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Aannsha’s Blog #24 – Arty finds, new friends and dirty laundry

I found my arty supplies!

Last week I wrote about my failed attempt to find a shop near San Pedro del Pinatar that sells fine art materials. Just before uploading that blog, I did a wider search on Google and came up with one shop in Murcia City itself that promised to be the art shop of my dreams. After the previous results though, I wasn’t going to hold my breath.

I did hold my breath.

After driving for about 45 minutes to Murcia and finding the CC Nueva Condomina (amazing shopping mall), I headed in at a fast pace, then had to stop and find my bearings. This shopping centre was huge and I had to look for Shop 39 which was on the lower floor. Reaching the end of one side of the ‘Baja’ floor, as I turned a corner, I took a deep breath … held it unconsciously hoping not to be disappointed again … walked some more and yelped out “I’ve found it!”

I practically ran to the shop with Baz keeping up, aiming the video camera on me, then zooming onto the shop front window. It was immediately evident that we’d arrived at a place that would fill my artistic dreams and provide me with the paints, brushes and other materials I was looking for.

Cobalto Art Centre

My relationship with the camera

About the camera. I love taking photos and editing them for our Instagram page. Colours, shapes, design. It’s artistic! I’m also happy to have my own photo taken (I lost my fear of that years ago), and I am quite at ease in front of the video camera when we’re filming; when I’m concentrating on what I’m going to say, I don’t have time to think about anyone who may be watching.

Instagram pics

The thing that I’m still a bit self-conscious about though is walking around the streets, through malls, and into shops, holding the video camera plus the big fluffy dead cat that captures sound yet muffles the wind. Some passers-by don’t notice us. Others are curious. Others show a mixture of anxiety, concern or annoyance on their faces when they see the camera setup. I have no real idea what they’re thinking, but it makes me uneasy. I don’t mind so much if Baz is carrying the thing – it doesn’t bother him at all - he seems immune to anyone else’s reactions. But I still feel myself shrink a little when I walk around brandishing the thing!

It isn’t about wanting privacy for myself – I’m very glad to open up my life (well most of it *wink*) to share with you on YouTube. I love that Baz and I can bring people in on our adventures through the magic of video! It’s great to think we may even be inspiring others to follow their own dreams. I also appreciate the curious turn of events that have brought me to this part of my life where coincidentally I’m fulfilling a childhood wish to become an actress! I know it’s not the same as doing the hard craft of real movie making, but my inner child is happy enough with ‘starring’ in her own vlogs!

It is more about feeling awkward that people may be feeling uncomfortable about being filmed in the background, or that others are judging us for what we’re doing. But hey, that’s pretty much of a FWP (first world problem) isn’t it? I mean, here I am, typing this blog on our boat that we live on. Yesterday’s dream has become today’s reality. I’m still getting my head around that! Yes, there was a lot of hard graft to get from then to now, but if a part of my new ‘job’ is feeling a tad self-conscious as I show others that it’s possible to live an adventuresome life, then I reckon I can suck that up, build a bridge and get over myself!


" Note to self: Feeling awkward comes from a fear based mindset. Remember to focus on being grateful about being able to do what you’re doing, and there won’t be any room for discomfort. "


Shifting from awkward to awestruck

I didn’t feel self-conscious when I was walking around the art shop though.

Oh no.

I was way too busy sucking in lung-fulls of air in delight at the awesome stock - and typing questions into Google Translate so the helpful Spanish assistant and I could hone in on the supplies I was after. You do have to type the correct term into Google Translate (GT) to have it work for you though. I typed in “I have left my home in Australia to live here and have no art materials left” and it translated ‘left’ as ‘izquierda’ as in ‘turn left’. The assistant looked at me blankly. I realised the error (thanks to my sketchy Spanish) and retyped the sentence using ‘sold’ instead of ‘left’. That worked and we were soon having a lively GT conversation as she produced paints, brushes and pens for me to choose from. It was great! I hardly noticed Baz filming some b-roll and quietly exiting the shop to wait for me outside.

Baz had to suffer my effusive bubbling conversation all the way home!

It was also a relief to find that all of my art and craft materials fit into the locker in my Princess Suite. I will have to commandeer another locker that I can use to store my finished items until they go to new homes, and that will probably be one behind the saloon seating. My main factor for choosing that will be that it is a dry space.

