Sex will never be simple or nice in the ways we might like it to be. It is not fundamentally democratic or kind; it is bound up with cruelty, transgression and the desire for subjugation and humiliation. It refuses to sit neatly on top of love, as it should.
Trying to make sense of the world and life through food and words.
My better half might be my husband but my other half is definitely my sister.
I always thought of my little sister as the other keeper of memories only the two of us share. She and I alone can remember the smell of our bedroom; the sound of the lady next door washing up as we prepared for sleep (her kitchen abutted our bedroom); the secret Sunday morning games played in bed; the endless dinners while our parents were arguing. In short, nobody else knows how it felt to grow up in our household but my sister.
Unless you live in the Italian region of Abruzzo, routinely read the Italian newspapers, or are an oil junkie, chances are you have never heard the name Maria Rita D’Orsogna.…
My life, right now, is an endless string of dentists’ appointments. I have the misfortune of having to do some extensive dental work and, a couple of months ago, my wonderful (and drop dead gorgeous lady) dentist referred me to Dr. G for a specialist consult. I might be biassed but I am close to the perfect patient: I never miss appointments, I show up on time, I ask questions, I am not scared but. But I always interview my doctors.
Let’s play a word association game: if I said Italy, what would come to mind? Would you say gelato, good food, Vespa, cute guys, fashion and maybe history? When I think of Italy, now that I have spent half my life away from it, often I romanticize it the way visitors tend to, while still being aware of the incongruities my country harbors: nightmarish bureaucracy, corruption, a general sense of selfishness, works of art left to rot, sexism, unemployment. Lately, to the list of ailments that afflict Italy we have been forced to add “feminicide”.
But, if I were to look for a moment at the pore-less faces, the sculpted legs, the absence of lines or of any imperfections, it wouldn’t be hard to see why young girls today feel so inadequate and work so hard to attain the impossible. The subject has been dissected in many a forum by more eloquent voices than mine so I won’t debate it any further here. Thirty years ago, though, I don’t remember ever measuring myself against the likes of Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford or Naomi Campbell, and I am fairly confident none of my girlfriends lost any sleep over the matter either – so, what has changed?
Albert Square, SW8 London, is a charming Victorian oasis in a not-so-hip neighbourhood; sandwiched between Lambeth and Stockwell. At least, it wasn’t so hip 25 years ago – a quick search of current property prices informs me that a flat in Albert Square now will set me back over a million pounds. At the center of the square is a private garden with a large grassy area, benches and mature trees, that could only be accessed by residents. A very selfish English practice that is a godsend if you happen to be a resident. The buildings are well-preserved Victorian specimen, save for number 46, a modern eyesore on a corner that was rebuilt after the war from brown bricks and boxy windows. Googlemaps attests to its existence to this day.
The Summer Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles, I had just turned 19. She was 20. Wide eyed, I sat glued to the tv set watching the carriage slowly rolling from St. Paul’s Cathedral to Buckingham Palace, her slightly chubby face smiling, engulfed in a cloud of white. It looked like the embodiment of one of the fairy tales I was so fond of as a child.