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What I read this month / Bookclub #1

Just a quick recommendation. Yes, you guessed it, I will include an affiliate link, but sincerely these books were amazing and I would love you to enjoy them, too.

A couple of weeks ago I read Isabelle Allende’s The House Of The Spirits and  The Japanese Lover. Both books gripped me and I couldn’t put them down. I didn’t realise until I had already read Portrait in Sepia that this in fact was the last in a series of books by Isabelle Allende, books which quietly referred to each other once in a while, with extended families and acquaintances who sometimes reappeared in the sidelines in one book or another. The order I should have read them in apparently was as follows:

1 – The House Of The Spirits

2 – Daughter of Fortune (Oprah’s Book Club)

3 – Portrait in Sepia

I read these books in reverse order and that worked out just beautifully for me. I feel that reading them in this order gave me the discipline and patience to read The House of Spirits all the way through, it required some more of my attention and resolve to complete. Not because it was lacking in content but maybe because I sometimes missed fragments, it seemed like a mean editor stole small sections of the story from the writer. The book covers the lifetime of it’s key protagonists, not all reach the end.

When I finished The House Of The Spirits I needed more and finally just gave into temptation and bought The Japanese Lover, which was just so, so, so much to brief. What will I do now? Has Isabelle Allende written more books since The Japanese Lover ? I really hope that she did. But I know that there are a few more in the back catalogue for me to enjoy, hide in bed for as many days as each one requires to complete reading. Oh and then every time the eagerness to reach the next page, only matched by the anxiety that one of these pages will be the last.. It’s somehow like life. Always so impatient to reach the next moment, sometimes missing this one or the one before due to rushing to much.. And then one day there won’t be more moments and won’t we then wish we had lingered a little more?

Lingering is something that is really hard for me at the moment. I have little alone time, little absolute privacy, I share my life with my (utterly and completely) wonderful partner and while I wish for a little more solitude I again am missing a moment that should be pleasure, should be savoured, who knows what tomorrow will bring? It is so very hard to yield to the moment and be just here, not anywhere else.

What will I read next?

P.s.

If you purchase any of these books after clicking to Amazon (these links are for the UK store, if you would like the USA links please see them below) then I will receive a few pennies as a referral fee, however it will not cost you a cent more than the standard price. It will help me to fund this website hosting fee and if one day I have pennies left over then I promise to buy coffee and books and share what I read with you.

USA links as promised:

1 – The House of the Spirits

2 – Daughter of Fortune

3 – There seems to be no US / Amazon link for A Portrait in Sepia, which is a tragedy! You MUST try and read this wonderful book!

4 – the latest book I read: The Japanese Lover

My Yoga Student completed her 10 day Yoga Challenge!

So I forgot to mention that 2 weeks ago I challenged my yoga student to a 10 day yoga challenge!

She came to my house every day for 15-60 minutes to learn a simplified Sun Salutation, of which we did 2 rounds each day, adding a couple of postures as we progressed through the challenge; following the sun salutations I gave her 2 floor based postures each day, mostly postures to help her with a personal health issue. I am super impressed that she got through 10 days without a fail and she did amazing! I am really proud of my student’s discipline and determination. I think this was a great experience to guide a private student through this journey of discovering her strengths and working with weaknesses.

And here is what she has to say about her experience:

