'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.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Beauty in Unexpected Places

Staying up in the hills overlooking Matakana last week, we had our own dear little guest house, including a perfect wee kitchen with everything provided, arranged beautifully and convenient.
The owners are yachtees and he is a carpenter*, so everything was dovetailed, ship-shape and Bristol-fashion.

* Actually, to call him a carpenter is like saying Peter Jackson makes home movies.
Ralph builds the most exquisite houses, and all joinery etc. within, and the finish is immaculate. He has no prints on his fingertips as he sands everything by hand.


  1. I've always had a real admiration for carpenters who, to me, are the top end of the joinery trade. If I had taken a trade I would have had to have been an electrician or a plumber. You can learn those skills. You can learn to be a joiner. However to be a really good joiner or a carpenter you need something that can't be just learned: an innate skill is required. How I would have loved that skill even if I had never used it to make my living.

  2. Hmmm. I wonder if just doing things again and again means it starts *looking* like some part of the skill is innate. I've always felt that maybe the *interest* is the innate bit, and that drives the quest and persistence so the skill develops.

    I do know that there is a wonderful place people find when time seems to have no meaning and everything just flows easily. My art tutor called it getting in The Zone. It's almost magical when you are in there... Doesn't happen to me very often, but more and more these days.

  3. I agree, it's lovely. Nice shot too :) Things in detail like that seem very satisfying to me - compacted down, focused, somehow amplified by being reduced.

  4. Emily - yes indeed. I remember the feeling of having everything tiny and tidy from my student days. I have gathered a lot of 'moss' in recent years!


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