It was such a pleasure to get to Milan again. It’s been just over 2 years since I last visited and my 4th time altogether. I just love Italy. I love the architecture of the Galleria and the Duomo. I love the colours of the gellato, the street performers, the slow sweet pace of life. I love the people. I love the quintessential formalities of aperitifs by the canal. Highlights from this trip were easy to come by, because we went on recommendation from locals, a sure fire way to avoid the tourist traps and savour real Italy.
The Fabrica pizzeria by the canals were easily the best pizzas I’ve ever tasted in my life, buttery dough, crispy aubergine, dollops of creamy buffalo mozzerlla and salty prosciutto all washed down with the most velvety local red wine. This meal, our first night, was especially great because I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much or so loud, at one point we had half the restaurant engaged in a raucous game of animal charades much to the other half of the restaurants disapproval.
I felt completely content and I’m not sure how often I can say that. A gorgeous man approached our table and said something to us in Italian with a massive grin on his face before leaving with his friends. We all turned dumbfounded to our friend Manetti and translator, apparently it was something along the lines of he found our joy for life marvellous and infectious. Of course this kept the smile on our faces for the rest of the night. Further proof that the people for me, are those who have a lust and an energy for life, who are a little crazy, who walk to the beat of their own strange but beautiful drum and are not embarrassed to show it. The people I spent this last weekend with embodied all of the above & I’m more grateful than ever that they came into my life.
We were on such a natural high that despite having walked for what felt like 5 miles, we decided to have a night cap at the infamous ‘vineria’. You get your wine fresh from a tapped barrel and you get fed a little more. That’s the thing about Italy, socializing is a richly social event. You drink slowly, you savour the company, you taste small morsels of food [this is aperitif hour] It’s not like the UK where people are holed up in grim pubs getting twatted as quickly as possible [that is a generalization] the point I make is that in Italy [and I presume, across Europe] time is taken, usually outdoors & the moment is truly enjoyed.
We took in the cathedral and the castle the next day and found [again on coveted recommendation] our lunch spot ‘Signorvino’ overlooking the Duomo. We shared prossecco and perfect pasta. I usually make my pasta as creamy and cheesy as possible. But having experienced the simple flavours of fresh tomatoes and basil I’ll be rectifying my cooking process for shizzzzzzzle.
As most of my blog readers know, my brother is in a band, so we went to see his show on the Saturday night at the Live Forum in Assago. It’s been a while since I saw them perform in that way, there was still that organic excitement, fans were not just mass numbers, you could see everyone, get round to meet everyone if you wanted to. It was so surreal to see fans from outside the UK, and even more surreal that so many of them knew who I was and were fans of my music. There’s nothing like it really. Meeting and connecting with strangers through music. It’s the best thing and it was just as exciting for me to meet & get to know them as it seemed to be for them. We then partied on the bus till 7am and Sunday was a blur of more pasta, vespa rides and flying home.
Fino alla prossima volta, l’Italia. Baci.
After a frustrating 9 hour session in the studio in arse end of North London on Saturday, I woke up yesterday deflated & pissed off. I knew 2 of my closest Uni friends were hanging out in Brighton, I looked outside my window- First sunny day of 2014 where I’m not working- Let’s go! I text them “Sea Front, Fortune of War, pitcher of Pimms, 2 hours. X” Needless to say it was an exceptional day. I took my guitar and trudged through the lanes at snail pace with the crowds taking in old memories of gigs at Komedia, getting my nose pierced [a rash decision haha!] Pints of cider at the White Rabbit, my one and only shift at Coalition, Sticky wooden floors, street performers, Seagulls. I have so much love for Brighton & am always so happy there, it’s the soulfulness of its residents, the character, the sea and the friendships awaiting me with open arms. My parents were visiting my Godmother in Hove so I dropped in with salty hair and warm skin and we toasted the day, as the orange sun melted behind the waves. See you Soon Barry! X
Winter was kind to us this time round. January and February have slid past me almost unnoticed. I have not minded the dark evenings and the relentless rain. I’ve always taken comfort in the water. As trees and buds prepare to bloom new life I’m reminded of all the possibility Spring holds. Life is good, my state of mind has altered and that has changed, well…. everything. I say goodbye to Brixton and say hello to something else.
Folks, it is time for a new chapter. Am so excited for the next couple of months, can’t wait to share my plans with you all. It’s been a really creative time for me the last few months, learning guitar has caused a dam to burst. Creativity and inspiration seems to come round in 2.5 year cycles for me and it’s been interesting to chart. Autumn/Spring 2006….Summer 2009….Winter 2012….SPRING 2014.
"Nothing happens until the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change”- T.R
Very happy to announce I have landed my first ever TV sync placement! ‘All These Days’ will feature in EMMERDALE on March 12th. I think the show is about farmers? Anyway, this is an extra pleasant piece of news because it is apparently quite rare for a music supervisor to select a track from an unknown artist [let alone one with no label or management backing] so yes. Horray and tune in for larks!