Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Je M'appelle Claude

I read a fascinating article on the guardian recently that explored the concept of being bilingual. Although I was born in Manchester, I actually grew up on the island of Corfu until my parents divorced when i was 9. Since moving to the UK, my Greek has become a lil rusty but my summer vacations always grease the wheels. In light of John le Carré's article, I thought I'd share my top tips on learning a foreign language.

#1 Immerse yourself in the language and culture. I always have hellenic radio stations playing when I'm cooking and surf Greek news sites. In the run up to summer, I also watch reruns of cheesy 90's sitcoms such as eisai to tairi mou and to kafe tis xaras on my lunch break. You'd be amazed how much seeps in when you're constantly exposed to the language. 

#2 As lame as it sounds, I get Greek word of the day emails. Also when a national holiday approaches, such as carnival or Saint Patrick's day, I get a dedicated vocab list emailed to me which is ace.

#3 If you're in the early stages of learning, or brushing up, ain't no shame in watching children's cartoons. They speak significantly slower and follow much simpler storylines. Lord knows I have multiple Greek Disney dvds that I rotate when the slog of winter is over and the countdown to summer begins. 

#4 Create unconventional methods to help you remember certain key categories. For instance, my high school French teacher helped us learn months by singing them to the theme tune of Coronation Street. It's been eight years and I still find myself breaking into 'jaaaanvier, fevrieerr...' That has to be the most northern sentence I've ever written.

#5 If the language has its own alphabet, you may find it useful to attach alphabet stickers onto your laptop!

#6 My final and most paramount tip is: 


Yes - it's daunting, yes - you'll get tongue tied. But shit, at least you're trying! Also don't be discouraged if you're plateauing - hey, the fact that you've reached a stage where you can converse at all is an achievement in itself! There's something rather brazen and endearing about speaking a language you're aware you haven't entirely conquered... yet. & On the off chance that a native mocks you, respond with "oh, would you prefer to speak English instead?". Usually they don't.

I'm actually on Corfu at the moment, as summer is in full swing and the feta isn't going to eat itself. I actually asked my girlfriends for their advice on the subject at hand. They said move to Greece and get a Greek boyfriend. Their words not mine - although that doesn't sound like such a bad idea...

“To have another language is to possess a second soul.” Charlemagne

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Kalo Mina #12 Solar

I thought it seemed appropriate to greet August with this marvellous poem by Philip Larkin dedicated to the sun. Here is a video of the sunrise I shot from my grandmother's veranda a couple mornings ago.

 Life is good.

I hope life is treating you kind too!

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Kalo Mina #11 [Love Is More Thicker Than Forget]

Happy July, lovebugs!

I thought that this month I'd share with you the same poem I shared with my dear friends when they tied the knot recently. One of E.E. Cummings finest!

Ain't it the truth...

Saturday, 10 June 2017

CAD Spitting Fire

Click here to read Carol Ann Duffy's ferocious poem, Campaign,
which reflects on the recent general election.

Her heart was a stolen purse; 
her rhetoric an empty vicarage, the windows smashed.

Our poet laureate has outdone herself. 

Friday, 9 June 2017

Theresa Maybe Not

#comeuppance #outoftouch 

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Monday, 15 May 2017

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Style Crush #8 Padmé Amidala

To celebrate May the 4th, I thought I'd confess my love for the Queen who didn't let a lil thing called fighting for democracy stand in her way of serving some serious looks. This one's for my intergalactic girl crush, Padmé Amidala. What a babe.

The extravagant costumes, the hair and makeup, and the extensive research that resulted in a rainbow of culture shining on the Queens wardrobe is remarkable.

For those of you just as enamoured with Padmé's costumes as I, here is a fascinating read about just how impressive the concept artist Ian McCaig and costume designer Trisha Biggar were. These Episode III webisodes (1 & 2) and this ace costume site are super informative too.

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3

The phenomenal Trisha actually released a book which explores in great detail the intricate designs behind each outfit. Apparently the special edition version of the book comes with fabric swatches from the same bolt of fabric they used on Darth Vader's cape!!!

To celebrate Padmé's lavish wardrobe, I've cherry picked my favourite iconic costumes of hers. Now there may be a ridiculous amount, but do remember - a Queen can't be seen in the same outfit twice ;-) 

Regal Gown:

Trisha Biggar said this costume had "a sort of Chinese Imperial feel."

Did you know that the lanterns on her cumbersome dress actually lit up?

The Black Invasion Gown:

Senator Dress:

Galactic Senate Dress:

This outfit is is taken straight from Mongolian royalty:

...With Cloak:

Loyalist Committee Gown:

The Tatooine Disguise:

Handmaiden Dress:

The Final Parade Gown:

Concept artist Iain McCaig said "I designed a parasol-like collar that almost
makes her look like an angel."

Foreign Residence Dress:

"The paint that divided her lower lip was called the "scar of remembrance", which marked Naboo's time of suffering before the Great Time of Peace."

Senatorial Dress:

Travelling Dress:

Coruscant Apartment Robe:

Refugee Dress (with hood down):

...With Hood Up:

Packing Dress:

Geonosis attire:

Delegation Dress:

Meadow Picnic Dress:

Wedding Gown:

Mustafar attire:

Veranda Nightdress:

Nightdress & Robe:

Velvet Cloak:

Funeral Dress:

I'm actually off out on the raz tonight and first stop is my local, thirsty beak ~ a bar frequently compared to the The Mos Eisley cantina... how fitting! 

I guess there's only one last thing to say: May the 4th be with you!

Yes, you!