso è un po' troppo da sopportare. Ed ero al cinema! Non in biblioteca!

Mi sono assicurato di masticare per tutto il film, cercando di frugare bene nel sacchetto ogni volta che ci infilavo la mano per una manciata di popcorn.

Di tanto in tanto, la tipa mi dava delle occhiate, da dietro al marito, scuotendo la testa in disapprovazione. Un gesto così scioccante per gli inglesi.

Ah bella! Io sono italiano! Non me ne frega un cazzo della sua disapprovazione.

Considerando che la vera maleducata era proprio lei.

Ringraziasse solo il cielo che ho tenuto Steven calmo o le avebbe dato un calcio nel sedere cosi’ forte da farle sentire il sapore del cuoio di Berluti.

Il film è stato assolutamente fantastico però. Sicuramente lo acquisterò in DVD.

La prossima settimana, prima che mamma e papà tornino in Italia, devo assolutamente andare a vedere "Black Swan" con Natalie Portman.

Chiederò al bar del cinema se hanno dei sacchetti di seta per il popcorn, o forse solo qualcosa di duro e pesante per sistemare chi si mette tra me ed il mio relax.




Q



For an avid cinema goer such as myself, almost two years of servitude at the mercy of my ever-so-demanding 19 month-old son is an eternity of cinema-free-dom.

I missed big movies like Avatar, several Harry Potter installments, the second Sex and the City film, Twilight “New Moon”, Twilight “Eclipse”, “Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen”, “Terminator Salvation” and some other blockbusting movies and minor titles of interest.

Please allow me to open a parenthesis about the Twilight saga.

I mean, ok, it’s supposed to be about vampires and werewolves, but, last time I checked, vampires were fairly voracious nocturnal creatures with a penchant for virgin blood and coffins.

Werewolves were totally unreasonable hairy monsters that couldn’t help but shred everybody in their path to shreds.

What does “Twilight” give us instead?

A bunch of sanitised teenage-monsters that spend a lot of time sulking and looking positively hot. Not a canine in sight (I mean the teeth, not the mutts...), not a ripple of blood (unless poor Bella decides to accidentally crash-land on a glass coffee-table and open a vein, or two...).

Furthermore, with the advent of HD television, even the actors’ make up leaves a lot to be desired. I could swear I saw Mr. Cullen’s white foundation gather up in little lines under his eyes every time he smiles. Hence the perennial sulking.

And, finally, for crying-out-loud! What’s so special with Bella uh?

I mean, the girl has only recently learnt how to use makeup and brush her hair. Why is every dark creature on the planet obsessed with her?

And all this intensity about love, death, revenge... I mean, the folks are supposed to be only 17 (with the exception of Edward that is probably 217...), so my theory is that with all that stress, by 30 they’ll all be dead.

Bah....

Ah yes! You ask me, rightfully, “Why on earth do you watch the Twilight movies then?”.

Because Jacob the Gym-Bunny turned Mutt-Boy likes to wear just denim shorts.

And if this doesn’t sound like a good-enough reason for you, then sorry to have disappointed you. I’m just honest.


Anyway, when “The King’s Speech” opened in London last week, I decided I was not going to miss it.

The fact that both my mum and dad are still here with us, helped a lot with Gabriel. So, me and Steven decided to live a little and go out, just the two of us, to the cinema, like we used to do when we were a childless couple.

Oh, the bliss of sitting down for two and a half hours to watch a movie with no interruptions! The sheer pleasure of holding a huge bucket of popcorn in your lap and a fizzy drink in your hand whilst your husband feeds you a hotdog....

We decided to go to the Cineworld Fulham Road, which is a short walk from home and generally attracts a more educated Chelsea crowd. Last time we went to the cinema at the Fulham Broadway, a little teenage-gang decided to start smoking ganja right in the middle of “Brokeback Mountain” and once they realised the movie was about two gay cowboys, they started with the name-calling, the whistling.... Not nice for Mr Gyllenhaall and the late Mr Ledger... Or for us.

The auditorium was empty when we arrived, but, by the time the movie was about to start, there were nearly no seats left.

This middle-aged couple ends up sitting right next to me. He looks like your average retired lawyer, she looks like your average Chelsea lady: grey bobbed hair, hairband, olive green roll-neck and cardigan, string of pearls and some rather expensive-looking spectacles hanging around her neck by a glittering chain.

I looked around, caught her eye and smiled politely whilst chewing on my hotdog.

She didn’t return my smile.

The movie started and, as I attacked the popcorn on my lap, the old guy sitting with the lady taps me on the shoulder saying:

“Could you please stop making that noise?”

