I’ve been meaning to take a look at this building for a while and finally had a spare hour to get over to Kensington. It was commissioned by Michelin at the beginning of the 20th century and has some interesting decorations. It is a blend of Art Nouveau and Art Deco.
The front part of the building is now home to a restaurant that is out of my budget.
There are some beautiful painted tiles around the exterior displaying scenes from motor racing.
There was also this scene from a famous French bicycle race
Oggi sono andato a Londra. Ho preso il treno la mattina alle sette e diciotto. Siamo arrivati dopo un’ora. Primo, ho bevuto un cappuccino. Poi ho visitato Greenwich. Ci sono stato spesso ma questo tempo sono veduto vedere una mostra ‘Turner And The Sea’ al museo…hmmm come si dice ‘National Martime Museum’ in italiano? Non lo so! Mi sono piaciuti i quadri di Turner e anche questo di Vernet. Per pranzo sono andato il mercato di Greenwich. Nel mercato gli aromi sono magnifici. Ci sono molto tipi di piatti mangiare.
The painting ‘Night’ by Claude-Joseph Vernet has a fantastic contrast of light. It perhaps feels a bit darker than it seems here. I really liked the highly illuminated moon (it almost seems as though it has a bright backlight emanating from within the canvas) and the glow of the night fire. There is also a faint whisp of smoke trailing away from the man leaning on a cask.
So oh well my favourite painting of the exhibition was not a Turner after all!
Fishing Boats Bringing a Disabled Ship into Port Ruysdael
Two months into my challenge I am experiencing my first bad reaction to italiano. Yes I have anxiety, nausea, headaches and AMNESIA! I have been questioning whether or not I am really capable of doing this. Posso imparare italiano? Io non so. This a bad case of self-doubt. It seems like the more I learn the more I discover how little I know. Listening to Italian speech is proving a real source of despair. Equally because I have only just started I neither know enough vocabulary nor do I know the vocabulary I do know well enough.
So I am feeling quite down about things today. I feel like someone has sunk my gondola. I am not sure where this negative emotion has come from. I am not lacking motivation. Since I began learning Italian I have not said to myself “oh no I can’t be bothered today”. I woke up this morning and was looking forward to learning. However at some point today I was listening to some different things and I hit a point where I just thought I am not getting any of this, the words just collapse into each other. They aren’t even words, just noises. It is too hard!! Molto difficile! Molto dura! Impossibile!
So I start to question whether this is such una buona idea. There are many other things I could do with my time. But here is the thing – I could throw in the towel now and do something else but I would be bound to hit the same brick walls. I’d want to master something that was difficult and I would just as likely have to struggle through equally hard times. So you might ask why strive for something that is difficult? I was never any good at languages at school so it would be easy to accept I am no good at languages now. Let’s see what’s on TV instead. Preferisco guardare la televisione perché è facile. Or perhaps get my sense of achievement from watching others. Become a FAN and then when “my team” win something I can share in that, “We won! We won!” when it was really the achievement of other people. I mean think of the happiness others seem to experience watching eleven sweaty men in shorts running around a field. Yeah okay I’m random ranting. I’ll stop.
But I would not be content with having no goals and having no sense of achieving something. When I began this I was realistic…it’s going to be a five year thing old sport. Maybe I could hold society to account for conditioning me to expect instant gratification? Anyway, I will not allow myself to be overwhelmed by how I feel now. Yes, five years is a long time. But I imagine it will be like taking out a mortgage on a house. It starts off huge and insurmountable but each year the debt gets smaller and more manageable. So I need to have faith in myself. I will continue to improve and learning will get easier as my knowledge expands. Then just maybe it will seem less impossible and less hopeless and maybe maybe maybe one day I will think…this is possible.