Friday, 17 November 2017

Sticky Toffee Pudding ricetta - recipe




N.B. This recipe is first written in Italian then in English / Questa ricetta e' scritta prima in italiano e poi in inglese.

Lo Sticky Toffee pudding è un dessert caldo e pare che sia stato sviluppato e servito per la prima volta nel Distretto dei Laghi negli anni ’70. Nonostante il fatto che dovrebbe essere una creazione inglese, ho trovato che è molto più diffuso nei menù dei ristoranti in Scozia che in Inghilterra. I dolci a me sono sempre piaciuti, di ogni tipo e in ogni nazione. Mi riesce difficile trovare dei dolci che non mi piacciono perchè sono un’amante dei dolci! 

Thursday, 16 November 2017

The obsession of putting people in a box (Italian nationality and stereotypes)

Have you ever felt completely fed up with the whole idea that is necessary to label people? Whilst some of these ‘labels’ became recognised as some sort of discrimination (racism, sexism, etc.) or non-politically correct terms, other labels still get a pass because it seems there is no consequences after ‘saying them’ or it is even funny to say them. Well, some stuff can be fine if used for comedy, but some labels just need to DIE.


Wednesday, 15 November 2017

La Brexit per Italiani...Un pasticciaccio di enormi proporzioni

Come molti di voi ormai sapranno, ho recentemente dovuto spostare il blog da Wordpress a Blogger, per via di un macello creato da Wordpress per il mapping del dominio.
Chiaramente ho spostato diversi articoli su questo nuovo ma rileggendoli... mi sono accorta che sono diventati un po' tanto datati... piu' o meno di un secolo! 😅  
Cosi ho deciso di fare un riassunto di tutto quello che avevo detto, lasciando in piedi quello che era ancora valido... purtroppo, come qualsiasi altro italiano residente nel Regno Unito sa bene, le cose in 17 mesi non sono migliorate, se possibile sono pure peggiorate!! 


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

5 things you shouldn't expect of Aurora Borealis sightings

As many of you know, Aurora Borealis is "a natural light display in the sky (from the Latin word aurora, "sunrise" or the Roman goddess of dawn), predominantly seen in the high latitude (Arctic and Antarctic) regions. Auroras are caused by charged particles, mainly electrons and protons, entering the atmosphere from above causing ionisation and excitation of atmospheric constituents, and consequent optical emissions. Incident protons can also produce emissions as hydrogen atoms after gaining an electron from the atmosphere." (from Wikipedia) They're also called 'Northern Lights'.


Monday, 13 November 2017

Being ‘different’ is a real curse

'Dedicated to all the 'different' ones out there, regardless of where they are from, and to my late friend Heidi who always told me to cherish my different identity'

From my arrival to UK, one of the things I enjoyed the most was to have the privilege of wearing whatever I liked, without necessarily being shunned by the rest of society. This was something I felt strongly about, because before leaving Italy I had completed a 7-year streak working for fashion designers companies. In these companies, an invisible dress code was the accepted rule for all the employees. I say invisible because it was not written in any contract, but if you didn’t conform to it, chances were your employment contract was not going to be renewed. This invisible dress code meant that the employee had to spend a crapload of money in clothes and shoes to be ‘like the rest of the staff’, regardless of their job titles. Not necessarily these clothes had to be made by the same brand we were working for, but that was a plus, of course. This also meant that all my wages earned in two years and a half (length of my employment in the first fashion company I worked for) got wasted for the invisible dress code.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

The realm of the easily offended in 5 steps

It is evident that only a few people who were present on the friends list of my old Facebook account 'really' got what I had written in one of my posts on Wordpress. It still baffles me why some people would ask for your friendship whilst they never liked what you have to say. If you don't like my opinions, block me or better... avoid to ask me to be your friend, right? I am deeply annoyed when some people are all over Facebook posting crap and once that you comment under their sh**ty posts showing that your opinion is different or it is completely the opposite of theirs, well...  then you're a bad person, a real devil incarnate. I might also be a bad person, not sure. However, I'm surely better than all those 'keyboard hypocrites' that believe that having a different opinion from them or calling them out on their bullshit mean I'm evil. 

