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Rinfrescata: on books, news and birds

Hello! Remember me? 😉 I used to love stitching and blogging about stitching up until the Christmas holidays? 😜

I had to take some time off needles and threads because of a series of factors including a fiercely piercing pain in my shoulders that just wouldn’t let me stitch for more than an hour and a newfound need to read, read and read a bit more until my eyes itched and my fingers went ice cold in the middle of the winter night.

What have I been reading that was so captivating, you might ask. Well, I finished a pretty long tome that had been sitting on my bedside table for quite a while and not because I didn’t like it: the complete opposite! 😊 When I particularly like a book I tend to delay the time when I’ll reach the last pages because I enjoy the process of reading it way too much and I know I’ll end up feeling blue and sad that it’s over. That first time reading experience is something I can revert to only after a few years because over the years I’ve developed quite a selective memory for books and films, and I’m therefore able to forget everything about them after a while. I don’t mean minor details here, I’m talking about plot twists, sudden tragic deaths, revelations, … all the kind of stuff you’re supposed to remember! 😀

Going back to my reading list, this is what has been keeping me busy and that I’d highly recommend too:

  • Walter Moers, Die 13½ Leben des Käpt’n Blaubär (in EN The 13½ Lives of Captain Bluebear) which might sound like a children’s book but it really is much more for grown ups. Very much like Terry Pratchett can be read as a kid but if you’re an adult you enjoy him on so many other levels too.
  • Walter MoersEnsel und Krete (sadly no EN translation for this one so you have to speak German or in my case Italian because Moers’ works have all been published here, and very well translated I might add)
  • P.D. James, The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories

This last one came to my attention thanks to a “galeotta”* Waterstones newsletter…

* galeotto is the Italianisation of Galehaut, the character that aided Lancelot with his secret meeting with Guinevere, and since Dante used the term in the Inferno to talk about Paolo and Francesca and the book that made them fall in love, galeotto has entered the Italian everyday language to describe a book or an object that triggers an event or series of actions.

Dante’s exact quote is:

“Galeotto fu ‘l libro e chi lo scrisse”

“Galeotto was the book and the one who wrote it”

Paolo and Francesca fall in love and commit adultery because of this book they’re reading together, so when Francesca’s soul tells Dante her story explaining why she’s in the Inferno, she describes that book as the culprit, the decoy, the thing that triggered a spiraling series of events she couldn’t undo and which led her to be damned for eternity. What were they reading about that was so powerful, you might be wondering. It goes without saying, the moment when Queen Guinevere, King Arthur’s wife, is kissed by Lancelot. 😉

titled “Get Clued up for Christmas with our Festive Crime Special”, an incredibly interesting list of Christmas mysteries that I couldn’t resist buying (galeotta su la lista e chi la scrisse) and that is going to keep me busy for a while. If you like me enjoy mysteries I can forward that email to you, just drop me a line using the Contact me form or write me an email if you aleady have my address. 😊

Speaking of books, and mysteries in particular, I’ve always been fond of this genre. In fact when I was around 7 I begged my mother every time we entered the bookshop to get me The Black Cat and Other Tales by Edgar Allan Poe. Since then she tried to restrain my quirk fascination with this author by after years of pleads I got The Murders in the Rue Morgue.

I loved these editions when I was a kid, if you flipped the book upside-down, the back had tests, exercises, games, thought-provoking assignments, etc.


If you look closely you’ll notice that the backside of the books is printed upside-down 😊


I liked these books so much I was carrying them everywhere, so of course when my sister were born they took the habit of dissacrate them with their masterpieces. 😜


This last shot shows the list of works published in this series as of 1994. The only other I managed to get was The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mister Hyde, but I still remember how desperately I wanted Alice in wonderland, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The gold-bug, …


And now I can give you two of my entries for TAC this month:

  • R is for romanzo = novel
  • R is for racconto = tale

I can also show you some robins I’ve stitched recentemente (recently):


  • robin in Italian is pettirosso because these birds have the petto (chest) rosso (red)


  • raccoons in Italy are called procioni (Procyon is Latin for before the dog, similar to a dog) or orsetti lavatori (lotor is Latin for washing). When Cristoforo Colombo took note of these animals seen for the first time by European eyes, he and everyone at that time assumed they descended by many animals including dogs, cats and especially bears, so their Italian name still bears 😉 that misconception and is literally translated little washing bears. 😀
  • another animal that starts with R in Italian is the riccio (hedgehog), for the way they can curl up into a ball, in fact riccio also means curly as in “lei ha i capelli ricci” = she has curly hair

