Friday, November 01, 2019

Once upon a time I was pretty green behind the ears...

... which is when this blog was started.

Back in the days when the internet was relatively new, and everything seemed much more innocent.. This is when I stacked a lot of personal interests several layers deep on this blog and several others. The list of blogs that I have started and not always kept up with is longer than my arm. I learnt a lot of lessons in the process, among them that this page just might be too naive

Journal Entry November 1st - My Life in San Francisco

It's been some years, frankly while everything changed, nothing changed enough for me to feel that I could reveal any great progress. If anything life has been backtracking, running in a curious kind of reverse mode. I just stumbled across my old Blogspot life and wonder what might have been had I not gotten so tangled up in 300 other projects and just ran with one, maybe this one. A life lived across several borders, more poetically imagined across many oceans.

It is 2019, since we all lat met here there have been illness, loss, surgery, healing, a lot of moving, a lot of uncertainty and instability. In January 2016 I was ready for all of life to change, to resume some old parts of myself in the Arts, to continue dreaming and wandering in a way that is healthy for the soul. The reality was that political shifts took place, causing uncertainty about our options for where home could be.

Writing to you feels like writing to old friends. This blogspot format so familiar, so vintage, comforting.

In parallel to the future UK immigration situation being all of a sudden so uncertain, my health did some weird flips and kicks and I just attributed it to stress. In a way it probably was all down to stress but by December 2017 it became clear this was not stress alone. In early 2018 I had a surgery that in some ways is routine but I challenge anybody experiencing it to be causal about it, to me it was a major gravity life event and it changed things for the better, eventually.

Living in California, while not vibrant and exuberantly healthy also meant that we struggled hard. The cost of housing here was and is and probably will remain to be: horrendous. It is only in the last years that I am realising just how inhibiting housing cost is to ever growing numbers of people. I don't know what is driving the prices up but the average human being does not earn double what they did 10-15-20 years ago, yet their cost of living has easily doubled (again, in many places, I can only generalise using the reference points that I have). HOW are we meant to thrive?

I am honestly bewildered how this can be a functioning economic system. It is throwing me sideways day after day. And yet here we are, still remaining in California and I am ever more unsure what to do. So there really is only ONE single way out: and that is to find a way, fast, to myself become more agile in this economic market and become successful, financially successful not humanly successful because being a good and creative human alone has no value that would pay the cost of living. (Kind of, there is of course the exception that one may get help, but I don't want to count on help as a means for a thriving life)

Maybe I should have used all those countless ideas that I had for new blog & website ideas to channel them into headlines / blog titles / article titles.

Life became fragmented, across oceans , across platforms, across projects, across everything and nothing and maybe that all was too much or maybe that all was inexplicably useful. Yet in all honesty what can be more useful than to be able to afford, financially, to thrive.

It would mean a lot if I could count on your support. What you can do to help people who are trying to turn their life around, without getting all tangled up in the messiness of their lives? Engage with their online content, share it, click the positive buttons, if you can make a Pledge to their patron or Venmo, or to their Paypal or their online shops. Most of all SHARE what they are trying to build. You may not know how important daily, weekly, monthly, regular engagement is. What is engagement? Engagement is all of the above examples and also: commenting positive words (critiques and suggestions are always best for private messages) and subscribing.. Your support makes ALL the difference to all of us who are trying to rebuild our lives.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The year that started silently

After having had January, which I was able to spend in near silence in Finland, hearing rarely a sound: February was tough. No work. Self-employment really can be rough. In March I found some German Language students and made enough to survive. April and May lay ahead and I had thought about visiting Finland as well as Germany for a short visit each, but the bomb explosions in Brussels felt just too close to home. Brussels, that lovely friendly airport! Hard to imagine who would want to harm people there.

Considering that finances are tight I will take the safe option and stay at home, focusing on work instead, on teaching German and Yoga, drawing and preparing a few Fine Art project ideas: ready to strike once I reach San Francisco. Yes California ! I'm coming home... to quote Joni Mitchell!

In June we return to the Richmond area of San Francisco, the very end of the peninsula, where only fog horns sound periodically and aside from that there is barely a sound. What a lovely opportunity to be able to come back!

