Friday, September 30, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Leo* and Mathilde left this morning to France, where they will stay for ten days.

Matteo, after enjoying two nights of full sleep, will go to Milan for the week end.

The M&M’s family will rejoin the following week-end in Paris.

(*) I took the plane for the first time when I was ten (actually my first flight was my tenth birthday’s present). Leo is not even two-month old and he has already taken his first plane, and he will probably take many more in the next few months. What will his tenth birthday’s present be, a trip to the moon?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ostia Antica

Deceived by the discouraging weather forecasts, we decided not to leave Rome for the week-end. And when on Sunday morning we woke up with a bright autumn sun, we first cursed the weather reports, and then we started frenetically consulting our travel guides to see how to remedy the week-end and where we could go on a one-day-trip.

The choice finally fell on Ostia Antica, the former harbour of ancient Rome, described by the guide as ‘as charming as Pompei’.

Well, perhaps the comparison with Pompei was a bit pretentious, but we have to say we were not disappointed. On the contrary, we enjoyed it very much - according to Mathilde it was even better than the Roman Forum.

Ostia Antica is a large archaeological site, particularly suggestive as immersed in the littoral pinewood.

Because it has been covered by mud for centuries, most of the ruins remained perfectly preserved. And because of the large area covered by the site (and because probably less advertised than the Roman Forum or Pompei) there are very few tourists: in many places we felt as we were the only ones visiting.

Highly recommended to anyone who will come to visit us!

(On a marginal note: for the second time in three days we managed to eat outside with Leo. Perhaps parenthood is not as black as painted…)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Primi sorrisi (premiers sourires, first smiles)

In the past couple of days Leonardo started smiling in response to our smiles.

What bliss!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Last week-end

Let’s continue and conclude the account of the past week-end before entering in the new one.

Last week-end marked the return of Les M&M’s to society. After weeks and weeks interned between the walls of our home, we finally adventured ourselves to the ‘outside world’: on Saturday we went to a BBQ in Santa Marinella, on the seaside near Civitavecchia, and on Sunday we joined the same group of friends to the volcanic Lake of Vico, about one hour north from Rome*.

The experiment was successful in many regards: Leo behaved and seemed to enjoy being cuddled by many people (he even recorded an eight-hour-in-a-row sleep!). Mathilde was happy to finally see other faces than that of her husband. And Matteo was happy to finally use the M&M’s mobile beyond the usual home-supermarket-home way.

Considering the success of this week-end, we may expect many other week-ends scouting Rome’ surroundings.

Stay tuned!

(*) Thanks to Betty and Gigi for organizing it and for inviting us J

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The strange case of a half-French, half-Italian...

Despite his French passport, it’s a fact that Leonardo is half French and half Italian*.

We often wondered which personality would have resulted from this blend. Yesterday I had a first demonstration…

I had just finished to have Leonardo taking his bath and was wiping him in his towel, when, apparently without a reason, he suddenly banged his head against me - as a notorious (former) French footballeur previously. Still half stunned I was feeling my upper lip to check whether it was bleeding, when Leonardo (as the worst Italian cheater) started screaming, crying, tossing as if possessed by demons.

Before I could even realize what had happened, Mathilde came in the room ticking me off: “What did you do to Leo?!?!”

And there was no way I could prove my innocence: “Hey, why do you give me the blame: it was him who committed foul against me!!!”

(*) Actually he is half French (with some drops of Belgian blood), three-eighths Italian and one-eighth Chinese…

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sari in Cammino - ecco perché l’India non è (ancora) un paese per donne…

In the past months the name of Valeria appeared more than once on this Blog.

A very good friend of us in Delhi, where she was working as a free-lance journalist, she moved to Rome more or less at the same time of us (you may remember our joint farewell party in Delhi), and represented a sort of reference point for us in this new city.

However, even if her name appeared more than once in the Blog, we realized that we have never ‘formally’ introduced her.

What a better occasion to introduce her to our readers then than through the book she wrote while in India (‘Sari in Cammino’), and that she officially presented a few days ago (Leo, Mathilde and I were of course in the front row!).

‘Sari in Cammino’ is a book that, through a series of interviews to different Indian women (a 12 years old child who refused an arranged marriage, a Muslim boxer who dreams to participate to the Olympic Games to emancipate herself, an untouchable who works as a journalist for the first newspaper in India owned, managed, written and distributed by untouchables, a Bollywood star, a lesbian, an activist of an Hinduism fundamentalist group, a successful fashion designer, the CEO of one of the major biotechnology enterprises in Asia, a local politician and many others) provides a portrait of today’s India and of its contradictions.

