Posts Tagged With: exhibition

Exhibitions, physical exertion and singing…

Buongiorno a tutti,

Apologies it’s been such a long time between posts again! I hope you’ve all been well.

It’s been a bit of a sparse year on the blog post front, I know. I struggled at the beginning of the year. It was all a bit of an upheaval after the earthquakes which were still going on and then with headaches and my cats dying, I lost the will to write! Things have certainly picked up again now and I’m back into a routine. In fact there are so many bits and pieces to update on it’s difficult to know where to start which is the other reason for the delay! I do miss writing though and I  particularly miss the photography side as it’s become apparent that the blog is the main reason why I’m motivated to try and take good photos. So this post will be a relatively brief one to catch you up with the latest and then I hope to get back to being a bit more frequent after Christmas.

So here goes…

The House

There’s good news and bad news on this front. The bad news is that nothing at all is happening in the reconstruction of my house. The good news is that I shall be getting a flat in Sarnano courtesy of the government until my house is rebuilt (in 2089?).  It’s a new-build and won’t be ready until Spring 2018 (but this is Italy so add on a few months/years/millennia). I’ve had a lovely summer staying in the house of my friends near Servigliano and they’ve very kindly said that they’re happy for me to stay on there for a bit longer (thank you A&R!). From going from no house to two house possibilities is an excellent dilemma to have. I do miss Sarnano – it still feels like going back “home” when I visit. However, the flat there is on the 3rd floor in a block surrounded by lots of other blocks which isn’t really an ideal living situation for me or the cats! I’ll see how things go in the new year. However, it’s such a big relief that I’ll at least have somewhere I can  put furniture and things that are still in my old/falling down house and somewhere that’s “mine” again on a more permanent-temporary basis!

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The view from the house isn’t too bad!

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And now there’s quite a bit of snow…

In other news I’ve been….

Swimming

I’ve joined a swimming club at my local gym/swimming pool. My fellow swimming buddies are a lovely bunch and we had a good time at my first swimming meet (why are they called ‘meets’ when it’s a race? It was so chaotic, I barely met my own team, let alone anyone else!). I was initially very nervous about racing. I swim fast compared to the average swimmer in the pool but I certainly don’t ‘race’. Physical exertion has never particularly appealed to me and all of the sports I’ve done to date I’ve always been able to do at my own pace really.  I imagined my races (50m and 100m backstroke) would be quite humiliating not even really knowing what time I could do them in, let alone what a respectable time is.  However, I held my own and came 3rd in both of my races (out of 4 but who’s counting!) and actually nobody was watching (even my instructor!) so there wasn’t the slightest bit of pressure.

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Osimo, the location of my first swimming meet!

The only time anyone pays any attention is for the really speedy swimmers so really, I’m quite happy with my distinctly average speed. It’s nice to have a personal best to beat. The next race is in February. I’ve been practicing the physical exertion thing and I can almost do 100m without needing to be resuscitated. Almost.

And then….

Choir

I’ve joined a choir! I saw this particular choir in the summer and I thought they were great.

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This is them!

A couple of my aunties and friends are in choirs and they’ve inspired me to give it a go. I didn’t think they’d want me – my Italian accent is poor (it sounds authentic to another English person but the Italian’s take the micky out of me saying I sound like Laurel and Hardy. It turns out the Laurel  and Hardy films are quite popular here. They’ve dubbed them into Italian but given them ridiculous English accents. That’s apparently what I sound like). However, they were pleased to have me as they’ve been singing English Christmas songs. It’s nice to get back at the Italians by constantly correcting their pronunciation of “the” (it’s not “duh”) and “virgin” (it’s not “veergin”) and “thou” (it’s not “dow”)! We had our first concert this week at a church and apparently we sounded alright! The next one is on Saturday.

The only downside with the choir (and it seems all choirs everywhere in Italy) is that rehearsals start at 9.30pm and by the time we’ve finished singing and I’ve got home, I’m completely wired and unable to get any of the songs out of my head! I find myself having to turn the radio on at 3am just to listen to something that’s not about ‘duh veergin Mary’.

And then perhaps in my most exciting news…

Exhibitions!

