30 September 2009

Samoa and Western Samoa united in tragedy

Malo Sa'oloto Tuto'atasi o Samoa
Independent State of Samoa
American Samoa
Amerika Sāmoa / Sāmoa Amelika

It seemed too frivolous to write my work blog before mentioning the tragedy caused by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

While there is little that I can do wherever I live, it is at times like this that I feel my Pacific roots which mostly lie dormant. Sad too, that it takes a tragedy to stir interest in other places. After explaining to my boss this morning that the tragedy was not only in American Samoa (Obama is in the news here describing relief efforts) but Samoa and probably hundreds of other islands in the Samoan Archipelago, I realised how little I knew about Samoa, why there are two Samoas, and where New Zealand and America fitted into the history.

Wikipedia has an excellent entry, with several sub sections well worth studying. Somehow it feels as though you are at least doing something positive, reading and learning a little more about the people who have been hit so terribly in this natural disaster.

progress and agreement

You win some and you lose some...

The boss, while understandably surprised to see the panel I had painted, liked it and agreed in principle with me but prefers not to have me paint the panels in faux marble. There is a lot more wall upstairs, and that is in different colour-ways. We have reached a compromise, agreeing that the original, simpler design (which we have faint traces of) was superior to the yellow marble/rocks that I am objecting to.

So... the columns stand proudly, cleaned up, touched up, tall and elegant, becoming a feature rather than painted over in harsh colours again. The panels which I had begun are now going to be a much simpler design, a warm base colour with a hint of spongework over it to age and soften it so that it blends in.

I worked around the stairs this morning, and was very proud of my handiwork producing a wall that looks like stone. It was five coats of paint, the first a light terracotta colour, then four sponged colours over it, sanded lightly to age it. At first glance it looks like the stonework above it.

I've been a little bit naughty again. I now have to wait for some plaster repairs before I proceed with the undercoat. These I am sure are war-time wounds. There is a little one that wasn't pointed out to me as being on the list for repairs. I think it should stay, a tiny reminder of the history of the house. I painted over it, three times, hoping that the plasterer doesn't spot it tomorrow! It is down low by the stairs, and is sure to have a large plant in front of it...

Today I am grateful for consultation processes.

29 September 2009

mice will play

The boss was away today... OK, so I may have to do a two hour re-paint at my own expense, but I wanted to try my colour and style preference. I think the white column might have to go though, maybe I was wrong on that one. I thought that the design showing through suggested that the original faux 'whatever' had not been on the column. I suspect that a more elegant fresco was replaced with the faux I am fighting with now.

After:My theory is that when the beautiful rich red floor tiles are polished the yellow and umber is going to look absolutely ghastly against them. I have taken the greenish tint from the faux wood panel above, and the red from the floor tiles, as well as a little of the original yellow, and come up with a rather subdued effect that I hope will simply become background. The points of interest in the entry will be the iron light fittings and the stairwell, potted plants, and hopefully the original fresco high above.
The artist who probably painted the wall 70 years ago would have painted faux marble, not rocks, according to his grandson. I think the version I am working on is likely to be older than that. At least one heavy coating has been scraped off. No doubt it was damaged during its occupancy; I wonder, did those German or Kiwi soldiers living there 65 years ago turn the marble into rocks, just for something to do? (Not likely, as the Germans were there when it was the front, and the Kiwis were there to play guitars, dance with the locals, and enjoy their rest period). It is so frustrating, not having x-ray eyes or a time machine!

PS: I have reviewed these photos about an hour later, and I wonder if my marble "slabs" are too big. I might have to split a few tomorrow, unless of course I am repainting the whole section anyway!

Today I am grateful for
insect repellent.

28 September 2009

new beginnings for an old girl

Working in the entrance to the palazzo - not so exciting for you, but good work for me!
Before......and after four and a half hours work. It appears to have been painted to look like a stone wall, but I am not so sure that faux marble might not be a better choice. I will have to talk to the boss tomorrow, before I get any further. The more I think about it, the more I lean towards marble, but I am supposed to just tidy and touch up (but not actually restore or alter) what is already there.

