Journal by Assia

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14 October 2018

Monthly Favourites: August & September 2018

It's Sunday afternoon. After having made myself a chicken, carrot and pumpkin curry (I've been experimenting in the kitchen) I sat down to write my monthly favourites for the past two months. August was a hectic month as I had to prepare for my final exam, submit my extended translations and I spent two weeks interpreting in Piedmont. Somehow, I managed to survive all those challenges and could come home. As opposed to August, September was a fantastic month. I could finally catch up with my family and relax and especially see my dream come true: not having to pack and fly abroad after the summer. Even though living abroad was my dream for ages, in the past 6 years, a part of me always looked forward to that time when I wouldn't have to leave again. I'm so grateful to be able to be home with my loved ones and not have to leave any time soon. It's great to be able to have lunch and dinner together, to watch a film or a series and comment it together and generally doing daily things at home instead of away from home. Since I have been working from home, I've had time to watch and read plenty of  things which I'll share with you.

3 October 2018

Tuscany Road Trip: Castiglioncello, Rosignano, Castagneto Carducci and Bolgheri

Before welcoming the cold weather, crisp air and warm coats of the autumn season, we went for a two-days seaside break for a final dip in the water and sun tan. Though our expectations weren't very high weather-wise, we had a couple of sunny and fairly warm days. My favourite moment was swimming in the cold water as it was crystal clear and I could feel all the benefits of cold water swimming that I learnt from a speech I interpreted in July. This also turned out to be a cultural break as we visited Castagneto Carducci and Bolgheri, two villages where 800s Italian author Giosuè Carducci spent a great part of his childhood and adult life. I loved getting to know this part of Tuscany and I'm excited to share it all with you. 

13 September 2018

Rediscovering Myths and Legends with Icelandic Fairytales - Book Review

When I went to Prali, I brought Ferrante's Story of the Lost Child with me. Yet, the natural surroundings and fresh air inspired me to look for a fantasy or a unique book that I could read alongside it. Prali has a lovely local bookshop and there were lots of books that you normally wouldn't find in Florence's big bookshops, including books on nature, spirituality and more. An old lady even approached me to recommend her favourite book and to ask me for book suggestions for her teen nephew (I then realised how long it had been since I'd spoken to a stranger and how natural that felt to her as opposed to me!).

9 September 2018

Monthly Favourites: June & July 2018

Even though June and July have been hectic months for me (yes, my usual relaxing summer was put on hold for a year), I have managed to make time for many TV series and YouTube channels. I have also read a lot but would like to share my reads in separate book review posts. So if you're in the mood for summer favourites, scroll down to read about them as well as my experience interning in London!

20 August 2018

The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante - Book Series Review

In the past few months I read Elena Ferrante's Neapolitain Novels, a book series that's been on my reading list forever. It took a long time to get through all the books, which is why it took me a while to get back into book reviews, but it was so worth it. If I hadn't known Ferrante's books had been written these days, I would have thought they'd be classics. Even if I normally prefer individual books, I absolutely loved this series. It was so unique and powerful in its own way that I almost don't feel like it can be compared to other contemporary books.

12 August 2018

Interpreting and Sharing Life Stories in the Italian Mountains

During my interpreting training, I heard of a work opportunity in an isolated, magical place in Northern Italy which sounded too good to be true. I am more than willing to volunteer as an interpreter to get work experience, but to do it in the beautiful Italian mountains? I had not thought that far! Weeks have now passed and here I am, writing this post on my penultimate day of work. I am currently exhausted, both physically and psychologically, for the effort I put into the past two weeks. Yet I feel very content and have a lot to share – so read on if this sounds interesting to you!

28 July 2018

Belgium Diaries: Boat Tour around Ghent and Meise's Wheat Fields


The last chapter of the Belgium Diaries serie is all about Ghent and an unexplored part of Belgium. Both places struck me as they were very different from Bruxelles and I enjoyed seeing other faces of the same country.