I’m thrilled to say I think I can legitimately call myself at “artist”. My self-imposed definition for artist is to have sold paintings to random people and I have! There was no coercion, nobody was obligated to buy my paintings or say they were good so I’m chuffed to bits really.  It’s been very satisfying. The first exhibition was earlier in the year which was in conjunction with a few other local artists, mainly Italian. My art group booked the same space for a couple of weeks this December. We’ve had quite a few visitors and we’ve sold some paintings. I’ve also agreed with my gym that after the exhibition I can put up some paintings there too which will be a great opportunity to show some of my paintings. I’ve been focusing more on pet portraits lately and I’ve been trying to get a website together with a view to selling things on a wider scale. If you’re in the area, then we’re still open until the 17th December 2017 so come and see us.

 

So all in all, it’s been a busy few months but they’re the main things to report back on!

I’ll write more in the new year but meanwhile, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all! 🙂

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Good Life in Emilia-Romagna: Ravenna and Cesena

Buongiorno a tutti!

How are you all? It feels like ages since the blog tour- I feel like I should go back for a refresher! So, I’ve talked about places to stay, places to eat and food/wine production, and the city of Forlì, but we also managed to add in a few other activities and cities to our agenda that were totally ‘up my alley’: art, exhibitions, sculptures, nature and a million and one photography and drawing opportunities!

See flamingos at the Parco del Delta del Po

Did you know there were wild flamingos living in Italy?! I didn’t! I wouldn’t have believed it had I not seen it with my own eyes. They fly up from Africa and ‘hang out’ in the Parco del Delta del Po as a stop-over to other climes but they have been known to stay for much of the year. We had a lovely boat trip  up the river for a spot of bird watching. As soon as we started off in the boat a massive heron swooped over the river in front of us above a cormorant who was demonstrating his wing drying technique to us.

Our very knowledgeable English-speaking guide, Andrea, provided us with binoculars, pointed us in the direction of the local wildlife and gave us a commentary of the birds and plants that can be found there as well as the history of the park.

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FLAMINGOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I could just spend all day on this river. If I lived in the area, I’d be permanently out there on a canoe with my camera. What makes it so interesting to photograph were these weird little houses on stilts with fishing nets. They’re called “casoni” in the park, but elsewhere in Italy they’re known as trabucchi. It’s the lazy mans way of catching fish. You basically sit on the deck with a beer looking at flamingos, lower the net into the water and wait for a few minutes, raise the net and voila, you have fish (sometimes).

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I’m trying to get as much sketching done as possible at the moment – my theory is that if I’m painting or drawing something every day, I’m going to improve quickly… we’ll see! Anyway, this was my very quick 10 minute watercolour sketch of the casoni.

The park office itself is very geared towards education, particularly children, where you can learn about how ox-bows are created and how the local water pumps work (the water pumps are essential to the area as a lot of the land in the area is actually lower than sea level). They also have ‘The Magic Box’ – a sort of virtual reality room which makes you feel like you’re in a lift and where you can navigate through the different strata of the Earth’s crust and learn about them as you go. It’s very clever; it really does make you feel like you’re in a lift!

Ravenna Street Art by bike

One of my other favourite activities of our blog tour was a bike trip to see Ravenna’s Street Art led by our guide Marco Miccoli who organises a Street Art Festival which takes place every September. I’ve never seen such an array of impressive murals before. There are a lot to see and you can find guides and hire bikes at the tourist information office in Piazza San Francesco. The locals have a healthy respect for the art and we didn’t see any of them painted over. It’s a beautiful way of giving a new lease of life to boring old buildings though I think there’s been some mixed reviews from the residents! This was one of my favourites…

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There is such an array of styles and techniques – not just the more typical ‘spray paint’ variety. It’s certainly worth a look at  and it’s all free!