“When the challenge was offered to me, I was not sure if I could do it time wise, physically and mentally wise. Everyday to go out of my house at a time where i would tend to sit on the sofa and do nothing. Then I thought why not as it will challenge my routine, my memtal physical state. I was ready for a change in the routine.
Before starting the challenge, i had a bad lower back and scyathica issue. It was mild but regular.
The first few sessions were difficult to settle in. Get the movements, stretch the body that wasnt used to be moved and stretched. So it was difficult to hold or simply do movement and breathe correctly.
At first the body and legs felt very stiff, especially my left side (leg and foot that felt numb) where the scyticha is and also the arms and shoulder. The fact that we were only doing the movement gently and not going deep, helped a lot. The first 3 sessions were a gentle way to warm up and get use to it.
From the 4th session, mainly the 5 th, was a beautiful feeling of lightness, the body was used to the movement so it was much easier to strech and breathe correctly. Beautiful feeling of control and enjoying the movement, then enjoying the session. I was leaving the sessions running and for once my steps were very light. I could feel my body was soft and very light. My legs were strong but soft and not tensed.
This feeling was stayig the next few days. Light legs, light and fresh body, my mind was relaxed and my mood too. I could definitely feel the impact of the previous sessions on both physical and mental level.
After 6th session i could feel some tiredness on my knees. The scythica definitely got better around session 5. I think the ache in both my knees,mainly on the right one, is coming from previous wrong posture or pressure when bending the knees when kneeling on the floor to standing up. So when doing the sun salutation, after bring one of the leg forward and then stand up by applying a bit of pressure to raise, i wasnt careful the first sessions on how i was doing it. So i thinkni didnt aligb correctly my knee to my big toe and put too much pressure. I feel now i need to rest the knees. Because of this ache i did find didficult to hold certain position, especially when we have to put weight or pressure on the knees: the last movement for sun salutation when we need to relax back and neck or the soldier posture.
I found the 8th session difficult. My body felt heavy during the day and got some ache where we did some stretches: legs side.
Same for day 9. During the day was fine. Its just when doing the movement i could feel some part of the body, mainly the legs have been working. So i could feel there was a consequence of the work we have done previously.
Day 10. Ache on the leg sides because of previous day stretch. Knees still tender.
Regarding the postures, I liked the one for the scythica on day 9 as it was a gentle stretch by sitting on a pillow and I was confortable to hold the position. Not like the one where i have to twist the torse and holding my leg. Also I did enjoy the sun salutation as there are different back bent: backward and forward. Its quite complete. But to finish with some legs and back stretches on the floor was definitely making a good balance, especially for my lower back.
I can say after day 10, I have more sensation on my left foot and my schyticha feels less tight. Same for the lower back. I feel my body is more relaxed, less tense (muscles wise). After every session I felt i gained energy and felt really relaxed. Was going to bed later then i would normally go.
Its amazing how in 10 days practising Yoga can make a difference to the body, back issues, scyathica and to the mind.
I also learned about myself, that I can do it!! It was possible for me to move myself from the sofa every night and do some Yoga!
Thank you for believing in me, encouraging me, pushing me when needed and the fun sessions. Cause I did have fun! ☺xox “

What I am doing to prepare moving from England to California + letting go of the past

I am selling as many items as I can on Ebay. For the moment that is the main thing I am doing. Because my biggest issue is stuff and what to do with it!

That sounds so straightforward, so obvious, simple, clear and tidy. In reality it is the messiest thing to do. I am so hyper attached to my belongings that a process of grieving takes place on a continuous and rolling basis as I select each item, photograph it, edit it for better appeal in Lightroom (it helps make sure that the exposure is good and the light balance not too off balance etc.. I am a photographer, so I just can not throw my loved possessions out onto ebay looking bedraggled and poorly documented..) .. All that takes so much time. Then often something might not sell. I have had the item sitting on my kitchen table, which by the way is invisible under the mounds of things that are being processed). It feels like living here is becoming impossible as the process of continuous goodbyes is really hard and all-of-the-spaces-consuming.

You might be a minimalist and think I am a horder… I am not a border, ok, maybe a little bit, but all these things were in regular use until I met the love of my life and then the priority in my life was finding ways for us to be together. So all my art materials had to step into the background of life and over time, to be honest, life has changed. Maybe I will never use them again. But until the UK voted to leave the EU I never really and to face the bigger question of what identity is mine anymore?

When I met my lovely partner I had a clear identity: “I am an artist, my goal is to one day exhibit in Venice at the Venice Biennale and to make my income from my high quality art work!” I was a dreamer and an artist with a love for telling stories. I also took photographs, I worked with cine film, with digital film, with projections and dancers, with text and theatre, with drawings and stuff.. with lots of stuff! And all that stuff was essential to me, my identity as an artist and to my creative process. Hoarding was not an issue, it was a necessity to have these things that I collected specifically for projects.

