Order No Rainbows

Life as an expat, Photography, Crafts, Vegan Food, Music, Art, Animals…..

New art stuff

I played with some stencils – on canvas with acrylic paint and marker pens

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Bratislava – oh deer!

My favourite shop updated its window display – I love these daft, quirky deer.

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Art – children and snow

I was browsing through my 9 year-old niece’s artwork and found this picture, which I love.

Snow

Then a couple of days later this appeared on Facebook – Kids in snow, by Unosuke Gamou.

Kids in snow Unosuke Gamou

And then I saw this:
Snow 2

3 different ways of showing the same thing. I love it!

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Four and for are not the same word!

Seen in Piešt’any, Sovakia

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Current obsession – FIMO

Since a friend of mine showed me how to make things with polymer clay I’ve become completely obsessed. I spent this weekend making shapes with and without textures to make wind chimes, mobiles and jewellery. It’s very relaxing and great fun

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The chase is on!

Drawn by one of my younger students. Nothing to do with what we were doing in class but still a cool picture. I love it when they draw things and give them to me 🙂

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Teaching English to kids – myths and legends

The kids had fun drawing scenes from some of the stories we read about myths from around the world:

First up – Theseus and the Minotaur. They enjoyed the story but thought that King Ageus was a bit premature jumping into the sea when he saw that Theseus’ ship had a black sail rather than the white one that would have meant that he was returning victorious. “He should have waited to find out for sure, silly man” seemed to be the general opinion. I’m not too sure why Theseus has a bicycle in one picture…
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The following week we read about Odysseus and his Extraordinary Journey. They liked the variety of monsters in this one.
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After the Greek dramas we moved on to some Native American myths. The story of How the Rainbow was Made was a popular choice
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And then there was the Golden Man of Legendary Wealth – the legend of El Dorado
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After this story the kids rebelled, demanding something more grown up, because “fairy tales are for babies”. Well ok then. I had to go and raid my library to find something more sophisticated to keep them entertained. But they still like doing drawing in every class, so there will be more artwork in posts to come. They’re a demanding bunch, but great fun to teach.

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Teaching English to kids – what do monsters look like?

My kids class all had different ideas about what monsters look like. Sad to see the “school killer” one making an appearance in the imagination of such young children.

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Teaching English to kids – draw and describe a dinosaur

I like to test my younger students by asking them to draw something reflecting what we learned in class. This week we read an article about dinosaurs so I asked them to draw and describe a dinosaur – real (assuming you’re not a creationist!) or imaginary.

Here’s what they came up with
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Memento Park

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What do you do when you’ve shaken off years of Communist rule and are left with a whole lot of monumental statues? Well, some enterprising Hungarians found a solution. Take the statues, move them all to one space on the outskirts of Budapest and form a sort of Communist mini theme park around them.

It takes around 30 minutes on the bus to get to Memento Park – a not particularly interesting journey, it has to be said. But when you get off the bus at the stone masons yard, and look across the highway, you can see the larger statues, and start to get the kitschy feel of the place.

The entrance, featuring large statues of Lenin on one side, and Marx and Engels on the other, leads to the theme park proper, while across the road there us a sort of yard with a barrack-style building on either side – one of which has a colourful display of posters on the outside and a more serious photographic exhibition on the inside. Between the two is what’s referred to as Stalin’s grandstand, which has a big pair of Big Joe’s boots on the top. There’s a replica of the boots inside the barrack building and by standing close to them I can confirm that they’re around 6 feet tall – I’m five foot nine (sorry, but I’ve never learned to convert this to a metric measurement).

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I passed through the monumental sized entrance and paid my admission fee. (If you’re going to go, bypass the expensive organised tour from central Budapest which costs around 4,000 forints and get the local bus and pay the normal admission which costs 1,500 forints. If you buy a Budapest card during your stay like I did, travel to the park is free and you get a 20% reduction on the admission price. You can take photos without having to buy an additional photography pass, which is an irritating feature of many attractions in central Europe. And so, on to the statues, which feature a range of themes, and people, from the Communist era.

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This mural was appropriately epic
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Some of the statues, and their position in relation to each other, looked quite kitsch. From certain angles, for example, this guy looked like a goalkeeper
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These two, being close together, looked like they were doing some sort of boy band dance routineIMG_3503

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There was something Pythonesque about this lot, for anyone who’s seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail anyway
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And this one was just plain strange
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But you always know when you’re in a safe pair of hands
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This statue was my favourite – apart from being the biggest one in the park, it had a real feeling of movement to it, and the face was so expressive and determined
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The poster display was entertaining
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And there were some entertaining items in the gift shop
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Memento Park is a fairly small attraction – it didn’t take more than an hour to wander around and take lots of photos before walking back to the bus stop for the bus back to town. However it was a lot of fun – for someone who has no bad memories or family experiences of life under Communism. It is pretty kitsch, and there’s something ironic about people using these monumental sculptures and statues as a money making enterprise. So if you have a couple of hours to spare, and don’t mind spending one of them on an unexciting bus ride, Memento Park is definitely worth a visit. Enjoy!

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Evelina

by Evelina Di Lauro

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