Learn how to make a mosaic 

Ravenna is famous for its mosaics. It has an incredibly high percentage of the world’s mosaics and they are everywhere. Have a look at one of my previous posts on Ravenna to check some of them out. Our bike tour took us past Koko Mosaico  where we saw some mosaic artists in action. I really fancy doing some mosaics – they run courses one a month for a week. I’d love to give it a go! These are some of the mosaics that were on show at Koko Mosaico…

 

Visit the ID Dante exhibition

There’s not much time left to see this exhibition – it’s in the Biblioteca di Storia Contemporanea “Alfredo Oriani” and it closes on the 23rd October so if you’re in the area, get a move on! The exhibition shows the works of 33 artists all with a common theme: Dante, the author of the Divine Comedy. The classic image of Dante (check out the Wiki link above to see it) is one where he seems to be wearing a red night shirt with matching nightcap adorned with a sort of leafy halo (as you may be able to tell, I haven’t studied Dante or the Divine Comedy but from a novice perspective, that’s his image and it’s a well known one across Italy!). This exhibition had artists interpreting Dante’s portrait in their own style and using their own techniques. What a great idea – providing a common theme and seeing how different people interpret it. Seeing and hearing about the artwork was fascinating. I quite fancy having a go at Dante’s portrait myself now!

And why Dante? Dante is more associated with Florence but in fact, he had a big presence in Ravenna. Ravenna is where he died, his tomb is there (though I think there’s some question mark as to whether his body is?!). This project was designed to bring his presence in Ravenna more to the forefront. Here are my favourites from the exhibition. Guess which one of them gives me the creeps and makes my eyes hurt?

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Cesena

Our final destination for the Blog Tour was Cesena. It was the first time I’d been to Cesena and I have to say, it’s my favourite of the cities we visited, mainly because it seems to be able to combine a ‘hip and happening’ vibe with quaint cobble-stoned streets! Cesena is characterised by the imposing ‘Rocca Malatestiana’ a fortress built by the Malatesta family (the governing family of the region between 1295 and 1500).

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This is the Rocca Malatestiana. I still laugh when I think of the name of this family. “Malatesta”, the name of the family, sounds a lot like “mal di testa” when said quickly. “Mal di testa” means headache. During one tour of a castle years ago in Gradara, also inhabited by this family, I was struggling for ages to understand how headaches had such a prominent part to play in the history of the castle…

The city was surrounded by a wall, much of which still exists today and was designed by Leonardo Da Vinci. I was struck by how unimpressive the wall was – I mean, even I could have scaled it I think! However, it emerged that it was once surrounded by a moat and it rose further in my esteem when I learnt it was in the shape of a scorpion. Cesena is also the home to the Biblioteca Malatestiana which was the first municipal library in Italy and has been granted “Memory of the World” status by UNESCO for the building itself and for the books it contains. The old part of the library hasn’t changed from when it was built almost 600 hundred years ago and it’s still possible to visit. To best explore Cesena, it’s a good idea to do it by bike. Everything is flat so it’s a good way to discover the city. There is an amazing free online audio guide that you can listen do on your way around.

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Our first stop on our bike tour was the studio of  Leonardo Lucchi in Piazza del Popolo where there is also a permanent exhibition of his sculptures. His sculptures are brilliant – the work is mainly females in bronze with a sort of characteristic ‘balancing’ component which makes you wonder how on earth the sculpture is staying upright. All of them have a real delicacy about them.  Here are some of my favourites. The exhibition is free so pop in if you’re in Cesena…

Then we went outside of the city walls to follow the river

But my favourite part of the Cesena tour was inside the city walls. Cesena has all these quaint pretty painted houses and cobbled walkways. It really is a lovely city.

We planned our trip to Cesena perfectly in time for their International Street Food Festival which has been going for 9 years or so. I was so thrilled! In Italy, you get a choice of Italian restaurants or Italian restaurants, or sometimes Italian restaurants!  I mean, I love Italian food so it’s not a problem, but sometimes I just hanker after food that’s not Italian. So I was ecstatic to be able to eat a burrito (Mexican food for the Italian’s reading this!). I haven’t had one for over 3 years! And there was curry… mmmm curry! It’s definitely worth coming to Cesena just for this festival to be honest. The chefs are from all around the world and cook their own traditional food. Brilliant!

I could sit and have a drink in Piazza del Popolo, the main square in Cesena, for hours. In fact, we did. I managed to fit a drawing in too!