But now it is nearly 6 years since my last big Art exhibition. I am in a sort of mourning for my Artist self and yet that Artist life that I had doesn’t fit into the life that we are a creating. But I also am not sure that I have found a new identity for myself or that any other than the one that I had will ever fit again. What on earth to do!?

Oh, right.. this was meant to be a post about what do I do to get ready to move to America?! Argh.

I try and sell things on Ebay and I panic a lot and I miss my old self. This process isn’t easy and unlike maybe other people who write about how exciting it all is I would have to be honest: it is hard and scary and very, very isolating. How many people do you know whom you could speak to about experiencing a loss of sense of identity, loss of home base, loss of securities, loss of community, loss of an entire career (ok, mine didn’t field me an income and it is questionable if working 40-60 hours a week while not getting paid or rarely getting a bulk sum is a sustainable career – it really isn’t, is it?!) … etc etc… All to move to a country that is not really easy to understand without a support network.

So what else do I do to get ready?!

I join Facebook Groups, job sites & gig economy websites to try and get a better idea of what is going on in California and what options I might have for work, for freelancing, for employment. I am trying to understand how to access healthcare there. The moment I step onto American soil I usually get so scared of getting sick; last year that worry actually made me sick! I got such a big skin rash! Luckily a friend of mine is a GP in the UK and he was able to give me some advice!

P.s. Here is a link to my Ebay Shop

I also have an Etsy shop, where I sell high quality (usually original) Illustrations and Drawings, it would help me out even if you just clicked on the link and looked around. I think the Etsy algorithm will take note if my Etsy page gets more views and it might help me get featured better in search results.. So even the mini-actions might help my Art Studio clearing mission! (If you were to click the little hearts for likes on my Etsy listings then you would probably earn even more karma points! Oh, and of course: buy some Art if you would like some! But no pressure to do so. Just some clicks are great to help me get noticed! Big Bear sized Thank you!)

In my Etsy shop are a handful of downloadable digital pictures (here a link to one of them), priced basically at about the price of 1/2 a coffee if you wanted to make a gesture without going all out then you can support my Etsy shop by downloading the file and leaving a super nice feedback! I just haven’t got enough feedbacks yet to attract buyers to my shop offerings. Feedback is gold nuggets to any kind of freelancer using online platforms!

Thoughts about preparing to moving from the UK to America

Let me try and keep this staccato.. You have probably noticed that my editing skills are still somewhat underdeveloped!

What kind of life have I had until now? Well.. In brief: I moved to the UK before I turned 20 and let’s just say I arrived by international bus with 3 suitcases, a guitar case and a duvet (which I still have) and I think I would need 3 removal vans if I kept everything and tried to bring it with me.. Note, my move requires crossing the Atlantic Ocean.. So there can be no armada of removal vans, something will have to give way, and it looks like it has to be my attachment to my Art works, my art materials, my library of books, my clothes of which I have thrown none away in well over a decade, furniture can’t come at all, but maybe I can keep (in storage) a favourite item or two…. That’s just for starters.

So I felt quite settled here in the UK for a long time but then again, in retrospect despite the many similarities between Germans and British people, even if I looked the same as people here you will always remain not the same. A foreigner maybe will never stop being a foreigner.. For the longest time I thought this was my home. I spoke about people around myself and me as ‘us’, always. Until about 7-8 years ago when I noticed that I am not part of this country but just a friendly guest.. Around about then I ran into my partner while we both prepared breakfast meals in a kitchen in a hostel in Venice.. The rest is a 7.5 year meandering history of an intercontinental romance that continues to this day.