So if you remember that hysterical scene from The Little Mermaid when Scuttle explains Ariel what a fork is (according to him a contraption to style up your hair like spaghetti), that in Italian was an arricciaspiccia 😂

arricciare = to curl

spiccio = quick, fast

My last entry for TAC this month is rinfrescata, the long overdue freshened up I have just given to the blog, as you might have noticed. 😀

I hope you like the new look and all the freshly organised Categories on the right. 😊

Have a great week and a great 2017!

Thank you for joining TAC every month, I might have something new to show you for my post next month.

You can find me on Facebook here 😊




15 thoughts on “Rinfrescata: on books, news and birds

  1. I can totally understand how you love reading books. I read 52 last year and am planning to do the same this year too! As for stitching I have gathered all my strength on one big piece and that’s how I plan to continue. That’s the only way to finish something. Concentrate.AriadnefromGreece!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Greetings Chiara: I love to read, I always have two books going, I am into think novels.
    I see the damage to your books, just a reminder of when your sisters were young.
    I have read some books that are in the teen section, some seem of a story more for an adult.
    Love your stitching project what a beautiful design.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reading is always good – I used to read a LOT more than I do now, but I replaced it with stitching, I guess. That and, now, I’m good for 2-3 pages before I fall asleep 🙂 I like your robins and raccoon – they are charted well, showing great detail in a small area! You should find me on GoodReads!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely will! Some days I just can’t fall back asleep after I wake up in the middle of the night, doesn’t matter how tired I am or how badly I need to sleep ..I’ve just decided to make good use of that time 😉
      I agree, J.E. packed great details in such a tiny space, and they look really good even on 40ct. IMHO 😉


  4. Great post, dear Chiara, I always love hearing what you are up to. As you know, I am a great reader, too. of almost anything so I always love to hear what other people are reading. Thanks for sharing your memories of Poe and yes, younger sisters can be annoying, can’t they? Love the new look of the blog. hugs, Kaye

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post! I love Walter Moers, though I still need to read Ensel und Krete. But I did enjoy Die 13 1/2 Leben des Käptn’ Blaubär immensly, and I’m glad to hear the translations are okay as well. I wouldn’t mind talking a look at that mysteries list either 🙂
    Great progress on your JE, and great TAC update too! In Germany, racoons are called ‘Waschbär’, so we do go that washing bear route as well and hedgehogs are ‘Igel’ and ‘sich einigeln’ also means ‘to curl up’, although I’m not sure which of these words came first.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love your input on the words I featured, thank you! And SO good to know of another Moers fan! 😊 The first one I read was Die Stadt der Träumenden Bücher, then Rumo, then Blaubär (as you can see I went backwards without knowing it 😊) but because it was quite some time ago, I plan on re-reading Rumo and Die Stadt, and then move on with the series. H&K is quite short and more of a tale than a novel, but it does give a good insight on den Grosser Wald and what happens to the Buntbären after Blaubär. I was shocked at the style and richness of the German gebundene Ausgaben compared to the Italian ones, which look like mass market paperbacks compared to Knaus yet cost almost the same. 😟 I got Blaubär in Farbe and the Lexicon over the holidays, as well as a puzzle with die Charta Zamonia and one with Hildegunst – my sis and I like Moers quite a lot! 😀
      I’m forwarding you that newsletter straight away 😊


      1. My first one was ‘Der Schrecksenmeister’ a few years back, which my dad recommended to me, and then ‘Die Stadt der träumenden Bücher’ afterwards. I’m still bummed the last one in that series is being delayed indefinitely! The books are surely lovely, but I have to admit I don’t personally own any of them yet, I got the ones I red from the library.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, I know! Sometimes I get the this awful feeling it will never come out. 😟
        Luckily for you you can go to the library and pick them up, here they’re not that popular – and I can forget getting EN/DE/.. editions altogether from local libraries. 😟 😟


  6. Lovely to see you blogging again. The new layout is very fresh and clean.
    Love the little creatures in the tree too.
    We are reading the penultimate Discworld book! Not sure where we will go after that, there’s a couple of books on the shelf…

    Liked by 1 person

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