Ok, down to the list (done for a few laughs!) of the 'easily offended internet user':


1) The ones who troll their own feed to see whom they can be offended at

These people have nothing to do most of the time, half of their followers already got bored of what they had to say and they try to find the most absurd stuff to clutch at straws in terms of offence. I called a woman out on her spreading misinformation and she started holding a grudge against me. Saying 'I'm wrong' is outdated. Opinionated and informed people are evil, didn't you know? Under another of her posts I wrote 'please be patient, I'm an obnoxious academic' and she transformed it in 'I'm obviously superior to you because I go to university, you're an idiot, so I need lot of patience'. Apart from the fact that nobody gains brains as a collateral effect by just going to university, but above all if I study at a higher education institution, it only means that it is my choice and something I really wanted to do, it doesn't clearly imply the rest of the planet is stupid! So she switched the onus from me to her, clutching at straws to find the most absurd excuses to start a fight. I started being online nearly 20 years ago, so these petty tactics don't work with me anymore. Blocked and with no regrets. She had a friend who was going down the same route and... Byeeee.....

2) The ones who troll everybody else's feed to see whom they can be offended at

These category includes everyone who's so bored, whose life is so empty that they need to fight for something possibly against someone. They will get behind every topic, every lost cause, Greece, Catalonia, Assange, change.org petitions of any kind, even the flowers in your garden.. it doesn't matter. They will start chatting or replying to your comments and tweets just to show you're in the wrong and you have deeply insulted them. This happens mostly on Twitter if you have an open account. Two years ago I had an epic row with an idiot who wanted to make me feel guilty by telling me that 'all of us are worse than the bankers because we do nothing to save Greece'. I replied that if she had 300 billions of euros she was welcome to help them as much as she liked and no, I'm not a banker and I don't feel like one. I'm mostly on the poor side and surely if I had a job I'd help my relatives, not sending pennies to the whole of Greece. Same for Catalonia's situation at the moment (sick of it!).

3) The ones who hold a grudge against some discriminated categories and they act like they're offended to hide their own prejudice

Those are the ones who have a social media account but they are never on it; they explode when any of the discriminated categories they hate are celebrating for good news. So the internet imploded with homophobes and religious extremists after the legalisation of same sex marriage in USA, sexists and racists commenting on Cosby's rape charges, xenophobes against EU citizens' good news, you get the trend. I've lost count of many people I blocked on Twitter in 7 years, let's hope I cleaned my account of any sexist, mysoginist, racist, bigoted and homophobic idiot who was around. Pretty sure my blocked list is actually longer than my followers' (absurd!).

4) The ones who adore celebrities and get offended if you express a negative opinion against their favourite celebrity or his/her fans

This group include the 'blind' fans who put their favourite celebrity or celebrities on a pedestal and God forbid you have a different opinion from them.... I dared to post on Tumblr the screenshot of a silly tweet about a lady who was sad that Tom Hiddleston hadn't tweeted in 3 months and that her life was lacking something. 150 notes. 150 bloody, fekkin' reblogs for something so stupid. Not even if I had written the Iliad I would have gotten 150 reblogs!! First, I'm entitled to my opinion and I don't give a flying whatever if anyone is annoyed because I said such a thing. Second, in what alternative universe a person waiting for 3 months that Tom Hiddleston tweets is normal? Because in this universe I'd bet that even Tom Hiddleston in person would agree with me.

5) The ones who are offended, stat

This is the perennially unhappy group; the one whose personal mission is to trick you into feeling guilty whatever the topic of discussion is and therefore to make you DEEPLY unhappy too. Yes, the miserable internet users who are eternally offended by everything and everyone. I don't know how they can look at themselves in the mirror. You can't be online and escape someone belonging to this group. They are like dementors, they want to suck the life out of you and you can't escape them. Go figure, I was able to get people offended because I got married, well... you get the type of person.

Merlin x

Thursday, 9 November 2017

The sad inutility of offering a constructive discussion to ignorant people

A while ago, a friend of mine on Facebook reproached me a bit for trying to argue with people regardless of the discussed topic. She said that trying to reason with people about politics, stereotypes, prejudice and religions was useless.
I'm a fighter by nature... This doesn't imply that I attack people on purpose but that I try to get my point across and to stand up for what I believe in (yes, even though I'm the only one standing!).

I had to mellow a bit in recent years because how I said these things was, often, more of a problem than what I had said. Well, the longer I was online and the more spot-on my friend appeared to be. And not just about those things mentioned by her, but nearly everything.


