Bologna and Parma, Italy

Last weekend I hopped on a short flight over to Italy (the novelty of which never gets old), to hang out with friends who are currently living in Parma. I spent Friday afternoon in Bologna, having a wander and eating. Bologna may be my spiritual home. Just off from one of the piazzas is a myriad of tiny streets with food vendors, food shops, kitchen equipment, pastry shops and restaurants – all selling fabulous things.

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I loaded up with salami and marrons glaces before hopping on a train to Parma, where I continued to eat. Despite the constant rain on Saturday, we ventured out, basically to do more food shopping and to eat sandwiches at Pepen (another spiritual home), before collapsing and having one last, late meal, at a local place around the corner from my friend’s apartment.

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It was an excellent sojourn, and reminded me of my love of food and food cultures and why it is that I am currently fighting with my data set in order to craft something worthwhile about food experience. Judith Jones’ autobiography, My Life in Food, is also helping – her descriptions of life in 1940s Paris make me a) want to time travel and b) book a seat on the Eurostar immediately. Sometime soon I will finally decide what the story of my thesis is (there are several) and will begin the writing process. At the moment I am organising the things children say about food and food experience into relevant themes. I’m very nearly done collating all the data – only 6 4 more focus groups to do! And then I will be hopping on a plane to fly South for some sunshine. (2 weeks tonight til I fly.)

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