The bigger picture... It really was me in my small corner, not quite under the stairs, this morning!


Am loving being back at work in the big house (palazzo) again... photos later. Not on the scaffolding this week though, a good way to ease back in.

From Facebook (and elsewhere I imagine), worth sharing:

Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand | 2009 Winning Ways to Wellbeing
Origin: www.mentalhealth.org.nz
Persist in the battle and journey for wellbeing, it is a treasure handed down from the heavens, then comes confidence and peace.


This coaching blog reminds me of all the things I once knew and have long forgotten!

I didn't ever know the typefaces in detail like the encyclopaedic Brennen, but the rest of the theory and the terminology was once within my grasp.

Use it, or lose it.

One of my favourite posters (I am sure I have mentioned it before) is on the wall in a Waikato rest home. It shows a dog holding the leash waiting for its mistress to tie the laces on her walking shoes. The text says "If you feel old age catching up, walk a little faster".

Yesterday and today I wanted to run. Walk fast we surely did. I wonder if my memory cells might return one day too?


I share this building with several other people. The noises above me differ vastly, depending on which room I am in.

I used to wonder at the loud and sometimes violent arguments the elderly couple had. I kept to myself, not daring to intervene. When the husband died I got to know the wife a lot better. She was absolutely distraught, missing the arguments which were her energy source. It was their way of communicating. A year later, she too has gone. That isn't thunder you hear, it's just my former neighbours expressing their love for one another.

The young couple on the other side of the house never make a sound. I hear only footsteps, and chairs scraping back from the table.

Down below we may not talk much, the dogs and I, but we play our music loudly. Today I discovered that Pickle likes to sing; when I play the keyboard she takes a pose beside me and makes a gentle howling noise. Then she jumps up and licks my fingers in appreciation - that was appreciation, Pickle, right? Zacchi, on the other hand, just likes to bark...

27 September 2009

out of the mouths of babes...

out of the mouths of babes...and old men!

This evening the dogs took me walking. It seemed the better option, rather than wait at home for a phonecall you know isn't going to come. I decided to let my wounds from a brief romance heal in the fresh air rather than fester indoors.

An elderly man at the fountain at the next little hamlet chatted about the dogs, now that they are two. We discussed the cost of flea and tick potions, of feeding the animals. I said that I really didn't need to be a dog-mother with my gypsy life style.

But you live alone, he said. They are company for you. Dogs are better than people, he said. Dogs can be trusted, they wont let you down.

I wonder if he knows more about life than I do?

Big sigh. Ah well, put the romance in a box with a ribbon around it. Maybe it really was too good to be true!

Today I am also grateful for
wise old men in neighbouring villages.

and on sunday...

...spring cleaning in autumn feels good. Loud music helps it along, but (oh dear) I have finished the chocolate from Alabama already!

Last night saw a picnic dinner at tables outside a bar with friends - who knows what the festa was? We purchased our drinks and then others produced bread, cheese and sausage from another shop, requested a bowl of olives from the bar owner, and set out an impromptu picnic - it could only happen in Italy!

Dining alfresco is something others do... oddly enough the Italian expression used elsewhere is not used by Italians for eating outdoors. Perhaps here it has associations with being thrown into the cooler, which is another phrase which crosses cultures!

The street was home to a much bigger rural picnic, with free pasta with tomato and haricot beans spooned out to any passers-by. A cow tethered by the road nuzzled the calf that didn't stray from her despite the music, the children, the antique tractors or the horses that clattered along the street. Finely marked and fine-boned goats peered from their perch on the back of a vehicle, beautiful and curious. I wonder what my affinity with goats really means?

