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About clairehk

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  • Interests
    Irish music and Irish songs. Dabbling in a few instruments - guitar and fiddle. Trying to learn the concertina. Reading really good books. Travelling - especially around China and other parts of Asia. Holidaying back in Oz to visit my 3 sons.
  • Location
    working in China / Hong Kong since 2001
  1. Dear Santa I wish I could get more time to practice with my new Edgley concertina. Dear God Please make me a concertina virtuoso by the new year - oh, and also a virtuoso fiddle player too. And please don't let the bird flu come to Hong Kong. And I wish all the concertinanetters a happy and safe Christmas. PaulineClaire Oh, and here is a photo of my new Edgley - and I am making great progress, although maybe not quite viruoso yet. Thanks Frank.
  2. Well my new Edgley 30 button c/g arrived 6 days ago! I can't begin to tell you how excited I was waiting for the delivery and I was like a kid at Christmas opening up the box. Many thanks Frank. After struggling with my horrible little chinese squeeze box for about a year - playing the Edgley is like sipping fine wine. It sounds great, the buttons are easy and I'm not pumping my arm muscles and running out of air, like I was on that old Chinese thing. Still, at least with the year I put in, I did learn the buttons and stuff, so I had the basics. Checking Frank's tutor/methods book has also opened up a whole new world for me, as I'm struggling here to learn on my own. I've started fiddling with the embellishments already with Dan Callaghans Polka and it's all making a lot of sense. Many thanks to the people on the forum who advised me last year about concertinas, and special thanks again to Henk for showing me his concertinas in Holland and for his ongoing support. I've been in contact with the HK Morris and I hope to get down to one of their meetings in about a month. I was told there were two concertina players with the Morris, so hoping to make contact. Also, an old friend arrived recently in HK who plays, and he's getting his "squeezebox" as he calls it, sent over, so we can put in some practice together Maybe we will get a little concertina group going here - maybe even a HK Squeeze-In down the track!! I was envious of the people who made it to the Aran squeeze-in. I wish I could have been there. Thanks Henk for sending me the update on it and the site. My holiday dates here never seem to co-incide with any squeeze-ins, and of course it's a long way to travel and can't be done from here on a weekend. BUT.... I am determined to get to a squeeze-in some time down the track. I think at this stage I need another year or so to practice a bit more before I'd want to play with other people! Problem is, by the time I get home from work, I just don't seem to get enough time in to practice. As soon as I get in the door, I'm looking to pull out my Edgley and I'm staying up late to practice and suffering lack of sleep. Can't get over how smooth it feels and I'm amazed at the fine workmanship and the detail. And I'm very excited checking the details about the Anglo International CD. I'll be ordering it this week. If anyone is stopping off in HK en route somewhere - let me know. cheers and best wishes to you all, Pauline Claire - in Hong Kong.
  3. I'm still here and still squeezing on my cheap little chinese concertina while I wait for my Edgley. I haven't posted in some time but I've been keeping up to date with the forum. Sounds like many of you had a great time at the Scandinavian squeeze-in and wish I could have been there. I saw some of the photos - thanks Henk for sending the link. I also saw some positive posts from people recently who got their new Edgleys, and this is making me more excited and more impatient. Still, even with the groaning and wheezing on the old chinese - I have made a lot of progress in the last six months. I'm getting not too bad at cross rowing and I have a small repertoire of a dozen or so tunes I practice with - although the monster I'm squeezing with doesn't exactly help. I was excited too to read about the new C-net Big Band and I've been keeping busy listening to some of the recordings on the recorded tunes link page. So my LONG term plan, after I get my Edgley, is to get good enough to send something in - if I can work out all the technicalities of how to use the Big Band. You've put a lot of work into this Henk, and thanks for your on-going support. I too was shocked with the events in London and feel for those affected, but the messages here on the forum and elsewhere gave me heart and renewed my faith in humanity. I believe most people of all races are "good" and share the same common core values. the fanatics are a small minority. Holidays begin tomorrow and I'm going back to Sydney to visit my family. I was hoping to have my Edgley to take back for the holidays as I've told my kids all about it, but I guess I'll just have to look forward to getting it once I get back to Hong Kong after the summer, and then I shall send in a photo! Have a good summer. Pauline Claire in HK.
  4. Yes I'm working here in Hong Kong. There's not much in the way of "sessions". the irish pubs rarely have Irish music and I'm getting withdrawal symptoms. this forum is a real life line. Pauline
  5. Thanks Helen Well my name is Pauline and my middle name is Claire, but when I originally signed up here, I had trouble for some reason logging in with "Pauline" so I just set up a membership as Claire. sorry to confuse people. Yes I'm looking forward to getting my Edgely. Cheers, Pauline
  6. Just a thank you, as well as wishing everyone a Happy St. Patrick's Day. I joined this forum late last year when I got a cheap Chinese 30 button, and was looking around for information on the anglo. thanks to people on the forum who have given me their advice and comments. And a very special thanks to Henk Van Aalten. I did get over to Holland for Chinese New Year and Henk was so hospitable, helpful and friendly. At Henk's place, near Arnhem, as well as a very special Dutch dinner, I was able to try out some of Henk's concertinas, and get more of an idea of what I wanted. The visit with Henk has really given me a lot more motivation and inspiration. Thanks again Henk. I wish I could have spent more time with you. I've just been reading the about cross row fingering and I've actually starting doing a bit of this - although rather slow at this stage and I'm really not sure which fingers to use. I've even got a couple of tunes in different keys and I'm practising that. I'd just been playing stuff in C or in G before - now I'm finding my way around the top row. I'm still struggling on my little Chinese squeezebox BUT now my order is in for a 30 button C/G Edgely and I can't wait. Even though my current Chinese squeeze box is hard going - (and I realized how BAD it was when I got to play some of Henk's concertinas) - my little chinese is giving me some practice in getting used to the layout. Still, it's not much fun coping with the stiffness on the pull and the sticking buttons plus the groans of the lower notes. Couldn't believe how smooth and easy it felt playing Henk's concertinas! I don't post much - I don't get much time working here in HK - but I do keep reading the postings and thanks again to all you people out there with the advice that you give to others. And thanks once more Henk. shall be in touch. Shall let you know when my new concertina arrives. Pauline.
