Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Young again for one night (2)

Let’s be sincere: our evenings have not being particularly exciting lately. I usually come back home around 6.30/7 pm and take over from Mathilde in taking care of Leo, and while I do play with him, Mathilde finishes to work. Then it’s bath-time, and while I bath Leo, Mathilde prepares his meal. Then while either Mathilde or I feed Leo, the other prepares our dinner. Dinner, and while one puts Leo to sleep, the other washes the dishes. If we still have a bit of energy we send a couple of emails or update the Blog, otherwise we go straight to bed, exhausted - I usually can’t finish a whole Economist’s article (Mathilde is a bit better than me and reads a bit longer…)

But yesterday evening we became young again: Mathilde left Leo to Claudia, our babysitter (we would need to write a post to Claudia soon) and called me: “I’ll be at the Laurentina metro station in half-hour”. And in half-hour I was there to pick her up: skirt and boots (wow!), and then direction Palalottomattica, the Rome’ sport arena. Two hot dogs (ref. yesterday’s post), and then my birthday present: two tickets to Jovanotti’s concert.

And after two hours and half of energy and fun, back home, well after midnight, eager to watch Leo sleeping in his bed, but happy to have been young again for one night…

Young again for one night

What do Mathilde and Matteo do in front of a sport arena on Tuesday night with two hot dogs?

And where is Leo? (he is not taking the picture).

Tomorrow the answers…

Monday, February 27, 2012

Leo’s likes and dislikes (2)

Leo likes:

- Chewing labels
- Observing lifting up and letting the shutters down

Ps: please note the thick hair that are growing on Leo's head. Emily, tu ne pourras plus dire que Leo est chauve!

Sunday, February 26, 2012


…and tomorrow I’ll go to the orthopedist to be reproached…

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Campo Felice

The discovery of Abruzzo continues, and after the Corno Grande in September, today I discovered Campo Felice, a skiing resort just 113 Km from Rome (thanks Federico for the hint).

The ski runs are not as long as those in the Alps, but still quite varied and a few challenging enough.

Perfect snow and sunny day made the rest.

What bliss!

Leo in Paris

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Frau Constance

I remember I was once flying from Africa to Europe, and I ended up in a flight with about thirty African kids, between four and eight year sold.

‘Oh my God - I thought - this is going to be a long flight…’

I couldn’t be more wrong. During the eight hour flight I could not hear a pin drop. All the kids have been quiet at their seats for the entire duration of the flight, sleeping, playing with a toy, or reading something. Not a scream, a moan, or a complaint.

Since then I have become a profound admirer of the African educational system. To the extent that I promised myself that whenever I had had a child, I would have sent him or her every year for a few months in a Masai camp, so that he or she could learn behaving.

But once again I was wrong. I recently discovered it is actually not necessary to send our child to Africa to teach him to behave. It is sufficient to send him for a few days to Paris at Constance’s.

Leonardo just came back from Paris a few days ago, and while before leaving he was somehow naughty, often whimpering when we put him to bed or waking up during night, since he came back he seems another baby: he goes straight to bed at 9 pm without complaining or opposing resistance, he does sleep soundly the whole night, he eats everything we give him. In sum, as good as an African kid.

We don’t know what Constance did to him during his stay in Paris, but whatever you did, thank you Frau Constance - German discipline in a French cover...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The new Country Program Manager for Iran

As Pakistan and Afghanistan were probably not challenging enough, as of today I am given the responsibility for Iran as well.

What to say? That I hope that these would represent credits in my favour, and that on the next rotation I will be assigned the Maldives (and perhaps be outposted…)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Discovering the Pontine Marshes

Today les M&M’s took a day off, left Leo to Claudia, our baby-sitter, got into their car, and drove south.

And driving, driving, they reached the sand beaches of the Agro-Pontino (the Pontine Marshes), a former marshland drained and reclaimed under the Mussolini’s regime in the 1930s, and now a suggestive plain separated from the sea by sand dunes. Pretty wild (at least on a February's Monday).

And driving further south, they finally bumped into the Mount Circeo, an isolated mountain promontory, today national park, but in the past said to be the home of the sorceress Circe. Here the legend says Odysseus accidentally landed on his way back to Ithaca, and then spent a year after having saved his crew from Circe’ spells.

Charmed, we will probably return for a relaxing week-end in the summer…

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Leo e zio Riccardo

“If you don’t behave, the evil witch will come”. “If you don’t finish your soup, I’ll call the Babau”…

Each family has its own deterrent to enforce discipline among their children.

In our case, our Babau is ‘zio Riccardo*’.

“Leo, if you don’t go straight to bed, you’ll see zio Riccardo!”

And zio Riccardo came to visit us on Saturday. Thank-you zio Riccardo for having passed by. Have a safe trip back, and see you in Beirut, hopefully soon J

(*) Ref. Our Guardian Angel; Riccardo la Bestia; Voices from the Thar Desert; Bambino e Trinità; Matteo and Riccardo.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

When you start getting older

When, at your birthday party, you realize there are more children than adults among your guests. And when your child receives more presents than you!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The end of my marathon runner career?

At the beginning it was just a light pain, a pinching on the external part of my knee, and did not pay much attention, because when you prepare a marathon you learn to cope with pain.

But then, suddenly and unexpectedly, the pain burst, as if someone threaded a knife on the side of my knee, and could not bent it anymore, could hardly climb or get down the stairs, and had problems even to walk.

The first time it went over in a couple of days, and I didn’t bother too much. I reduced a bit the number of kilometers and the intensity of my trainings, to give time to my body to recover. But the second time I got scared.

And unfortunately the orthopedist’s diagnosis confirmed my fears: ilio-tibial band syndrome. Prognosis: 20-30 days of rest and physiotherapy (but it may take months to be completely recovered).

With six weeks left to the Rome marathon, this basically means I will not be able to run it.

And I don’t know what bothers me more: the fact that I will not be able to run this race that I have been meticulously preparing for almost six months, the fact that I had to interrupt the preparation just when I got very fit (last week I was literally flying) - and who knows how long it will take to be back in good form, or the fact that this is an unequivocal sign of the fact that we are getting old…

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Snow in Rome (3) - Federica’ shots

I conclude the reportage of the snowfall in Rome by posting these pictures by Federica.

Fede, has anyone ever told you you have the photographer ‘touch’?

Snow in Rome (2)

I don’t know why, but snow pulls out the ‘childest’ part in each of us: with the snow, everyone becomes child again, and cities transform themselves in enormous playgrounds…

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Snow in Rome

Giardino degli Aranci

Snow in Rome is somehow magic.

And it little matters the troubles that it creates.

It little matters for instance that I got stuck in the traffic jam for six hours and half, proceeding at the speed of 800 m (800 m!) per hour. Or that we don’t know whether Mathilde’s tomorrow flight to Paris will be able to leave (and even in case it will, whether we would be able to reach Fiumicino, the airport).

Perhaps because so rare, perhaps because so abundant, snow in Rome is still somehow magic…

Circo Massimo

Friday, February 3, 2012

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Leo’s likes and dislikes

Leo likes:

- Having his bath
- Looking at himself in the mirror
- Dancing (or, better, being in the arms of someone who dances)
- Portuguese
- Lights
- Apples and pears (but it seems he is allergic to both)

Leo does not like:

- Being dressed
- Being undressed
- Being kissed
- Staying on his belly
- The noise of the mixer
- French beans (green beans)

By the way, today Leo is six month old. Happy sixiversary, Leo!