But we managed to plan ahead even more! January & February will most likely see us returning to Thailand! Maybe even India, but probably just Thailand as travel is hard to afford and we are both keen to learn Thai this time.. I am very excited to be able to see my Thai Massage teachers again, further my education, add some new tricks to my repertoire.. Well and I haven't yet told anybody else, but here you can have a secret:

I am working on ideas to propose to some universities for an art research project / teaching curriculum ...  shhhh (the cat is still int he bag for now)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sometimes it's the little things that make the day good..

It's a good day when after a seriously sleep-disrupted night I find that the market vendor left the seeds in the jackfruit. Finally! I've been trying to get my hands on Jackfruit seeds for way to long.
Sometimes it's the little things that make the day good..
It was a really quiet day even if the following really doesn't sound like it:
My teachers at Massage school distributed serious kindness, meant it and then revealed my bicycle that I had left here 2 years ago! Got to love them! I got to help translate/correct some stuff and felt way better about getting free classes after that. (yes, that's right. No charge because that's the style. And also the only way I could be here in the first place.)
After a week here I finally visited my favourite cafe with garden and a fish pond with giant goldfish (I mean GIANT), it is way out of budget for this journey but that's ok. I'm here to learn and hopefully photograph. Anyhow they remembered me and I got a warm, personal, welcome. I am massively impressed, how did that happen?!
Bonus: today nobody monologued at me about angry issues nor about how they enjoy the local sex options. (yes, people do that to me, frequently ! -- why??? Don't they realise I half wrote a dissertation about the commodification of humans.. - before it got to much and I swapped subjects.)
Right now I can only say it was a quietly good day at last!
And yay, jackfruit seeds! (they can be boiled and I hear they are lovely to eat)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

This post is for Maria in Liverpool - I will keep adding to this for you


I think you feel that going away is a huge gigantic step into the unknown and something about it is perhaps quite scary at this moment. So I will slowly compile a list of links and suggestions of women traveling alone or with family, people reporting from their unusual lives as well as a few practicalities that you could take note of.

I will add more links  to this list below whenever I remember more or stumble on more good connections. I will highlight the key ones in bold for you.

The travel insurance company whom I use, you can always ask me why I prefer them to STA travel or many others:

good resource of all kinds of information on travel in Asia (from vias, visa runs, routes and recommendations for short and longer term stays, both cover information for tourism and some for staying to live, work, volunteer or study) - always check the date of forum posts and be mindful that rules and regulations on visas for example change frequently.
specifically for Thailand and a lot of teaching information:
specifically about India:

A Variety of good Women Travel Writing:

I haven't fully explored this list but found a good blog in the line-up:

For Thailand:
actually this particular blog is for a whole range of countries but the link is to a post about Tiger Sanctuaries and everybody should take note and consider before going on elephant rides, snuggling with tigers, visiting human zoos... It is all ok, but be mindful that the place you visit REALLY is acting in the interest of it's inhabitants or else we perpetuate abuse.

Volunteering possibilities that benefit but don't require competing with native English speakers: (I think this is a fantastic program, haven't tried it myself, always search for reviews and have back-up plan ideas, too)  A friend used WorkAway for about 18 months of time spent in France.
I have not checked MOST of the links provided in this list but Workaway & Wwoof are both represented as are about 20 more:

one of the oldest blogs about visiting Mysore for Ashtanga Yoga (I include this because it is a little piece of history):
A more recent blog about Mysore and Yoga and how it all works, written by a woman, I refer to this from time to time. Keep an eye on her other recommendations, she might recommend links and blogs and resources.:

In fact here is a major long list of Mysore Ashtanga Blogs (I obviously have NOT checked them all out, so use your own judgement about what's worth spending time researching there, some VERY good blogs among this list):

links that I have NOT yet checked out, so I am not recommending them but sharing them for your own investigations:

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bear with my inconsistent appearances...

I haven't been writing much on this blog and I don't know at this moment of writing how up to date the tabs at the top are or the countless links that you can see to the right of the text body.

Bear with me, I am overwhelmed with too many open-ended blog-projects (with this being the oldest one and I thought this would be the best place for the next post, which will be for Maria), too much life-uncertainty, too many life options even and not enough resources to grasp the options that lay in front of me. This leaves me very frustrated and almost tearful as I have to say 'No thank you' to so many good things that I might never have the opportunity again to touch, join, work with or learn from. Right now is perhaps the most uncertain time that I have ever experienced and the time in which I feel most powerless of any time in my life.