When last year the Brexit vote was announced I wasn’t really surprised and in our case, while it is really deeply uncomfortable to not know if in the future I could live here I think it is a help to consider that this really is a time to make decisions. So we are moving to America

It is complicated to leave the UK on a shoestring budget no less. And making it more tricky are the little glitches: I accidentally got talked into signing another year contract with the worst internet company that there is (I’ll be nice and not make this personal, but if you were to insist then I would tell you..) so well… well actually, I likely will sublet my apartment in England for one more year after I officially move countries.. It just makes sense in my mind (and attached to my home soul) but more about that another time I think.

SO! What do I do to get ready to leave!?! 

It is seriously really, really hard. It is a sort of grieving with a sometimes overwhelming amount of stress. I wake almost every morning, once before sunrise and once at waking time with the thought : “NOooooooo, I want to stay here, in my home, in my bed, in the nest I built for so long…. I don’t want to fly all the time, I don’t want to worry about immigration all the time I want a regular normal existence.. aaargh…..” By the time I fully wake up my panic usually ebbs away and I relax. I know this is the life I chose, the love I chose, the eccentricity that is my life…

It is REALLY hard to let go of things, the comforts that I have identified with for so long! 

Selling as many things as I can on Ebay and then also noticing how many things that I spent so much time listing others simply don’t care about, and these things remain unsold.. But while they lay here waiting for an Ebay bidder to buy them I get restless. I see things that I love and want to keep but that also I must say goodbye to. I am super attached to my life’s possessions, big and small! It is super hard for me to let them go. The last thing I want to deal with is the stagnation that occurs when items have to be listed multiple times before they finally find their new ‘forever-home’… (I know, I am a little weird..)

Thank heavens for Ebay though! The income, from these sales, is a saving grace, clearing my home is taking spectacularly much energy and time and is causing all manner of stress. Having at least a few pennies along the way is a big help.

What upsets me a little is how I can’t seem to sell my nice drawings. It is a worry. Do I need to throw them away? That feels so, so wrong! And then I had hoped that by getting good feedback on the drawings I could then move upwards and sell my high end photographic prints for a good sum of money. But without art related feedback I won’t be able to sell these photographs..

Do you mind if I keep rambling a little longer?

The last years of moving between America and England (I have had the green card for a while already) has caused a lot of disconnect without really bringing much new that could offer stability. I have felt very disorientated living between 2 places and I lost a lot of social networking connections. You would think life was exciting but in my experience it can be really hard when you are grieving for leaving your life behind to begin a new one. Some people are able to do it with so much enthusiasm while I was just really scared all the time and really isolated, too.

Nonetheless it still makes sense to brace myself and dive in! I had hoped to empty my apartment much more by now than I have managed to, I did want to reach a certain target by May 1st and it just isn’t looking like I’ll make it in time! May 1st because my partners visa for the UK expires on the 14th and I would like quality time with him here that isn’t this constant stressful: “argh! How to let go of things!?!?!” However do YOU do it, in case you a re here by chance and in a similar moving situation?

I am sad for the friendships and memories that I will have to leave behind. But I need a regular routine again, less of this constant not knowing… (Ironically I do plan on a lot of travel in the next years but I will tell you about that another time)..

Ugh!

Are you any wiser? Me neither. I am apparently creating a giant mess in these blog posts.

Could you help me by sending me questions?

Questions related to moving continents, letting go of things, relationships with friends and how it feels to be a stranger in a new place? Or questions about life in California / America ? I think questions would help me find a better direction for these blog posts! And maybe I should impose a word count and pre write the content before posting it here! 

Life Update. What on Earth is going on with this Blog? (& Special welcome to my Ebay customers popping by to see what I am up to)

Hi Ebay & Etsy customers, & friends!

your purchase in my Ebay Shop & Etsy Shop really is super appreciated. You are helping me create space in my life and a lightness that will allow me to properly relocate to America with much greater ease! I included this website/blog address in my thank you note in case you might be intrigued what eccentric person sells her Art Equipment, and life treasures.

It’s me.

