No Place Like Rome

Don’t judge me for the post title. I’m trying to use up my Rome jokes.

Ciao a tutti!

There are times, on a year abroad and in life, when you have zero motivation to do anything at all. These times usually coincide with times when you really need to be doing things, for example when you’ve left your year abroad project to the last minute again even though you promised yourself (and your supervisor) you’d get it done with plenty of time to spare (ooops) and you have an upcoming half-marathon/obstacle race to train for, complete with ice water and electric shocks of 10,000 volts (double ooops).

This general feeling of not wanting to do anything ever can bring on (or can be brought on by) getting ill, missing your country/family/friends/boyfriend/dog, struggling with the language barrier, almost fainting/puking during every workout because of 30 degree heat, a serious lack of funds, your skin breaking out due to weather that can’t make up its mind, the metro closing at 9.30 every day due to construction work (which essentially means a curfew), upcoming exams etc etc etc.

When this happens, it’s useful to get some kind push or jumpstart or kick up the backside to snap out of it. For me this happened in the form of a baby seagull who crash-landed in the street outside our flat.


Introducing Bernard! (Or Garcia as Martina insists he’s called). This poor little baby must have fallen out of his nest and landed outside our flat. Martina found him crying in the street on her way to work not far from the mangled body of his brother who didn’t survive the fall. I’m glad I wasn’t there to see that as I probably would have burst into tears. Bernard is now residing on our roof. After extensive googling, I’ve discovered that his mother probably hasn’t abandoned him, which would explain the seagull that circles and squawks every time I go to check on him. It’s been three days since we found him and I’m pretty sure his mum is still bringing him food and feeding him, but he’s too little to fly yet so he has to stay put for the time being. With the help of the lady downstairs, we’ve given him a little blanket to keep him warm at night, some water, cat food, and bread soaked in water so that if he tries to eat it, he won’t choke. I’ve resisted the urge to touch him, cuddle him or bring him inside (you don’t know how much self restraint that took, just look at him, he’s so cute) and I’ve become quite the master of small bird care. Watch this space for more Bernard news.

UntitledBernard if you could not poo on the blanket that would be great

Nothing like becoming a mother to snap you out of a funk. On the first night, I was terrified that he was going to freeze, so I was getting up every three hours or so to go and check that he was still alive, which meant that I was awake early enough in the morning to actually get my shit together and start studying. On Saturday, Shauna and I were at the library at 9am. A solid four hours and three libraries later, we’d managed to sign up for a set of libraries that actually lets you borrow books and I’d found 4 books that looked vaguely relevant to my year abroad project. (On further inspection, only one of them is actually useful, but still). Thanks for making me productive, Bernard.

IMG_2202Spotted on our way to the library: more street art

Other than studying, sleeping, sunbathing on the balcony and trying to work out, this is what I’ve been up to since I last wrote a blog post:

I went to dinner with the UCL girls at a little restaurant near Elsie’s flat, which was such a laugh. We drank a lot of red wine and probably started speaking quite loudly, because at one point the entire restaurant went quiet and stared at us until we sheepishly lowered our voices.


I went for a sleepover at Mhairi’s house and we ate a HUGE tub of ice cream while we watched Gone Girl (what a messed up film) and then chatted until the sun came up at about 6am.



Speaking of messed up films, I went with Martina and her friends for aperitivo and then to see Il Racconto dei Racconti (Tale of Tales), which is an Italian film with American and French actors, filmed in English but then dubbed back into Italian. I honestly don’t really know how to describe it, except that the special effects are fantastic, the images are so beautiful, the actors are amazing (and have fantastic faces), the costumes and hair and make up are stunning and the stories are interesting, but the whole film is macabre and dark and twisted and… well, messed up. Go and see it. You’ll see what I mean.

That’s all for now folks. I promise to try and do some more interesting things this week so that you have something fun to read about.

Until then, un bacione,

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 21.19.55





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