However I am not entirely despondent either, instead I sit and watch everything that passes me by and wonder how to actually see the silver lining to this situation, how to make something of it without missing it's possibilities entirely. Maybe we can't always have everything and have to find the treasure in a fraction of a thing. I have some ideas about this but this ultimately is material for another post of thoughts.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My American Workpermit came in the Post - I am ready to launch

So as you can see I am at last fully international, legally permitted to work anywhere in Europe, England and America. Perfect. The Green Card interview is scheduled for the coming Monday and we are looking forward to it. After that it will be a little longer before I get the full Green Card, but in the meantime I have both a work permit and a travel permit, which apparently is very unusual.

Normally travel permits come as part of the Green Card and it is less common for people to be allowed to travel while the Green card application process is still pending.

The photograph is of my friend Noungh in Cambodia, standing on top of the small boat that we took to spend a day together around the Floating village and Flooded Forest. We caught snails that day and Noungh's contacts cooked them for everybody. I as a vegetarian had a hard time with that and didn't eat these, but there were plenty of other tasty snacks available for us. We had a feast of Cambodian delicacies.

I post this photograph of Noungh here because she appears so celebratory and victorious as she stands atop the roof of our boat, at sunset on lake Tonle Sap. And while only knowing her for a short intensive time I think her victories are fragile and for that reason ought to be celebrated all the more.

My mind wanders to the dreams yet unrealized by myself and those whom I have met around the world. These days everybody is a traveler, or it appears that way when I open up the internet and open any of many endless blogs. What I valued on my journeys were the extended periods of stay in places where most people fly in and out of with only a few days sandwiched between. So I think of those dreams, and also wonder about their shelf life.. I am nearing 40, I am! And need to explore what the real dreams are, it is so easy to get tangled in attempting to fit into the more 'normal' realm of social norms. And there is actually no guarantee that this would yield in any way greater success..

Bear with me as I try and figure it out, as I try and map my way around too many life options as opposed to maybe to few as it might have been the case (in some cases I know it was) for some of my friends, whom I found along the way in Cambodia, Thailand and India in particular.

For now I am getting ready to take some fresh photographs of Jason doing Yoga & Tai Chi for his portfolio and of the Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco at the end of the month. 

In fact let me be wild for a moment and share a possible plan with you: I found a 7 month long Massage Program in Hawaii / Kauai for approximately $7500; totaling 700 hours of training. I had never ever considered Kauai but now I think: why not? It sounds like the perfect healing and learning experience! The teacher and director of the program, Lee Joseph, has been teaching for 30 years and the way the courses are described they sounds positively grounding. The price is amazing, of course I don't know what being in Kauai would be like, at all... NO idea. 

Photographing and Massaging as a life practice.. Perhaps a reality?
Don't even ask how I think that I could fit Academic plans into this.. I just don't know.

Friday, June 13, 2014

We are house sitting in San Francisco

So it is official: since Tuesday we are house sitting and looking after one lovely dog and two super soft cats, right in San Francisco.

The animals need special attention and a certain amount of company which is why we have the opportunity to swap pet care (and basic home care) for a month of fe accommodation somewhere not far from Golden Gate Park, the Golden Gate Bridge and even a glorious beach. It is quite a commitment that we took on, acting for animals can be a bit like caring for children, in as far as you really can't casually neglect them because you would like to go and follow some impromptu plans instead.

So our lives for the next four weeks will be planned very much around the animal needs. It's good practice for thinking about having pets again ourselves in the future ( or even small humans). So far the dog is the impersonification of well behaved and the cats, well we have a hard time stopping cuddling them, they are easily the most relaxed and welcome cats we have ever met.

Friday, May 16, 2014

I re-emerge from the wormhole

What happened there! I made no posts for 6 months. Well..

I am working on getting a new batch of business cards printed ready in time for what I hope will be the arrival of my American Green Card sometime soon. It's tricky knowing when to begin advertising but if I don't do it about 4-8 weeks before my work permit comes then I will lose time when it finally gets here. (if it ever will)

I use Moo Cards because I like them. There should be a 10% discount link to the right in my wide selection of favoured links.. Check them out. They are a bit pricy but I have found the quality really good (they print a little darker than your screen might show you) and the service so far (6 years and counting) very responsive. By all means carry on photocopying your cards though, in the end we all know that nobody, except your mum, ever looks at your card to look up your number or email address anyway..