  7. I was greatly impressed by your description and the photo Henk. You must have had a great weekend. I was getting excited when I read the squeeze in might be mid august - with the midges - (I have holidays then) but now it looks like October/November. That's bad luck for me as I'll be back here in Honkers at the grind, with no chance of getting over there. Oh dear, the photo did make me feel VERY homesick. anyway, I hope it goes aheady for everyone who's interested. Sounds like a great idea and PERFECT location. I'm just GREEN with envy at missing the boat. ClaireHK.
  8. Alan I totally agree on the importance of panto as a way of educating kids to appreciate the song, dance, music etc. It’s also it’s a great tradition. I’ve spent a great deal of my adult life in Australia where unfortunately there is no panto. And of course there’s nothing here in Hong Kong where I am at present. You do miss these sorts of things and often feel culturally deprived when you’re away from it. How about them squeezing a concertina into panto these days????? ClaireHK
  9. Many thanks for all the information, especially to Henk's kind offer, which I will take up when I get to Holland, and to Jim for explaining more about the English. I now understand more about the term "hybrids" - thanks David. Until I get something better, I shall continuing pushing and pulling away on my little chinese number. Can't wait until I get something decent and really get into it. ClaireHK
  10. Thanks so much for the information. I will try and find out about the Morris Dancers here in HK and also check out Conertina Connection. Jim, I'm interested in playing tunes, as well as accompanying - in sessions. Should I therefore stick to the anglo? Is the fingering of the English more difficult, particularly when playing by ear? Yes it's probably the LOC that I have which is making it tough going. Still, I am managing to get a bit of a tune out of it and on a couple, I am even beginning to get a little fast!! I see that Stagi is probably not a whole lot better than what I've already got. So I'd be looking into the "hybrids" - whatever that means, at around $1500 - $2000 or thereabouts. What kind of instrument is a hybrid? What are the "better" hybrids? Thanks also for the info on the location in Holland. And to Bill, yeah I am a bit of a history buff, so shall make note to get down to Eindhoven. The main problem is that I feel I can't really browse around and try out instruments, as there's none here to try out. I envy you people who are able to mix it with fellow enthusiasts. I don't want to just order one in, until I know exactly what I need and want. Even with the trip coming up, I need to have my mind made up really, before I get there as to what I'm going to buy - I just don't have the time - only about 12 days away, and then I'm due back at the grind. Thanks for the help. ClaireHK.
  11. I've been visiting this site for more than six months and finally registered. I'm mad keen on Scottish and Irish music and have been wanting to get a concertina for a number of years. I have "dabbled" in music - a bit of guitar, and a bit of fiddle - but I'm no musician - I pick things up by ear. Unfortunately (as far as concertina is concerned) I'm living and working in Hong Kong at present. I have searched everywhere to buy a concertina here in HK with little luck. A large music store here said they would order me in a Hohner, but I would not be able to look at it before I bought it!! I considered getting one off e-bay, but was reluctant to part with the cash on something unseen. I've read up on all the types of concertinas, and I'm not in the vintage Lachanal etc. range as I can't afford it. But I do want something half decent. Anyway, I did get on to a place in mainland china, selling cheap chinese anglos, and thought I'd get started with this. the factory normally exports only, but they agreed to send me a 30 button c/g down to HK. I've had my cheap chinese now for a couple of months and I think I'm making some progress, although it's all a bit stiff on the push/pull, some buttons stick, and there's often a dreadful wheeze on a couple of the lower notes. Still I'm persevering as I see it as a learning curve. It took me quite a few weeks just trying to figure out where all the notes were. I'm dead keen on getting something better. I will be going over to Amsterdam at Chinese New Year for a short holiday and hoping to get a more decent concertina while I'm over there. Someone recommended that I would in fact be better off getting an English concertina, as it has more "range". Being such a rookie, I'm now unsure. I've made some progress on my anglo and wondering how difficult it would be to change over the fingering. So should I change over to English? I'm mainly into folk stuff. If I go for English should I get 48 button? Should I opt for the Stagi? I don't know much about them. I need something sort of middle price range. Is it better to get one with metal buttons and full leather bellows. And how many folds should it have? Are these types more expensive? Does anyone know reputable dealers with half decent concertina who would ship to HOng Kong, in case I can't get one in Holland? There is a HK Folk Society here, but no one has been able to give me any information on what I want. Out here in the cold. ClaireHK.
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