Thursday, May 28, 2009

Just the same as me...

I still feel on a daily basis that I’m constantly, having to use my swimming cap and then my wings (sinking and floating). I worry about the future and what it holds for me, and my family. Things that are out of my control still terrify me and I am finding it hard to just let go and see what happens... with my art and my life.

BUT I know it will pass and as I read peoples stories here… I am comforted in knowing there are others just the same as me. I realise that these stories of worry, sorrow, joy, happiness and just their everydayness are not for us alone, they are for us to share and give courage, understanding and wisdom to each other.

I guess you can’t help but use your wings when you have a friend beside you… whether that friend is right with you in person, in spirit or imaginary (hello January) it sure helps.

On a lighter note… I am enjoying the changing colours of the leaves at the moment. Our ginkgo tree out the front has only a few bright yellow leaves left and the wind has swept quite a few huge brown ones under our new gate. I love it when fallen leaves come to visit.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A swimming cap and a pair of wings

These girls with their swimming caps and wings have got me thinking and looking back during the weekend at the old me of 3 – 4 years ago. It makes me sad to think of myself then… I had a new baby, I was not very well etc… and I was pretty much sinking under it all. I could have done with a swimming cap and a pair of wings back then.

But things are different now, I am not usually one for change (to be honest I am not very good at it) but things have changed, or maybe I have changed… I am not sure but it is probably a bit of both. Babies change ever so quickly into little boys, little girls change into teenagers and doctors cut bad things out of you and make you feel better.

I think I am learning that no matter how bad things seem, over time they all work themselves out. My Mum often says to me we will be laughing about this in years to come. I just feel like giving that old me a big hug and telling her that I am certain things will be ok…

Five things I am certain about today…

1… There is nothing more certain then change in our lives.

2… It is going to rain all day.

3… I sold all four of my paintings at the Plunket exhibition!!! And there is also someone who is keen to buy another piece!

4… we are having chicken stir fry for tea with cashew nuts.

5… Tomorrow (Wednesday) I am listing four of these new original paintings in my Etsy shop...

As Silke commented in my last post, we all need a swimming cap and a pair of wings.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Take time...

(take time to catch your breath and choose your moment)

Lately I have felt like I am sinking, drowning under all the things that are going on around me. Things I think I should be doing, making sure everyone is happy and the things that are out of my control (those things are really hard)... and then there have been some days that I am doing ok, I am treading the water of life and am pretty much on top of things. Then there are the moments where I feel I am being lifted right out of the water when everything in life slots together and my world is just... right.

The girl above is me at the moment, treading water. With my swimming cap on (if I should sink) and my wings ready to lift me out of the water for those little moments of joy in life that do come every so often. I am learning to take life one day at a time, to not plan too far ahead where other people (teenagers) are concerned. How I chose to live my life may not be the same for others.

I think when you have children it is like letting a part of your soul go walking in the world with a will all of it’s own.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

a week in May

My head has been full of bugs this weekend... they don't seem to be getting any better or any worse, just hanging out in my head.

(don't wait another day)

(I'm going where the weather suits my clothes)

Well, these are last weeks pieces... I started doing some smaller ones but they just weren't working so on Thursday I went back to the format I used for the Brighton girls and I am liking the longness of them. I have always had the idea that images in the background or above the girls heads are connected to their thoughts.
This idea came from a few lines from a Barbara Kingsolver book that I think I have blogged about before, but here it is again:

"she sits up in bed to get a closer look at her thoughts which have collected above her in the dark"

It really conjurers up good images in my head. So anyway, lately I have been using words inside thought bubbles instead of images. I like the look of the pure white speech bubble thoughts, will be interesting to hear any thoughts on this new idea.

I have been reading Sarah Ahearn's Blog lately and I like her idea of listing 8 things about her day... as I am a list girl too I have decided to do the same although I am going to list 5 things to start off with.

so today's list of five things:

1... It is warm and sunny today. I read in the weekend paper that with two weeks till winter we are having warmer weather then the Northern hemisphere going into summer.

2... My paintings arrived safely in Timaru for the annual plunket auction in June, such a relief!

3... Getting my pieces framed for the above show made me realise that I can't actually afford my own art work... how sad is that.

4... My daughter is nearly 16 and I am a few years away from 40... how on earth did that happen???

5... It is coming up to 1 year since I started selling on Etsy!!! I might have to have a giveaway to celebrate.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ben on Brighton Pier

I just had to post this video of Ben doing his boogie on Brighton Pier... it was something that he started while we were away. We would be somewhere, a pub, in town, at our new home etc... and he would hear a piece of music he quite liked and would get up and do his little boogie and then get back to what he was doing before. It is like the music moved him...

Two girls in Brighton

We've had a bit of a thing in Napier on Thursday and through the weekend... A man with a gun shot and killed a policeman and wounded two others and a civilian after they tried to search his house for drugs. He had been holed up in his house for 50 hours and they had to cordon off streets, the whole town was on police alert. Rather scary, I heard gunshots on Friday afternoon as the police tried to retrieve the body of the slain policeman, which was lying on the lawn where he had fallen... they didn't get to him till Saturday afternoon. Really horrible for the policeman's family. Anyway all is over now and although some people are still not allowed to go back to their homes as the police are still investigating the scene, life for us is getting back to normal.

(I like it here can I stay)

I had Brighton on my mind when doing these two last week... There is a different light in England to what we have here in Hawke's Bay, ours is a little more intense. These two are a bit smaller then the last series I did, but have longer bodies.

