My First Automattic Christmas party

I was looking forward to this event since I started working at Automattic last June. Eventually, December arrived and it comes also the time to enjoy my company annual Christmas party!

My first Automattic Christmas party
My first Automattic Christmas party was such a blast! I had the pleasure to meet up with some of the Automatticians living in the UK. Another bunch of us had a very cool Christmas party in London too, but I couldn’t attend to that one :( They had a nice lunch and then went to a bowling place.

On the other hand, we went ice skating! Last time I tried ice skating was nearly 10 years ago! Saying that I had the best time on the ice rink with my colleagues does not even remotely explain how happy I was in there. I feel like I was born on the ice. Some of my fellow Automatticians had a bit of troubles on the ice, so Rachel (on the pic above bottom right) and I tried to help them out. It turned out I was very useless when trying to aid my friends. Here’s a bad video shot by me whilst skating – it was also on my Instagram stories.

At some point I dared to attempt an angel figure on the ice, with one of my leg flexed out first, then bent over toward my back. I succeeded! I was pretty proud of myself, and my core and stabilising muscles. After the bad injury I had a few years ago I’d never dreamt of performing something like that ❤️
Too bad no one saw my exercise, a part from a couple of guys who applauded me. Better than nothing!

Then we head over Mother India cafe, where we had a lot of good Indian food. The funny thing was the service. It looked like the staff had no clue about what we ordered and to whom to deliver the food. To be honest, I’m not sure if I wouldn’t be able to handle it better, since we were a group of thirty people spread out into two long tables, all cheering and laughing out loud.

The cherry on top was when the lightbulbs in the room started exploding for some reasons, and then a waiter made a tall pile of dishes crash on the ground. It was like we were on Candid Camera, but the food was utterly excellent, so thumbs up!

Edinburgh has been the perfect setting for a lovely evening with the best people.

As a nice side note, the afternoon I arrived in Edinburgh I also met up with my cousin Antonella who moved there last August from sunny Sardinia. It looks like she’s settled there well and I’m happy about it. This is a (rough) pic we took just before having haggis, one of the most delicious food on Earth (that’s why I’m smiling with all my teeth!)
Me, Franz and cousin Antonella in Edinbugh

And if you think that was the end of the fun, think again. The day after the Automattic Christmas party I headed to Matlock, Derbyshire, for the annual Human Made Christmas dinner. I wasn’t the only Automattician invited, as my the girlfriend of my colleague Jack, Daisy, works at Human Made together with my husband Franz (of course plus ones were welcomed in both dinners).
That was my second Human Made Christmas party, and as always it’s been a pleasure to meet up with people I can call family already.

Everybody was dressed smart casual, and I was too – underneath my brilliant Code is Poetry Christmas jumper I sported with proud also in Edinburgh.
I didn’t shoot any pictures in Matlock because time flew and was too busy chatting with everyone, but the great Noel Tock took a couple of pics for me:

All in all, I can cry out loud that I’m so privileged to be part of the Automattic and WordPress families ❤️

Taken at Edinburgh and Matlock, United Kingdom
More pictures and video have been added to my Instagram Stories! Have you missed them out?

Comfort food when it’s freezing outside

There’s nothing better that a nice plate of comfort food when the storm is blowing outside. And trust me – it’s getting freezing day by day! I know it’s November and it’s supposed to be cold, but MAN if it’s COLD! 😱

There's nothing better that a nice plate of comfort food when the storm is blowing outside 🍲🌬❄️#buonappetito #pastifrugali
That’s basmati brown rice with turmeric and mixed vegetables. It would go for a soup too, but still – that’s super yummy, warm and comforting.

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Taken at London, United Kingdom

How Olympics can inspire a generation

Raghini Rajaram took part of the London 2012 Opening Ceremony, and explains to us how Olympics can really inspire a generation. 

inspire a generation, london 2012, olympic opening ceremoniesI have the privilege of working with amazing people at Automattic, who every day strive to make the world a better place. I talked already about Allyson’s grandpa and his experience as an US rower at Berlin 1936, and Richard Archimbault has shared his views about the beauty of the Olympic Opening ceremoniesRaghini Rajaram, however, has actually took part of the London 2012 opening ceremony. She’s the perfect person to talk about how the Olympics are able to inspire a generation in so many ways. I leave the spotlight to her, and I hope you enjoy her powerful experience. 

Olympics do inspire a generation!

I have defined myself as a sports fan one from a very young age. Growing up, playing and watching sports can cure me of illness! Watching men and women give their best in any sport inspires me to do my best in every facet of life.

There is nothing bigger than the Olympics in the sporting world and being lucky enough to be living in London in 2012, I knew I had to find a way to be part of it. I auditioned for the opening and closing ceremony volunteer roles and I was ecstatic when I received this – yes, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Highlights of making an Opening ceremony

What followed was about 250-300 hours of work with some amazing volunteers, choreographers and Danny Boyle himself.

Some of the best moments include:

  • Meeting the legendary Danny Boyle and seeing his creative mind in action.
  • Receiving a letter from the Prime Minister David Cameron thanking us for performing in the ceremony.
  • Waving to all the athletes (including the ever jubilant Usain Bolt) as we entered the stadium to perform :)
  • The first time we practised at the stadium – it was not yet complete, but we were in awe to be there :)
  • The first dress rehearsal at the stadium, where we got to know what the noise would be on d-day!
  • The opening ceremony and everything that followed. Great Britain had a brilliant Olympics and I am proud to have been part of something that inspired a generation to get out and be active.

The cherry on top of the cake: the opening ceremony was on my 30th birthday.

I hope Rio 2016 is another step to inspire a generation, and every one of us to try at least one sport, do a little for our health, and try to be better than we were yesterday.

The View from The Shard

So eventually we paid a lot of money and we experienced the famous “The View from The Shard”.

the viwe from The Shard, the shard, love london, landscape, panorama

I still think that £30 is an expensive fee for seeing a panorama, however the view from the Shard is really breath-taking and was worth experiencing it.

From The Shard’s level 72 you can really see how endless and infinite London is ❤️

#home #lovelondon #theview #landscape #panorama

Taken at The View from The Shard, The Shard, floor 78

This photo is also on Instagram, whilst many other pics and videos taken from The View from the Shards are in my Snapchat account – stefmattana

Indoor blossoming

Indoor blossoming, indoor basil blossom, spring, spring in london, green thumb

I’ve never imagined that a stupid indoor blossoming would make me feel so happy. I’m ageing, people.

The moment when your indoor basil blossoms out of the blue is 😍🌿🌱

I’ve been told that it’s no easy to keep alive demanding plants such as parsley and basil, especially indoor, and especially here in London.

Nevertheless, my plants managed to survive on their own many times for a while (like for about 20 days) and they never die! On the contrary, albeit they looked tired, they have always reacted and got taller and healthier! And this spring, the basil blossomed. Wow.

I guess I have to thank my grandmother Vincenza that gave me the green thumb genies :)

#spring #springinlondon #greenthumb

Taken at London, United Kingdom

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