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So that about sums up my Blog Tour week. I had the best time with some lovely fellow bloggers who were incredibly patient with my Italian (I become monosyllabic after about 9pm) and I’m so pleased I had this opportunity to explore the area “off the beaten track” and meet some wonderful characters in the process.

Have a look at what my fellow bloggers had to say too:

Meanwhile, as ever, I am always available to be wined and dined on a blog tour in any hot, sunny country, perhaps by a beach (Maldives: You need me!). For any questions about what we did or for any corrections, drop me a line in the comments 🙂

A presto,

x

 

 

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The highs and lows of house hunting, the origins of sea glass and ennui…

Ciao!

How is everybody? This week I bring you: House Hunting, The Origins of Sea Glass and Ennui…

First off, I had an interesting couple of days house hunting last week. I found a couple of houses in Serra San Quirico, a lovely hill top town 45 minutes or so away from Camerano at the base of Monte Murano. I wasn’t particularly looking there – I’d prefer somewhere closer to here and the beach, but some nice looking houses popped up there on the search engines so I arranged to go and see them.  The first one was definitely an option – it was quite a unique and quirky property that could have been cosy, but the only outside space was a tiny balcony accessed off the bathroom and I’m not convinced it got any sun. But I’d like land ! It was very good value though at a “negotiable” €80,000 for a two bed and there really wasn’t a lot to be done to it. I wasn’t particularly struck by the second house so that’s out. Then the estate agent took us (I’ve a friend staying at the moment who I’ve been dragging around to the houses) to a “mystery house” (it felt like I was on “A House in the Sun”!). It was the most interesting of all the properties. It was a 4 bed, much bigger than the first property and with a garden, yet the same price. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much junk in a house before – none of the lights worked and every which way you turned there was a creepy, odd shaped object under a sheet. However, after the second visit with an architect, it appears that it would require a lot more work (and I suspect an exorcist) than I’d originally anticipated so I think that’s out unfortunately too.

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The house was beautifully show cased…

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…But look at the view from what would have been my bedroom!

I’m interested in quite a few other properties around here too and have contacted lots of estate agents but many of them didn’t respond or didn’t follow up later. One said they’re on holiday until the end of March. I can’t help but wonder if this might be why the housing market in Italy isn’t doing particularly well.

Exhibition News

A month or two back, I was somewhat unenthusiastic when my neighbour came around to say that he’d found us a place for the exhibition and it would cost us both €600 each for 6 months. I said at the time that I would be interested, but couldn’t pay that much and he should probably find someone else (who….er, actually had some art). Meanwhile, I decided to give it a go – you only live once eh? Hence the mad “produce some art” rush. I’ve been hesitant to follow up with him on the off chance it wasn’t going to happen anymore. Without the pressure, I’m not so productive. However, we met on the stairs the other day and had a chat about it. He’s found another artist to pay for the other part of the exhibition but is still interested in a “guest” section for me. For free! So it’s worked out perfectly. He’s not that fussed by the concept of the paintings but seemed to like the driftwood art and the stuff in frames so I think they’re in – I’m particularly pleased with that because I’m more interested in doing that than the paintings.

Meanwhile, I’m going to try and set up an “Etsy” shop (Etsy is a website where artists can sell their work) to see if there’s a market for any of my art. If not, you should all take it upon yourselves to buy my stuff so I don’t feel like a failure 😉

This week I’ve done…

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Next set of driftwood houses

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Mussel shell, pebble and driftwood mirror

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Mussel shell mosaic mirror

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Mussel shell heart card… Hoping to sell them in packs

I’ve also been experimenting with dry brushing. I’ve done 3 dry brush portraits now, but it takes me ages for some reason (it’s supposed to be super quick!) and it’s easy to get impatient and make a mistake that you can’t fix. I’m not known for my patience. My attempts have been somewhat blotchy (you have to dip your paintbrush in oil and  then blot it all off. If you don’t, you get a blotchy look).  I’m back in the UK briefly next week and hope to spy on some of the street portrait artists in Trafalgar Square to see if it’s a technique they use and how they do it. Here’s my latest attempt at Angelina Jolie…

Doesn’t much look like Anglina eh? Annoying. I can see that dry brushing would be an effective technique if I could just get quicker and develop the art of patience.