So here I am: in California, Jason pays for everything, I can't get my wordpress website to look even remotely professional, my photo portfolio site is a mess and I do need all that to start coming together a bit more if I want to ever start selling. You would think a woman approaching 40 would have it figured out by now.. No, not so..

I really wouldn't mind returning to depressing England and getting some work so I can stand on my own feet a bit more but at the same time I am hatching these crazy ideas about re-inventing the wheel and make a living photographing on the road, making friends and connections, sharing massage treatments and small yoga classes, writing for food journals and photographing anything from yogis to raw vegan cakes, social documentary to special events in the lives of well earning humans..

So here is the not so perfect photo portfolio website that I am working on:

I appreciate any feedback you are happy to share. But bear in mind that the website is somewhat out of my control, I just appear to not have any say in spacing between sections for example and lots of design issues have a mind of their own.

If you like anything: please buy it.
Seriously: it would be a big help.

Especially if you are not in America. It is better for me if my customers are from anywhere else until my Green Card arrives. But what the hell, I can't stop you, can I?


Friday, September 27, 2013

Over 7 seas goes to market this Sunday !

NEWS: I will be at the Lark Lane Fleamarket this Sunday between 11:00 and 15:00. Hopefully selling a suitcase full of handmade scarves. Craft and handmade prices, but priced in poor wool lover's & surviving artist's categories... I won't be here in November so this is a great chance to stash a few presents for friends and family and yourself!
preview items here:

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Archive of Drawings

Drawings that have previously been listed on Ebay are archived here:

Not all have sold. #37 for example is still here in my storage box...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Stockpiling my own Art work while my bank account is so empty that it is forming a vacuum ..

Sometimes I wonder if I should call myself an Artist or rather an Art Hoarder... I have just spent another 2 hours looking through my architect's plan chests of draws  and am a little surprised by just how much Art work I have stashed away. Did I think that it would breed and turn into money by itself? I am really surprised. Why didn't I sell all this work before?

And I don't quite understand what I was thinking all this time. I have worked so hard on big Art projects and have spent endless hours drawing huge numbers of drawings. A lot of this is process work, which means drawings that were made and lead to a project and where the drawing wasn't originally intended to be the project. However there are a lot of drawings that WERE intended to be the project and while I love some of them so much that I just can't imagine selling them there are also many very, very good drawings that are worth a lot and that shouldn't still be in my chests, stored for the days that will never come.

So Tomorrow morning I will begin photographing them and listing them. I have already made stacks of drawings to sell, to finish and to keep (very few for sentimental reasons)
I estimate that most of them are worth a minimum of £25 to £75 each.

I already started photographing drawings of flowers that are more beautiful and less kitsch than you might think hearing the words "flower drawings".. I have previously sold a set of 20 of these for £50 each! Yes indeed.. So I am now in a dilemma of 'should I lower the price or try my luck at this price'.. ? Ultimately I just wish to clear my Art Studio and make space. I will mix my favorite drawings into the batches that I will list on Ebay and Etsy in the coming 10 days.

My target is to list a minimum of 20-25 per day. And then call some press to ask them to cover this Studio Clearance Sale. .. 

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Guided Meditation: Finding Equillibrium

I have found this quite useful and effective while feeling like life is a small boat sailing without compass or map to the stars on a rather wild and angry, stormy ocean..

It is a bit of a struggle keeping the momentum to produce enough and good enough drawings for my Ebay action and not feeling too disappointed when only the drawings I worked on for over an hour sell - often for just £1 or £2, for an hour's work or more. And it is hard to stay positive when things are trying.

I feel really stripped back by life's circumstances at the moment and am not carrying myself through this experience with the grace that I would like to. Slumping in a ball of tears is not my idea of grace.

But what about the positives?
Well I am pretty healthy for starters. I am being loved, too. Now these two are rather amazing in themselves. Also I have a feeling that this intensely unsatisfying and trying time in my life, which is stripping me back to bare bones might turn out to be somewhat akin to a forest fire. After which everything will grow with fresh exuberance. Maybe it needs a forest fire to begin a new life.

For now I am holding on to the old life despite it shedding around me like the skin of a ghecko in skin-changing season..