Tomorrow I go back to work across the road, re-touching the fresco and tempera works. I had a sneaky peek at the work I had completed two months ago and it looked pretty good; seeing it with fresh eyes and no dust around removed all the angst that came with it.

Today I am grateful for friends.

26 September 2009

feels like sunday

The sun beats in the window, the air is still. Cicadas are singing, the dogs are asleep. My enthusiastic burst of house cleaning ran out. The floor is still wet.

I am not sure what to do next... I want to paint, but only when the other chores are done.


Today I am grateful for the beauty of the shadows on the wall.

25 September 2009

while my back was turned

While I was staying with my daughter things changed back here. We now have pedestrian crossings, a slow down sign, and the tiniest of little judder bars with large amounts of white paint. Not enough to slow down the ragazzi, but enough to make a point. Well done to the neighbours who petitioned for this.

Our village is changing. We don't like change much, here in our sleepy little piece of heaven. Zacchi and I contemplated the glistening white paint on the road and decided that as it will soon be tatty and worn, never to be repainted, it was probably a shame, really, that it was done in the first place.

This morning to my delight, when I poked my head out to see if there was coffee brewing next door, I saw another friend leaning against his car, parked right over the pedestrian crossing. After a warm hug and an exchange of greetings we chatted a bit, standing in the middle of the road.

I'm home!

Today I am grateful for time standing still.

23 September 2009

heart over head

My feelings about living here have been affirmed by a book I purchased at Heathrow. I find that when I am out of Italy my homesickness limit is three weeks. When I lived in NZ the same thing applied: it didn't matter how much the holiday was looked forward to, after three weeks I always wanted to be heading for home. I guess I should be happy that I feel that way when I am away from here; it confirms that although the head might say I have taken huge risks in leaving home, work and family, my heart is happy here. The cautious part of me says "at least for now", but heck, why not just enjoy the feeling and say that "I am in the right place!"

While I was half playing with writing about this life an Australian journalist did it for me. (He learnt Italian faster too!) I have just read Head Over Heel, Seduced by Southern Italy (Chris Harrison, published 2009 by Nicholas Brealey Publishing, ISBN number 978-1-85788-521-7). I couldn't put it down. It describes my Italy to perfection. "Crris 'Arrison" captures so well the crazy ambivalence of living here. He describes with humour and compassion the frustrating things about Italy which also are the things that are the vehicles for the richness that we find here.

I looked at a review while writing this blog and challenge this reviewer, particularly on his final paragraph (Telegraph.co.uk). If you don't want a casual holiday novel, but do want well scripted social commentary, then DO read this book when in thinking rather than holiday mode. This is not a romantic novel for the beach, although it is a romantic story. It is an accurate snapshot of the Italy that I love. That reviewer Michael Williams sees it as an amusing but formulaic publication suggests that he has not lived any length of time in Southern Italy, or, if he has, he has seen it through different eyes. I think we may also have differing views on what constitutes writing a steamy sex scene. Chris Harrison sets the scene then leaves these entirely to the imagination... perhaps my research has been lacking a little!

After wandering around www.chrisharrisonwriting.com I am thinking Darn! Another blog to follow. When will I find time to paint? But... he has just saved me how many months/years of work, writing my story for me? Certo, I can read his blog, paint more realistic hours of the week, and maybe be brave enough to try my own luck with romance!

Today I am grateful for airport bookshops.

22 September 2009

peace one day

Today is world peace day. I have, in the last 24 hours, been in three countries, several time zones, three airports and two railway stations. There was no sign of anything at all to mark this day.

I'm a little late blogging, but here is the link to the "Peace One Day" site.

Today I am grateful for being met cheerfully at the train at 11pm.

20 September 2009

frayed edges and loose threads

Today has been tidy-up day. Sewing tasks completed, or as completed as they will be, but I am ashamed to admit that the handiwork is mine. I worked too quickly, not measuring, ironing or pinning the seams. I'd almost qualify for a job on the "Changing Rooms" programme... colourful, funky, and it looks OK until you get close to it! Now of course, the challenge remains: I will have to recover the papasan chair so that I don't cringe when I look at the sewing!