I understood it was not a problem of topics, it was a problem of 'people'. A large majority of people has no ability to discuss things, whether in a civil or uncivil manner, nor they want to learn it. A few animated discussions I had online recently convinced me that a great number of people can't accept they are wrong about something and they get on their high horse nearly immediately, often resorting to insults or offences. But why is that?


For example.... Many of you heard what kind of dirt came out about Bill Cosby, the American comedian. For nearly one month he was the 'hot' topic on many social media, hundreds of thousands of commenters ferociously arguing that he was mud-slinged or that he should have paid for his crimes. I've no idea how many of these comments I read, struggling to understand why a normal person equipped with an average IQ would even doubt that 30 women who didn't know each other could tell the same story without any previous agreement of any sort. Clearly, many of the commenters accused the victims to be after money and fame, as if... that it was even relevant (people like to talk about the 'real' celebrities, not someone who was raped by a famous person....).

I won't even enter the discussion about Weinstein or Spacey, as several comments are full of prejudice as those about Cosby's situation were.

The impression I got from many of the comments was a lingering feeling of fear.

Fear of having 'loved' or idealised a serial rapist, fear of believing that even someone who apparently was a well-respected actor could be a monster. Lots of people did NOT want to believe these women for the simple fact that believing them meant accepting a horrible truth.... A serial rapist/abuser could be anyone, worse... he/she could be someone you trust. Many people finds convenient to reject this idea because it is far worse than the denial of it.

I've had more or less the same issues about two other topics...

First one was: Is higher education useful or not? This ended up with me being banned on a Facebook account three years ago... Some people want to believe that higher education is not useful because it didn't or doesn't guarantee them a job, whilst for me being educated has been fundamental in my life and I will never regret it even if I end up cleaning toilets for the rest of my life with my degree hung on a wall at home. Although the lady who banned me was right somehow, because from her replies it was evident that higher education had been wasted on her.

Second one was: Is '50 shades of grey' a story about an abusive relationship? Yes, it is, but the fans and the readers who appreciated book (and film) won't ever admit it, see Cosby paragraph above. Confronted with the stories of domestic violence and rape survivors, the fans fear that what they've admired and enjoyed was actually wrong, or even a crime. They don't want to 'understand' the reality of it, they want their sexual, dirty fantasies to be intact without being ruined by the crude truth. Countless women who adored the book feel appropriate to point out that the book's sex scenes are only BDSM (An overlapping abbreviation of Bondage and Discipline (BD), Dominance and Submission (DS), Sadism and Masochism (SM).), and not domestic violence, thus calling several DV/rape survivors out as prude or worse. Fact is, none of them has any idea of what DV and rape are (fortunately for them!) and I still have to hear a survivor who liked the book though: it speaks volumes!


Using a 'safe word' during sex play and then it gets disregarded by one of the involved parties transforms the sexual encounter in rape. BDSM is OK between two consenting people when the consent of one is not overridden by the other. When one of two partners constantly override the other party's consent is ABUSE. Try to explain this to people who read the book and see what happens.....


In conclusion, I guess that my friend's underlying message was that it is pretty much a waste of time trying to instill knowledge on people who are wilfully ignorant.

A piece of advice I will treasure for the future ;)

Merlin

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

The defeatist attitude of an (ex) artist

This will be an old, melancholic post with a dressing of reminiscence of the past. Too many Brexit posts clogged my feed since 23/06/2016, so I need to re-post old articles as a 'break' from the barrage of disgusting news coming from... well, everywhere!

* * *

Usually, I adhere to the philosophy that whatever lies in the past cannot have any effect on the future whatsoever and I generally refrain from indulging in 'good ole days'thoughts. However, now more than ever the past is coming back on a worldwide scale. Reasons behind Trump's election and Brexit referendum success are witness to this. Why is that?

Historically speaking, the past often offers a glimpse into a 'golden age'. At any time in the last 3 millennia, lots of authors have looked back and thought "well it was awesome back then, wasn't it", with many scholars even re-elaborating whole periods of history to fit their contemporary thinking and their bias. In some cases, some golden ages have included mass genocides, famine, Black Death, never mind that a few centuries later we found a way to justify or gloss over these little, inconvenient details.
It's the same with us, in our little inconsequential lives... we look back and romanticise some events. And here I've fallen victim to the same trend.

