My Little Greek Studio that I miss so much.....

I had my next blog entry all planned for today and was going to take you straight into my move into my new home in Harrow. However, today I have been struggling. Struggling and painting, painting and struggling. And I figure, that, as this whole enterprise of mine has been set up to show you that even as an old bird, I can still produce work worthy of sharing and hopefully of selling, then I should maybe divert and talk about the will to succeed even when the going gets tough.

The concept of struggling and difficulty is not a new one to me. I spent almost twenty years working with children who wanted to become ballet dancers – one of the hardest professions to follow. It was evident from the start, that, some, no matter how hard they worked, would not achieve. Largely, this was down to their own capacity to fight, through thick and thin, regardless of all barriers that were presented. Some had the spirit to conquer, some did not and eventually capsized before the winning post. A harsh truth, but truth, nevertheless….

Just like my children at the ballet school, I have an ambition to achieve. It is in my mind and in my soul. My children were the most wonderful inspiration and gave me much to aspire to. The last eleven years have presented me with many difficulties. Some I have overcome with ease and some with immense personal consequence. I have fought my way through the break-down of an important relationship, the bankruptcy and collapse of my beloved school, financial ruin and all that follows thereafter. I have fallen into a crippling depression that at times threatened to consume me completely and suffered constant ill health as a consequence. Life’s cruellest blow, however, was the sudden partial loss of sight I experienced in 2012. I do not intend to cover this subject in depth, as it is immensely boring and I feel incredibly lucky that, following two cataract operations, I can now see well enough to function normally, despite only partial sight in my left eye. I will share with you though, that a trip to the Optician yesterday, had me reeling a little. I think it was her words “your eyesight seems to have slipped again”, which made me falter. No matter. The new spectacles are ordered and will be here in two weeks and until that time, I will paint regardless – with or without a magnifying glass, when necessary. The Creative hunger is in my heart. Whatever barriers Mother Earth sends forth, I WILL NEVER GIVE UP, so I am afraid you will continue to be plagued by my offerings!!

Now, back to my move……

It is incredible how much ‘stuff’ you can accumulate over a period of nine months. Regardless of an almost non-existent disposable income, I had gathered a room full of possessions. I had two weeks to pack and managed to cram everything I owned into a series of black sacks and odd shopping bags. The majority of my belongings were art related, some I had brought with me from Greece and some I had gathered here in England, like a squirrel, hoarding her nuts for the winter months…..

Amazingly, Dear France and her friends rallied round once more and presented me with a bed, microwave, dinner service, cutlery and various pots and pans, along with various other items, including a television. They were incredible. Finally, the long awaited day arrived and I attended the Council Offices as ordered and was unceremoniously given the keys to my new home. I was overcome with emotion and asked the slightly embarrassed woman if she thought she could find the gentleman who had granted my second application. She trotted off and came back with a rather sheepish Council Officer. I gave him the hugest of hugs and told him that I would never forget his kindness or betray his trust by not looking after my flat to the best of my ability. He was mystified I think and, for sure, had not been treated to such a display previously – however, I think he trundled back to his desk with a twinkle in his eye and a little light in his heart….

The date was 23rd December. I spent that whole day and evening carting my numerous black sacks to and from bus stops, on and off buses and up and down stairs. I repeated the process the following day also. Finally, at about eight o’clock on Christmas Eve I made one final journey, with a few last belongings and a very long suffering dog (who, incidentally hated the bus ride) and the flat. I collapsed, gratefully, in a heap and drank my own health with a bottle of sparkling wine given to me by the ‘Dear France Gang’.

Just after Christmas, my son hired a small van and delivered a table and chairs that had been stored in his Garage for years, along with six or seven boxes full of possessions I had completely forgotten about. It was almost like Christmas, searching through the contents which had been packed some seven years previously. At last I had a few belongings that were mine. I was over the moon.

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