Doesn’t much look like Anglina eh? Annoying. I can see that dry brushing would be an effective technique if I could just get quicker and develop the art of patience.

On the sea glass front – I’ve been getting worried that I’m exhausting my supply of sea glass in Le Marche. It made me wonder where it came from, so I wikipedia’d it (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seaglass) and oh my goodness, there are people obsessed with sea glass out there! I mean, I like it and everything, but some people actually belong to a Sea Glass Association! Anyway, I had hoped that the sea had a limitless supply of sea glass. I’d hoped that perhaps some of it might be produced naturally a bit like diamonds are so that I didn’t have to rely on people littering the sea with bottles and jars. Alas, sea glass always comes from the man-made stuff that gets tumbled around at the bottom of the sea for ages and then washed up. There are different colours – people go to great lengths to work out the origin of it. I think mine all comes from beer bottles rather unromantically apart from a couple of mysterious pastel blue pieces. Anyway, friends, family, randoms – I have a favour to ask – if you go to the beach, can you look me out some sea glass please! And if you’re completely devoid of morals, perhaps you could take your beer bottles down to the sea front when you’re done with them and chuck them in.

Ennui!

I have diagnosed myself with occasional bouts of ennui! I’ve never heard the term before last week but it’s spot on! According to dictionary.com it’s “a feeling of listlessness and general dissatisfaction resulting from lack of activity or excitement”.  It doesn’t feel quite the same as “boredom”.  In fact, someone once told me that one can never be bored if one has stuff to do and I think I can safely say there’s never been a time when I’ve had nothing to do! Anyway, all I need now is a definition for my “glitch in the space time continuum” feeling (I think it’s a superhero sense but I’ve unfortunately been born without my super power) and I’ll be sorted!

I went to Carnevale yesterday – I’ll give you an update in a separate blog post tomorrow (though issues with WordPress mean that some of you have already had a sneak preview I think!)!

Ok, have lovely weeks all.

Ciao x

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The Grand Exhibition Plan, The Never-ending Cold and Top Tips for Dealing with Children

Ciao a tutti!

Buongiorno all. I hope you’re all good. In this week’s gripping update, I bring you The Grand Exhibition Plan, The Never-ending Cold and Tips for Dealing with Children’s Requests…

The Grand Exhibition Plan

This week, I have mostly been doing art, art and more art! The potential exhibition draws ever closer.  If this contract for the exhibition studio materialises then I’ve decided to give it a go. You only live once. It’ll cost €300 for 6 months but I think it’ll be open only for 3 months during summer giving me 3 months to try and at least make my money back. Quite a good little challenge really! I feel a bit like the Del Boy of the art world. My plan is as follows:

–          Exhibition Plan Part Uno – Paintings: Have a sort of “nautical” theme to my exhibition pieces. Specifically:

  • 10 paintings, primarily seascapes given that we’re by the coast here and a significant portion of the Italians seem to be obsessed with the beach and have beach houses… I’ll aim to sell them for €100 each.  To be honest, I imagine I’ll only have space for about 4 or 5 – if that, but obviously they’ll be selling like hot cakes so er…, good to have back up.  I started a painting last week – I shall finish it and post it here next week!

–          Exhibition Plan Part Due – Driftwood, Shell & Stone art:

  • 10 driftwood sculptures / pieces.
  • Stone painting (I know. It does sound odd. However, it looks like quite a quick, fun and relaxing thing to do when I’ve got a bit of time!).
  • Stuff with shells!
  • If I’m any good, take some photos of the above and get some prints made (thank you to my friend who suggested that one).
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Experimenting with shells!

–          Exhibition Plan Part Tre – Portraits: I want to use part of the exhibition space for drawing portraits. I hope it will be a good way of getting people into the exhibition so they might look around and stay in there and hopefully buy other stuff.  I’ll aim to sell a portrait for €20 each.  Specifically:

  • Get 5 or 6 really good “demonstration” portraits of famous people done in different mediums.
  • Practice, practice, practice – try and do some portrait work every day.
  • This week’s attempts below excluding one truly horrible self portrait. Let’s play “guess the person?” – submit guesses in the comments below! Free portrait for anyone that gets them all. The two men are Italian actors so folks back home, I suspect you won’t stand a chance anyway!
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Numero Uno

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Numero due. The UK people might know her…

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Numero Tre. Horrible portrait I think. Annoying because he’s quite handsome! I’ll have another go I think.