There is a part of me I never fully accepted and that is why the past often came back to haunt me or to be seen as 'golden' in some regards. First of all, I was born in a Tuscan village in 1972; local mentality only allowed us girls a couple of things: 

1) getting married and breed (I use this verb fully knowing the connotations!);
2) until (or if) number 1 was available, it was necessary to find a job, no matter if it was something we liked, any will do if it provided 'cash' (nobody was ever bothered about pay slips and such bureaucracy in those days, we kept count of our worked hours on a paper sheet hung in the factory).

'Little me' started working in such capacity at 12. Perfect (right?), I was on schedule! Apart from being illegal, never mind again... But then, everybody knows that teenage years wreck havoc in our lives and that is what exactly happened to me too. Around the age of 16, I fancied to get a higher education, I wanted to learn languages because travelling for work was my dream. Heresy! 'Girls don't need an education!!!', my father yelled. He yelled so loudly I can still remember it. It was not just 'heretic' to get an education though; the worst part was that instead of using my savings to prepare for my wedding, *gasp* I was using them to put myself in the condition of finding a job that required me to stay out of the house! In the end, I did get married but I was 40 already, needless to say my savings would have not lasted that long!

At 17, a far worse event happened, total total heresy! I wanted to use more of my savings to attend a drama school. My mum was an ex opera singer, whose aspirations and ambition had been shattered by 'real life'. Or so she recounts the whole thing nowadays. But not all lives need to end up the same way, right? Her father, still alive at the time, supported the idea. My father was yelling all the time as you can imagine, even threatening to kick me out of the house, which didn't happen... although I wasn't actually allowed to rent a piano until I was 18 (damn father!). I was enrolled in a proper music school, learnt to play piano/singing/read music; unfortunately, I did not attend any drama course but found a way to appear in a movie anyway (I hope it got burnt, it was a weird indie thing!).

As you can imagine, given that you have never heard of me, nothing came to fruition. Since I stopped studying in 1995, I did many jobs until I definitely left Italy 8 years ago. I also found a way to migrate nearly everywhere since I was 24 but... the artistic thing never took off. As I am reminiscing about it these days, I wonder if my chronic defeatist attitude played a part in it and to what degree. I have the same attitude to my studies, "oh no, I'm not going to make it, I will get a fail, etc etc.". As of today, I've only had a C in my degree course and it was in Level 1, so it's not going to count for my final mark.
So, would my artistic career have taken off if I wasn't so down-beaten by my own attitude to it? Possibly. I even scored auditions I never went to, auditions I was ill-prepared to face but sabotaged them on purpose (God knows why!), and even offers for one of my scripts that I never bothered to pay attention to!!

At this point you would think I am an idiot.... Why would anyone be threatened by success to the point that once you get the chance you don't go through with it? Well, here I am, call me idiot if you like, but I was overwhelmed by the idea. Every. Single. Time.

You would also think I regretted that. Actually, I do but surely my number 1 reason is not what you are thinking about. I never really cared about being famous, having fans or making a crapload of money. Many of these chances might have not led to any of the above anyway. 

However, it led to something I have regretted: I gave up on the opportunity of doing a job I would have liked. The mindset of my upbringing "do any job because you need money", drilled into me since a young age, has kept ruining my life over and over again, even when I didn't actually need any money. It still does because I'm getting a degree in archaeology and history but if you asked me which job I will likely do after I graduate, I wouldn't probably answer "archaeologist or historian". I would fall on the old mindset 'I need a job, whatever that is'.

And this brings a lot of dissatisfaction, a sense of 'impossible achievement' as regards anything I ever endeavoured to study or pursue. And given that in two days I will be 45, these thoughts heavily weigh on me. The 'artist-that-will-never-be' sounds now ominous and leaves a bitter taste in my mouth any time my mind wanders there.

Merlin

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

EU citizens' myths that should finally die a slow and painful death


As the tag on Twitter #500DaysInLimbo became our war-cry last night, I intend to repost (from my old blog) an article that has aged well, as in nothing has basically changed from when it was written 7 months ago up until now. 

