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This is an "About Me" article, some sort of authorized biography, so to speak
On this page you will find all or most of the relevant activities of my life, my why's, my how's, my joys and even some sufferings.
Not all is a bed of roses, right?
So mainly, here are my most important jobs, activities and passtimes, what makes me tick and even at the end, a section for questions visitors would want to ask me.
So, let's go on to begin by the beginning: I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1948, precisely on St.Patrick's Day!
(I Argentina, I must be one of the very few who know what we are celebrating on that day)
I do have another birthday, which is the day I miraculously was saved by a Hand from up above, from a car accident, without a scratch!
nearly 3 years ago, the day was March 14th, I was travelling back home by car, actually I was hitch-hiking, and the car toppled over, due to the stupidity of an inexperienced driver.
(So, according to that event, I would be a 3 year old toddler by now)
Not very pleasant at first...
Between the ages of 2 and 3, I had ALL the virus diseases you can find out there! I even had a ganglion next to my left lung infected with TB.
This was the reason for which my Mom took me over to Cordoba, where the climate is (or used to be 60+ ys back) dry and pleasant. Docs said that gave me immunity against TB and I would be better off in a place without so many bugs around, as Buenos Aires is.
Around that same age, my parents split up and I spent nearly 2 years "visiting" uncles and aunts. (that gave me a chance to spend some good time with most of my cousins!) and finally my Grandma. Then my Dad married again and so was back in family life.
At the age of 8, approx, we went to live in the very center of the country, Cordoba again, (where the climate is. bla bla bla)
And this is where my life really begins:
I was a Boy Scout, (My Dad was the Scout Master, haha!)
I learnt how to swim in a stream barely 50 yards from home,
I learnt that some kids can be very nasty and go to your birthday party " only if they haven't got anything more important to do"
I found a small group of really good friends, with whom I used to go biking up in the hills. Once we even found Uranium just lying in a heap up in the mountains.
I learnt how to play the guitar and bass drum
I learnt part singing
I learnt all the chores to be done on a farm, where we had chickens, ducks, pigs, turkeys, guinea fowl, rabbits, even rats and snakes and two very intelligent dogs that let none of those two latter ones escape alive!
I learnt how to chop wood, ride on horseback, make jams (we had a few acres packed tight with fruit trees) and
Yes, I learnt how to cook!
What is today one of my passions, I started at the tender age of 11.
Pancakes, schnitzels and tomato sauce were my first achievements.
The first really meaningful gift I received: - A guitar, at the age of 14
An uncle said I could have it, since it was up in their attic and no one would use it or want it. It was an old one, and it was completely busted! I repaired it, put strings on it and started my musical life.
More of that later...
I wish I had had one of these when I began the duet with my sister, "The Puget Sound Singers"
The musical section of my life
From playing in my room to performing artist
I used to lock myself up in my room to learn the basic skills of a pop or folk music guitarist, far from criticism and embarrasment due to gross mistakes.
Then, since we lived on a farm in those days, we had lots of roast parties going on, grilled chicken, piglets and what not, and what is a party without music?
So along came a couple of guys to play the guitar and sing and here's where I picked up the knack of part singing, together with the necessary guitar accompaniment.
Later on, I used to go with my Dad (he was always singing and drumming with his fingers on something) to our church choir. He was bass and I was tenor.
There I learnt that there was also some very serious music I could take part in and even ventured to compose some choir music and (ouch!) composing string quartet music without even knowing how to hold a violin, let alone knowing what clef violin music is written in! ...well but I was bold enough to take on anything I felt (thought) I could manage.
Then came the duet with my sister Christine, called "The Puget Sound Singers" with a repertoire of American country and folk music, even some old English ballads, and an array of my own songs.
Music has been in my blood ever since I was a little kiddo of about 4, My Dad gave me a harmonica and I used to invent "songs" and melodies and call them funny names like "Onions make me cry" and "Clowns make me laugh" and other such occurrences. Soon my Dad taught me to play the harmonica properly and it was time to be a bit more serious.
