28 January 2013


I must confess to having rather lovely distractions in my life at the moment. If I haven't answered your email then I do apologise, and I will get to it eventually.  But for now I have things to do, people to see, guests to enjoy, and a few more distractions coming up to delight me.

Today I am grateful for all kinds of love. 

today is sunday

Today is Sunday, and it is the day for remembering the holocaust. I don't remember ever marking this day in NZ, but it is certainly dominating evening television here in Italy.

This morning I read an interesting article by an English writer, and in some ways it echoes my own sentiments. It is important to remember, and to ensure that similar things don't happen again. But these atrocities do continue in other parts of the world. And we do little. Perhaps a better way of honouring those who died is, as the writer suggested, not to cling to history, refusing to move on, but to move forward.  I suggest that in moving forward we take positive actions to educate for tolerance and peace.


Another article I read struck a chord. Should we be worried about nanomaterials? I heard some time ago that these have already been found in ice at the antarctic. Some are dangerous, and some are not. The ones that make socks odourless are apparently the same ones that cause deformities in fish and could threaten the aquatic ecosystem. At the very least, shouldn't we be making sure that workers in factories are not being exposed to these incredibly tiny little particles of metal and carbon?


Today is now Monday. I lost internet connection and couldn't post this, and lost quite a few thoughts that had not saved. Ah well.... this is enough for now.

Today I am grateful for my young visitor who is a great cook. 

24 January 2013

another warm work...

 Image by 
taken from Facebook, no breach of copyright intended. 
Click on her name above to go to her website. 


I finished the blanket - and gave it away as soon as it was washed and dried and soft to snuggle into. Now it is the laptop keeping my knees warm.

Knitting is much better for me than working, I am (almost) convinced of that. There is something about the repetitive actions in handcrafts that is good also for the soul, or the nurturer within. Painting is one thing, but producing something useful rather than beautiful has a virtue of its own.

While I was knitting I had no need for the computer, no need to work, no need to concentrate on anything in particular. I think that, for the first time in a long time, I was truly relaxing in the evenings.

Be still, that voice inside that says you don't have time to knit. You must write, you must paint.

Remember, on this winter evening, that "ought", "should" and "must" are no longer in my vocabulary.

What shall I knit next?

Today I am grateful for photographs from afar.

19 January 2013

keeping warm

...is easier if you knit a blanket! Let's think now, knit by the fire, freeze in the studio, knit by the fire, freeze in the studio... 

Home made bread, home made soup, domesticity... am I stepping back to the "good old days"? I am certainly enjoying the warmth of my knitting in the evenings a lot more than I would the cold in my studio! There wont be any painting updates for a while, it is all sketching and knitting in the warm for now!

Today I am also grateful for company.

sky lines at sunset

Today I am grateful for flight.

17 January 2013


Knitting is very therapeutic, especially when there is snow forecast for Friday; bright red and cream random stripes make a great warm project!

Fresh bread from the oven, a cup of lapsang souchong tea, New Zealand butter (yes, what a treat!) ... life is pretty good despite the cold.

I was going to post some photos of a glorious sunset but the camera is downstairs... next time will have to do! These photos are from walks on a not-quite-so-freezing day. I am focusing on detail, not landscapes, in these winter rambles somewhat generously described as "exercise".

Freshly groomed
Already perfect!

Today I am grateful for central heating.

14 January 2013

on waiting and not knowing

Today my NZ exhibition will be taken down. It is an odd feeling, having had a solo show that I didn't see in final form, nor have I seen any of the works framed. I feel a sense of melancholy tonight, here in the northern hemisphere. I have heard that my works were "enjoyed by hundreds", but without being able to see people look at a painting, pause in front of one a little longer, come back to look again at another, words feel a little empty. I don't even have photographs that give me more than a general idea of how the works were hung. It's a little like sending your children out into the world without being able to follow their progress. Or am I just being over protective of my pieces of paper with a little paint on them?

In NZ students are waiting, waiting for their results. The website is overloaded, and many can't get on to see how well they did with NCEA. It makes my thoughts for my paintings a little selfish, futile follies. These students are  waiting for results that will determine a part of their future. Good luck, all of you. When I last checked on FB a niece had still not been able to access her results.

In another part of NZ a nephew wont be thinking too much about his results as he competes for a place on the NZ junior surfing team. Good luck to all young people, the future is yours. Whether you make the team or not, whether the results of NCEA are what you hoped for or not, as long as you know that you have given it your very best shot then there is no reason to be disappointed. Life is too short for regrets.

Tonight I spoke with my dad, just a young fellow at 92, coming up 93. He was just in from a run when I phoned. He told me that he pulled out of a race this weekend, the 3,000 metres, because it was just too hot and humid. He lined up at the start, but when a younger man ahead of him pulled out at about the 300 metre mark dad decided that the younger man was probably more sensible, and pulled out of the race with him. I say thank goodness! It's tough on your support crew when you push your body too hard. And it's good to see that you are never too old to learn... and that pride did not get in the way of a sensible decision. Dad was happy that his shorter races were run in faster times than he ran in November. There's always another race to run, another record to set.

I haven't been painting - it's been about a month now. I miss it. But when there is no demand for paintings, is there any point in making them? Yes, I think there is. I need to paint for me.

Today I am grateful for helpful friends.

10 January 2013

and another

Today I am grateful for shared sunsets.
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9 January 2013

spot the lights

Below is a random Christmas photograph. I have finally got the camera as far as the computer.


Today I am grateful for exercise with a walking partner. 

7 January 2013

nothing in particular

I have been reading other blogs lately, and doing some writing, but don't particularly feel like blogging myself. I'm still here, well and happy, getting a little exercise (not a lot, just enough to know that I am still mobile), and dreaming up images for a picture book.

I had a few photos from my rambles to share but they are still in the camera... another day, perhaps!

But apart from that I am simply enjoying a little peace and quiet and not doing a lot. I suspect that if I were a bear I'd be well into my hibernation now.  Happiness is a warm scarf and dry shoes.

Today I am thankful for warmer winter days. 

3 January 2013


I have been looking at my calendar - 2013 is turning into a very busy year already!

I have already been a little busy with the next edition of the Legato exhibition which is looking exciting, and of course I continue to burn the midnight oil to keep up with family via Skype and then wonder why my sense of day and night is disappearing again.

I have taken a break from painting, at least until the end of March, but am taking the occasional photograph to keep my eye in and the ideas for art are swirling with an increasing urgency in my brain. That is what had disappeared as I painted for my watercolour exhibition "Imagine Italy" which runs for another two weeks.

Writing inspiration comes and goes, but when I am not writing I have been reading, in English, a rare treat to myself these days.

I don't make new year resolutions, but I do choose a word for myself to try to live by. It took me a while to choose my word this year, and for now I shall keep it private. But it is a word that will bring renewed inspiration in all areas of my life, and as I meditate on the word each morning and evening I know that I have chosen it well.

Happy New Year, let's all make it a good one!

Today I am grateful for good health.