* * *

I had meant to write a list of this sort for a long time. Surely, it should be shared a lot online to actually make an impact, I hope my followers will give me a hand for this task. Many Leavers who are quite happy in continuing to be wilfully ignorant won't even bother to read it. However, some of them who have been genuinely misinformed should take note that they have been conned. 
Because the Daily Mail, Express, May/Johnson/Gove/Davis/etc., have ALL an interest to make you believe otherwise. They don't want British readers to know. They want you TO REMAIN IGNORANT.

Monday, 6 November 2017

EU spouses of Brits have NO right to reside in UK based on marriage

Hello everybody,

Back to writing, albeit with a brief article, about EU spouses of British citizens. Apparently, the amount of misinformation about this topic is so staggeringly high, that it doesn't matter how much we try to spread the correct info online or on papers, several myths keep enduring.

You just need to read a few articles or comments about and from EU citizens to understand that the stupid legend (not even a myth anymore!) of getting permanent residency/citizenship through marriage is still alive and kicking.

Well, please take note once and for all (repeat it about 200 times too):

EU SPOUSES OF BRITISH CITIZENS HAVE NO AUTOMATIC RIGHT TO RESIDE ONLY BASED ON MARRIAGE

Let alone citizenship!! How is it possible that 15 months on from the referendum we still have EU citizens believing this?!?! This point is even CLEAR IF YOU JUST GOOGLE IT!!

(The second part only pertains to non-EU citizens, but the first sentence is a principle that is valid for everyone!!!)

In UK, a EU citizen who wants to apply for British Citizenship needs to be granted a PR (Permanent Residence) card first. This is done regardless of marriage to a British citizen. Then they have to wait for one year and at that point they can apply for British citizenship. EU spouses of Brits do not have to wait for one year. It is the only exemption!

In terms of entitlement to a PR (which, at this point, is completely useless to do unless you want to apply for British citizenship), Colin Yeo at freemovement.org explains it better than I could ever do, as he's a lawyer and I'm an archaeologist/historian, so not my field at all!

https://www.freemovement.org.uk/position-eu-spouses-british-citizens-following-brexit/

Please take note of this too:

3. Many EU citizens may benefit from comprehensive sickness insurance by virtue of reciprocal arrangements between the UK and the person’s home Member State but the UK will not reveal any detail of such arrangements and forces every individual to approach his or her own Member State for proof.

The CSI issue has never been resolved and if you have a look at the last negotiation paper between UK and EU, there is no agreement about it yet.
Sorry for being boring, annoying and extremely pedant about this topic, but I still find on social media people who seem surprised of this. There's not even much info if you google it and it is mainly about non-EU citizens, as Brexit hasn't happened yet (but it may well could soon!):

However a few papers do point this fact out:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/brexit-latest-eu-national-right-to-live-uk-theresa-may-panic-a7602191.html

'who do not have CSI', the majority of all those EU stay-at-home mums and spouses and those who are/were students do NOT have CSI, because it was never brought up in the first place before the referendum. I've spent all my university years without CSI, which means I'd be eligible for a 'right to reside' at the beginning of 2022. What do you think, should I pack my suitcases already? ;-)

Merlin


Brexit Britain: how to make foreigners feel unwelcome in 10 easy steps


Disclaimer: the owner of this website is a EU citizen living in UK. She has every right to be angry at this country. Therefore, please forgive the scathing, harsh or sarcastic tone of this article (and others) concerning this topic. Although.. if you cannot forgive me I don't give a damn anyway!

