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|Bitterne Parker: Aline Giordano|
|Sunday, 14 August 2016 00:00|
The Qs & the As
What's your link with Bitterne Park?
I have been living in Bitterne Park for about 20 years.
What’s your earliest memory of the area?
Sitting on a bench in Riverside Park looking at the water, the landscape and the sky.
How could the area be better?
A more thriving Bitterne Park community perhaps? A place where we can connect with others, our friends and neighbours - sharing food, drinks and ideas, taking part in activities together. The Cobbett Hub and Library is definitely one step in the right direction.
What’s good – or not so good – about the wider city?
We have an art house cinema. We have an independent wholefood grocery shop, selling a great range of ethical, fairly traded and organic goods which are all vegan. We have two universities which try hard to improve the arts and cultural credentials of the city. On the not so good front, the live music scene could be a little bit more daring. The traffic coming in and out of the city’s cruise terminals is not doing much to the quality of the air. Cruise lines bring money to the city but at what cost to the environment?
What’s your passion in life?
I have three passions in life: music, photography, and writing about both.
How do you put bread on your table?
The right way up…. My mother would always turn the bread if it had been put upside down. This has a religious meaning which escapes me now. I guess the question was about my job, wasn’t it? I am a university manager.
What has your career taught you?
I have to say that my career has taught me nothing of great significance. It has generally been kind to me. The workplace, on the contrary, has taught me many things. I will always remember an employer which had a particularly high staff turnover. We would have regular leaving dos and it became a longstanding joke that the leaving colleague would have to say: ‘great people… crap job!’. One colleague switched the two nouns. Colleagues can ruin a great job – if you let them… Lesson: don’t let them!
What really gets your goat?
People not following the three car rule on Woodmill bridge. It’s selfish and it wastes everybody’s time.
How do you relax?
I read. I do Autogenic Training (AT). I enjoy a glass of wine with friends. Red Auxey-Durresse and Volnay are two of my favourite wines.
Which is your favourite pub?
Our local one, The Butcher’s Hook. But in all honesty, I don’t go to pubs often.
What are you drinking?
Apart from wine, I enjoy strong Italian coffee as well as earl grey tea. I enjoy pale ale too. I drank a lovely ale in London in a place called Brilliant Corners, which is a low-lit bar/restaurant serving Japanese small plates and has great DJ sessions on a most amazing audio system. The ale is brewed locally in Hackney at Five Points Brewing Company. Highly recommended!
What do you listen to?
My musical tastes are changing. I used to listen to bands like The Cure, Bright Eyes, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Arcade Fire, Belle and Sebastian, The Felice Brothers, Okkervil River, etc... But recently, I have opened to a different kind of music – a cross over between electronic and classical. I love artists like Olafur Arnald, Nils Frahm and Ben Lukas Boysen (on the Erased Tapes label). I find their music uplifting as well as relaxing. Lovely examples are Nocturne 4 by Ben Lukas Boysen, Only the Wind by Olafur Arnalds and Held by Kiasmos. BBC Radio 6 DJ Mary Anne Hobbs plays a lot of their stuff and this is how I discovered them.
Can you recommend a really good read?
So many books have moved me, opened my mind and enabled me to understand life, myself and my body a little bit more. I cannot pin one down. Instead I would say go and try Annie Ernaux, Mikhail Bulgakov, Giulia Enders, Satish Kumar, Viktor Frankl, and Boris Cyrulnik.
What’s a great day out?
Being with my best friends. Eating with them, then relaxing in their garden, putting the world to rights.
What scares you?
The state of the world we’re living in scares me. People often ask ‘What kind of planet are we leaving to our children?’ French writer, farmer and environmentalist Pierre Rabhi asks: ‘What kind of children are we leaving to our planet?’ He has a point.
What would you most like to change - in the world and in yourself?
We seem to have lost touch with what really matters: our relationship with nature. Our homes, cars and offices have become more and more comfortable (with the aid of technology), but we don’t know where our food comes from and we don’t want to see how much pain we inflict onto others. From child slavery (in the production of our chocolate and coffee for example) to wiping out the Amazon forest and indigenous tribes - there’s a lot to change! As for ‘in myself’, a lot has changed already. A lot needed to change.
What’s on your bucket list?
Meet with my favourite music artist, meet with my favourite BBC Radio 6 DJ, meet with my favourite photographer - to tell them how much there is of their art in my soul. Writing ‘my’ book on music and photography is also on the list. ‘Incidentally’ finding my biological parents would be nice as would finding out if I have siblings!
Tell us a joke
I’m not good at telling jokes. My friends have had the kindness to tell me so. Plus, it’s tough telling jokes in a language that is not your mother tongue. So, best not to…
Finally, what would be another great question for other Bitterne Parkers?
What would a Bitterne Park community mean to you?
Thanks so much for taking part!
Tune in next time when another Bitterne Parker answers our searching questions.
Rice Up pic: Rebecca Welton