Wendy Winn, pictured for Delano’s 2019-20 Expat Guide, loves taking online yoga courses and has fallen for the films of François Truffaut, when she’s not out walking in nature and discovering Roman ruins.
Photo: Matic Zorman (archives)
As part of our Summer like no other series, Delano is asking local personalities for their culture tips and leisure time recommendations. We start with writer, painter and radio presenter Wendy Winn.
The pandemic reminded me that I don’t have unlimited time to do what I really want to do, so I better get busy doing it. I have always appreciated the small things in life and have spent a lot of time with my family--I think I have my priorities straight, but there is so much I want to do. I recently started typing up voice memos and things I’d written down on scraps of paper, and I finished a poetry collection I had been working on since January and am about to start another project I’ve been thinking of for a few years. But I do have a day job and have been producing radio [“Happy Hour” on Radio Ara every Thursday evening] from home which takes a lot more time than doing a live show. Like a lot of people, I learned how to do things differently by necessity.
The adventures of Antoine Doinel film series
I love the quirkiness of these five films and the fun of following Antoine’s adventures and misadventures from childhood through marriage and divorce. I am fascinated by his character--he’s totally loveable and despicable at the same time. That is something I realise I am really drawn too, and I think other people are too--look at Walter White and even the kid in Diary of a Wimpy Kid, who is pretty awful but is unconscious of how mean he is to his best friend. It makes them somehow even more lovable. I have heard that most people either hate or love Antoine, and I am solidly in the ‘love’ camp. I am also fascinated that that the character is Francois Truffaut’s alter ego and that Jean-Pierre Léaud, who plays Antoine, looks so much like the Truffaut.
I saw all the films on Criterion in April. My son Tom is an avid film buff and he picked out “The 400 Blows” one evening, and then I wanted to see the whole series. Binge watching at its best, but we did space it out over a week or two. We watch a lot of movies in general, and we have started setting up a big screen on the terrace when the weather’s nice so we can sit outside at night and watch them there.
Watch the trailer to “The 400 Blows” here:
I’ve always been a fan of online courses it gives me the chance to have my cake and eat it too. And a good excuse for not doing something else more practical like laundry. You can usually you can follow along when it suits you, without having set times.
Back in December--what foresight!--I signed up for Masterclasses because I wanted to do the writing courses in particular. I’m a big fan of David Sedaris and I wanted to do his course, and I loved the one with Joyce Carol Oates, too. From David Sedaris what really sunk in had less to do with his writing than about his insistence on living life his way without compromise.
I also recently started doing more yoga teacher training online because the governing body Yoga Alliance is honouring online certifications until December 2020. I have been doing yoga for a long time and have been meditating daily--my son has been doing daily meditations with me too using the free 21-day Meditation Experiences that Deepak Chopra has been offering.
In August, I am going to start a short painting course on using bright acrylics and I will have some time off work to experiment and play again, as well as to finish a few commissions that have been on the back-burner.
My daughter Lea made two great recommendations and like her, I have been using them a lot--both are free and a lot of fun--Pop Sugar Fitness and Chloe Ting. My feelings for Chloe are a bit like my feelings for Antoine Doinel. I hate her when she is making me do jack-knife sit ups and one arm planks, but I love her because I really feel better after sticking with her for a couple of months now.
Réimerpad Walferdange circular walk
I still can’t quite believe that I live only a few minutes’ walk from Roman ruins. Where I grew up, outside Dayton, Ohio, our claim to fame was the Wright Brothers, and we thought their Wright Cycle Shop dating from the late 1890s was about as old as it gets, apart from the Native American trails through John Bryan State Park.
I’ve lived in Luxembourg for a long time and history is all around you here, but when I moved to the Walferdange area two years ago, I was amazed to find so many places right near me that date back to the first century AD. I have a sense of awe doing the Réimerpad Walferdange walk around the Roman villa, the Roman aqueducts, the Roman temple in Steinsel. I stand there and imagine these Romans in their robes, I look out at the hills they saw, wonder how they got on in a cold Luxembourg winter, almost hear the mothers scolding their kids not to be late for the temple service. I wrote a few poems about them recently, inspired by my daily walks. My dog though only flops down where they used to tread and scratches his back on the grass. His lack of reverence makes me laugh and reminds me that life is for the living too.