Short introduction (I am close to the end of this post and am realising that I think I lost focus.. brevity is not my key skill): I am an Artist-Photographer and I live between 2 continents and sometimes 3 (! Europe, America, Asia)… I have had an intercontinental romance with my favourite human on the planet since 2009. We met in Venice, Italy (in a kitchen, but maybe this is a longer story for another time “How I met my favourite human being”), he is American. We have against ALL the immigration and financial odds managed to be very happy together all the way from then to now.

With England having voted to exit the EU and with me being an EU citizen we are finally deciding to shift my main base to America. I have been keeping a foot in the door in the UK, keeping my countless Art Creations and my really rather large library of books and so (!) many more things: here in my apartment, which I had been subletting. This had allowed me to return tot he UK for brief periods of time when life in America had just been really tough and I/we needed a rest.

Again, this, too should be a separate post: topic maybe: “Why did it take me SO long to figure out how to adapt to life in America….? Why did I have to keep taking breaks from the Land of Opportunities?”

So here we are. Right now I am in Liverpool, for a relatively brief period of time. Listing my things on Ebay and finding adoptive homes for my belongings. Goal is: to reduce my belongings that I hold onto by 50%. I will probably keep the apartment in England for a little longer, but I would like to be ready to leave and let go of those 20 years that I have spent in this country.

It is time for a fresh life. A fresh start, new chapters. That means that it is time to stop dragging around the past. Time to make space for the new things. It feels almost like a grieving process. I am SO attached to all my things. I think I have been identifying myself by two things: my identity as an artist in a romantic sense and the beauty and uniqueness of my home’s interior that I created with eccentric belongings like cone film projectors and the hands of shop window mannequins, a giant ostrich egg, handblown glass by my partner, books, everywhere you look: books.

COMING TO SOME POINT:

We are returning to San Francisco around June 20th. I Left the USA on January 21st. I hope it won’t be a problem with immigration for me to have been absent for so many months. I imagine I might get into some trouble for it. I hope they do not revoke my Green card for having been outside the country for so long! It is something that could happen.

Once we get back to America we will start fresh. My partner has a new job lined up, basically a 3 day job that we will use to fund his own glassmaking business. The 3 days a week that he will work will cover the rental cost of a room and maybe the costs of running the old Volvo we bought in our last USA chapter. Our goal is to get onto the books of at least one high end, well selling, reputable gallery with my partner’s glassworks. We are setting goals and deadlines for them and are WAY better prepared than we have ever been before!

As for me: I will go find myself a few days a week office work to help support the business, too; and then with my free days run my own businesses of German Language Teaching, Art Classes and; drumroll, this is the real goal; my Photography Business.!

I know there is no money in photography, I have heard it many times. My educated and informed response is: there is no money, nor security in anything. So I may as well go and do something that I am excited about, if either way I will land in poverty.. Also, I actually do not believe that there is no money in photography.

My points of concentration will be stock photography for the trickle income and head shots & real estate photography for a regular pay check. I have 2 personal projects that I can already begin while I am still in England. I am still working with a really old DSLR but I think I am getting really great results with it, so once I can upgrade I expect that results will really jump in quality.

….

In the meantime I continue my Ebay Sales, I added more sheep drawings to my Etsy shop & I am looking at buying a new camera to upgrade my current setup to really put myself into a good position to work with more clients in the near future!

The camera I am really, really interested in is this Nikon body:

Nikon D750 24-85 / 3.5-4.5 AF-S G ED VR ( 24.93 MP,3.2 -inch LCD )

I am starting to work with Affiliated links, and I will only use them when I feel that the product that I am linking to is really good. What happens with Affiliated links is that if you click on them and in the course of your internet session on that site purchase that item then it doesn’t cost you a penny more BUT I will receive a mini percentage of the value of your purchase (I think it is under 4% but I am not sure yet as I haven’t tried this before). Effectively I will get paid like an advertiser because the site will assume that without my link you might not have bought the thing. There is zero catch or cost for you the potential customer on the site (at the moment I am only linked to an Amazon affiliate program) but I get a little reward, which would be nice for me. This is my first post that I am making with an affiliate link in it.  So, usually the way this should be done is that the word that I link let’s say ‘ice cream maker’ should also lead to an ice cream maker and not let’s say to a vacuum cleaner.

