Thursday, 8 November 2018


I am trying to do away with it but it has a way of coming back at me from avenues other than the ones I declutter!!

I realised this last weekend when I ended up making one long car trip simply to pick up the parcel full of photos that I'd ordered online from the Post Office in the next town. Yes, I am a Minimalist who gets photos printed out. I am nowhere close to obsessed with photos. In fact, as with everything else in my life, I am actually extremely selective. But I do need to see them in my hands, put them in an album maybe too, and be able to gaze at them lovingly. Just a couple weeks back I wrote an article about my photos which you can check out here:

Since I now actually put them in the album and wrote down dates and short snippets of into about the particular photos, I started thinking of how much I'd love my son to have and read and look through the album eventually too. Once I saw the result of my trip to the Post Office, I have come to believe it was worth it. However as I said it got me thinking. Uploading, cropping and resizing, choosing photo sizes and finishes took time as did the eventual trip to pick them up. That is not counting the money I paid for them and the time spent looking up what date had which photo been taken on (thank you FB for that!) and to put them all in order and write down the corresponding titbits of info. So every item that enters our life, as per the Minimalist creed, will take your time and money, both of which could be used for something else. With this in mind, as well as my problem with facing any kind of clutter, I hope to still hold onto and develop my photos but at the slow rate I been going at up to now. No need for the albums to pile up. One and a half years of photos (this is my post-marital-split new start album) and I filled only maybe one third of it as yet.

On to another source of acquired junk, I have decided to take up collaging again. I used to love it when I was very small and remained fascinated by it as I grew up and discovered my childhood lonely hobby was actually something big and money-making in the adult world. Professional artists like Lisa Falzon and Luciano Micallef have managed to seamlessly incorporate it into their professional work in a way that makes me want to try it out. The thought came to me as I flipped through my lately-acquired copy of Ideal Home, which I preferred to cut out pictures from than actually read. This revelation taught me two things. Firstly, I have got to that saturation point whereby buying more articles about home decorating will not help me achieve anything new at this point. On the other hand, it showed me just how many ways the photos inside the magazine could be used for creating awesome collages and even backgrounds to them. This had me rushing to the charity shop at the first chance in order to buy a load of outdated similar magazines simply to cut out pictures from. Again, time and money were spent (albeit little of both) in order to get more 'stuff' into my life. However the end justifies the means in this case as being a very creative self who thrives on creating art in all its forms, the couple of euro and small pile of 'junk' will serve me well and are worth the trouble. This is very much the same way that I view books, whereby I don't mind paying to buy them (I hate ebooks) but then allow myself to sell them or at times even give them away for free once I am done with them. I see the cost as a payment for the experience of reading rather than to acquire a thing. Back to my collaging experiments, I am usually either very slow or very fast in completing artwork. When I have any decent completed collages I will definitely share on here with my readers.

Thankfully my hobbies and wants are quite small in size (my one and only current album will take years to fill up at this rate!) and at times even temporary (I will be throwing the second-hand magazines in the recycling garbage bag once I am done cutting up their insides). However size does not matter when something means a lot to you so I will never stop reading, making art or developing photos of my most heartfelt memories simply to conform to the most extreme kind of Minimalism. That said, I am a good guardian as a rule of what I allow to come into my life in terms of stuff and will always remain selective of what I allow to fill up my time and home.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Broadway Villains - this 8th November

From the actors that brought you the likes of Belliegha Rockin’ The Underworld and Laugh? I nearly went to Miami! comes their latest - Broadway Villains - a show as gripping as it sounds. On the 8th of November, eight performers and an accompanist will rustle up a night of absolutely magical music and mischief as the villains from Broadway take centre stage amid cocktails and song.

Happening at The Thirsty Barber, this is a show with limited seating so hurry up and dial 99996608 for tickets at only EUR10 including a glass of wine or prosecco on entry. Seating is on a first come first serve basis.

The performers of this fabulous show are the following talented bunch:

Julia Cini
Neil Grech
Chrissy Warrington
Michela Agius
Yandrick Agius
Thomas Grixti
Matthew Cassar
Amy Caruana Dingli

accompanied live by Elaine Mercieca on the piano

Friday, 26 October 2018

Photos, Changing Relationships and an OCD Dilemma!

When something ‘big’ ends in our life, we usually replace it with something of the same importance or maybe at least try to substitute it with something we believe could possibly take its place.
Maybe that is why as my relationship of seventeen and a half years came to its slow yet sudden death last year, my friends, previously relegated to the background, came to the fore of a new adult life that was even lonelier than that of my married-but-always-alone self.

For the first few months I happily collected photos from trips to the bar, restaurant or even simply a snapshot taken at work to send on as a happy birthday to a missing colleague. I held onto the digital version of these pictures with an almost reverence and proceeded to develop them in order to place in an album pertaining to the ‘new’ me, plus friends.

With an ever increasing amount of photos and still no album, I proceeded to fantasise about anything from a scrapbook kind of book to paste them in to a vintage-style cord and pegs to hang them by. Eventually I found to buy an album that felt ‘just right’ but didn’t slip my photos into it for never having time.

Meanwhile, a boyfriend became an ex and I debated between still adding our photos to the album else saving them in my treasure box with memories old and new. I even toyed with the idea of developing the rest of the photos of us together else tearing up the ones I did have a hard copy of. In the end, I couldn’t get myself to do this last but am yet to get the rest of them printed out, though I eventually will, that I know.

Where am I going with this? My boyfriend was unfortunately not the only person to become an ex in my life this past year. In fact, I call him an ‘ex’ due to the nature of our relationship which is now no more yet I am still content with this person’s presence in my life to date and am so so glad that following the heartache I have come out the other side of the pain with the photos of us still intact.

In other cases I was not so lucky and people I would previously have gone out of my way for and treasured greatly suddenly left my life, leaving only the photos to remind me of good times. In some cases, I have made peace with the way things ended up and so still would like a reminder of the ‘times gone by’ in my album. That said, some relationships end too badly to even contemplate leaving said friends’ faces in my album.

I have been collecting these photos now for over a year, still all of them tucked in a pile and none of them actually making it into the album. I have arranged them according to historical timeline and contemplated more than once starting to put them in the plastic slips inside their eventual home. With the excuse that I need to develop some that should go in between others, should it be an album about ‘me’ else also incorporate those pics of my son, as well as the eternal to-put-or-not-to-put in the ones of myself with said ex boyfriend/now close friend, I am yet to start on project put-photos-in-their-place.
So back to my previous comment about a friendship ending so badly I must now remove photos of myself with this particular ex-friend, how will my album fare considering that I will keep pulling out photos and stuffing others in, whilst maintaining my OCD historical order intact, which will require me to reorganise the whole album after every friend break-up? (I have come to expect them considering the frequency with which they happened this past year after all! Read my other article Goodbye Toxic Friendships for more about this.)

I rather think my kitsch idea of stringing the photos along the wall behind my desk else pinning them on a cork board with my new trendy gold pins is preferable to the much more unchanging nature of an album after all.