Some things you just can’t get rid of!

I am going through another cycle of purging and clearing out the clutter.  Although my clutter is extremely organised at the moment, I have come to realise that I have too much ‘stuff’.  The sad thing is that I am a bit attached to my stuff.  Being attached to ‘things’ is not always a good thing.  See, this is what happens when I am not working and left on my own for any length of time without any distractions!  I think about ‘stuff’!

It is also Spring, and with that comes Spring Cleaning!  Cleaning isn’t one of my favourite things, even though I am good at it.  I have too many things to clean.  So, I have decided to get rid of some of my stuff.  The hardest things to get rid of will be books, and CDs.

I love books.  I love holding them, smelling them and reading them.  You can’t get the same experience with a Kindle as you can with a book.  Reading a book is a complete sensory experience.  I have many books, and so little time to read.  I have books I haven’t even read yet!  I have books I have started, but haven’t finished, but am determined to get to the end of!  To get me going, I am going to start with ones I have read and know I will never want to read again.  Forget about hanging onto a book that I know someone might want to read someday.  That day may never come!  I need to live in the present.

The same goes for some of my CDs.  I am loath to get rid of my CDs.  Although I have my music on an external hard drive and on an MP3 Player, the CD is another source of storage.  If I were to lose all of my music, I would be very upset.  I also have a lot of music that I don’t have on CD, like a lot of my Tango music.  I might have to copy that on a few discs!  Anyway, the CDs are all in some drawers, out of sight, but it is only right that I get rid of those I am not 100% crazy about.

I think E-bay is going to do very well out of me. I might actually make some money too! What I don’t sell will go to the charity shop.  I am going to go through ALL my stuff and get rid of what is duplicated, redundant and what I can’t use or feel I can really live without.   It is amazing that having downsized and gotten rid of so much stuff before, it all piles up again!

However, there is one thing that I don’t use very often, if ever (except recently), that I won’t be getting rid of – and that is my sewing machine!  Yup!  Apart from this week, I can’t remember the last time I used it.

Sears Kenmore

They don’t make these anymore!  The 25 year guarantee finished years ago!  Until now, I didn’t even know that Sears was still in business!  This sewing machine has travelled across the continent from New York to LA and back, and then to the UK where it has been for the last 24 years.  Apart from the bobbin threader sticking (now mended), I have never had a problem with this machine.  This is just a basic sewing machine, nothing fancy.  I don’t do fancy and wouldn’t know what to do with it.  I need to read the manual every time I use it as I don’t use it very often!

If you are wondering how I manage to use an American made sewing machine in the UK, it is because of this…

This is a transformer.  This thing weighs a ton!  It took me hours to locate it the other day.  It was in the loft.  My boyfriend would have had a heart attack if he saw me getting this out of the loft on the ladder.  Actually, he would have helped me or got it down himself if he saw me, but you know what I mean.  The reason I can use my sewing machine is because of this bad-ass transformer.  I consider my sewing machine as part of my American Heritage.  It is one of the few things I still have from America.

I still have the original packaging.

Attractive, huh?  Original styrofoam, original cardboard that is falling apart.  This baby lives under the stairs and has lived under the stairs of every house I have lived in since I moved to the UK.  I have nowhere else to put it!  I never got a case for it.  Maybe it is about time, but as long as it can fit under the stairs.  I may not use my sewing machine often, but it has never let me down when I needed it.

So, this sewing machine is staying through the purge.  What thing have you got in your home that you have had for years that you can’t live without?


Art is the new Tango!

I can’t believe I just wrote that.  And I never thought I would have a passion for anything outside of Argentine Tango.  Admittedly, my passion has eased off since I moved to Eastbourne over a year ago.  There is no Argentine Tango to be had here in Eastbourne.  I have had to make do with other dances, go back to old favourites, and try a new one.  As a social dance, Argentine Tango is my preferred dance of choice as it is not just about the dance, it is about the music and the connection with another.  If you want to know all about my passion for this wonderful dance and the music that inspired it, please have a look at my other blog.

I suppose something had to give.  Maybe the passion for dancing was to fill a void.  Salsa, Ceroc/LeRoc, and Bellydancing don’t quite reach the part of me that the music of Argentine Tango does.  It touched my soul.  The other stuff is just for fun and gives me a happy vibe, but it is a fleeting thing.   However, dancing has now taken a back seat to drawing and painting.  I still dance, but it isn’t that important anymore.

I discovered painting after a break up earlier this year.   You see, I never thought I had it in me, but it seems I do.  Other people seem to think so too, and I’ve been offered a place at my local college for the Art Foundation Course.  So, now I am doing things with regard to painting and drawing as I did when I was learning to dance Argentine Tango.  I looked at resources on the internet.  I am reading books.  I go to a couple of classes.  I am painting and drawing something everyday.  It is my new obsession.  I used to laughingly say that Tango was my life, and that was because I danced 5-6 times a week for three years!  I have enough Art Supplies, I could open up my own shop. Instead of buying Tango shoes and clothes, I buy paint and pencils and I just ordered some paper stretchers!