Having emotionally participated to the drafting of this book, witnessing the enthusiasm with which (but also the challenges through which) Valeria carried out this task, and having listened ‘first-hand’ to the accounts of the interviews, the early drafts, etc. we felt very proud for her.

Brava Valeria!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A couple of pictures of the past few days*

Mathilde exploiting the super-powers of the magic sling

Leo reading the Blog

(*) Will tell you a bit more about the past days in the next posts…

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

La tartaruga Guadalupa (2)

(Continua dal post precedente)

“Europa… è lì che andrò!”.

E così Guadalupa prese la corrente del Golfo, una corrente di acqua calda che dal Golfo del Messico attraversa tutto l’Oceano Atlantico e arriva a bagnare le coste occidentali del Nord Europa, e nuota nuota, arrivò… in Bretagna!

La Bretagna è una regione della Francia, il paese della tua mamma, dove i suoi abitanti mangiano due sole cose: le crêpes, e le ostriche. E proprio mentre Guadalupa stava cercando di capire bene dove era capitata, la rete di un pescatore bretone la catturò insieme a tante altre ostriche (lo so che le ostriche non si pescano, ma concedetemi questa licenza ai fini della storia…), e Guadalupe venne portata in riva, dove venne messa con le altre ostriche in uno scatolone pieno di ghiaccio e portata al mercato.

Quel giorno passeggiavano al mercato una coppia di Parigi, venuti in Bretagna per il week end a respirare un po’ di aria buona. Il marito era golosissimo di ostriche, e non appena le vide sul bancone del pescivendolo, non seppe resistere e ne comprò due dozzine. Ma non appena fece per addentarne una, a momenti si rompe un molare avendo in realtà addentato Guadalupa, che si era ritirata nel guscio.

Tra un’imprecazione e l’altra il signore di Parigi stava per gettare con violenza Guadalupe per terra, quando la moglie lo trattenne dicendo: “ma no, caro, guarda, è una tartaruga! Com’è carina! Potremmo regalarla al nostro nipotino a Roma…”

E così la coppia, rientrata a Parigi, prese una scatolina di cartone, un francobollo, e spedì Guadalupa al proprio nipotino.

E questa qui con noi è lei, Guadalupa, fuggita da un Club Méditerranée che aveva invaso la sua spiaggia, passata attraverso il grande Oceano Atlantico, catturata da un pescatore bretone, quasi mangiata da un signore parigino, e finalmente giunta a te.

Abbine cura…

La tartaruga Guadalupa

Nel caldo mare dei Caraibi, ci sono tante isole: la Martinica, la Dominica, le Barbados… e, tra queste la Guadalupe.

La Guadalupe è famosa perché nelle sue spiagge le tartarughe depongono le uova, e, quando queste si schiudono, centinaia di tartarughini nascono e popolano il mare. Il caldo mare dei Caraibi.

Tra queste tartarughe, la nostra tartaruga Guadalupa.

Per i primi cinquant’anni della sua giovinezza (perché le tartarughe vivono a lungo, diverse centinaia di anni!) Guadalupa scorrazzò per il mare intorno all’isola, scegliendo ogni giorno una spiaggia diversa dove dormire.

Ma un giorno, quando decise di andare a riposarsi nella sua spiaggia preferita, cosa ci trovò?

Un Club Méditerranée.

E sulla spiaggia centinaia di turisti: americani panzoni, russi rossi come aragoste, giapponesi con le macchine fotografiche e tanti altri.

Insomma, anche se non si dovrebbe dire ‘casino’, proprio un bel casino!

Allarmata, Guadalupe raggiunse il Consiglio delle Tartarughe della Guadalupe, che proprio quel giorno si riuniva in sessione straordinaria per discutere il da farsi.

“Trasferiamoci a Haiti” proponevano alcune. “No, ad Haiti c’è il terremoto” rispondevano altre.

“Andiamo allora a Cuba”. “No, a Cuba ci sono i comunisti!”.

“In Cina, allora”. “No, in Cina fanno la zuppa di tartarughe!”.

Per ore rimasero a discutere su dove andare, senza trovare un accordo. Perché, devi imparare, i ‘Grandi Consigli’ discutono tanto, ma decidono poco.

