Books · The Grey Tail

gifts and peeps [reprise]

I simply couldn’t make it all fit into yesterday’s post, so here is some more gorgeousness for you to peep at. 😉

– – –

first a picture you’ve already seen, but you might have overlooked the candle-mania going on here. the thing is, I can’t light them up now that Taras spends this much time in here – not because he risks something, there are ways to make candles safe provided you’re there to supervise, but I’m not sold on the quality of these ones. IKEA candles are way too cheep to be honest 😒


not to worry, I found some fantastic indie people in the US and some other wonderful ones from Tuscany that are trustworthy in what they use when making candles, so I’ll update you on the situation once I get it all nice and lit.

also pictured is my favourite perfume, a Lindt bowl my mom got me for Easter some time ago (it was filled with tiny golden bunnies – or was there a big one in it?) and most importantly a picture of my beloved Oliver taken in 2004. ciao old pal. 😢

catselfie 1/15
same place, hours later. this silly one keeps on taking shots of me in front of the mirror instead of going to bed. it’s 1AM, girl, honestly!
peep 1/15
not pictured on the chest of drawers because it was drying up from the thorough cleaning – is a gift from my Grandma that goes back to 1996, a hand painted toy chest that I love so very much. I wonder if she remembers about it, I’ll ask her when she comes by.
peep 1/15
and here’s my nickname from when I was barely a teen, YaYa. imagine the joy when I saw the Devine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood film years later!
peep 1/15
also not pictured for the same reason, a candle holder my mom gifted to me years and years ago. it says “In this house lives a cat and all his staff”. been true for quite a while now.

– – –

another interesting peep was the result of the Moleskine challenge over at their official Instagram account. they asked us Moleskine lovers to show our #Moleskinetower for 2014. I couldn’t find most of my notebooks (would have made quite a sight since I’ve been using these ones since I was in high school!) due to the boxed up aftermath of the weevil mess, but I managed to pile up the ones I had at hand and form a spiral staircase with a LEGO cheer-leader on top of it. 😉

Moleskine tower '15
Moleskine tower ’15
Moleskine tower '15
the LEGO notebook was my agenda for ’14, the Hobbit LE are still sealed waiting for their shining moment, while all the others are notebooks I filled up or I’m currently taking notes on. there are some older diaries from my high-school days (there are grades, printed schedules and everything in-between noted in them, I was A GEEK!) 😀
Moleskine tower '15
see why I picked her? the “M” on her top 😀 M-O-L-E-S-K-I-N-E!

– – –

and now something I’ve been meaning to share with you for years and years. you don’t know this, but mom and I (well, mom started doing it first because of me, and then I joined her when I was old enough) collect children’s books from all over the world. if they’re in a language I know, I translate them for her and then she tells those stories to the kids she has at school (mom’s a Kindergarten teacher).

the first two I’ll show you are two of my favourite ones from my childhood, both very dear to me for many reasons.

first is Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem, of course when I was a kid mom used to read me the Italian version of it, Boscodirovo, which is also the name of the school she used to co-run when I was in Kindergarten, and of course I was with her there.

children's books 1/15

children's books 1/15

I always loved these stories, but my all time favourite is the Autumn Story; I was born in October, which is by far my favourite season anyways, falling leaves, mushrooms, pumpkin bread & pumpkin soup, chilly weather closing in, jumpers & scarves, Hallowe’en!! 😀 🎃 but this story always attracted me the most because the little mouse you see here goes exploring, and gets lost in the middle of the woods.

children's books 1/15

I did the same while following a cat when I was her age. mom was devastated, poor woman, while I had calmly fallen asleep under a tree and the Rescue Squads were searching for me like the mice looking for Little Primrose.

I used to look at these detailed drawings for hours, really. I guess it was all a telltale sign of my craving for details I would show proof of later on in my life.

this is a new copy that collects all the 4 seasonal stories and some more, but I do have the old little books that I used to read, all worn out and battered. I’ll show them to you soon. 🙂

the other book choice for today is the Bored Witch series (originally La bruja aburrida) by Enric Larreula and Roser Capdevila, in Italian La Strega Annoiata.

children's books 1/15

this is again a recent print that collects these stories (so many! when I was a kid there were only 4 or 5; I was so glad to see it’s been so successful throughout the years). I LOVED her pet owl Occhiacci, and the fact that she was bored out of herself most of the time – and I really liked that she was born old! 🙂

children's books 1/15
this is her mother up on a tree, with her sisters, predicting when their niece would be born.
children's books 1/15
here she’s a baby and has turned her aunts invisible. if you passed the pages quickly through your finger, you could see something happen in the top corner of the book; every story had a different “animation” and this one, the first one, had the adorable Occhiacci hatching from his egg.

I loved reading about witches when I was a kid, and it was by far my favourite costume for Carnevale (the Italian version of Hallowe’en, but with no trick-or-treating or spirits of the dead; pretty much like Mardi Gras – in fact the last day of Carnevale is Martedì Grasso, fat Tuesday). this is me in 1987. Grandma made the costume with her fantastic sewing skills, and I got to wear that hat every single day since February that year.

peep 1/15

I also got a bit of make up from my not-so-talented make-up artist mom. she detests these things (pretty much as much as I like them, really) so she painted my face with strong, dark strokes that made me look dirty more than anything else, but I liked it. and now I get to laugh at it when I look closely at the pictures.

peep 1/15

this is another shot of me in 1987. see those rebellious curls? I still get those horns when baby hair grow. 😀

Chiara '87

– – –

well, I hope you enjoyed these peeps into my present and past.

have a great day,



14 thoughts on “gifts and peeps [reprise]

    1. oh, Gracie, thank you! I did rewrite a few sentences just now because I don’t think the previous lack of punctuation helped much in following the direction my thoughts were taking 😉
      this is the kind of post I always meant to write since starting the blog, unfortunately lots of things happened and I lost much of the precious time and calm it takes to write about oneself, even if just bits and pieces. I promise to do it again and again, even if just for you, in fact I have one already planned 🙂


  1. I love that you translate kids books for your mom to use in her teaching! ❤ That was indeed a beautiful post, as Gracie said, and the accompanying photos were wonderful. Wishing you a great weekend!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. you mean you can’t wait! 😀 that’s great news! unfortunately the post I’m thinking about collects books from the past, no links for stuff from the ’80s and ’90s (unfortunately), but you might want to check Norton’s edition of the Annotated Alice – by far the best edition you could get your hands on. you know what, because of its high demand I’m writing it right now 🙂 stay tuned!


    1. not that I know of, I googled “The Bored Witch book series” but alas, nothing useful. perhaps in the past? you could try with the authors’ names in the database at work ❤️


  2. That Brambly Hedge book is just beautiful! I showed the picture of you when you were little to the husband and he agrees we could have been sisters! My hair was very curly (well, it still is but i straighten it) and stuck up just the same. =)

    Liked by 1 person

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