'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.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Just Do It

Sometimes you just have to go ahead.  There are always things that won't be perfect, but if you focus on the bits that are great, you can have a great time.

That last sentence sounds a bit sad really, but it isn't meant to be.  Sort of a reverse "Fox and Grapes" ... rather than not getting something and saying 'it wouldn't have been any good anyway', best to go for it/ do it/take a risk, and then you can say 'there were some great bits!'  Or at least 'I got exercise jumping up at grapes that were too high for me'...

 Our Long Road Trip Down to Dunedin and Back:
It was cold, but a car is a small, efficient space to heat.  And it was apparently really cold at home anyway.  

Bad weather made it seem even more marvelous when the sun did shine for us.

Taking the wrong road once or twice meant I saw things I would have otherwise missed.

Windy places make the trees grow into interesting artistic shapes.

Big swells out to sea made the Kaikoura coast wonderfully wild and dramatic.

Rain and sun make great rainbows.

Yes the cat had gone missing, but he wouldn't have turned up had we stayed anyway.

We were so lucky because the desert road was closed the day before and the day after - it felt like it opened just for us.

We were able to spend an extra day with Wellington cousins because the bad weather meant the ferries weren't crossing Cook Strait.

In Blenheim I learnt how to prune grapevines and discovered a lovely beach during the day's delay waiting for the ferries to run again on my way back.

H. has the best shower in the world!  And if we hadn't been sleeping in the chilly homestead-in-the-middle-of-renovations we wouldn't have appreciated it half as much.

The scenery was lovely, the backdrop of snowy mountains a novelty, and I took loads of photos, and got to know my new camera at the same time.  Now I have enough material to keep me painting for 10 years.

N was only a little bit sick on the ferry.

Driving long distances meant we were often still on the road at dusk and meant we saw a seal... and some wonderful sunsets.

Shelly the dog learnt to wee on command on the side of the road.  We made people smile as a result.

I discovered the old, pretty, honey-coloured Oamaru stone buildings.

We helped J move in to his lovely flat.

We went to the Tropical Butterfly Exhibition in the Dunedin Museum and warmed ourselves up.

We met a lovely sympathetic doctor when we needed antibiotics for chest infection and medicine for asthma.

We had a super time with Ellyn in her new fine villa, and a lovely evening, and morning feeding out to the stock with Wendy.  

The brake pads didn't get down to bare metal until after the steep bit over the Rumatukas was over.  And the tiny service station in Greytown only took two hours instead of a day to replace them, as they had another pair in stock.  While they were being done I ate one of Greytown's home-made pies.  It was jolly good.

It was great to spend the night with my sister and her family,  and morning tea with Dad and G. going the long way home, and besides the desert road was closed again anyway.

N was able to practice flatting although it wasn't in the plan that she be flown home before I got back.

It was very special to see the expression on T's face and hear him say "Great to see you home, Babe".


  1. Great adventure. Great pictures. Thanks for sharing. Such blog entries give an angle on faraway places that you just cannot get in guide books, geographical texts or published travel writing.

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  3. You have collected some great photos to base some paintings on! ?

  4. Anonymous13.7.08

    It was just gorgeous seeing you three... Sorry I was working stupid hours while you were here. Thanks for tea :)

    Come again soon! Much love, Em.

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  6. That is great. I will really look forward to seeing some of your talented efforts when they are completed.

  7. YP, Tillerman - Thanks, yes, have dozens more and enough, as I said, for another ten years' painting. Have begun today!
    Em, it was fab to see you too - loved your 'insider' stories. The Fisherman's Table is a great place to eat!

  8. Marvelous photos. I've always heard that NZ is a beautiful place. I'd love to visit someday.


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