A weak exchange rate of the yen to the pound, together with rising prices in Britain and the flood disaster is increased my expenditure and my frustration on my customary visit. I have become a bit disillusioned by the UK.
People ask me why I go to the UK every summer why not to the other countries? I make it a rule to answer that I will travel to the continent after I have conquered the UK. Last summer I shared a table with a young couple at a pub near The Light House (one of Mackintosh's famous buildings) in Glasgow. The boy was raised and lived in Glasgow and the girl came from New Zealand, a few years ago. We had a chat. Answering his questions, I said it seemed to me that Glasgow was rather a chaotic city compared to other parts of Scotland. He suppressed an argument but she seemed to agree. She recommended the "Isle of Iona" as a special, unspoiled island. It lived up to my expectation this summer. There are still many places to visit and paint in the UK.
After I came back to Japan, I was in charge of a 10-day course for my high school students called "Art in English". This summer we picked the Impressionists.
Pierre Auguste Renoir said, "I think I'm beginning to understand something about painting", to his friend shortly before Renoir's death. I am considering setting aside this phrase for my own last words. However, I am worried I may say, "I think I'm beginning to understand something about the UK", instead.
There are two separate words solitude and loneliness in English. In comparison, the Japanese equivalent of loneliness,"kodoku" also refers to the sense of being alone. It has a negative connotation and there is no exact Japanese word for solitude.
In English the words segregation and isolation are used, but it is hard for us to distinguish these words. My English-speaking friend told me that he had a peaceful time during his wife's homecoming. I was surprised at his remark,because most of us Japanese husbands miss our wives when they are out for one reason or another.
I enjoy solitude and peaceful time abroad and can paint many pictures. However, I feel even happier when I return home with many pictures.
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