Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Kong, a la Française
Good grief, the days are passing in a blur. There's a lot going on, but none of it seems very blog-worthy. Collecting books before the end of the year; departing students; summer checkouts; blah blah blah.
I am trying to be more dedicated in my French studies. I'm never going to learn this language if I just go to class once a week and throw together my homework assignment every Friday night.
Someone told me about a great website called Duolingo that offers language practice, so I've been using that, in addition to going over our textbook assignments. And a French teacher at school told me about a website where French broadcaster TV5 posts news clips as a language-learning tool, and then quizzes the viewer about what they've seen. I need more practice speaking and listening and thinking off the cuff, so I tried it, but I gotta say -- the French in those news clips is like a rushing river. I understood maybe three words on the first pass.
Sometimes I try to translate things as I do them. Last night I threw Olga's Kong in the back garden and it flew over the wall. This isn't the first time that's happened, but this time the situation was more challenging -- there was no caretaker to let me into the back garden of Yale Court, the adjacent block of flats where the Kong landed. I rang a few neighbors to let me in, and fortunately found a kind and trusting woman who gave me access. I retrieved the Kong, much to Olga's relief. And I was proud of myself for being able to describe the entire episode in French, albeit probably slightly incorrect French. (I test myself with Google translate to make sure I'm close.)
I'm staying busy on the photography front, too. The Royal Photographic Society offers a distinguishing credential called "licentiate" in which judges review a panel of photographs for a certain level of skill. I'm going to a licentiate advisory day later this month with a panel of my own pictures in an effort to achieve this credential. I'm having ten photos professionally printed -- a process that, of course, has turned out to be more complicated than I expected, largely because of the inept printer I chose -- and then I have to figure out how to get them mounted. Should I try to do it myself, or take them to a frame shop? Stay tuned!
I was featured in this month's RPS magazine, along with several other photographers, in an article about the Bleeding London project. They printed two of my photos, this one and this one. It was cool seeing them in a big glossy magazine! The Bleeding London exhibit kicks off in a little more than a month, and I can't wait to see how that comes together.
Here's our latest garden discovery. This strange, feathery plant grew up from a crack in our rocky garden wall. Dave and I decided to leave it and see what it would do. We called it the "carroty thing." Well, the carroty thing has bloomed -- and apparently it's a garden flower known as love-in-a-mist. It must be a hanger-on from a previous resident. Pretty cool, huh?
(Top photo: Rojanatorn, a shop in Chelsea.)