Right now I am painting anything and everything, but mainly naked people, fruit and veg, and flowers.  I have done a few abstracts and have a few ideas to work on over the summer.  I was given a project to do for the Foundation Course which will be reviewed tomorrow.  I am learning in a way that I always like to learn something I am interested in, and that is by immersing myself totally in it.  Unlike dance, there is a lot one can actually learn and apply to one’s art by reading books and watching videos on the internet.  Although most artists that pass on information have developed their own techniques or methods of doing things, the foundations are generally the same for everyone.  I have realised that as in dance, less can be more when developing a piece of work.  As I am unskilled and still finding my feet (so to speak), I still need to learn about how things work and how to put things together, in my own way.  Hence the Foundation Course.  In the meantime, I am teaching myself things from books and trying out different methods of doing things, making a note of it and disregarding stuff I don’t like.  I have a lot of time to do this before the classes start in September.

I have been an art lover from an early age.  I used to love watching my father paint and draw.  He could do it with either hand.  His skill overshadowed my desire to pursue anything with Art, except to appreciate it.  When I was 17, my English Class took a trip to New York to visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  It was my first ever visit to an art museum.  It was a glorious summer day.  Most of my classmates bunked off into Central Park to hang out and go drinking while a few of us actually went around the Museum.  I was overwhelmed by the beauty of what I saw.  I guess you could say that was the day my soul was touched by Art.  From that day, I would visit Galleries and Museums every chance I got.  When I actually lived in New York, I was in Art Heaven.  I could walk to the MOMA on my lunch break!  When travelling, I will generally try to visit a gallery or museum.  I find it difficult to be indoors though when the weather is so nice, so I enjoy the Architecture instead, which is sort of like Art.  Living in London for over 20 years was wonderful for all of the lovely Art and Architecture to be found.  Now I live in a genteel seaside town that has a wide variety of creative people in the vicinity – and we have an Art Gallery, The Towner.  Living by the seaside and the The South Downs is very inspiring.   I have taken many lovely photographs of the area.  I am sure I will find some inspiration that will get me to produce a piece of work because of what I have seen or felt.

Right now, I am having a lot of fun working with colour.  I have been using a lot of it in my interior decorating, and now I am using it to paint.  I am not interested in painting something ‘life-like’.  I want whatever I make to be more than what it is. Without going into crappy and pretentious Artist’s jargon, I want to bring more to a picture than what I see –  because I not only see what I am painting, I feel it and strangely have a connection to it – even to the fruit!  The melon I painted today came out differently because of the variations in the colours of the different mediums I was using.  However, it got more vibrant.  The fruit became more than what it was.  It is strange, but I am having fun! And I am happy!

And isn’t being happy and having fun what life is all about?  🙂

Freeloaders at The Bandstand

Amor and I went to see the Johnny Spice Swing Orchestra at The Bandstand last night.  The doors opened at 7:30pm and there was already a queue for tickets.  I had purchased ours earlier that morning and was able to get a discount with a Friend of Eastbourne Bandstand membership card.  The card is £2.00 and is valid until the end of September 2015.  I think that is pretty good value.

We found a good seat and waited for the band to start playing.  I thought they were pretty good although they didn’t play what I would call swing, which was a little bit of a disappointment.  If you are expecting a lively swing band to dance to, then I don’t think this is the band you are looking for.  If you want to listen to some nice music, then you won’t be disappointed.


Johnny Spice Swing Orchestra


What really irked me though were these people:


There were freeloaders on the sidelines!  I paid good money for my tickets and so did everyone else that had a seat.  Usually, they make a good effort to block off the bandstand when there is an event going on, so what is the point of paying for a seat when people can stand up on the sidelines and see what is going on for free!  I was obviously some source of amusement for the people sitting next to me when they discovered my peevishness towards those listening for free.  There were plenty of seats available.  Someone at the bandstand has been slacking.  I am trying to support my Bandstand in my new home town.  I could have come down to the seafront to try to listen to the music for free, but I didn’t.  It is the 75th Anniversary of The Eastbourne Bandstand and if you want to listen to the music, you should pay for the privilege!  So there!  Amor thought it was mildly amusing, but he won’t be so amused tonight when we go to the Motown tribute as he has paid for the tickets and they were more expensive than last night’s performance! 😉

However, the freeloaders didn’t stop me from enjoying my evening.  The weather was really mild and when the performance was over, this is what we saw:

There was a full moon shining on the water and the lights were on all along The Pier and the Promenade.  It was a glorious evening.  I so love my new town!  The weather has been sunny and hot and the palms are in bloom.  They smell like Jasmine.  And to think I only live a few minutes walk from all of this! 🙂