La Dolce Vita

Trees from Starbucks

Wrapper from, Bella Italia.
Wrapper from the mini garlic bastoni, Bella Italia.

We’re living La Dolce Vita today and the decor in Bella Italia is suitably reminiscent of a Fellini film. I’m sitting looking at a large black and white print of the columns of the Vatican square which we visited on a European tour in 1963, when Rome looked very much like a Fellini film, but we were a few years too late to see Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni filming on location.

My ten minute sketch of trees in spring leaf is from coffee time, before we went to see Tomorrowland (which to me was a delight, I’m surprised that it’s getting such bad reviews for storytelling. It’s not Fellini, but it doesn’t have to be).

Everyone in Starbuck’s this morning is either working on a laptop or discussing business. It seems so relaxed and civilised and not so different from some of the more optimistic visions of the future of the early 1960s, such as the Futurama exhibit at the World’s Fair. Traffic hurtles past, as it did in the General Motors Futurama exhibit, but screened by leafy embankments, much appreciated by crows, dunnocks and house sparrows. But I don’t think anyone foresaw that one day you’d be able to sit with a coffee in Birstall and instantly access a large portion of the world’s accumulated knowledge.

I remember overhearing a conversation in Batley bus station, c. 1968;

Woman; I don’t know why they want to go to the moon, I could tell them what they’d find there!

Man; What’s that love?

Woman; Nowt but fire!

Man; Nay love, that’s the sun.

I’m glad that they went to the trouble of sending an Apollo mission there and didn’t rely on the accumulated knowledge of the woman in Batley bus station.

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