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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.
I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps. See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Thinking Japanese

Shakespeare at the Globe in all the world's languages (well, some), and next door at the Tate an art show doing its best to help us spot what's an international language.
This blog is about family travel around the world without leaving the UK. Impossible? No. Here's how to enjoy a long wet weekend learning new languages.  This post is by Nicola Baird (see www.nicolabaird.com for more info about my books and blogs).   

Japan - the home of cute and fluffy. Diminutive. Polite. Actually the polar opposite of Japan's most famous female artist - Yayoi Kusama. She was born in 1929, an immense length of time ago, in a town 130 miles away from Tokyo.

Now 83 years old, she's got a major exhibition at Tate Modern (rivalling Damien Hirst's naughty shock show of sharks, jewel-encrusted skulls and butterfly farming).

Kusama spent years living in the States - imagine that leap of faith after what her generation had lived through during World War 2. She seems to have fallen into pop art before the pop artists and is without fail going to impress you.

Nell's 10-year-old friend Anna went to see it and claimed the show was mostly about spots. I was quite surprised to find it's mostly about willies in the early 1960s, although spots definitely become the main focus as she grows older.

It's sad that she's spent so many years living in a Japanese hospital - but the spots keep multiplying, and her output is amazing, and very pricey to buy. Clearly that's the sign of fabulous health care.

See Kusama until 5 June 2012 at the Tate Modern.

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