For now, I’m dreaming up creative projects to make, and I will video them to share with others.

Editing my first proper video

I did edit a video of my search for art supplies. It was another creative step for me. I’m used to filming crafting tutorials in one shot, basically showing my hands making something. This one meant putting different sequences together to make a watchable video. I’ve been learning from Baz and taking notes from Luke about the best way to film and edit, so I put in my all and have made a fairly decent video! If you’d like to watch ‘Buying Art Supplies in Spain', head over to my YouTube channel and you’ll find it there. As always, your comments, thumbs up and shares do make a big difference.

Our first boatie friends

After one shopping trip, Baz and I were returning to our boat all loaded up with purchases, when one of the boat owners called out asking us where we’d been shopping. Pretty soon, we were chatting and after stowing our frozen goods in the freezer, we returned to talk some more, during which time Pauline and Allan – a retired couple - invited us for ‘sundowners’ at 6pm that evening. We had a lovely time and invited them back to our boat the next evening. Not only did we share several glasses of red wine and snacks along with lively conversation, but they were very generous with what they shared with us.

Meeting up with Pauline and Allan

Allan who is a retired doctor, gave us one of his two EpiPens as an emergency treatment in case Baz gets anaphylactic shock from inadvertently eating fresh prawns. Barry’s usual fix is to take an antihistamine half an hour before eating them. My darling husband lives on the edge and won’t pass by an opportunity to taste his favourite food if he can alleviate the effects! I was very grateful to Allan for his donation of a genuine life saver (that hopefully we won’t need).

They also gave us some paper charts for the south of France, where we’re headed once we leave Spain, and a lovely bottle of bubbly for when we make our first anchorage! They also generously shared boating information as they’ve been sailing for 16 years. I’ve learned that Pauline washes her running rigging every six months in the washing machine with a little fabric softener in the rinse to keep the ropes supple. Allan has a marvellous contraption to lift a man overboard out of the water that can be operated with one hand. We did a Google search for it and it seems the company is sadly not around anymore, but Allan said once they sell their yacht (to exchange for a power boat which will be easier for them as they’re getting older), he will give us his as it needs shrouds (steel wires that hold up the mast) to be fixed to and their new boat won’t have those. That is so very kind of them.

We learned many handy tips from this delightful couple, and we’ll definitely be keeping in touch now that they’ve left the marina heading for Cartagena. We wish them happy travels.

What we do with our dirty laundry

It costs 8 Euros to do washing at the marina. Five for the wash which includes laundry liquid and three for half an hour’s drying time. We had a huge load that needed washing at the beginning of the week and I scrounged together the change I needed for the machines – oh dear, I had to have a cortado (small Spanish coffee) to get the final three Euros change! The things you do for the team! After half an hour of drying, some of the clothes were still a bit damp, and not having any more change on me, I did what I’ve seen others do – hung it out on the guard rails of A B Sea. I wasn’t sure if it was ‘allowed’ in the marina, but no-one told us to take them down, so I had dry washing by the afternoon.

Not always having 8 Euros in change to hand, especially now we don’t have the hire car to go shopping, I’ve decided to take the advice of several other boaties that I’ve watched on YouTube, and wash small things in the shower each morning. A bit of soap, maybe some shampoo, a good rinse and hard hand squeeze, and my undies and t-shirts are clean! I got myself a little round plastic hanging line with pegs attached, which is great for small items and I can hand them unobtrusively under the bimini (shade).

Along with adapting our washing routine, I’ve found that we’re adapting other schedules to fit in with our new lifestyle. In the morning we go to the shower block, sometimes have breakfast, then we spend the morning on our computers. We have late lunch and do chores around the boat. Then have a walk around the marina. Before we know it, it’s dinner time and after that, we retire to the Princess Suite/Media Room. Baz has written about his little but drastic mishap with the video storage, so I won’t repeat it here. Suffice it to say, I’m glad we’ve got books to read.

Well, it’s time to make lunch. It’s 12.50pm already! I can’t believe how fast time flies by here. So until next time, which will be here in the blink of an eye, travel well and may your laundry be dry, clean and fresh!

Laundry day on the boat!

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