Sep 22, 2009

Another film set, another suitcase

It's been a busy month here at Aglio, Olio & Peperoncino.

I have published several essays and features on various online Travel/Food magazines (check my sidebar for the links) and I have been interviewed, awarded and selected to be part of many great blogrolls (again, see in my sidebar for more AO&P online). I have designed a badge, and I am honored that some blog friends have displayed it on their sites. I have joined foodie hubs and search engines, and my traffic and followers have greatly increased.

I have twittered 'til the wee hours and made wonderful acquaintances therein. I have wisely de-cluttered and placed classified ads for old furniture and baby gear (alas no yard sale tradition here!). I have given books, clothes and toys to charities, and through the Internet, I "bumped into" my first preschool teacher, who is still living in Rome. We met for a picnic with Mr.E and it was a very touching moment to see her after all these years. She had saved this picture of my preschool graduation. I'm the one in the white dress and black shoes, fourth from the left.

Tomorrow I leave for a new film. We shoot an American film in Abruzzo for 8 weeks or so. Should be fun. But it will be hard to part with my son. He has just recently started attending a new school, and new habits and friendships are being formed. He is very shy, incredibly affectionate and tender, and I will miss my morning cuddles and his sweet "quanto sei bella" (how beautiful you are) during playtime. Our intimate mother-son rituals will be carried out by his loyal nanny. 

She'll be reading him Goodnight Moon, cooking his meals and becoming a tennis-playing warrior, or a truck-driving firefighter if the game requires it. I on the other hand will be speaking to my son over the phone. I will be strong and I will leave with a lump in my throat but faking a smile as my son waves from the window. I'll be biting my fingernails at his every silence and sneeze. I will be the breadwinner, devoured by guilt.

My laptop travels with me and I will still post every other day. I will keep freelance writing, emailing, discussing and posting recipes and hosting the weekly Be My Guest event. I will be back home on weekends, and my plans to participate in the vendemmia, olive press and Positano parties are still very much happening. I will treasure returning to the hotel room after work every day to read your blogs and your stories. Mushrooms and truffles will be eaten. Hare and perhaps wild boar too.

I will be punctual at work every day, neat and quiet. I'll not slouch and I'll sit with my knees locked together, prim and proper in my patagonia fleece. I'll wear my woolly hat and mittens gracefully. I will perform my job duties with care, I will be up to the task. I will rub elbows with stars and I will participate in a new creative process. I will be professional, discreet and efficient. I will be all that and more.

But I feel this could be my swan song.

I need a stable job. One that I can rely on. One with human-friendly hours. I have fantasies of a 9-to-5 day. I crave perks and benefits. I need a regular income! It's wonderfully empowering to carry the world on my own shoulders and be free from obligations, but sometimes it gets really difficult to do it all by myself. There's no business like show business, but I'm exhausted.

Freelance writing, blogging and editing my book will be my refreshing part-time job during the upcoming full-time job engagement with the film. I can do it. It'll be hard, but fun, too. I always like a good challenge.

I have to go pack now. Destination: Sulmona, cute little town in Abruzzo known for its traditional production of confetti, sugared almonds––not paper party decorations.

Confetti are traditional Italian sugared almonds with a hard sugar coating. The result is a crunchy white oval-shaped candy that's usually given as a symbolic celebratory gift in sets of odd numbers, usually 5.

Confetti can also be made with a chocolate filling instead of almonds. They are handed out as a small token (in little ornate fabric bags or decorated boxes) to family and friends for special occasions, like weddings, baptisms, christenings, graduations, etc. Wedding confetti are typically white; to celebrate the birth of a newborn baby, confetti are usually gender-colored (pink or baby-blue) and for a graduation they are lucky red. Silver and gold anniversary confetti respectively represent 25 and 50 years of marriage.