It is all so familiar.. Not the right fit anymore but do I dare let go? Kicking and screaming life changes me. I think just maybe for the better. Who will I become when the new skin grows? I don't know, I can't even imagine. I hope something very good.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Preparing Drawings to Post

Last Import-6 by Birgit Deubner
Last Import-6, a photo by Birgit Deubner on Flickr.
This process always takes much, much longer than I make allowances for. Cutting the mount card, finding the right photo corners (a 3 hour mission of cycling around the city yesterday was needed before I got lucky), then the packaging: Why does it take 60-80 minutes to wrap 4 packages? I really need to find a better way because this is eating into my making drawings time and I can't imagine how I can keep on top of punctual postage if I was to offer all my drawings for sale at once.. It's like keeping a box of ants and fleas under control.

I have a new plan, which is to list half of my drawings from this still ongoing series on ebay and make the other half available on Etsy. It is a way of allowing people to buy 'now' instead of waiting for the ebay bids to conclude and at the same time will help me get feedback on Etsy, I hope.

I really love Ebay. It has been fantastic to get such a positive response from Ebay bidders and buyers.

If you are reading this and would like a drawing, too then just click on the tab on the top right {100 drawings sale} or follow one of my Etsy tabs and see what I have there. (You can reach my Etsy shops by clicking on the tabs on the top left).

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Quantities and Qualities

It's just the sheer quantities that get me all the time..
This is very simply and almost beautifully filmed. No lecturing, no gore, no sensationalism, just a document of chicken, beef, piggy to tummy...
Thought provoking I think.
I imagine that most of us have food spoils from time to time (or shockingly weekly). Just stopping our own waste of food, any food, including vegetables, that alone would make things so MUCh easier on our ecosystem (and wallets and bodies)

I know some of you waste food, I've seen it.
Couldn't we begin at that place to make a change?
I also know that you all speak or think about positive changes, too.

Let's do it them.
I'll race you to the finish line. xxx

ready, steady, go... !

La surconsommation from Lasurconsommation on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Back to the Drawing Board

I am back from a few days of very reduced activity, while I was seeing of J (who returned to blowing glass in California).

I finally launched into productivity over the past 2 hours and listed a new drawing on Ebay for the Penny Drawings Sale where I try and list at least one drawing per day starting with #1 at 1 penny and increasing the price per listing by an additional penny. I am at last up to drawing #61 and just noticed how one of the items has attracted quite a few bids.

It is such a nice compliment when complete strangers bid on something that I have made. Of course I have sold photographs as well as drawings anywhere between £150 - £850 but those sales overall didn't match my production costs. So while it sounds glamorous it still left me with a loss. (That never fails to puzzle me... I also wonder how does one keep buyers coming? At that price range?)

Anyhow what I find very special about the Ebay buyers is that they could be absolutely anybody. Over the past days I had a little time to think about this and I realized that the Ebay buyers are actually the audience that I originally was most interested in when I decided to move into the arts. I had this idealistic optimism and wanted to make Art for People. I didn't want to 'dumb' anything down, nor did I want to pander to demand either (not along the line of the media ratings system anyway) but I did want to create situations. Art works, performances and drawings that had complexity, validity and value without alienating Jane Doe or Joe Blogs, whoever they may be...

But I had  to admit that the Ebay action is taking an extraordinary amount of my time and I can't tell if people appreciate it when they receive something that I may have spent 15 or 60 minutes making. (I am trying ahrd to avoid listing anything more precious than works that I made in or under around an hour.) So when somebody receives a drawing that I really did spend 60 minutes on then I hope they understand that the item is hand made , that imperfection is part of the very nature of Art, that what I send I sent the best I could and made the best I could within the limitations of time and investment.

For example: The sturdy card that I send with most drawings to protect the drawings would often cost me more than the money the ebay bidder spent on their drawing in the first place.. I happen to have a lot of card in stock.. Should I really spend it on this project that will make me an average of 50 pence per hour income...? Probably not..

But mad as I am I am persevering and hope that I will be able to keep on top of posting the drawings in a timely fashion over the coming days.. It would really upset me if I got a bad feedback for the efforts.. So I am continuously nervous, keeping an eye on the feedbacks...

I hope it all goes smoothly.

I would like to list my little men paintings on ebay, too and see if I can get £35 for them. I just really doubt it, but they have sold for £75 in the past and it would seem plain crazy to sell for less than half price now.. wouldn't it??? 

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Get ready for when the sun goes on holiday!

