Good day to you!

My word, what a glorious day it is out there! Glittery seas and sunkissed waves!

Tonight, I’m giving the first in a series of informal and fun presentations at East Dene Coach House. It’s about the history of the accordion and it’s music and useage – recently I’ve seen videos of people whizzing them around their bodies and heads and the sound is pretty amazing. . . (please don’t do that in your own front room unless you have neighbours overstaying their welcome. . .)

Then tomorrow I’m hosting my first Creative Accordion Day at East Dene – all the details are below and I’m delighted with the interest it has caused on this southerly tip of the islands of Britain. So much so that the second is going to be here (East Dene) on Sunday 18th May when I’ll be joined by the amazing Karen Street who is a top piano accordionist / composer and teacher in her own right. She plays a freebass piano accordion (and is also a saxophone player!) and specializes in classical, jazz and composition and arrangement. That weekend, myself, Karen and local accordionist / tuner and repairer, Alan Young will be hosting a grand accordion night here on the beloved Isle of Wight (Friday 16th May) as part of the series of fundraising concerts for UKAAT (The UK Association of Accordion Teachers) – more about that soon and what UKAAT has planned – if you’d like to join / get more info please write to them at:

. . . and you don’t need to be a teacher; just interested in accordions and their future in this country. . .

Meantime, there’s all sorts of great things happening over here – and a new website should you be tempted to cross the Solent. Not that I’m advocating you should – as you can see, I’m really disliking it here and can’t really see why anyone would stay. . . 😉

In addition to this, I was at a meeting with those lovely Ventnor Fringe crew – my word, just listening to their ideas makes me tired!!!

They have managed to purchase the Old Post Office in Ventnor and are moving in soon (dates to be announced) when building and refurbishment can start and it shall be called ‘The Ventnor Exchange’.

There’s all sorts of activities planned which I’ll keep you posted about including ‘Sunday School’ – a day a month in Ventnor which encompasses a communal roast dinner, a dance, debates and workshops and pop-in / up events all over the town!!! Sunday School is, these days, associated with children learning about the Bible after church but was originally for all ages to learn and the church was the community base to facilitate it. So there will be talks and political debates, childrens’ wondrous adventures and opportunities to go and listen / take part in and observe lots of interesting things and all on a Sunday in Ventnor! Watch this space or my website for details shortly. . .

And there’s some great Mothering Sunday events and more at Dimbola Lodge at Freshwater :

and here at East Dene too – a quiet and beautiful Mothering Sunday Tea and Cake Day – call 01983 852374 for details and booking is advisable.

Plus! Next weekend there’s a Craft weekend at East Dene. . .










Now then, you, like me, may be into water in any of it’s forms and if you are, maybe you’d like to design a water monument or A Monument to Water? Have a peek at this. . .

Water Monument public-artwo/

Some of you may remember that I was singing the praises of a young singer called Emma Whoriskey who sings contemporary (and her own) songs in Irish Gaelic.
She’s now recording her first CD, has been studying at Bristol’s institute of Modern Music and if you’d like to hear what she does here’s the links :

Soundcloud Page-

Youtube Page –

Facebook Music Page –

Live, she is fabulous.

And for those needing some inspiring artistic tuition, Liz Bonser of Ventnor Arts Club sent me this:

From: Liz Bonser []
Subject: Tutored Life Art 6 Week Course


As part of a push to organise a more diverse programme of events at Ventnor Arts Club, we are delighted to have been able to find someone keen to run life drawing session.

This 6 week course will be taught and led by Nick Martin and covers all the basics in life drawing so it is perfect for beginners as well as experienced artists looking for a little practice and help to hone their skills. Nick is a highly accomplished artist himself and can provide guidance at every level. He will cover:

•         measuring the figure accurately,
•         showing the differences between the male and female figure,
•         looking at balance and proportion,
•         approaching hands and feet,
•         drawing the seated figure showing weight and
•         foreshortening and placing the figure convincingly in a context.

We will look at ways of portraying 3D forms using light and shade and study contour drawing to supplement this. We examine the anatomy of the head and the body and try different drawing approaches with a variety of media. By the end of the course participants should be able to complete well informed life drawings, with a strong feeling for form and explore their own paths to good drawing practice.

Students need to bring a variety of choice drawing media, including pencils, charcoal, pastels and graphite. A2 paper and larger is preferred – rolls of lining paper being ideal and cheap for life studies.

