Turning photos into cards has been a long time business for Catherine Hart. Now she has retired her days are filled with capturing moments for herself and others. Read her story.
I was invited to join the staff at a company teaching English to Spanish people.
And where are you now?
I have lived in Sitges (just down the coast from Barcelona) for 7 years now. Before that, I lived in Barcelona itself for 37 years.
Sitges is a beautiful village with cobblestoned streets, an old quarter full of art galleries and museums, “Art Nouveau” buildings, restaurants, non-stop events and festivals, and no less than 17 beaches. It is a paradise for photographers.
What was the biggest challenge for your move?
I didn’t speak a word of Spanish or Catalan.
Do you have any advice for Women thinking about making the move?
Make your dream come true! There is so much to make you happy here.
How do you spend your days?
Now I am “retired” from work as a teacher and translator, my days are my own. Each day is a new delight, and includes photography (and lots of photoshop!), writing short stories, maintaining my website, designing greetings cards, running a social network on Facebook with 9,000 members and another of creative writers, walking by the sea in Sitges, going to events and festivals, cooking Spanish dishes… and so much more.
I often sell my cards in order to contribute the entire cost and proceeds to charity; my latest project was for Ukraine which, as Jack Nicolson says in “As good as it gets” “…makes me feel good about me!”
If you could achieve one spectacular thing in just one day what would it be
To have my own photography exhibition at a prestigious gallery and sell my greetings cards (made from the photos). I once managed this in England and had a wonderful time.
Something you are grateful for?
I am so grateful to have the great good fortune of living in Spain.
Who would be at your special dinner party?
Jenny Joseph – for her wonderful poem “When I am an old woman“
Brian Bilston for ALL his poems
Sir Ken Robinson, for his T.E.D. talk (amongst many others) about Schools and Creativity
Frederic Mompou, for his Canciones y danzas
J.S.Bach, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Rachmaninoff, Puccini…for every note they ever wrote
Ansel Adams for his genius in black and white
Stephen Fry………can I hire a banquet hall?
What’s your secret weapon or accomplishment?
No weapons and few accomplishments, I am afraid.
EDITOR: I struggled to include this comment as how many of us have done or made half the things Catherine has?
Do you have a favourite mantra you live by?
Be kind. (Because you have no idea what others have been / are going through).
One thing you had to bring to Spain and could never give away?
My flute. One of these days, I will take it up again.
Do you have a favourite film?
“Sleepless in Seattle”, for great script and direction by Nora Ephron.
Something you would tell your younger self?
Not to be so concerned about what others think.