When I was 17, my Grandma gave me a birthday present of a really serious, brand new guitar, which I have kept and cherished until recently, when I passed it on to one of my sons, who is today a luthier and hard rock guitarist.
So I have always been able to get a good sound out of whatever instrument fell into my hands, even without knowing how to play it properly.
As an example, let me mention the French Horn, a "Fun Machine" keyboard, at times the piano, baroque flute, Inca flute, harmonica among others.
Further on in time, I formed trios, quartets and even quintets, always being the arranger, guitarist, conductor and of course singer in them.
Then it was my turn to learn proper harmony and counterpoint. So I joined a group where I was NOT director, and there learned a great deal.
I still abide hope of forming my ultimate professional performing jazz and pop group in a "big-band" style, producing all harmonies with voices instead of the band.
This is a group I really admire! - They are the closest thing to vocal perfection I have ever heard!
They are simplty perfect! As good live as on recordings. Really incredible!
Besides all types of harmony, they have musical humour, something very difficult to achieve.
A Swedish group that deserves much more popularrity than the media show, after being on the run for over 20 years.
The Real Group - In action with friends and family
The best "A cappella" group I have ever come accross!
Have you ever heard better singing than this? And it's just a family anf friends gathering!
The Cooking Part of my Life
Did I just say cooking? (I forgot the eating part, sorry)
What makes me tick as a cook is that I love eating! I have been plump and rather on the fat side, but never obese.
And that is because I also love walking and playing outdoor sports, (that's for another day, maybe)
I really enjoy savouring food, that's why my success as a food and preserves producer has been based on a well balanced spicing of the stuff I make,
knowing what a demanding palate expects to find in bought food.
Only recently have I had a chance to make a real business out of it, after cooking for family and friends and a couple of business failures.
What I produce today is a number of jams, chutneys and pickles, besides fruit cakes, smoked fish, smoked chicken breasts and afternoon snacks for the downtown shops. I use these snacks as an excuse to have the preserves at hand, actually, but very soon I'll have a proper business established.
However, what makes my business flourish is not only tha flavor, but the fact that there are no chemicals used to preserve them or enhance the flavors, like MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) or stabilizers and other industrial age rubbish.
So people appreciate that and keep on ordering, after noticing that there are no headaches or liver attacks or sick stomachs after eating my preparations.
Well, enough of blowing my own horn and let's get on to other aspects of myself.
Cooking without the proper tools... - is like wanting to make Greek coffee with decaf!
These will save you time, effort and GAS!
A good blade makes things easier, just like a good instrument is easier to play.
My working life has been a bit dull
... until recently.
Working for someone else means you have to do what your boss tells you to do... and earn what he wants to pay you!
After too many years, I realized that working for someone else's interests was not making me happy. There was something missing in my life.
Wandering from freelance to freelance, teaching English, translating movies and documentaries, was very much like working for someone else.
Until I finally made up my mind I was going to make a living on something everybody needs, but most of all, everybody wants and everybody loves... and that is FOOD. Good food, tasty, ready made, goes down well, is kind to the palate (well, taste buds) and something that won't have an undesired aftermath.
And that was the beginning of my little preserve industry. Now, I feel that anywhere I go I could be successful at it, but it really is a lot easier where I am at the moment and intending to stay here for good. I'm in Southern Patagonia, in a town called El Calafate, barely 50 miles from the Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the marvels of the world, the only one still in advance.
Here I enjoy the scenery, since the town is on the shore of the greatest lake in Argentina, with the Andes Mountains almost all around.
Just over a year ago I was up in the UK for a lengthy visit (thanks to my brother, his family and his in-laws who put me up and put up with me).
During that visit I went over to Edinborough to visit a cousin I had never met. He is a marine carpenter and boat builder and thanks to him, today I am working towards the building of my first boat. Boatbuilding means a whole new universe open up within me.
Even though my "day job" is cooking and will be for some time, I consider boatbuilding to be a well-paid hobby.
I really enjoy being my own boss. I may not make millions (though millions DO make life a lot easier), but I have what I need.
They are all welcome!