Hidden Talents

I come across a wide variety of people through my dancing.  Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to really get to know someone.  Dancing is the priority.  Talking or chit-chat is something one does in-between dances.  It needs to be simple conversation because it is highly likely that one will be interrupted mid-sentence for a dance.

It has taken me years to learn things about some of the people I dance with.  Being a woman, my conversations with other women tend to be a bit deeper and more informative.  Conversations with men tend to be more superficial.  I have to be careful when conversing with some men as they often think I am interested in them for something other than just the fact that they are a human being.  I will usually speak to anyone as I am interested in people.

I bring this up because Julian Sutherland-Beatson, one of the men I know through Salsa, wrote to me on this blog, after reading one of my posts, to inform me of a project he is working on.  It’s ironic that he had to tell me about it in this way, but that is only because I have stopped going to Salsa in order to learn how to belly dance and the classes happen to be on the same evening.  (It was a tough decision, but I have always wanted to learn how to belly dance and I already knew how to Salsa.  I thought that I might be able to do both, but the BD class really tires me out at the moment!)

I opened the link that Julian sent me.  I have to say I was very impressed.  I have mentioned before that Eastbourne and the area around it is the home for many creative people.  Julian is one of those people.  He has been working on a project of a painting a day called Sussex 365 – 365 painting of the Sussex Countryside and Coastline. You can find the link to it here. I never knew that Julian was an artist.  I have seen him at a few Towner openings, but I go as an art lover.  Who would have thought?  I have never had a chance to speak with him properly as he was always at the front door collecting the money for the Salsa or teaching a class.

It looks as though Julian has completed his project.  I have had a look at some of the paintings and I really like them.  The blog surely doesn’t do justice to them and I am hoping to get a chance to see some of them at the East Dean Open Art Weekend of the 7th and 8th of August 2010.  Here is a PDF for the events that weekend.  Julian’s paintings can be found at item 11.  There is also a map to show you where everything is. OpenArt 2010 aw spreads low res copy

The last time I went to an Open Art weekend, I came home with four paintings and a sculpture, and a giant canvas on order!  Hmmm!

More info: http://www.eastdeanvillage.org.uk/clubs/club.asp?sectionID=44&articleID=885

Getting Ready to Leave the Nest

There are seagulls nesting in my neighbourhood.  I was woken up recently to what sounded like a troupe of howler monkeys, but it was only the seagulls.  I am reduced to sleeping with the windows closed in order to wake up at a reasonable hour.  My only consolation at this point is that once the young fly the nest peace will be restored.  Unfortunately, it won’t happen all at the same time.  One has gone from across the street and the rest will follow over the next few weeks.  Here are a few updated photos from the view from my garden:

The chicks above live two doors away from me and are nearly ready to leave.  They spend a lot of time pruning their feathers.  One day the wrong parents arrived and this is what they did:

They all knuckled down and didn’t move!  The third one was on the other side of the roof and eventually came up to these two and told them off!

There are two little puffballs on the street perpendicular to mine.  Every once in a while I see one walking along the edge of the roof with his head down.  He reminds me of a little old man.

Although the parents make a bit of a racket, it still beats the planes flying over my head that I had to endure the last 20+ years!


If you are wondering what Eastbourne is looking like at this time of year, here is a photo of the Beach a couple of weekends ago when it was very hot.

You might wonder where all of the people are. Actually, they seem to congregate more between The Pier and The Life Boat Station/Museum.  I tend to settle more towards Holywell, as it is less crowded.  If I am really lucky, I can have a whole patch of beach to myself.  However, at this time of year, I have had to share with one or two people!

The weather was so hot that day, I actually dived into the water.  I quickly jumped out again!  It was darn cold!  It was like going from a sauna into the cold plunge.  I don’t know how some people manage to swim in it without a wetsuit!  Or even a drysuit!  As it was so hot, it didn’t take me long to dry off, but it did take me about 10 minutes to warm up again!

I love going to the beach or seafront, or walking along the promenade.  I find it really relaxing and almost a form of meditation.  This is what it looks and sounds like:

Even the rib motoring past is relatively quiet.

If I can’t get to the beach to enjoy the sunshine, I can always sit in the back garden.  My garden is sheltered and sunny.  It was necessary to remove a few trees to get it that way.  Before anyone has a go at me for removing trees, please note that I have a very small patio garden.  They blocked the sunshine.  My laundry would still be damp at the end of the day even after being hung out to dry on a very sunny afternoon.  The soil was so dry that the only thing that would grow was oxalis.  The birds would sit in the trees and poo everywhere!  My neighbours are very happy that I removed the trees.  Now they have sunshine in their garden too!  I like being a good neighbour.  I must admit that the little sparrows were a bit confused for a few days to find their tree missing!

I may have a small garden, but there is room for a table and chairs, a sun lounger, and a BBQ!  Some before and after photos:


It took me seven hours to plant 2/3 of the garden as the soil was so hard I had to use a hand trowel as I couldn’t get the spade or fork in the ground!  Now I have a sunny, calm, relaxing and relatively no maintenance garden.  The only survivors were the Calla Lillies and some bamboo.  I even have a buddha.  My cat liked the garden before the trees and he likes it after, but not until the sun moves off the back wall.  He likes to sleep on the bark.  The only downside to that is that he ends up trailing it through the house as it sticks to his fur!

This is what my garden sounds like:

If you listen carefully, you can hear the baby birds chirping away.  There are several seagull nests nearby as well as a few other types of birds.  The noise they make very early in the morning is pretty horrendous.  Everyone is feeding their young all at the same time.  I am reduced to sleeping with the windows closed so I don’t hear the racket.  However, it eventually subsides and doesn’t start up again until late afternoon.  I am really lucky to be able to see the babies from my garden.  They are very cute and fluffy.

They are growing so quickly, and it won’t be long before they fly off towards the seafront.  Although they make a racket to raise the dead, I know there is an end to it once the young have flown the nest.  One thing for sure, it sure beats listening to sound of planes flying over my house every two minutes that I had to endure the last 20+ years!

Here is a video I found on YouTube that captures the sound of my life for all of those years:

What would you rather listen to?