Hi everybody, here a new video showing you some of my crochet neckwarmers and cowls. Yum. 
Get ready for when the sun goes on holiday!

Thursday, August 01, 2013

New fun project: Penny Drawings Sale

img643 by Birgit Deubner
img643, a photo by Birgit Deubner on Flickr.

As promised yesterday on my blog 'Surplus Possessions Sales" I have now started to list the first penny drawings on Ebay. In order to get going to a good start I went wild and listed a whole 17 of them.

This means that you can buy original drawings for 1 penny to 17 pence on Ebay.

The idea is that with each subsequent drawing that I list I will add a penny to the cost. I would love it if you took a look and let me know what you think.

(I haven't had time yet to make new listings over in Etsy, but you can drop by anyway and take a look at what is already there. Some real bargains, too!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Considering real changes - boring post

yesterday was my birthday, I had a tantrum that turned out to have been a particularly noticeable side effect of PMT, broke an expensive, barely 2 year old, porcelain crown and enjoyed some delicious food prepared by the person who represents permanent sunshine in my life and whose presence polishes my soul when it oxidizes.

I mistook the cracking of the crown as a split tooth and pictured yesterday as the milestone marker for the decay of my soon to be toothless mouth. Luckily my dentist isn't in his profession solely for the money and told me that all is not lost and that I qualify for a free replacement. Hurrah to that. Kind of.

It's a funny time when birthdays remind us of the speedy passing of time and life. And once past 30 a birthday just isn't filled with the same anticipation of things to come. This could just be me. But if I am honest with you I fear the passing of life but have spent the past 4 years often waiting for time to pass so that I could be in this place or that place; while dismissing the place that I actually was at..

It can be tricky to maximize one's potential and engagement in places that one intends to only pass through. But unless I manage to do this better I will miss a lot of valuable time and I suspect a lot of joy, too.

Here are some life plans for the coming year:
- more (a LOT more) crochet projects - I live onwards with the dream that a huge big Wintersale will come and line my treasure trunks with golden coins...
- more photography and more captializing on the photography
- more art - more selling
- more yoga and Thai Massage practicing
- filming and photographing a set of recipe and life tips for friends and family. For fun and if the project is any good for a little blog, too.
- taming my wild blogging explosion (I don't even know how many live blogs I have right now! + 2 website domains that I pay for!)

- beginning a second postgraduate degree, ideally soon, but I haven't been good in beginning.
Wouldn't you think that if I really wanted to begin something that I would just do it?

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

more travel is on the horizon... / my improvised life

... I know I should be delighted but somehow I just want to stay at home and not go anywhere.. At the same time I know that the place that I am in will not be the place that will let me spread my wings and wing spreading is beginning to take on a crucial and urgent importance.. I feel like I have long been pushed off the edge of a high cliff and MUST make a point of opening those wings lest I wish to land uncomfortably on hard ground..

The comforts or being in a place where people know my face from almost two decades of living my improvised life..  Having a history is soothing. People remembering my name and face makes me feel at home. To most people this likely is normal, to me it is extraordinary. But .. yes there always is a but...

My but involves the calling of dreams and far away places but also the necessary manouvering and relocating to be with my partner who needs to return to San Francisco. America and it's GM foods.. A woman of many principles is finding this a hard decision.

Have you ever tried to leave behind your library of books? Your kitchen (I love food), your comfortable 100% cotton bedding? You will appreciate these things beyond bounds once you have spent months or years missing them.. The main glitch is that the city that houses my comforts distinctly does not house the culture and opportunities that the rest of me needs.

Where next?! Will I join my soulshine and fly to San Francisco? I am distinctly past my mid-30's now, will I manage to make a life for myself that offers security in the future? I am beginning to sweat a little.

While contemplating the location of my bookshelf and the option of earthquake prone San Francisco I am also beginning to stretch out my feelers for a potential Phd. I have an idea now of how to proceed to try and change paths from Fine Art Focus to possibly Sociology. The route may take me via religion, ritual and dance.. Bear with me here or visit my Artist blog over on
I will try and formulate my thoughts over the coming months..

Leading a uniquely individual life is a challenge sometimes... maybe it is not entirely unlike being an explorer and I do enjoy reading about those early day women travelers who made their way across deserts and mountains, far away places..... 