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I’ll exclude this one from the guesses – it’s a friend’s little boy!

–       Exhibition Plan Part Quattro:  Get an art website set up.

–        Exhibition Plan Part Cinque:  Get business cards printed (if not for the art, at least I can give them out to people that keep asking about English teaching!)

Selling a couple of paintings and a handful of portraits doesn’t sound that daunting eh? I wonder if I can do it?!

Other art related news

I’ve finally worked out what to do with Pinterest after having an account for a year. (For those that don’t know, Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo-sharing website). I used to trawl the net copying and pasting images into a document to use for inspiration at a later date but Pinterest is MUCH more convenient! Alas, I hadn’t amended my settings so my poor friends have been receiving what must now be hundreds of Driftwood and Stone inspiration “pins”! If you’re interested in looking at the kinds of things I’m looking at doing for the exhibition, then I suspect you can “follow” me (on Pinterest. Not literally!). Having said that, I’m still learning and haven’t worked out entirely how you would go about that but please feel free to give it a go!

I found an equivalent to B&Q! It’s called OBI. I am THRILLED. I spent ages in there this week and even better, it has ART STUFF! Woohoo! It’s the first place I’ve seen around here with canvasses and paint. Admittedly expensive canvasses and a shocking selection of paint but still, it’s a relief to know that it exists!

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OBI – Proof art supplies in Italy do actually exist

Work and The Never-Ending Cold.

I’ve been doing a fair bit of work for my language school on their website this week. My task was to just check it through to make sure the English makes sense but there is a LOT of information on it. It’s been quite fun really.  It’s paid for half my rent this month so that’s not bad going.

I have yet another cold, possibly my 89th in 6 months. I think the schools I teach at are breeding grounds for this stuff and I just haven’t built up a resiliency yet.  When my voice actually gets back to normal, people will wonder what on earth has happened – most people who know me here have only known me with a husky voice. However, I’m determined to not let it get to me and went out for a nice meal last night at a very cool restaurant in Ancona – Mangiare, Bere, Uomo, Donna.

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Mangiare, Bere, Uomo, Donna – not great for vegetarians but quite a variety of different types of food.

Return to Bureaucracy – The Case of the Tessera Sanitaria

Well, as anticipated, I did not succeed in getting a Tessera Sanitaria, the Italian health card which seems to be the equivalent of an E111 in the UK. I’ve spoken to the woman there 4 times over the months to try and get this card. It was quite a good mark of “progress” given I can vaguely understand her now whereas before she could have been speaking Chinese! Anyway, I needed to have a contract with the school to show that I’m earning and then she assures me I can get the card.  I emailed the school knowing full well there would be no chance they’d send me a contract and within an hour, they sent me a contract! Just like that! Amazing! (It’s a shame they’ve not been quite so efficient with my salary.)

Next week I’m going to Rome for a long weekend which I’m looking forward to – €18 return for what will be 7 hours of train travel. What excellent value! I think it might be cheaper than renting a house. I’m considering just living on the train.

What’s a bit odd?

Fellow elementary / junior school teachers: Is it normal for children to obsessively ask whether they can use felt-tip pens to colour stuff in?!?! Every single child will run up to me (despite my constant instructions for them to stay in their seats) and ask/shout at me about using “colori a spirito”. Sometimes I’ll be standing up at the front talking to the class and a child will come up and pull on my jumper until I stop, thinking it must be a  life or death situation, and then they ask me if it’s OK if they use a blue pen to write with.  I’ve been trying to find a satisfying way of saying “I really don’t care” in Italian but there’s nothing (not that I can use with children at least). There’s only the equivalent of “it’s not important” or “I’m not interested”. I really miss “I don’t care”. I have to make do with supplementing “it’s not important” with a mocking laugh and hand gestures!