NOT every link I put in here is an affiliated link.

About my faithful Nikon D90 DSLR and about moving countries

I am writing this post from the living room of my old apartment in Liverpool, UK. I am here to sell my a lt of my belongings on Ebay, giving some things away and deciding on hoe to best move into my future, the next chapter of life which we will live in America. I have had my green card for nearly 3 years now but haven’t been able to completely settle in America yet. We have both been pulled across the globe too much. But I have already spent ..

emergency writing break: there is a wasp flying over my head.. Editing tomorrow when I wake and hopefully it will be gone!

My current Nikon D90 with my well serving Nikon lens 18-70 f3.5-4.5G is getting old, it helped me take some great photographs and I learnt as much as I think was possible within the limitations of the equipment. I only just looked up the price for the same lens that I have worked with for so many years and can’t quite believe for how little you can buy it on Amazon nowadays. What an eyeopener.  So to keep this brief: IF you are completely new to photography and want to make a low cost start, I think this is a safe route to choose. Get this outfit, enjoy it for a year or 3 until you learn what it is that you specifically require from your camera. For enthusiastic amateur family photographs this camera would cover your needs well. I sincerely don’t think you need to spend more or that you will waste your money with the Nikon D90 or this lens.

But after 10 years of treasuring the 18-70mm lens and a good 5-6 years of enjoying the camera body I am ready. There was so much going on these last 7-9 years that I simply got a little bit stuck in a decision-making quagmire. But I have escaped it now. I have decided to focus on photography for business as of this year (2017). What I need to move forward is a professional camera, on a budget.

Drumroll..

Perhaps I should first ask, what would you recommend if you wanted to enter the market competitively and professionally as a full time photographer? I have already made my choice and will find my words and share some links with you on another day. Today I signed up with Amazon Affiliates and I hope that they will approve my account. From then on each time that you click a link to an item listen in the Amazon inventory I have the chance of earning a small percentage of your spending, this will benefit me without costing you a cent more!

May I make a proposition!?

If you are planning on purchasing a camera that I happen to mention, or a book, or a beauty product (to be honest the furthest I stretch with beauty products is probably organic shampoo…) then if you could first click a link on my website to Amazon and purchase the item you clicked through to OR ANY item during this sign in session in the Amazon shop. Then I will receive somewhere around 2%, maybe 3% of what you spend. Don’t spend money because of me but if you need to stock up on something this week or next month anyway then your using my link would be fabulous!

Well, I am excited about these changes coming up!

New Camera, new business and maybe a few peanuts trickling in through Amazon Affiliates Program, if they accept me.

I also plan to bring this website/blog to life this year. I could use your help with suggestions, or with feedback on what posts you do enjoy. The content will be quite heavily focused on travel, or rather on me making a life abroad in America, featuring photography, writing, creativity and musings…

The links in this post are NOT affiliated links. I make nothing from them, if you choose to purchase the Nikon D90 I gain nothing at all. This is just a little ode to my much loved workhorse camera of many years. And a tip how to affordably start your journey in photography with a semi-pro camera.

Feature Photo: taken with the Nikon D90 and 18-70mm kit lens

This Blog is lost

.. that’s right, it simply doesn’t know where it started, where it is, nor where it is going to, it isn’t even moving or displaying any other form of life, or is it?

Here a few photos that I recently uploaded to my, similarly inactive, instagram account @oversevenseas – Come not join me over there, too when you have a moment! We can be sloth like together, and perhaps you will witness the magic emergence of purpose in the near future!

 

Taking inspiration and courage from the small silver linings of life…

What are they? Those elusive silver linings at a time when international politics has gone upside down and many are scared, me included? What are those silver linings when the intercontinental love affair that has now lasted over 7.5 years also be the primary contributing factor to the situation that I may have forfeited my residency right in the country that I have called home since the 90’s !? When all that nomadism has rendered me quite penniless, quite literally, at this moment in time? When health is shaky because stress is constant?

