'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Monday, 2 March 2015

My Secret Valley

I was pleased as anything when I got this canvas print back from the local copy shop.  And even more so when it came back, the cotton canvas beautifully stretched by a local famers.
All I did was give it a light spray with a matt fixative, to prevent dust or grime from attaching itself so much, and a careful paint of acrylic on the sides.
I can only tell it apart from the original (which was painted with very thinned down oils, so is hardly textured at all)  by looking very closely. (I did enlarge it a little, and lightened it slightly too).






Thursday, 26 February 2015

A Moment Frozen in Time

Why did the black and white dog cross the road? 
To see the huge writing that had appeared?



I was checking out the Street View on one of the roads overlooking the small local town of Katikati for a mural I am doing, when I found this cute dog, captured and immortalised, if not forever, at least until the google camera car drives up this road again. 
Has anyone else seen something funny on Google street view?

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Con Trails and Stars



This very unusual sight (in New Zealand) this afternoon reminded me about my amazement at the huge number of aircraft condensation trails I saw criss-crossing the sky on my visits to the Northern Hemisphere.
Which then got me thinking how lovely it is that downunder, we can see so many stars. More of the Milky Way, because our position down here, and also more of the tinier stars because of our clear, clean (rather wind-swept) maritime skies.
Which leads me nicely into the following: a little preview of a couple of Andrew Caldwell's fantastic photographic images.  He's going to be showing his work in the next exhibition here, along with a few of my little oil landscapes.





Sunday, 22 February 2015

Ours is the Best Beach in New Zealand.

I really should get over to the beach more often. It's only 15 minutes away. Trouble is, in summer it is so crowded over there, and hot, and it's hard to find a park. 
And, well, it's just so lovely and cool and restful at home under the trees, to be honest. And I could always launch one of the kayaks and head up the river for a lovely paddle too.





But I was still delighted to see that Mount Maunganui has been voted Best Beach by Trip Advisor.



Friday, 20 February 2015

A Few of Me Tomatoes

Such a bumper crop this year! Must have been the sheep poo. And so child-hood-memory tasty too!







Thursday, 19 February 2015

A Stink of Bugs?


What's the collective noun for a group of vegetable bugs?  Mine seem to be all clustering together this afternoon.



I'm pretty sure these are the young of the 'Southern Green Stink Bug' Nezara viridula, originally from Ethiopia, but which has now made itself at home almost everywhere.  They spray a toxic, foul-smelling substance when disturbed.


Pretty, aren't they? They are about a cm long each.

Just don't eat them along with your lettuce. I can assure you from first-hand experience, you need only the rear end in your salad in order to have an extremely memorable experience.