I was sincerely nonplussed.

“What noise?” I asked smiling

“That noise there!” he replied sternly, pointing at my popcorn.

“Oh... But it’s a paper bag! I can’t help it...” I tried to reason, and at that point the lady butts in:

“Well, you don’t need to eat throughout the movie do you?” she said icily, clipping every word with a patronising tone that sent a flow of blood splashing through my brain.

“Well, it turns out that, as I paid a ticked, probably much more than you two pensioners, and I paid for my popcorn, then hell yeah! I will eat it until it’s finished...” I replied mocking the way she clipped out every word at me.

“Un-be-lievable!” she snapped back, hissing from behind her stupid glasses:

“People like yourself are precisely the reason why I never go to cinema...” and she turned away, swapping places with her husband.

My eyes rolled into my head like the wheels of a slot-machine. “ATTACK-----ATTACK” was the red writing that flashed into my brain.

“Oh yeah? I’ll have you know that women like you are PRECISELY the reason why I’m so glad I’m gay!”. General laughter from the row behind us. Perhaps my voice was a bit loud.

Then I stood up.

“What’s happened? Where are you going?” Steven asked, still engrossed in the movie.

“I’ll be back!” I just said, and got out of the auditorium.

When I got back, I was carrying two more bags of popcorn and I sat down.

“What’s the matter with you? Are you crazy? You don’t even like popcorn so much...” Steven remarked.

“It’s not only for me, you are going to have some too, throughout the movie OK?” I replied, looking angry.

After whispering the whole drama to Steven, I must admit, I had to restrain him. He just wanted to throw the whole popcorn bag over the bitch’s head, but that wouldn’t have been appropriate or polite. He resorted to call her names a couple of times under his breath.

I could hear paper bags crackling all over the auditorium, fizzy drink bottled hissing as they were opened, nachos crunching under the voracious jaws of the spectators, some coughs, some sneezes and even a mobile phone ringing in the distance.

And yet, that old sausage-bag could only hear my popcorn paper bag.

Now, I know that to the gentile crowd among you, I must sound uncouth, but for goodness’ sake, a total stranger getting into your face telling you no to eat your popcorn because the bag is too noisy it’s a little too much to bear.

I made well sure I munched throughout the movie, giving a good rummage to he paper bag every time I was reaching for a fistful of popcorn.

Every once in a while she would glare at me from behind her husband’s neck, shaking her head in a disapproving manner so shocking for the english.

But hey! I’m Italian! I don’t give a shit of your head-shaking antics.

Just be glad I kept my husband on the leash, or you’d have had his foot so far up your arse you could have tasted the leather of his Berlutis.

The movie was absolutely brilliant though. I will definitely buy it on DVD.

Next week, before mum and dad return to Italy, I must go and watch “Black Swan”.

I will ask at the cinema-bar if they have silk bags for the popcorn, or maybe just something blunt and hard to bash people over the head with.


Q




Hi there, mums, dads and body-snatchers (...Brad & Angelina, you know I mean YOU...),

I think images speak louder than a thousand words. I think this is the one case when words could go up to a million and still not be strong enough to convey this simple message.
Amen to that.



Q

P.S.
Someone left the bottom open for oxygen... I wouldn't have.... ;0)

Salve a tutti,

non vi dico il successone della mia ricetta "Torta alla Banana Vergognosamente Facile"!!! Sono stato letteralmente inondato di emails con domande, precisazioni e complimenti..... Non credevo che le banane potessero essere cosi' popolari!
Qui a Londra il tempo e' da schifo, piove anche quando non piove, il Natale e' passato, Gennaio imperversa col suo bagaglio di depressione.... Allora sapete che vi dico? Mi faccio una bella torta al cioccolato e aspetto Febbraio.... A questo proposito, vi voglio proporre un'altra ricetta facilissima e cosi' buona che vi ritroverete a comprare cacao in polvere ogni settimana.
Di nuovo, una ricetta che va bene per i piccoli, si tratta di cioccolato, e' vero, ma e' comunque una torta sana e decisamente semplice. Il mio piccolo Gabriel ha da poco iniziato a sperimentare con la cioccolata (sono un genitore paranoico quando si tratta di dolciumi....), ma devo dire che anche questa ricetta si e' rivelata un fenomeno! Un pezzettino di torta per merenda non lo rifiuta mai!
Perfetta per un compleanno o per un caffe' nel pomeriggio con amici (se fate parte di quella categoria di genitori che hanno il tempo di incontrare gli amici nel pomeriggio, magari con tanto di Ferrero Rocher ed Ambrogio.....).
Vabbe', torniamo alla torta prima che mi salga l'invidia alla gola, facendo una dovuta precisazione: questa fenomenale ricetta mi e' stata svelata da mia cugina Michela la scorsa estate, durante un fantastico pranzetto cucinato da lei....