People have been commenting on how or whether my work will change after my trip... I am not sure that it will so much, I think it will be the things in the background may change more? the buildings, the colours, the sky, landmarks??? will be interesting to see.

I have decided to keep up with the two paintings a week that I did before we went away, it is good to have a small goal each week to work towards. I have also booked in an exhibition next year in October so I am looking forward to that, nice enough distance away that it still seems like a really good idea.

I went to see the Topp twins movie on Friday night with a few friends, was good, I came out feeling proud to be a kiwi.

One last thing, Happy Birthday to the best Mum in the world and in space!!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The first week in England

I can't believe it is over a week now since we have been back, funny how life settles back so quickly...

(Paris through my taxi window)

Our journey to England was very, very, long, I remember thinking when we got to Singapore that we were only a third of the way into our journey!!! I am glad we did it the way we did though as I have now had a glimpse of Germany and France. I loved all the little villages we passed on the train, all the houses clustered around tall church spires. (building materials are different in this part of the world compared to ours). In Paris all the trees were just coming into leaf and the city was so beautiful as it whisked past my window on the way to the bus stop ( I thought of my friend Carine not so far away). I was trying very hard to see the French countryside go by as we headed towards the tunnel to England but my eyes were finding it very hard to stay open. 48 hours of traveling had taken its tole.

We finally arrived in England and were told to get off the bus at a bus stop in the middle of nowhere as the bus driver didn't go to Folkestone where we were getting picked up from anymore!!! It is funny now as I look back but a bit scary before we were finally found by Stuart's Aunt and Uncle.

(Ben waiting in the middle of nowhere waiting to be picked up and you can see Stuart way off down the road trying to find where we were)

We finally got to Stuart's Aunt and Uncle's at about 9:30pm Thursday night, I told Ben this was going to be our new home for the next few weeks and as we walked in the door so did the cat and Ben said our cat has changed colour!

We spent the next few days hanging around home, visiting relatives, and a friends parents and going to the supermarket... they are so much cooler then ours!!! I LOVE ASDAS! I didn't seem to suffer from jet lag so much but I felt quite wobbly, like when you have been skating and you take your skates off and you still feel like your feet are moving, weird feeling. We spent Easter Sunday at home with a lot of family visiting for tea. It was really nice to meet everyone, and see some again that I hadn't seen for a while.

On Monday we took the train to Royal Tunbridge Wells to meet a friend of Stuart's who he used to teach with... She took us to her home in Five Ashes and fed us a lovely meal (I love the names of the towns in England). Then we did a tour around the places Stuart used to teach and visit when he was living there. And I saw a piles of dirt left by moles (we don't have moles in New Zealand so this was rather exciting). One thing I have noticed about England is that most houses are built of stone or brick, whereas in New Zealand ours are usually wood.

(shopping in The Pantiles)

On Tuesday Uncle Denis came and picked us up and we went to see the Cotswolds! I was so very excited, I had been wanting to go here for a very long time. It took about 3 hours and I could tell we were there, the houses changed from orange/red brick to the light coloured stone I had seen in so many pictures. It felt just amazing to be surrounded by them and so old, there were so many houses that were built hundreds of years ago. We came to the Slaughters, a place I had saved on our map at home to go see one day. We stopped in Lower Slaughter, after spying and chasing a squirrel through the St Mary's graveyard we had a look through the Church. Just beautiful! Every little village we went through was just so perfect, you could spend weeks discovering little towns down the hedged lanes.

(Lower Slaughter)

On Wednesday we went up to Ludlow castle, what an amazing ruin, you could spend the whole day here looking around. The day was rather bleak which I think suited the castle, it gave it a whole lot of atmosphere. I bought two coffee cups at the gift shop here and I meet the potter who made them, he was pleased his cups were traveling to New Zealand.
(Ludlow Castle)

(castle doors)

After Ludlow castle we went to a place called Bridgenorth where they had a train that went up hill to Upper Bridgenorth. Once off the train there was this wall that went around a walkway with doors here and there, I loved it. You got a small glimpse of the garden beyond the wall by what was sprouting above. Further around there was a castle ruin, just a wall really that looked as though it was about to fall over.

(you can look over the fence on the right down to Lower Bridgenorth)

(I found this little plaque which interested me... it says "This cave was occupied as a dwelling until the year 1856")

On Thursday we stopped in a few other little villages in the Cotswolds, Stow on the wold and Bibury (really beautiful little village, pic from the last blog post) and I had my first cider in a real thatched roof English pub.

(The Black Horse first cider in a thatched pub)

(a house, Stow on the wold)

(shops in Burton on the Water)

We made our way back to London stopping at one of the many Swan pubs for tea ('The Swan' and 'The Kings head' seem to be very popular names for pubs).

On Friday Uncle Ken took us to Rye a little seaside village with cobbled streets. It too had a castle but when we were going to look the gates were closed for lunch... Most of Rye seemed to close for lunch, a lot of the shops had signs saying be back in an hour. But we had fun window shopping anyway.

(cobbled steet in Rye, a bit hard on the feet)

(Ben and the cannons and cannon balls)

(a little tudor style house in Rye across the road from a graveyard)

After Rye we went to see an old friend of Stuart's Gran, she lived a small drive from New Romney. A very desolate place, lots of marshes and some kind of army type training ground or something like that with high fences? Very moody.

Well that is pretty much the first week of our trip... will post the next week in a few days.