For many years, perhaps the last ten, near the end of each year I’ve bought “The Joy of Cooking” desk calendar for the following year. A cooking or food tip every day; and the back of the calendar pages, when torn off, were handy for shopping lists, reminders and various notes. I’ve even used the back of pages in lieu of With Compliments slips when returning documents and so on.
But last year “The Joy of Cooking Tips” were finally wearing thin after all those years and I was getting no Joy when I tore off the previous day’s message every morning to read the message for the current day. Besides, I checked out all the usual shops that have stocked it in the past, and none of them had it in stock.
So I decided it was time for a calendar change. I considered many options over the final weeks of 2009, including the New Yorker Cartoons. But in the end, on the last day of 2009, I bought the calendar below, that had a strong appeal to me.
I half-heartedly tried to learn Italian many years ago, before I retired, with such little success that I didn’t learn one new word (we all know some Italian words).
So I thought it would be very interesting to get a desk calendar that would present me with a new Italian word every day, and I would see how much Italian I could pick up by the end of 2010.
I want to make it very clear that despite the title of this post, and that I’ve told some friends that I’m trying to learn Italian this year, that is very definitely not the case.
My sole aim, on 31 December 2009, was to see how much Italian I could pick up in 2010 from the desk calendar, and perhaps from other sources.
I had and still have no intention of trying to learn Italian. I do not expect that I will ever be able to have a conversation in Italian or with an Italian.
I just enjoy the learning process, and am taking it very seriously. But the problem is that a lot of what I’ve read doesn’t add up. I’ve found it very confusing and at times I’ve felt like giving up. But in the past two days I’ve begun to realise that some of the guides are aimed at teaching or explaining enough for a tourist to get by, and are not aimed for students of Italian.