Allora, ti servono:

3 Uova Intere
2 Etti di Zucchero
2 Cucchiai di Cacao Amaro in Polvere
1 Etto e 1/2 di Farina
70 Gr di Burro Fuso a Bagnomaria (o nel microonde per 10 secondi...)
1/2 Bicchiere di Latte
1 Bustina di Lievito (Paneangeli o Bertolini....)
Nutella QB
Panna da Montare QB
Zucchero a Velo

Tempo di preparazione: 5 minuti!!!!

Buttate nel mixer le uova, lo zucchero, la farina, il cacao amaro ed il burro fuso.
Unire il latte e per ultimo il lievito.
Imburrate uno stampo circolare e cospargete di farina per far si' che la torta non si attacchi, se possedete della carta da forno, semplicemente rivestite lo stampo con la medesima.
Cuocere la torta in forno a 180º per 45 minuti o finche' cotta. Aspettate sempre almeno 40 minuti, poi infilate la lama di un coltello nel centro della torta, se esce pulita e' cotta, altrimenti, infornate per altri 10 minuti.
Una volta cotta, aspettate che si raffreddi.
Tagliate la torta a meta', in modo da ottenere due strati.
Dunque mettete il vasetto di Nutella nel microonde (badando bene di rimuovere completamente la carta-sigillo metallica dal barattolo ed il tappo...). Potete anche evitare questo passo, ma io trovo che sciogliendo la Nutella un po', diventa piu' facile spalmarla.
Farcite la torta con uno strato di Nutella, sopra il quale spalmerete della panna montata. Richiudere la torta e spolverate con dello zucchero a velo.
Una mia variante interessante consiste nel sostituire la Nutella con della marmellata di amarene. Il risultato e' una specie di Black Forest gateau. Delizioso!

Buon appetito, e fatemi sapere cosa ne pensate!


Q


Hello everyone,
I can't tell you what a blockbuster my "Shamefully Easy Banana Cake" recipe has been! I was literally flooded with emails with questions, comments and compliments.....
I couldn't believe how popular bananas can be!Here in London the weather is crap, at the moment it rains even when it doesn't, Christmas is gone for another year, and January is rife with its baggage of depression....
Then you know what? I'll make a chocolate cake and wait for February.... In this regard, I want to propose another easy recipe and so good that you'll be buying cocoa powder every week.Again, a recipe that is good for the little ones, it's chocolate, it 's true, but it's still a sound and very simple cake. My little Gabriel has just started experimenting with chocolate (I am a paranoid parent when it comes to sweets ....), but I must say that this recipe has proven to be a phenomenon! He never turns down a piece of cake for tea time!Perfect for a birthday or a coffee in the afternoon with friends (if you belong to that category of parents who have time to meet friends in the afternoon for coffee...).Anyways, let's go back to the cake before envy rises at the back of my throat. I need to make a clarification: thia phenomenal recipe was unveiled to me by my cousin Michela, last summer, over a wonderful lunch cooked by her ....
Here it goes, you'll need:
3 eggs2 cups of sugar2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder150 g. of flour70 g. of butter, melted in a bain-marie (or microwave for 10 seconds ...)1/2 cup milk1 teaspoon of rasing powderNutella as much as you likeWhipping cream as much as you likeIcing Sugar to dust
Preparation time: 5 minutes!!
Throw in a mixer the eggs, sugar, flour, cocoa powder and melted butter.Combine the milk and finally the raising powder.Butter a ring mold and sprinkle with flour to make sure the cake does not stick, if you have some parchment paper, simply coat the mold with it.Bake the cake in the oven at 180 º for 45 minutes or until cooked. Always wait at least 40 minutes, then, to test, slide the blade of a knife in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean then it's cooked, otherwise, bake for further 10 minutes.Once cooked, allow it to cool.Cut the cake in half, so as to obtain two layers.Put the jar of Nutella in the microwave (taking care to completely remove the foil seal from the jar and the cap ...). You can avoid this step if you wish, but find that melting the Nutella a little, makes spreading it a lot easier.
Fill the cake with a layer of Nutella, spreads over it the whipped cream. Close the cake and dust with icing sugar.One of my interesting variation consists in replacing the Nutella with sour cherry jam. The result is a kind of Black Forest Gateau. Delicious!
Enjoy your cake, and let me know what you think!

Q