Silver linings: First and for most of course the answer just has to be: Espresso is a primary silver lining!

And: I have had the great luxuries that money can or can’t buy: time. I have had a lot of time in the arms of the one who truly loves and supports me. I have had time, a lot of it, to become the person I am, which would have been impossible in an easier, more standardised and more secure life. I have a library of books, which admittedly would be bigger if I had a more secure existence..

More silver linings… we are jointly inspired and share many of the same values, nourishing and pushing each other to better ourselves and raise out standards all the time. While also be forgiving of each other’s shortcomings or struggles.

I was just today reading one of the early blog posts on the travel blog of 8 Miles from Home, a young, much younger than me & us, couple who did something that I find incredibly amazing and limitlessly inspiring: They created a life for themselves based on their photography and film making skills; they were based in Thailand for a long time, legally, they found a way to obtain the correct visas to be in Thailand longterm, something few digital nomads, do. They also created a rather sustainable, while modest, life for themselves and recently made their move to Portugal, where their living and life continues. I am forever amazed at their continuity / consistency, their discipline and clearly their integrity. I am not always hugely ‘entertained’ by their vlogs that they post (unfailingly regularly!) on youtube but I do very much admire the incredible amount of work that goes even into an uneventful day’s vlog. Planning and editing, posting always like clockwork on time.. Those are just a few little snippets of what I find makes this peaceful and harmonious couple admirable.

So what…? What I was saying was that I read one of their early blog posts on their website today, in it they wrote about how it was, what was involved in getting ready to begin their life together in Thailand, where they stayed living for several years. The time and effort involved in just shedding life’s surplus possessions. The emotions that one goes through letting go. The obersvations and realisations of what extra stuff affects in life.

I too find that the belongs that are stacking up everywhere are adding to the imprisoned more than enriched feeling of life. But this may well be that my specific situation is affecting this experience.

My partner is American and I am German and it is frankly very hard to no longer truly feel safely grounded in any which single country. Our life is dominated by too many location changes, often accompanied with location insecurity when we are in America. (We do not have a fixed address that we can permanently call home there but rent a month here, a month there, however we can piece it together with our income and available rental spaces.. It is far from ideal for 2 workaholic adults trying to work with focus)..

Where is this going?

As a couple we are as strong as ever, as happy together as ever. The difficulties are heavy but we are right now considering to first make out permanent base in America and then spend a year together in Thailand..

This means resolving my entire Art studio in England, 20 years of Art and equipment, life belongings, some of which have become dusty and lost all their monetary value… It is an emotional journey and grief is definitely an apt word to use as I pass through the first miles of this long metaphorical road trip from a place that is filled with memories to finally letting go so that I can journey to a place that is open and spacious for new memories.. I knew for many years that in order to be happy with the love of my life I would have to find the courage to let to of my life as I knew it up until we met..

I have not had that courage. And I have paid a high price of fearfulness and feeling that my stuff is holding me hostage, emotionally and physically..

So I am reopening my ebay shop. I am only just beginning to list everything I can there and my target is to fill it with at least 100 things at a time.. I am still not very good at Ebay-ing, my descriptions are too long and cumbersome and I wonder if I am putting people off.. But hopefully soon the rock will start rolling down the hill and gather momentum and clear a path ahead.. (hopefully without rolling over anything precious.. I am not sure this was the best analogy to use.. rocks rolling downhill usually cause collateral damage..)

Here is a link to my ebay shop, in case you find something that fits your life without being a burden on yours, it will lift a proportional weight from mine and set me free a little piece at a time:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/artist-over7seas

everything is posted from the UK.

