Monday, 23 May 2011

Rapture and other stuff

What happened to the Rapture then?

A few of us were all on our way on the day, bouncing into the City centre on a 116 bus - it's incredibly bumpy over the cobbles - at around 6pm, the time when it was meant to happen (I do wonder if we weren't already in rapture as Rome is so beautiful - although the 116 bus does remind you that you are firmly on the ground and our driver was incredibly grumpy).

Amazing though, how everyone was talking about it and taking it so seriously - I was listening online on Radio 4 and it was all over the news - and then, nothing; not mentioned again, at all. That's the media for you..

Speaking of news - here's an update on the bike front - it's gone! Well, I can only think that one of two things happened

1. Whoever owned the bike saw us putting rubber gloves all over it and took umbrage and moved it


2. (Which I prefer to believe) that St Ant did his stuff and re-united it to it's owner and so, the collaboration continues.. (Bykeulike??)

Having been working away all week in the studio, I did reward myself by joining the CoR course on a visit to Tivoli on Saturday. We went to the Villa Adriana - Hadrian's Villa which is a hymn to conspicuous consumption and total excess but is also incredibly beautiful.

Hmmm...I didn't notice that bottom when I took the photo - I was too busy looking at what was in the water - why do they do that?? (This is very Italian - putting contemporary stuff in with incredible and wonderful ancient work)

Must be catching though - here's the male cohort of the CoR giving an academic appraisal to a statue of Venus..

(I blame that Robert...)

The one thing which has surprised me when visiting these ancient sites though is the scent which hits you. It is an overwhelming mixture of mint and rocket - which I romantically imagine has been seeded time and again in these places since roman times. Impossible really to convey but quite intoxicating. Even at the Villa Adriana once we were well inside, the mint smell was there but when we arrived there had been a very strong smell of sulphur which was quite unpleasant (perhaps an emanation of Hadrian's recreation of Hades, which no-one has found yet?)

Something else which was also a little disconcerting, was that I was experiencing this visit through the context of a film which a few of us had watched recently one Saturday, called 'Angels over America'. This is a film which features Mormons (in the guise of Meryl Streep) quite heavily in it (favourite line from Meryl in asking someone for street directions - "I'm sorry your'e psychotic but get a grip") anyway they all end up at one point in heaven - which is the Villa Adriana..This is a very weird association to have to deal with..

Which brings me to the subject of Mormons. I didn't want to tell you about this but I do have to mention that the strangest thing about the BSR, is the Academics' obsession with Mormons and in particular their heavy addiction to something called 'Big Love'. Most of the artists here are untainted but I have sadly (despite fighting this very hard) lost the battle - since I found myself watching one of the episodes from Series 2 with them last night. I have to say, it was utterly bonkers but completely gripping..

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