DISCLAIMER- blog: standard student behaviour. woops. please humour me, by forgiving me for occasionally projecting the (generally inane/mundane) ponderings from my brain into a pretty font. it's just that blogging's quite relaxing. like sudoku, but with letters.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dustless Centuries- Padova University

So when I discovered a book I needed was in the Palazzo del Bo, the historical seat of the University, I got all geekily excitable, rooted about for my camera and wrote off the next hour or two as Tourist Time. Built in 1493, the place makes old-school look like a nursery fresh off the blueprints, as you can see:

 Track down your text in these leather-bound miniture files...

 The gateway of ancient intellect with a hint of, "I've only gone and lost my bloody parking ticket, haven't I?"
 As you walk through the main gate, pillars and stone wall carvings await...

 This statue of Palinurus was made in commemoration of the University's role in the Resistance, for which it won the Gold Medal for Valour. Padova 1, Resistance 0.

 The paintings represent birth and development of humanity, culture and science, and the multi-coloured stairs jazz things up a notch.
The main doors of the Palazzo are forboding, but remembering the University motto, "Universa universis patavina libertas (Paduan freedom is universal for everyone), originally chosen to show its independence from the Catholic Church, still seems inviting today. It seems, the gate an eddy of footsteps and chatter, the University of Padova is still raring and relevant, wise but fresh, despite its years. Book in hand, I totter past the carvings solemn gaze. Nothing like centuries of composed strength in the snarling, battling face of adversity to make you get your reading done on time.

(leave me a comment below, if you fancy/are bored. ooh, go on.)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Slow Start

It's a bit ironic really- I'm sat, sub-face-pack, in a beautiful, fashionable country shaped like a boot, while fixated on books/sites about beautiful things, like boots, worn by people packing some serious fashion face.
Don't give me that- you try being doped up on volcanic meringues and deepest-fill jam tarts from down the road, and then attempting wistful insights. Too much of Mama's 'special' home baking is making me just that. When's your Dumbass Day?
So, before we go skipping across the cobbles, tramlines and sheened store floors of Padova, I've got a few screenshots instead of snapshots. The focaccia made me do it.

Will Cotton
Mr Cotton has one of THOSE jobs. One that makes you take one scornful look at your snowballing university debt and dog-eared lecture notes and think, "Someone had to earn their living making delicious mess, big bucks and an renowned name for themselves from crafting big heaps of cake- why the Bicarbonate of Soda wasn't it me?!". Astounded jealousy aside, this man has his cake and sells it, recently to none other than Miss Katy Perry, who hired him to design the set for 'Calfornia Girls' video, and to paint her 'Teenage Dream' album cover.

Elie Saab (http://www.eliesaab.com/)
If a particularly diva-ish strain of the Ancient Greeks ever chanced upon a time machine, they would sashay aboard, tailors in tow, and head straight for the runway of Elie Saab, as they RSVP-ed to those amphitheatre premiers with a smile. Hopefully said time machine would break down enroute, somewhere in or around my kitchen. Stand aside chiffon, it's thigh time.

Marc Quinn
Down a street here, over a canal there, and in no time the Furby and I found ourselves lost in Venice last weekend, something which we didn't have a problem with at all. 'Lost' doesn't seem quite the right word. 'Lost' would imply a certain emptiness, a bland loneliness, and that there weren't bakeries, spritz bars, trinket shops, mask stands, glass stalls, gondolas, balconies, bridges and abounding quaint crumbling gorgeousness absolutely everywhere you look. In fact, I don't think I've ever found so much whilst claiming to be 'lost'.

During our rewardingly aimless wander, what should we find but a painting I've never seen by a forgotten favourite- Marc Quinn. Known to favour kitcsh, riches and risk (he once made a live-size sculpture of his own head, "Self"- using 4.5 litres of his own blood, created Roman-style statues with people with disabilities in place of gods, and designed a golden sculpture of Kate Moss in a pretzel-like yoga pose), it was just a little bit cool to see this intriguing mind set to canvas. Even as a self-confessed Modern Art Anarchist, the Furby was taken by it too.
(Couldn't find the exact painting...but here are some other nice ones. The one that got away was better though, promise.)

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