I have filled my suitcase with art supplies and weighed in with it... shudder... the scales here are in pounds, not kilos, and the numbers are far too high! A month of eating with no exercise despite the best of intentions means that the dogs will be walked twice as fast when I get home.

I probably wont post for a few days, but will be back online next week sometime.

Today I am grateful for generous friends.

19 September 2009

any old name will do

How important is a name? Do names inspire trust, engender fear, shape character, tell our story?

When I was a child I wanted to change my name. There were at least three names I preferred to mine. My mother told me that she had chosen the name Leigh for me, but didn't use it when my aunt gave it to a slightly older cousin first. I felt a little cheated, somehow.

My father-in-law could never get my name right. The first time we met he called me by the name of my then fiance's previous girlfriend. In later years (until he latched onto "OK Kay") I became (fondly I hope) "Fay-Kay-Gay or whatever your name is". Many a time I have had to answer to Ann, Jan, Sue... so finally I said "if it is polite,and of one syllable, I will answer..."

In Italy my name is a problem. Kay, as in "che", means "what?" There I answer to Katia, Catia, Cat, Kayeee, Kie, and Katie. I wish I had adopted Katia or Katie as soon as I arrived in Italy.

I remember at a graduation ceremony searching the programme for the name of a young friend... only to find that his real name was not at all what I knew him as. He had simply adopted an English name and changed the spelling of his surname when he enrolled at school.

I'm really not at all sure what I would like to be called. Does a name really matter?

Shakespeare's father signed with an X, although he was literate. Shakespeare himself used various spellings of his name, interestingly not any one of them was written "Shakespeare" as we know it now.

I once worked with immigrant children from a family who had named them all, in their own language, One, Two, Three, and Four. Now that's something to ponder!

Today I am grateful for tolerance.

18 September 2009

well intentioned spam?

I am grumbling! I subscribed to a daily peace meditation which arrives (usually) in my inbox. It has missed the occasional day, but that's OK. What was NOT OK with me was that every week (or thereabouts) some commercial crept in, promoting the law of attraction. I felt cheated, annoyed, but because I enjoyed the daily peace quotes I didn't unsubscribe.

Today I was checking through my spam file (occasionally I do find real and missing emails in there) and I found the missing peace emails and a few more commercials. Perhaps gmail knew best.

Ah well, big sigh, on the whole it is quite a positive thing. But if you subscribed to it on my recommendation then I do apologise for the "buy our book and get happy and wealthy" guff that snuck in.

Today I am grateful for "upfront" communications with no hidden agendas.

16 September 2009


Last night I began a "deep and meaningful" blog about cultural difference, language barriers, the lack of the very important body language in short emails... being an alien/straniera/foreigner in another land...

but it all got too heavy.

Instead, let's celebrate!

Chris is home.

My order of new paints arrived in time to go into my luggage.

The squirrel with the long tail has been dancing up and down the trees out the window.

A hummingbird seeks out the red flowers in the garden.

Autumn's beautiful colours are on their way.

My large pot of lentil soup tastes pretty good!

Today I am grateful for positive attitudes.

15 September 2009


I've had lots of thinking time recently. Often that is not so good for me, but this time it has been quite OK.

A good friend has just won the job of his dreams and will be beginning a new life in the USA. I will miss our phone chats but I am so happy to see that dreams can come true for hard working, kind and honest people. In bocca al lupo, amico mio!

It set me wondering, do I have a "dream job"? Perhaps I do, and I am in it already. As long as I can keep muddling along, earning a little here and there, selling paintings and guiding travellers in the Liri Valley, talking until the wee small hours with house guests, what better work could I find?

I'm pretty lucky, really!