On the other hand the English word "confetti" corresponds to the Italian coriandoli. The connection is an interesting language story: long ago, during Carnival people would throw confetti (candy) that held a small coriander seed inside each, as a sign of appreciation for the best costumes at masquerade balls. Later on, small pieces of paper substituted the candy and their Italian name refers to the original herbal ingredient, coriandolo, while the English-speaking world remained faithful to the original candy name calling them confetti. Did I confuse you sufficiently?

A presto!


  1. Oh my gosh, thats quite sudden. For a moment there I thought that you are leaving Italy, much like Shelly from At home in Rome (not sure if you know her though)

    But you are right, first life comes first before blogging life. And that there are always realistic responsibilities to face up to.

    I hope for all the best for you in your new job. Change isnt easy, but in time, I believe that it'll all work out :-)

    In bocca al lupo!

  2. Oh Lola, you are one of a kind sitting so sensibly when your spirit flies so high! I can't imagine you out of your hat and mitts and wearing 9-5 but I understand completely. My best to you. May you uncountable stories on this (perhaps) last of your film adventures.

  3. Lovely lovely blog Lola. Beautifully written about leaving your son - I feel for you so much. Film world sounds glamourous (and I'm envious!), but it's good to hear you suggest that actually, this boring world that so many of us live in has its merits too!

    I haven't had much time to visit you, but I love your site. It takes me back to all that I love about Italy - and is informative and beautiful to look at as well.

    Well done for de-cluttering too - a job that I am determined to do in the coming months as it is LONG overdue. Not easy though - so emotional.

    Look forward to hearing from you again soon and I will try and catch up with some of your more recent posts too.

  4. PS: and funnily enough, I've just been writing about a school reunion, though haven't published it yet. I met one of my old teachers too - it was marvellous to be able to be on equal terms as an adult and understand the incredibly amusing, wry person she is (and to learn a few secrets too about my other former teachers!).

  5. Hi Lola, I don't know how but I missed your last 2 posts, and now you're going away! I'll look forward to catching up on your posts over the next few days.
    Glad your traffic has increased- yours is a terrific blog- great writing, interesting topics, and lovely recipes that aren't too difficult and that work.
    So, that was a long-winded way of saying that I hope you'll be able to keep up the blog along with the full-time work - I really do.
    Look forward to your film set posts! Give us a bit of insider insight!

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  7. Beautiful Lola - I wish you the best of everything in everything you do. I'd love to know about the film you are going off to be involved with, but I guess discretion says otherwise.

    We'll all be here waiting for you.


  8. Thank you all for your lovely warm, heartfelt comments.
    Rinaz– thanks for the encouragement, I'll need it tomorrow!

    Erin~ wowza, finally a face. Not only a genius writer, you're hot too!

    HOTH~ Thank you so much for that. I emailed you...

    Mimi~ I will try to be on time with my blogging too, and the inside stories will be many.

    Julie~ Grazie, my darling friend. I will disclose more in time re the film, I have signed papers forbidding me to say anything!

  9. I know Sulmona well. Some dear friends were from there.

    Its sounds like you're aiming high. Don't get run down and good luck!

  10. i feel for you leaving your son behind...its hard...i read the paragraph like a mantra helping you to focus until you can be with him again. i hope that workfinds its way to you and you can settle down if that is your wish. look forward to keeping up with you on the road and hope your travels are fun, and safe.

    peace, friend

  11. As ever, I'm amazed at all that you fit into your busy life! That traffic looks absolutely dreadful to me... So sorry you have to leave your little boy behind, but I'm sure the time will fly! Loved the old preschool photo - too gorgeous! Safe travels x

  12. Dear Lola,

    It's so wonderful to see you pursuing your many different interests with such gusto!

    It is always the burden of mothers - we feel guilty when we do what we love if it takes us from our families, and we feel guilty and somewhat empty when we forgo what we love to attend to our families. (I know this well. . .)

    You are doing a wonderful thing for your son. Showing him that his Mama loves him dearly, yet has a life of her own, too, which provides food and shelter for your little family.