I really miss “I can’t be bothered” as well!!!  There are lots of discussion forums on that one on the Italian Word Reference site and nothing seems to be very satisfying. If anyone knows how I can say that, I’ll be eternally grateful!

Ok, have lovely weekends and tune in next week for more info.

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How to: Prepare for an Art Exhibition, make a voodoo doll out of driftwood and avoid cheek stroking

Ciao a tutti,

This week I bring to you the nail-biting tale of an artist with no art, how to make a voodoo doll out of driftwood and where to stock up on products for all your bimbo needs…

The Artless Dodger

I have done something stupid(er than usual). I have ALMOST signed up to showing my work in an “exhibition” just off Piazza Roma in Camerano’s centre. My work. What am I talking about?! I have no work! Not here at least. Scattered around Portsmouth and London, yes.  My next door neighbour is organising the exhibition – for 6 months it’ll cost 1200 Euros to hire the place. He wants to split the cost. Ha! I have only ever sold one thing! Why oh why didn’t I do some artwork last year?! This week’s blog feedback request is face-saving methods of backing out of exhibitions… A free driftwood voodoo doll to the person with the best suggestion (see below).

Anyway, Operation Produce Some Art is in full swing and is commencing with a beach scene. If it’s any good, I’ll post a picture next week. I have also become quite enamored with driftwood of late during my walks on the beach. I have quite a collection now.

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Pretty….

I just haven’t quite got around to working out what to do with it yet! The good news is that I found some wood carving tools in my collection of art stuff today so I thought I’d give that a go. The bad news is, it’s coincided with me being in a bit of a negative mood all week…

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I’ve called him “Bob” (he floats).  I’m going to take him into school and tell the children that he’ll put a curse on them if they’re annoying 🙂

Teaching

I have a new private student starting next week and potentially some more lined up. I got in touch with the poor girl that used to teach English last year at my schools today. She managed two years. Two years! She should get a medal. She MISSES them she says! Having said that, I have now received two Frrero Rocher’s from cutie students and several pictures (I should probably have stored them somewhere other than the recycle bin to be kept as evidence that I’m an adorable and caring teacher).

English Language Consultancy

I’m actually doing some paid work for my language school (the one I went to for Italian lessons) – working on their new website. It’s quite fun! All being well, there should be a lot more students at the school this year so hopefully it’ll be a bit livelier! One of the students (“The Cheek Stroker”) from last year is returning for a few weeks soon. I will have to keep all my cheeks under close guard. Perhaps I can use Bob the Voodoo Doll again.

Swimming Attempt 2

Swimming Attempt 1 took place back in November last year. I went to a local pool that was deserted apart from creepy staring men so I didn’t even make it near the pool. Besides, it looked nasty. People were changing in the reception area.

Swimming Attempt 2 took place on Wednesday with a different pool in mind. However, I forgot where I was! I had planned to check the website, get the address and put it into my Sat Nav. You can’t do that in Italy!!!  The website is nice – it has nice pictures, a nice logo, it’s colourful – someone went to a lot of effort to put it together but alas, there is no information about where it can be found besides “Loreto”. The office address on there doesn’t actually exist on the Sat Nav or Google Maps. TYPICAL!!!! So, after turning up to a large house in the middle of nowhere and driving around for half an hour, I gave up and went home! I’m going to have to get my swimming fix in the summer!

University Popolare!

For a couple of months I’ve been hearing about a university that you can go to for evening courses etc. I like a good evening course. However, it’s been nigh impossible to find any information about it. The most I could get out of anyone was “yes, I’ve heard about that too”. However, I mentioned it my mother, the Queen of Research, and a mere couple of days later, voila, a website! With INFORMATION no less! The courses seem to start in September so I think I’ve missed the boat but to be honest, Operation Produce Some Art should probably take precedence for a while anyway.

What’s a bit odd?

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For all your bimbo needs…

It’s right next to Ancona’s “sexy shop” as well. The shop is not sexy (I’m sure it breaches some kind of trade descriptions act).

Next week I shall be attempting to do some bureaucracy! I know, I know… you’ve missed my stories about italian bureaucracy. I aim to please. Tune in next week for what I predict will be “The Unsuccessful Quest for a Tessera Sanitaria! (health insurance card)”

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