Today I walked through a store filled with temptation. So many things to buy, buy, buy. I left the store with more art supplies, some curtain material and two little packs of plastic bags to store things in. Once upon a time I would have added things I don't need to my shopping cart.

Other friends are observing Ramadan in a country not sympathetic to their religion. Their focus is on spiritual growth, on family and tradition, and on going without, to appreciate what it is like to be hungry and consequently be more generous to those in need. Another Christian friend fasts every Friday for the same reason. Makes you think a bit, their focus on others in need. Could I do that? I have never fasted, unless under doctors orders and then for only a few hours, so I really don't know.

A roof over our heads, warmth in the winter, fresh food. Good friends, loving family. That's all we need.

Today I am grateful for
simplicity and sincerity.

12 September 2009

no path... or on track?

Today I have to admit that I got a little off track (OK, so on a daily basis in some areas there is a path).

A blog I follow, that of Californian artist and on-line friend, Myrna Wacknov, reminded me of exactly why I wrote about my next project, and another two only marginally underway. Putting plans "out there" holds me accountable.

It is so easy to say that "life got in the way", and justify my delay. Yesterday there were so many excuses, all perfectly valid. Except for one thing. In going "off track" I am letting myself down. It was not that other things were more important (washing dishes, shopping for food, preparing the house for the insect spray... there are poisonous spiders in this area) but simply that domestic chores were easier options.

I love to paint... but when I am in my own space, with everything organised (who am I kidding?) I prefer to paint in a calm space with music playing (although I don't hear it after ten minutes), with no interruptions. But if I were disciplined I would paint anyway, anywhere, anytime.

If I could turn the clock back I would do exactly the same today as I did yesterday, but as I did those chores I would be seeing colours, reflecting on my composition, drawing tonal thumbnails in my head.

Today, whether I sketch or not, I will be back on track.

Today I am grateful for

choice overload

Today I bought some tea. Nothing spectacular in that? No, but you see I really, really wanted to buy coffee. Real coffee. Italian coffee.

What did I do? I stood in the aisle in the coffee section and breathed deeply. Several times. And then I bought one of those coffee mixes that doesn't really even pretend to be coffee.

How could I spoil the anticipated pleasure of my first coffee back on Italian soil by drinking coffee here?

The range of teas, by the way, is amazing. Spoilt for choice... might have to go back for more. Now, in comparison, when in Italy there is absolutely NO pleasure in buying tea or standing near the shelf that has a couple of packets of boring old tea-bag brews on it.

Today I am grateful for an email that clarifies a mystery that was bothering me.

11 September 2009

mixed feelings

Occasionally something is emailed to me that reminds me of other stages of my life, not forgotten, never quite left behind. An excellent essay by artist Sheryl O'Gorman had me scurrying to google to look at the latest winner of the Waikato Contemporary Art Award.

The official media release hints that there will be controversy, paving the way rather than going into defensive mode after the event, perhaps!


Plenty to think about!

Here is Sheryl's essay, published below with permission.


The thing about ‘in jokes’…

Art still has the ability to stir up emotion and controversy, as witnessed by the recent win by a pile of rubbish in the Waikato national contemporary art awards. To most lay people it is nothing more than that; a pile of old rubbish.

And, indeed, that is what it is, exactly as the artist intended. The thing about ‘conceptual art’ is that its not about the ‘art object’, in fact there need not be an actual art object at all; its about the concept: in this case, a rather funny in-joke…

Art is usually taken very seriously but in this instance the artist pokes fun at the whole institution by taking no part himself in constructing the ‘artwork’, instead he sends a list of instructions to the curators of the competition and gets them to do the work. Secondly, he uses the discarded wrappings of all the other entrants (the rubbish) to create the winning ‘artwork’, thereby mocking all the efforts of the other entrants…

The joke enlists the active cooperation of the judge, who activates the insipient irony of a clever practical joke, by making it the winning artwork. The more I think about it the funnier it becomes. The discarded rubbish of all the other contestants wins the prize…

It doesn’t end there either; Paul Henry was inspired to create his own version of the work on TV. People were so incensed to think a ‘pile of rubbish’ could win an art competition (which some would say is not at all unusual) with a prize of $15,000 they actually bid money (though not thousands of dollars) for Paul Henry’s ‘artwork’… the irony increases… they all missed the point completely.