Thursday, July 04, 2013

over7seas goes to the craft market ...

over7seas_DSC_1818 by Birgit Deubner
over7seas_DSC_1818, a photo by Birgit Deubner on Flickr.
I have reopened my etsy shop and am continuing selling my handmade crochet items. I am soon adding photographs from places near and far (both as small prints and some digital downloads, too - yay!).

There is even a money saving code... If you find the coupon code box and type
'friendspayless' then you can save 20% until the end of July!

See you over at Etsy soon. xxx

p.s. I will be at Camp and Furnace in Liverpool this weekend, to sell some crochet items and photographic prints, come on by if you have time.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Living in Italy

The time in Italy is nearing it's end and it was a mixed bag of personal matters and external influences. When we first arrived the choice of fruit in the supermarket wasn't all that great, but as the summer neared the variety expanded. I love the things that appear on the shelves, apricots so small that they are barely bigger than a large cherry, and so, so tasty. A cactus fruit of which I still don't know the name, the range of tomatoes (some so sweet you feel like they are fruit), the misshapen and large peppers, the boxes of small mildly spicy peppers, the way that mushrooms here are sold with roots still attached, keeping them fresher... everything feels more alive and more natural here than in the general supermarkets back in England.

I miss the choice of vegan friendly products that I know from London and in limited range also in Liverpool. Ultimately nothing beats the organic supermarket in San Francisco. But when I think of the foods that I have had the opportunity to eat in the past year, the mango and mini bananas in Thailand, the freshness of the vegetables and fruit from the markets there, the amazing range of delicious oranges in San Francisco, the coffees, the vegetables here, the nuts there, the dates in San Francisco, the coconuts, the melons... Each place has had a richness to offer. It is hard to select the best place for food. I think San Francisco allowed for the widest variety in diet, while Italy strikes me as probably the most natural and the freshest and in season, yet frustrating when the season is taking it's time to arrive.

If it was for food where would I live?
My vote would actually be with San Francisco - IF I could be certain that GMO products could be completely avoided. Unfortunately GM is such a huge business you just can't tell for certain if it will be possible to evade them entirely. Just think of groundwater affected and one way or another I can not imagine that one can get away from GM if one lived in America. What do you think?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

From the outer journeys back to the inner ones / Rebooting life, starting as fresh and as nutritious as possible

I have just experienced renewed problems with my joints, with my left bog toe joint being inflamed and swollen, painful even when I don't step on it. Is it arthritis? So I want to track my foods and their cost and the logistics of being on a limited diet for the next weeks. This comes just as I am about to set off for Italy to teach English for a couple of months.

This means that I won't have my Omega 8004 juicer with me or my citrus press, But I think I will buy a citrus press, it is just so handy to speed squeeze lemons and limes and with this inflammation the alkalizing effect of these citrus fruits will really be helpful. I will be without my little library of useful books that I usually like to consult when I feel out of sorts.

It is really worrying that my joints flared up again, but not surprising. I have just spent 5 weeks in the most polluted environment that I have ever voluntarily subjected myself to. Each breath was a reminder of what toxins taste like. Never will I ever allow my body to be subjected to smog. I should have drawn my conclusions and left but the reasons for staying are for another blog post.

For now I just wanted to announce that some of my joints are in pain and that I want to do this properly this time. 'This' being a real adaptation of diet and lifestyle, with clarity and precision. This time I would like to get behind the curtains to learn why exactly my body is so weak. Is the food I eat becoming poorer in quality or is my immune system losing strength? Probably it is a combined matter, but while I know this makes me sound like a nut, I need to get to the bottom of this and source food that maintains a high nutrient content to support my body, which is clearly overladen with the negative environmental impact of the smog filled city that I have just spent 5 weeks in.

Points that I would like to keep an eye on
- cost / how to finance a healthy lifestyle
- nutrient content
- noticeable benefits
- how to choose healthy while not at home (in transit, in commute, on a journey)
- discipline / is it difficult to have the discipline to chose what my body needs to heal and stay healthy?
- discipline / general lifestyle changes, are they going to be hard to maintain? Will I manage to self-practice Yoga several times a week and remember to find the focus to meditate? (When I know how supportive these practices are to my body!)

- does all this have to become my life or can it be a supporting element in my life?
- do I have to give up life content to make time and room for complicated food sourcing and preparing strategies?

I am starting a video blog to keep track of myself and how it will all work. It is far from professional, but if you would like to check in then you can do it here: