Luca Belletti

Product Manager living in London (UK)

7 things I did not know last week

  1. Gordon Brown lost the sight in one eye after an accident as a teenager.
  2. The salt used to prevent roads from icing does not come from the sea.
  3. The Union Flag is not symmetrical.
  4. Status Quo covered Men Without Hats’ Safety Dance in their 1996 album ‘Don’t Stop’
  5. The original F*** My Life is the French site Vie de merde. Both are ‘shadenfreude’ websites with short everyday anecdotes of unfortunate moments that ruin someone’s day
  6. Wasabi has anti-bacterial properties. Via Tim Ferriss.
  7. Branston pickle was originally made in the Branston suburb of Barton upon Trent, 5 miles from where my boyfriend’s parents live.

Dog = cane

I’m just back from a great dinner party (Thursday is the new Friday, apparently) with friends. Stunning location, fantastic company, and the sweetest house dog, craving attention, wanting to play – not too much, she kept her dignity didn’t she, but you could tell from the wagging tail that she was enjoying every moment.

Today’s Italian word is cane, which means dog.

Mud = fango

And the London-wide party is over. We all went from giggly snowfights outside work to grumpily trudging through tarmac tarnished sludge while avoiding treacherous ice.

Today’s Italian word is fango, which means mud.

Paper-thin pancakes

Paper-thin pancakes, originally uploaded by bitful.

A friend made these for me tonight. So thin they were see-through,
then sprinkled with grated Parmesan, rolled up and covered with hot
homemade chicken stock.

I wish I was as Italian in the kitchen as he is. Next to him, I feel
like a fraud. In fact, I told him about my tinned food diet and he was
stunned, and then horrified.

Ice = ghiaccio

This afternoon a friend of mine sent me a text message while bored and stuck at home watching bloody Animal Hospital (his words). He had slipped on the ice and broken a bone in his elbow.

As I believe Animal Hospital is not on at the moment, I asked him if his New Year Detox allowed him to wash painkillers down with gin.

Today’s Italian word is ghiaccio, which means ice.

Snow = Neve

The snow was the only thing everybody seemed to be able to talk about it today. The BBC One six o’clock news talked about it for the first twenty minutes – and then moved on to… the weather forecast!

Mind you I am not complaining since I was sent home from work two hours earlier because of it (which explains how I could catch the six o’clock news for once).

Today’s Italian word is neve, which means snow.

My week on the web

Here are the websites I bookmarked into my account over the past seven days:

Screaming Ballerinas live at Madame JoJo’s, London

The second from the left is my friend Ollie.

7 things I did not know last week

  1. You can search for images on Google with the exact dimensions you need, by adding to your search query ‘imagesize:1280×960’ (no quotation marks, and change the numbers to the width and height you are looking for)
  2. Four out of the last five US presidents have been left-handed.
  3. There appears to be a word to describe a wad of wet toilet paper that is thrown in the air and stuck to the ceiling. I found no evidence via Google, but friends who were raised as far apart as Staffordshire and Australia agree that it’s called a flobby dobb.
  4. The smartest man in the world is gay‘.
  5. In Windows Photo Gallery on Vista you can tag whole batches of images at once by dragging and dropping them on to a tag.
  6. Matt Mullenweg is a Dvorak user. That is to say, the 25-year-old who founded the blogging software WordPress types with a keyboard where letters are shuffled around for easier access.
  7. Even if you do not set Outlook to manually send messages with the ‘Send/Receive’ button, if you right-click on a file and select the ‘Send to > Mail recipient’ option, it gets sent right away. I only use Outlook at work, so it could be a Windows XP thing.

Old = vecchio

At a friend’s 30th birthday party tonight. They played Gary Numan’s Cars and we all cheered because it was released the year our birthday girl was born.

After a while they played I’m a Believer by The Monkees. I did not advertise the fact that it was number one in the charts the week I was born.

Today’s Italian word is vecchio, which means old.

Stuart at Madame JoJo’s

Stuart at Madame JoJo’s, originally uploaded by bitful.

Shaking his head to mess up my photo, but producing instead a nicely
creepy effect.

Disguise = travestimento

I was in the toilets at work changing from my office clothes into something suitable for the gig I was going to, and I started reflecting on how both sets of clothes are a way of dressing up.

I also pondered the words ‘mutton’ and ‘lamb’ as a looked at myself after my amazing three-minute transformation, but I quickly kicked them out of my head and hit the town.

Today’s Italian word is travestimento, which means disguise.


Nabaz-‘tan’, originally uploaded by bitful.

My Nabztag (wi-fi rabbit) now has a tan: the yellowed side is the one
facing the window.

Kept man = mantenuto

As day two of being unable to be away from a toilet for longer than one hour draws to a close, I realise that I could perfectly well stay at home forever.

Give me an Internet connection, a game console and a phone to text friends, and I am more than happy.

I would not work if I did not need the money. Would you?

Today’s Italian word is mantenuto, which means kept man.

The view from my toilet…

The view from my toilet…, originally uploaded by bitful.

…on which I spent most of today, due to a dicky tummy.

That towel and I are on first name terms now.

To wish = desiderare

My body has spent most of today trying to get rid of its contents. This of course meant that I could not be too far from a toilet at all times.

When I said I wanted a quick way to lose the weight I put on since November, this is not exactly what I had in mind.

Today’s Italian word is desiderare, which means to wish.

Book = libro

I have just got back from the second meeting of a book club organised with some friends.

I loved the discussion we had around Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez. But what I am most grateful for is that if it wasn’t for this book club, I would have put down the book when I got stuck for a week on page fifteen.

Today’s Italian word is libro, which means book.

This is how I feel today

This is how I feel today, originally uploaded by bitful.

Distressed, tired, having seen better days, but not cheap, never cheap.

My week on the web

Here are the websites I bookmarked into my account over the past seven days:

Filthy keyboard

Filthy keyboard, originally uploaded by bitful.

This is what happens when you eat lunch at your desk for almost three years.

Pride = orgoglio

Stuart and I are sticking to our commitment and just had our third Italian lesson (from me to him). I am more and more convinced that this is going somewhere. I asked him to read one paragraph in Italian (which he did well) and I felt all funny hearing him speak my language.

Today’s Italian word is orgoglio, which means pride.

Where monitors go to die

Where monitors go to die, originally uploaded by bitful.

Found this on my phone from a couple of weeks ago when we went to our local
recycling centre to dispose of an old computer and a lamp.
The Wall*E in me was clapping his hands with joy at the sight of so much
organised clutter out of sight. No idea what happens to it though.

To joke = scherzare

Today we had lunch with a couple of friends in a pub they recommended.

As we were sitting down, I looked around at the peculiar place (huge rooms, very high ceilings, bricks and tiles, I think) and said ‘Great place. I wonder what it used to be.’ And our friend, a clever chap I must say, answered ‘A fire stat…’, only to stop when he realised he totally fell into my trap.

The pub is called The Fire Station.

Today’s Italian word is scherzare, which means to joke.