The shame sticks to me like a fly swallowed by a venus fly trap, consumed. I can’t get out.

A thick coat of dirt is dragging me down,

My body isn’t mine, it’s yours and it feels all wrong, this feeling of uncleanliness has stuck to me for so long.

No matter how hard I scrub, the shame refuses to subside. It keeps on washing over me, drowning me in it’s tide.

This coat of dirtiness on me is engulfing me in it’s ferocious flames.

Even when everyone says “it’s not you fault” do I still feel I am to blame?

It is tangled deep inside my mind, my body and my soul.

Life in Verona

Good evening everyone and happy hump day as many people now prefer to call Wednesday! This post is going to be all about living in the beautiful city of Verona.

All in all I haven’t been living her a super long time. l came back permanently in February to start a new job as a Teaching assistant however, me and Joe initially came over last summer, firstly to do a Workaway in a town on Lake Garda with our amazing friends. Then moving into our studio flat in Verona centre late August 2018. During last year and Jan 2019 I was in England a lot to due to my Big Nanna being unwell and slowly coming to the end of her 94 years of life blessing this earth. Spending the last days of her life with her and my family was what I wanted to do.

I’ve been back here for nearly 7 weeks now and I can honestly say here feels like home. Italy has always felt like home from the first time I came here on holiday and I’m sure it will forever, Napoli is where my Big Nanna was from (feels so strange saying/writing was it still doesn’t seem real that she’s gone) therefore I think Italy will always have a piece of my heart no matter what. I do occasionally get homesick yes, especially when I’m on my period or I’m poorly but it passes. I enjoy the way of life over here.

We live in a small studio flat a short walk from the city centre, our road isn’t too busy shop and people wise. More so cars as it’s one of the main(ish) roads into the centre. One thing that does wake me up most mornings, even on weekends are the bin men!! Here we don’t all have our own individual wheelie bins but big recycling bins on each block where residents and locals take all their rubbish; glass, plastic & tins, food waste and non recyclable waste which I think is super cool. What’s not super cool is hundreds of glass bottles being dropped from a height into a truck at 5.30/6 am most mornings! This is something I’m pretty used to now haha. For me the idea of having these big bins on each block/street makes me feel so good! knowing I can recycle much easier rather than having a backlog of waste to go out. (small things make me happy)

Supermarkets are pretty standard, there is a big Spar in the centre, I like to get certain things from certain markets and supermarkets, does anyone else do that? Have specific items from specific shops? One thing that Italians don’t have in their supermarkets are BEANS as in beans with tomato sauce! luckily the good ole Chinese shop on my road sells Heinz. Heinz aren’t my favourite but anyone who knows me knows I love a nice mash and bean tea and if didn’t know then you do now!

Obviously it’s pizza and pasta galore here, yes it’s super hard not to give in to temptation and eat pizza every night! BUT I do cook I promise!

As for constantly being surround by people who speak a different language… It can feel strange, sort of like I’m a bit alienated especially if it’s a day when I’m not feeling too good I can find myself feeling a little lost. That’s just on the odd bad days, as for the other days it’s just the norm to hear Italian and not English. I mean me, Joe and friends talk english, some people I work with talk english. I’m going to set me and Joe a challenge, to only communicate in Italian. Knowing the basics is a start and Italians really do appreciate it.

I think no matter where you go in the world it’s courteous to try and know a few basic words and phrases. A lot of Italians know some English with it being a very popular tourist city and it being something all schools here and the rest of Europe seem to teach! We have found that if you try to order in Italian and can’t pronounce the word correctly (i.e me being me and saying things so Manc) they tend to say it in English, for them it’s good english practice and for us it’s good Italian practice. A lesson for us all. I’ve started to understand it more when it’s being spoken to me rather than being able to talk it.

The weather has started to heat up which means the tan can start building! Last summer when we arrived here life without air-con 24/7 didn’t exist which is crazy compared to back in the U.K, air-con wasn’t something I ever needed. So yeah living in this climate means air-con is needed especially as summer approaches, I find it makes my throat dry as well as being quite noisy which is super annoying when we’re trying to sleep but it’s either air-con or melt. I know which I’d prefer!

Zebra crossings!!! Be willing to risk your life to cross the road even at a designated crossing, if I don’t step out there’s 99% the car won’t willingly stop. When getting public transport such as the bus there’s certain timed tickets you have to get depending on the final destination, these also have to be stamped when getting on the bus! The inter-town buses are small and get super busy! The buses to the lake and further are more like coaches and I find them super comfy. Bibbing of horns is a common and exaggerated expression haha.

The cutest thing is of an evening when all of the locals sit in the small park on benches chatting away whilst the sun goes down.

A good old fashioned cup of tea is what I love most, if cafes happen to have english tea it’s common for them to add a slice of fresh lemon which is surprisingly nice and refreshing, although when I want a homely cuppa I have them at home. The majority of cafes sell all different types of coffee, I personally dislike coffee! Most people find this crazy and it probably is, I dislike the smell and taste! maybe one day I’ll come to love it.

I know this post has probably gone a bit off topic, I’m still getting to grips with the whole writing, topics and trying to stay focused on one thing at a time without getting sidetracked onto something different! Any questions feel free to post them! Danielle x

When pms strikes

As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to understand myself more in terms of premenstrual syndrome and knowing when it strikes which hasn’t always been the case. In fact I hadn’t even heard of it never mind knowing what it was until years later. I mean sometimes I just feel a lil crazy!

Since being a teenager it’s something I have struggled with, however at the time I wasn’t aware of what it was. I just knew on certain days of the month I couldn’t control my thoughts and emotions. A fog would take over, anger and irritation at every slight thing, so overly emotional and sensitive to everything causing me to have meltdowns frequently. Already having to endure having periods each month and pms is just an added extra! The joys!

Pms is a wide mixture of emotional and physical signs. For me, I become increasingly agitated, irritated, achy and emotional. I don’t want to be around anyone or hear any form of noise. I pick and scratch my skin frequently until it bleeds, I’ll even pick spots that aren’t there because I feel the urge to ( I also do this when I’m stressed and unhappy). Once my period finally arrives all the intense mixtures of irritation and frustrations start to subside allowing me to get through the day much easier. When I am experiencing pms symptoms I feel as if I can’t deal with normal day to day life and tasks which is super difficult and impossible when I have to work and be a human.

Things I do to try and alleviate the symptoms:

  • Go for a walk
  • Have a super hot shower (with a cool blue body scrub from Lush)
  • A hot bubble bath would also be great, however where I live there is no bath:(
  • Have a brew and biscuits
  • Do a small amount of exercise
  • Clean/tidy helps clear my mind
  • Have a nap
  • Watch a series or film
  • Write thoughts and feelings down
  • Talk to a friend
  • Eat some good food
  • Chill with my dogs (they live in England so I can’t do that anymore)

Sometimes the things above don’t always help or work. Some days are just too much and I admit defeat. This doesn’t mean I don’t try to fight my thoughts and feelings it just means some days are just too much and no amount of showering or walking lifts the fog. I’m only human and it’s natural to have these days. Does anyone else have pms? What kind of things do you do to ease the thoughts and feelings?

And there we have it, my first blog post. I’m sure there’s things I may add as I go on but for now here it is. Feel free to add a comment, discussions welcome. Danielle x