In-jokes are funny if you are in the know, and for those on the in-side it’s even funnier that outsiders don’t get it…

No one likes to be the butt of a joke though, so I’m glad I didn’t enter a painting in the competition this year. I’d have felt a fool to go to all that hard work only to be beaten by a pile of rubbish. But that’s the point; conceptual art is about the concept, not the work. And it was a clever concept. Not only was it funny but serious too in that it subtly shifts the boundaries of art, now including humour and irony into the artistic arsenal.

There is no reason to think that this is the last time a pile of rubbish will win a competition; while the rubbish itself is not new to art, there are always new twists as to the artist’s intention that can keep on providing a fresh concept behind the work. The artist can keep using the same pile of rubbish in new situations, should he so desire, to come up with what is considered new work, so long as he conveys his intent and convinces the judge it is a new concept.

But is it art? Traditionally we have elevated the art object and treated it as sacred, but in the ongoing debate about what art is, all kinds of different perspectives have been, and are being, explored. Art is more than the artefact; behind it is the art theory, the concept which spawned it. In conceptual art the concept itself is the art-piece, so long as it is conveyed to the viewer… or at least to those viewers open to it. There may be no artefact to possess, but in this case the irony and humour are free for all to enjoy, at least for those in the know, once we get past our inhibitions. And after all, its only art, not life and death… so why do so many of us get so worked up about it? It makes one think… and isn’t that the point of art?

9 September 2009


...a one-sided conversation that went a little like this:

Cool. C O O L. Cool means a little bit cold. But sometimes cool means hot. Like really hot and fashionable. Cool. A little bit cold. C O O L.

And I think I have trouble learning Italian?

new project

I am ready to start a new portrait, a belated gift. I have set myself a bit of a challenge: I want to paint two women reflected in a mirror. I don't have photographs of them in that position, so it is going to require careful drafting at the pencil stage.

The easy option was to take a perfectly adequate photograph and do a conventional portrait, but for personal reasons I want this to be a little more special. One of the women was an artist, and was a huge help to me when I first moved to Italy. Sadly she is no longer with us. It is in some way a tribute and a thank you to her, together in a gift for her only daughter.

Hopefully I will post progress photos over the next week. I am excited about the project despite the sad reason for it.

Today I am grateful for the ability to paint likenesses.

8 September 2009

the ongoing challenge

Surviving on a credit card in security conscious USA is proving to be a challenge. So much so, in fact, that last night daughter and I were rolling about in laughter... was it hysterical laughter, I wonder?

I wont bore you with the trials of on-line ordering and search for images, crashed computers, ambiguous websites and other domestic trivia, but the following part could well happen to you too!

I am using a credit card from one country with a billing address in another. Easy, one thinks, in the days of electronic banking. One would expect it to be accepted internationally...

British Airways would not accept my credit card in the USA because the country of origin of the card was not the same as the billing address of the card. No problem, says my ever so helpful and friendly bank on the other side of the world. You can change the address on line to another address if you have one here, then change it back later. Done in a trice.

Last night I tried to use the same credit card to purchase business cards here in the USA. Not possible on the on-line site, the credit card must have a USA address.

Here we go again. Now, if I don't remember to change it back, my daughter will receive my bills. In four or five days my credit card has had three different addresses.

Tonight, while shopping in the Labor (Labour) day sales, I had to give my USA postcode to use my credit card. Thankfully daughter was nearby...

Today I am grateful for
patience in testing times.