{{ p.s. I opened a second ebay shop, and will actually close it again once the first batch of listings expires, it was a bit of an error of judgment because I thought it would make sense to have a US & UK ebay shop, but actually I can just change the currency and location of my existing shop in the future.. But here is my second, temporary ebay shop, too, because I have listed different things in it:

Ebay shop 2  – everything also ships from the UK, despite the shop being a US based setup.. Sorry if that is ultra confusing. I’ll try and merge these two accounts over the coming weeks.}}

notes: What price to pay for love ?

A list of rhetorical, pondering questions:

What price is love worth?

Would you give up your home, life as you know it, your career, your vocation (irrespective if it is working for you or not), would you give up your successes and failures, your friends, your books, your everything that sort of makes sense to you right now? Would you hand over your right to reside in a country that you have called home for 20 years? Would you hand it all over for love? Could you handle it? Would the weight threaten to crush your love? Could your love survive all of this loss?

How would you handle the grief, the disorientation of this loss of everything? Would you experience as a loss?

Add to all this financial instability, you have no powers, all your security nets are gone.

How would you handle this? Would you still trade it all for love? How would love change? Would it change?

journal entry

I am really distracted and not studying enough lately.. Running behind with all my jobs.. Is it ok if I blame the elections? I think they made me ill but I’ve been trying to pretend that I was less moved than I am.
 
Also we are in the middle of trying to figure everything out: house move not knowing where to yet, big life changing decisions.. And I feel like I am sort of in Groundhog Day, just Bill Murray isn’t here, nor are groundhogs..
 
Just the time and life consuming energy hungry constant reinvention of the wheel.. J wants me to stay until the end of the year and I only ever want to wake up next to him, the idea of not waking up next to him is horrible. But I also am wearing so thin on this moving house every few weeks business, and never quite knowing what or where life happens in 3 weeks from now.
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Intercontinental romance: perfect on so many levels. But without a trust fund it is hard as a rock and tangled like a whole car full of yarn balls that a whole family of kitten has been let loose on..
 
Writing this while deeply exhausted and unsure what should happen or when or where, except: I would most like to keep waking up next to J. But I might need to go and drop this juggling match to be still somewhere.. Wish I had a friend who had this life, too and whom I could ask for the recipe to making it bake right…
 
Stay in the US to help Jason in the busiest month while ultra tired or abandon the man and go be tired in Liverpool and wrestle my old friends for help to get me a job at a theatre for a few hours a week while I re-settly my soul.
 
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I can only say: ugh I am too tired to even contemplate.
 
If anybody dares say: “why don’t you just….” followed by anything akin to: “…make a decision” or “….get a 9-5 job”, then I may have to wring your neck, despite me in greatest likelihood really seriously and thoroughly liking you tremendously much.
 
NEVER ever use the word ‘just’ when dealing with a messy, complex, interesting but exhausted life situation. You can bet your pennies and cotton socks that whatever you think I should ‘just’ do I will have examined from every external and internal angle many times over and it greatest, humongous likelihood will know way more about than anybody else. Some time back a doctor tried sending me to a councillor so I could talk with somebody about how difficult it is when you don’t know what will happen with immigration regulations.. I passed. I would be spending my allotted 10 sessions just bringing the councillor up to scratch with what the regulations are and what conundrums we are facing aside form immigration policies.. And I just see no point in spending the energy to lecture a councillor on something they can damn well go pay to take a course on. It’s certainly not helpful for me to be giving free comparative immigration lectures on the policies of 3 different countries.
 
In case you might STILL be hanging on the illusion that I don’t work… bawhaaaaaaa get to know me better!
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Ok, I had my exhaustion fuelled mumbling grumble…
Suggestions always welcome, just careful I might accidentally bite off your head. I don’t mean it, promise….

I just discovered & signed up to Bloglovin

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

They suggest that I paste this code (what you might see above) into a new blogpost to activate some link between bloglovin and this page. Let’s see how it goes..

Let me go and check it out before I write a little feedback about what I think of it.

My first impression is that it will make life way easier than receiving lots of email subscriptions into my email inbox, which realistically just pile up and make it impossible to get on with work..