We are also looking forward to enjoying a relaxing post session drinks and a little socialising afterwards in the bar. In time we hope to exhibit a selection of the work you have created.

The 6 week course is £120 and starts on Wednesday 5th March from 7-9pm.

If you would like to reserve a place on the course please let us know, by email at

Please forward this on to anyone you think might be interested.

Kind regards,

. . .or if you are in charge of a fiddle and some walking boots. while Bob Huxtable sent me this:

From: Bob Huxtable []
Subject: Re: Walk & Fiddle

Hello Karen,

Walk & Fiddle Weekend on the Isle of Wight

When musicians from the weekly gathering in a certain basement on the Isle of Wight also became regular participants in the Cotswolds Walk & Fiddle Weekends, it was inevitable that the notion of the Island’s own Walk and Fiddle would be discussed. Bob & Sue Huxtable, hosts of the Thursday night session, took the bait and, although they have never been able to get to the Cotswolds event themselves, set about organising a trial weekend.  Late autumn was deemed to be the best date to avoid clashes with other events of interest to like-minded people, so the necessary arrangements were put in hand for mid November 2007. In spite of heavy rain on that first weekend, it was enjoyed by all and repeated every year since. The dates for this year are the 7th, 8th& 9th November 2014
The venue is the old Tide Mill at Yarmouth, which is handy for the town centre very close to the Yarmouth – Lymington ferry terminal. Accommodation is basic, but warm and comfortable, with dormitory style sleeping arrangements in a number of rooms of various sizes. Food is cooked onsite in the spacious farmhouse style kitchen, with a vast table that can seat 25 people. The 1st floor living room provides ample room for everyone to join in the sessions, including a number of local musicians who drop in for the evening.
The music is focused on Irish Traditional tunes and all instruments are welcome, despite the name of the event. Other styles have been known to creep in, along with the occasional song to break instrumental monopoly. The relaxed, friendly atmosphere enables novices to play alongside professionals without pressure and there is plenty of opportunity over the weekend to exchange tunes, improve techniques and pick up tips.
The walking element of the weekend comprises a Saturday walk, which will take in Island scenery, and a packed lunch. The Sunday morning walk in the West Wight will finish at the mill in time for lunch. Walks can be tailored to suit the less enthusiastic.
As you might expect, we spend the afternoons at a pub for a session!
You don’t have to Walk, you don’t have to Fiddle, 
you just need to appreciate
Irish Music, the Countryside, and Home Cooking!
It is open to all but there is a limit of 25 for staying in the mill.( Fire regs). We have about a dozen regulars. The cost last year was £80 (including meals) with £5 surcharge to cover transport. I need to check this year’s costs but I hope to charge the same this year.

Best wishes,


Personally I was very sad that the Isle of Wight Hedgelaying Competition has had to be cancelled this year due to the weather conditions leading up to it. I do hope to attend one of these years. Meantime, I’m attending a knit and natter afternoon in Ventnor at the Community Café (Thursday afternoons) and on seeing Andy Letcher’s email about International Bagpipe Day , am wondering if there is a National (let alone International) Accordion Day? I should really know that, now, shouldn’t I? I’m afraid I haven’t been on the ball recently – too engrossed reading the Ingrid Bergman autobiography and still thinking about the first staging of ‘The Rite of Spring’ (Stravinsky) after my friend Jamie showed me the film recently. Blimey! And then there’s spring suddenly popping up – I’m afraid I swoon over crocuses, snow drops, daffodils and big skies and quite forget whatever I was talking about (unless it is Bill Withers’ harmonies which have preoccupied me a bit recently) . .
Lastly, I’d like to make 2 apologies as I misquoted Clare Satow’s beautiful tea towels as being linen – they are actually printed on cotton. There are only a few left; another limited edition print will follow shortly. Her designs are unique and beautiful (see below, the current one) and this is an edition of 30 :









. . . and comes with a gift card :










My second apology is that Vaguely Sunny’s concert with Holly Kirby and Emily Scotcher is on Saturday March 22nd, not on 8th March..

Well, I’d better get back to getting my CD playlist down to less than 13 (over 100 left to go!!) or whoever comes tonight may not get out for a very long time. . .
Oh and practice talking as it’s a talk, tonight. Hmmmm. . . . . . .

Oh and those of you interested in a Skype lesson, see for dates and times.

Enjoy the sunshine and if there’s no sunshine enjoy this clip of Bruce Molsky’s music. . .

(video by Irene Young)