Ma Guadalupa aveva in cuor suo già deciso. Aveva sentito parlare dell’Europa, il paese dell’euro e dell’Erasmus (che nomi esotici!), il paese dove le tartarughe e tanti altri animali in via d’estinzione sono protetti - e pur senza averla mai vista neppure in cartolina, ne era rimasta affascinata.

“Europa… è lì che andrò!”.

(Continua e finisce domani...)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Japanese in Rome (via Delhi)

Roma caput mundi. We may look repetitive, but once again we had evidence that - it’s true - all roads lead to Rome. It seems in fact that, for a reason or another, all our friends from Delhi have decided to pass by Rome. And so after zia Valeria, zio Riccardo, and tia Patricia (we missed चाची Muna by one day), yesterday we received the pleasant visit of 叔父 Kaz - directly from the not too far Tunisia, and with plenty of good news.

And 叔父 Toshi and family are awaited next month.

We look forward to seeing the rest of the gang soon: Delhi-Rome does not seem too far afterall…

(Ps: below Leo and his new friend from Tunisia. Thank-you Kaz!)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wandering about Rome by night with Leo

Ten o’clock pm. When, after a full day being breastfed and cuddled, Leo still grumbles, grouches, and moans, and you (exhausted) do not know what else to do, who do you call?


Well, this has soon become ‘daddy’s time’. Dad arms himself with the magic sling, wears his shoes, wraps Leo to himself, and gets out of the house and starts walking. And he walks, walks, for hours and hours, wandering about the lanes and the alleys of Rome, up and down the seven hills of the city, along the embankments of the Tiber, among the monuments and the ruins (deserted at that time of the night) - discovering and familiarizing himself with corners of Rome of which he ignored the existence, refreshed by the gentle breeze of the Roman summer, filled by the scents of the gardens and the parks of Rome, and cheered by the echoes of far-off concerts…

These have been the best moments of my summer.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The ‘magic’ sling

Prams, baby carriages, pushchairs, strollers… as far as we are concerned, we can’t be more happy with and we can’t recommend more the sling (thanks Constance). Light, doesn’t take up much space, can easily fit in a bag, and, above all (and that’s why we started calling it ‘magic’), babies stop crying and immediately fall asleep as soon as they are wrapped in it.

And the fathers as well…

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Welcome to Deborah

Les M&M’s welcome Deborah (aka Projecto Pupunha or Debrinhah) among their ‘official’ followers.

Deborah, an old friend from the times in DC who then moved to Brazil and is now in Nicaragua, has been one of the most active followers of our Blog recently. And today she officially joined our small community.

Thank-you Deb for staying in touch with us even from far away. And for keeping our Blog alive!

Bem vinda!

(Ps: now that you are an official follower, do add a picture on your follower profile J)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Leonardo’s first ‘monthiversary’ (2)

Yesterday Leonardo was one month old. And, as his French half demands, we celebrated his first ‘monthiversary’ by drinking a glass of champagne.

Even the longest journeys begin with one step. Many many of these days, Leo!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Leonardo’s first ‘monthiversary’

Leo, 1 month

Life is an opportunity, seize it. Life is beauty, admire it. Life is bliss, taste it. Life is a dream, make it real.

Life is a challenge, face it. Life is a duty, fulfill it. Life is a game, play it. Life is precious, take care of it.

Life is wealth, value it. Life is love, experience it. Life is a mystery, discover it. Life is a promise, fulfill it.

Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is struggle, accept it. Life is an adventure, dare it.

Life is life, fight for it.


Do love life as it is, love it fully, unpretentiously. Do love it when they love you or when they hate you, love it when nobody understands you, or when everybody understands you.

Do love it when everybody leaves you, or when they celebrate you as a king. Love it when they steal you everything, or when they offer you anything as a present. Love it when it makes sense, or when it seems it doesn’t make sense at all.

Do love it at the top of your joy, or in the deepest sorrow. Love it when you feel strong, or when you feel weak. Love it when you are scared, or when you have plenty of courage. Love it not only for the big pleasures, and for the enormous satisfactions, do love it for the smallest joys as well.

Do love it even if it doesn’t give you all what it could, do love it even if it is not as you wish it. Do love it every time you are born, and every time you are about to die.

But do not love without love.

Do not ever live without life!

(Mother Theresa of Calcutta)