    You are raising a loving little boy who will be a very special man some day.

    I wish you well on your new adventure, and look forward to reading all about it when you are free to divulge more.

    Safe travels, Lola dear!

    Hugs and love,

  13. I understand the yearn for 9 to 5, but I don't think you would like it when you got there!! Best of luck with everything!!

  14. I hope you find that perfect job that keeps you close to home and offers the many benefits needed.
    Remember guilt is like rocking in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere.

  15. Ciao Lola: a very nice blog! We will miss you, so please come back soon! A presto

  16. Lola, I do hope your trip goes well! Thank you for the very generous words at my blog!

    LOVE your blog and I am so glad it is gaining popularity as yourn work here deserves it!

  17. This is a very nice blog with beautiful pictures. Regards Feleipe from Cyprus

  18. Have a wonderful trip. Lots of good wishes.

  19. Don't feel guilty, Lola. You're doing the best you can. What more could you expect out of yourself? Lots of hugs.

  20. Work must be done! Eight months is a big of a stretch for both you and E. Good luck on both counts.

  21. Big love to you and all the best wishes for a safe time away from home.
    I hope you win lotto... start playing!

    best wishes
    Ribbon x

  22. You blog is just wonderful, and I wish you the very best in the film world. (Not sure just what you do, but I'm sure it is creative.) Glad the blog world is treating you well, as you deserve it.

  23. You really confused me about "confetti" I thought they were called Sugared Almonds..!

  24. You are going to have the best selling cookbook someday and then you won't have to work another day in your life unless you want too.

    I love you Lola and I love the letter that you wrote to my sweet Sheldon.

    Love Renee xoxo

  25. What a sweet, tender, loving post! I really enjoy your writing and I know whatever you do, you will do it with style and grace. Ciao bella - buon lavoro!

  26. Lola,
    I love this post. I wish I could do so many things...
    I can feel your enthusiasm over your many projects and this is just so inspiring!

    Looking forward to read your next posts, don't forget to post photos from the sets..

    Ti abbraccio, in bocca al lupo!

  27. Good luck and may you find another job so that Mr. E never has to say good-bye again!!! (I hate leaving the kids for business trips, but we do what we must and look forward to our return home.)

  28. Ma chere Lola. N'inquiete pas!

    No worries Lola! Things will work out because they always do. I wish for you to make enough money with your blogs so that you can stay at home and enjoy your nest. And then, I wish that I can do the same so that I can get out of medicine and travel, and blog, and travel, and blog......

    a bien tot.

  29. Oh, Lola...I do pray you are able to find another position so that you don't have to leave your son for long periods anymore!!!! Your blog is brilliant...I love all the changes you've made, and the steps you've taken to "market"'s just beautiful, and you are certainly ready to take it out on a fantastic voyage!!! I will eagerly be watching your progress, and applauding your success!!!!! You go, girl!!!! I feel privileged to know you, and think you have a very bright future!!!! Love you! ~Janine XO

  30. Congrats, Lola!

    Judging be all the comments you receive on your posts, I think your promotion is working as well :-)

    What is your badge, though? Let's get that thing out there!!

    ...enjoy some confetti for me....

  31. My Dear Lola
    Many apologies for my late comment.
    I wish you everything that is written on your heart for Little E and yourself - it is a huge wrench for you to be parted and I will pray very hard that another way will be found for you to finance your little family with no more heart pulling separations.
    You are a very kind and warm young lady and you deserve better things - see you soon ~ Love Eddie

    PS Loved the little piccy of you as a little girl

  32. Lola, Sometimes we have to reach for a higher ground to simplify our futures. This is the process your in, and I wish you all the luck in the world! But knowing you Lola you will have fun on this journey! Just make the best of your work! Chuck xx

  33. Ciao Lola!

    good luck with the shoot and see you back in Rome.