  1. Inundating the locals with constant propaganda about how the immigrants are all stealing jobs from the locals, driving down wages and scrounging benefits. Top it up with press owned by a magnate who has Britain’s best interests at heart (lol)
  1. Putting them in opposition to locals, that only by virtue of being born in a certain country need to be privileged over anyone else (this model refers to Spartan oligarchic system, where Spartans males were above everyone else; all the others, of any nationality and genders, were subdivided in classes, in order of non-importance until slave-level). If possible add some demonisation of such group, see point one.
  1. Making them feel second-class citizens, using manipulative tactics like setting them apart from the other workers asking their employers to provide lists; if they naturalise, they will still be second-class citizens because nobody can change their country of birth. Once you receive backlash for that, just make everybody believe you abandoned the idea whilst in reality you only made the lists secret.
  1. Asking with a total air of innocence that their children be listed in a school questionnaire (affectionately called 'census' by the Ministry of Education'), by country of birth and not just nationality, in order to set their children apart from the British born and bred too.
  1. Asking the future mums to provide passports at their first appointment with a midwife,avoiding that the mothers pollute the perfect British pool gene with foreign blood and trying to prevent the baby getting legitimised as British once born
  1. Taking their pensions off them, even if they paid taxes for 40 years in several EU countries.
  1. Telling doctors with degrees in medicine that they will be considered useful and not expendables, until the new generation of medical staff born in Britain kicks them in the curb and makes them useless. Then they will be ready for immediate deportation
  1. Having gangs of morally cracked and xenophobic youngsters roaming the streets in order to catch unguarded foreigners speaking their own languages and beat them up or tell them to fuck off home
  1. Encouraging xenophobia at state level declaring that if you think you are a citizen of the world, well you don't actually belong anywhere - so piss off from Britain too, if possible
  1. Taking off their already acquired rights to reside and work in a country just because you've a crapload of your own citizens who want to stay on the dole; then treat them like hostages in negotiations.

Bye for now,

Merlin (correspondent from xenophobic Britain)


FURTHER READING LINKS:

http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2013/08/08/comment-this-is-how-the-press-breeds-hatred-for-immigrants

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/british-jobs-british-workers-how-far-right-meme-went-mainstream-1585136

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/oct/05/government-faces-backlash-from-business-leaders-over-foreign-workers

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/oct/05/amber-rudd-defends-proposal-to-make-firms-reveal-foreign-staff-numbers

http://metro.co.uk/2016/10/05/foreign-worker-list-branded-modern-day-yellow-star-6171920/

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/sep/26/parents-boycott-requests-childrens-country-of-birth-information

https://www.politicshome.com/news/europe/eu-policy-agenda/brexit/news/79579/liam-fox-describes-eu-citizens-post-brexit-rights

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/oct/04/liam-fox-refuses-to-guarantee-right-of-eu-citizens-to-remain-in-uk

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/04/jeremy-hunt-nhs-doctors-theresa-may-conservative-conference-live/

http://www.professionalpensions.com/professional-pensions/news/2471482/lord-flight-brexit-will-allow-us-to-dump-eu-pensions-legislation

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/11/forcing-pregnant-women-to-show-passports-is-dangerous-say-midwiv/


http://qz.com/802178/citizens-of-the-world-beware-theresa-mays-post-brexit-government-doesnt-think-you-should-exist/

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/oct/04/eu-commission-uk-authorities-filtering-out-racial-elements-hate-crime-cases?CMP=share_btn_tw

https://www.city.ac.uk/news/2016/october/post-referendum-racism-and-bullying-in-the-workplace
https://brightonjock.wordpress.com/2016/10/04/how-brexit-has-freed-the-tories-to-remodel-the-uk-as-anti-immigration-and-why-that-cant-be-allowed/

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/sep/25/brexit-may-force-15-of-staff-at-uk-universities-to-leave-warns-group



When getting 'likes' and 'hits' is all that matters

This is another updated post from the old blog. The ones who followed me here will already be bored at this stage but given that I am publishing on a new domain address, I think it was worth saving some posts and re-publish the here.

***

Although I am mainly an academic writer of late, sometimes I also like to write on the spur of the moment. It feels liberating to let words flow on the keyboard in a natural way. I needed to vent and I'm lucky enough to have a blog where I can rant and babble nonsense if I feel to ;)

However... when the need to vent is made at the expense of someone else, is it still fine? What if that someone is even 'indicated' in the article? Does not that become an impolite and rude bullying of an innocent person? I'll explain myself better.

Today I read an article on an Italian blog where at the beginning the author was clearly mocking:

a) a group of people
b) some expat blogs

Apart from the fact that the language used in the article was clearly insulting to the people of point 'a', I thought that the worst part was the second one where the author was clearly deeming some immigration blogs stupid and improvised. Sure, everyone is entitled to their opinions but at some point the female author alluded to a blog in such a manner that it became clear who and what she was talking about.

