Year: 2009

The Losing (And Gaining) Of Wisdom

The thing about getting your wisdom teeth out is that everyone has had theirs out too, and of course there’s a horror story about how they had to do it right there in the dentist chair with only a petrol rag sniff of happy gas while the nurse was manhandling their lower pearly whites with the amount of force it takes to undo a really tight bolt on a flat tyre. I imagine it (the opinionating & the storytelling, not the tyre-bolt-unscrewing) to be similar to the thoughtful suggestions & heartfelt comments that a pregnant lady receives. In the same way that a woman “with child” really loves it when perfect strangers tell her that her belly bump will be a boy because of how big her butt is, or that their neice had a 48-hour horror labour and required 30 stitches at the end, I found it extremely useful to receive unsolicited advice about how sore my throat would be or how purple my face would go or how much cotton wool I would …

Aperitivo in Bologna

In summer in Bologna the twilight lasts well into the evening. The slowly setting sun casts long shadows under the porticos which follow every street. The burnt orange facades glow against the deep, almost royal blue sky, waiting for you to decide whether to savour some gelato or settle in at the bar for aperitivo and a drink or two. This very dilemma confronted me on a weekly basis while living and studying in Italy a little while ago. Aperitivo is a wonderful Italian pastime, along the same lines as the Friday after-work pub session with your mates. While similar to our happy hour, aperitivo takes the cake because the bars provide free snacks to nibble as you drink, and I’m not talking about a packet of Nobby’s Nuts! Bruschetta, olives, prosciutto, verdure fritte (fried vegetables), tray after tray. And, if you time it just right, this complimentary pre-dinner treat can become your main meal as well! I often sat with friends in the dwindling light at one of the bars on Via Clavature, in …