7 September 2009


12 HOURS PRO AMAZON RAINFOREST (Manifesto del Movimentismo - NY New York, Rome Italy) is a global group actively promoting the use of Facebook for a worthwhile, selfless cause.

The Rome based group working with the Brazilian poet Marcia Theophilo is encouraging artists in every genre to dedicate 12 hours during 18-19 December to producing works and performances to be published on Facebook, changing the face of Facebook communication to raise awareness of the need to save the rainforest.

Macia Theophilo is a Brazilian poet living in Rome, and a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. For her biography click here. Samples of her work (in English, Italian and Portuguese) may be found here.

Today I discovered a bonus for me when I read the latest email from the group. It was written in English, by an Italian. It was very clear, and almost correct. The not-quite-so-correct phrases offer me a key to my own errors! Now I have a "hook" to hang my learning on.

Today I am grateful for
excellent communication in slightly less than perfect English.

5 September 2009

never give up

This morning I did try to study a little. Feeling confident now that my automatic responses are a mix of Italian and English no matter which country I am in, I headed for my "help page" on a very useful Italian language site I subscribe to.

Bad move. I felt like giving up.

Recently a friend told me that while my Italian was technically correct, and easily understood, it was "too heavy". As I reviewed this page, now with enough knowledge to cringe at every point, I see exactly what was meant. Perhaps my friend was being polite, not wanting to say that I sound "too English".

It's tough, this language stuff!

I remember, way back when I taught English in a secondary school, debating with my Head of Department about correcting students who wrote 'different to' instead of 'different from'. The language is changing, she said. You must accept both, without correcting the former. But the latter is correct, the students must know the difference, I insisted. I don't remember that we agreed to differ, but I had to defer. I continued to point out that one used "different from" in formal prose, while admitting to students that in colloquial language "different to" was (shudder) becoming acceptable.

Oh that I had a smidgeon of that level of understanding in Italian!

Today I am grateful for informative language blogs.

4 September 2009

a helping hand

We all need them.

I read the "Chris will walk" blog this morning. The bravery of the young mum is moving. I recall times when a dear old friend would encourage me. Her own expression to get her through difficult times was "I am tough. T U F F Tuff". I have used it often. Now I think I am not so tough, but it is also OK to be vulnerable, less able, not always coping. Each moment will pass.

I am reminded of something I read (who knows where? I can't remember, but probably in an Eckhart Tolle book) about the present moment being all we have. And in each "present moment" when we check all the "coordinates" things are usually quite OK.

My wrist is sore. My own fault entirely, so I am not complaining. That too will pass. No regrets about what I was doing, only plans to do more, but more carefully, later!

Today I am grateful for the ability to multi-task.

gosh darn it...

Went clothes shopping today. Because I could. Now to find somewhere to wear the new "glad rags"...

Today I am grateful for Mimi's store discount card.

3 September 2009


I've been playing with colour, working towards a better product when I turn my paintings into cards. My skills in photoshop are very basic, but today I learned two more tricks - my son-in-law is an excellent teacher. It's just a pity that I am a slow learner!

However, here is the new and heavily cropped version of one work,(or will be when I figure out how to get it back into a jpeg) all set to go to the printer for some cards.

The things we do... I'm off to find a copy of Photoshop for Dummies!

Today I am grateful for
great teachers who make a difference.

2 September 2009

nog vsm nr gppf

No, I haven't been drinking! I was typing in the dark, and my fingers started in the wrong place. What I intended typing was "Big can be good". In this land of excesses I find myself fascinated by the size of the American vehicles, the soft drink takeaway cups, the helpings of food.

On Saturday I watched, amused, as three young men in an ENORMOUS shiny white pick-up truck slowed, ogled, leered, grinned beneath their sunglasses and then enjoyed the attention they received from a young lady. Who needs a sports car when you have all that power in a vehicle?

Today, however, I visited a brand new sports complex. It opened this week. Big can be very very good too! Photos later.

Today I am grateful for people who are environmentally responsible.