Needless to say, the author of the mentioned blog got aware of that, became furious and complained to the admin of that website. Rightly so; I'd have probably burnt someone at the stake if I was in her shoes. The insulting part of the article was removed and... all was fine...NOT. Because the admin of the website hasn't clearly gotten why the second blogger was feeling offended. In the end, the post had been so popular!! Lots of shares and likes and hits. Ha. It's what that matters nowadays. Online popularity, the more the better. If this means to step on someone else's rights or feelings, it doesn't really matter. Nah. For some people, loyalty doesn't exist anymore once that hits and likes get front stage.

I don't share this opinion, no matter how popular it is. I made a decision, when I opened this blog, not to cave in to 'marketability'. I don't sell products and I don't earn any revenue from having more or less 'hits' on this website. There's no meaning for me to pander to different audiences or to write likable posts, I don't need to be internet famous, to be honest I don't need to be famous at all.

I don't get endless likes and retweets on this blog and it's fine like that. I know, maybe some admins dream bigger. Perhaps hits and likes and shares become their drug, and nothing else matters anymore. However, today's events also prompted me to think; they were food for thought. Because 'I' could also be thrown under the bus if somebody else's necessity arises, I could be judged and deemed stupid, childish and backwards as the other blogger was. My blog could be easily derided by someone who thinks I'm talking nonsense all the time or asking the wrong or stupidest questions.

Well, I am about to give bad news to everyone though. Careful who you pick for bullying and mocking, because I'm not going down without a fight. Like Samson, I die with the Philistines ;)

Have a nice evening,
Merlin xxx

Eppure, me l'avevano detto! - Book by Roberta Castelli


Dear followers,

One of my first posts on the other blog was about my friend Roberta Castelli's ebook 'Eppure, me l'avevano detto!'.
The book is in Italian so it's worth continuing in this language.

Al tempo dell'apertura dell'altro blog, pubblicizzai un ebook che adesso e' anche in versione cartacea "Eppure, me l'avevano detto!".
Anche se la mia 'audience' italiana e' molto limitata, consiglio vivamente di leggersi il libro sopracitato, sia per riflettere che per farsi due risate. Il libro racconta in modo molto comprensivo della vita e delle 'avventure migratorie' dell'autrice.

Questo e' il primo libro in italiano che ho letto dopo vent'anni; avevo cominciato a trovarli noiosi, troppo 'letterari' e/o complicati e soprattutto vuoti a livello emotivo. Non mi emozionavo più, e così smisi. Da allora ho sempre e soltanto letto in inglese (e 4-5 libri in francese). Quindi per me è stato un ritorno al passato e un immergermi nelle 'origini'.

Roberta, l'autrice del libro, racconta il viaggio-vita dai suoi primi anni e l'infanzia in Sicilia, agli anni a Milano e poi fino al presente dove è in procinto di emigrare di nuovo, il tutto con una sana dose di autocritica ed umorismo (adesso abita a Vienna). Si ride, si piange e si riflette. Se non avete avuto una vita proprio 'liscia' non vi sarà difficile riconoscervi in ciò che Roberta scrive e identificarvi nelle sue lotte e nelle sue preoccupazioni. E quanti di noi hanno avuto 'Iscarioti' e 'Iscariote' nella vita....

Ho trovato i capitoli ben sviluppati e bilanciati tra di loro, il libro si legge bene anche tutto di un fiato (l'ho letto in tre giorni) e scorre fluido, senza particolari refusi. Ho letto altrove una review del libro che menzionava il bisogno di un editor, io personalmente non lo vedo. Anche perchè sono convinta che un editor avrebbe anche modificato il senso di alcune frasi, una cosa che sarebbe andata a discapito anche del libro in toto, modificando parti che sono magari troppo crude o realiste per un pubblico più vasto. Magari ciò restringe il campo di diffusione del libro, vero, ma penso che l'autrice abbia fatto una scelta al riguardo al momento di scriverlo. Per me va bene così, opinione personale, ovviamente!!

Il link per l'acquisto su Amazon Italia: https://www.amazon.it/Eppure-lavevano-detto-Roberta-Castelli-ebook/dp/B01910YSPM

Se l'avete gia' letto, lasciate pure commenti con le vostre recensioni!  😄

Merlin

Thursday, 2 November 2017

First post



Dear All,

So this is the first post on here. I am still trying to work out how to move all my posts from Wordpress at the moment, although some of them were clearly redundant (as 'home sweet home' UK is not that sweet now!).

I hope you will be patient and follow me here too.

Hugs,


Merlin x


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