Saturday, February 10, 2007

“The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things……”

I haven’t spent much time at the office in the last couple of days, so I am getting behind with all sorts of things that I have been planning to blog about.
So today is a sort of mega catching up mish-mash!
Please let me know how it is working for you having replies to recent comments in the sidebar instead of in the actual comments page.
Finally, I have completed some ATCs, which I was inspired to try after enjoying Janet’s love affair with them! They were fun. I used large pieces of primed canvas, and did abstract oil paintings over them, playing with colour and texture. Then I cut out a window from cardboard, and isolated some areas that seemed to work as tiny pictures, and cut them out. I ordered coloured mounting boards from a friend who does picture framing, glued the canvasses onto them, and trimmed them.

It was so interesting seeing what emerged,

I saw yachts at sunset, moon over water,

trees reflected in lakes, desert scenes,

a dancer, and one interesting one which seems to have cat’s eyes glowering out at you!
My favourite is a very subtle mauve one which seems to have a village nestling against a treed hillside. This one is for Janet, who loves purple, to thank her for the inspiration, (please e-mail me on sue at elgecko dot co dot za, Janet, with your snail mail address.)

However, as always, the best laid plans…. There is only 1 rule with ATC’s, and I seem to have managed to break even that, although unwittingly. (Just goes to show, when your motto in life is “rules are made to be broken” it happens even when you DON”T plan to rebel!) The boards I ordered were made too small (2 and a quarter by 3 and a quarter inches) and I only noticed after I had already cut and pasted all 30 of them! So they may have to end up as business cards for my art!
So for what they are worth, here are some non regulation ATCs…..

We had a fair bit of drama yesterday. I was at home in the late afternoon, when I got a frantic phone call from Christine who works at the office, saying the offices were being broken into. She had returned from an errand and seen someone in the office, so she retreated to her car and had already called the Police Flying Squad. I pushed the panic button on my alarm, to alert our security company, and asked them to go to the office. Then I leapt into the trusty bloublitz (who you met on the trip to Philippolis in January) and put her through her very adequate paces to get to the office.

By the time I got there the dog unit, a car and several motorbikes from the flying squad were already outside. They asked Christine what she saw, and then pulled their guns. The dog unit guy went in first, with a massive and mean looking black rottweiller, and as he entered he let the dog off its leash.

He came out a few seconds later, shaking and white faced, he was in such a state he couldn’t speak much, he said “there’s a woman and a child in there! I can’t believe the child is still alive!”
It turned out to be Karen and Ethan, (for the new reader, that is my daughter and 2 and a half year old grandson) who had gone to the office to go online.

The dog went right up to Ethan’s face, paused, and Ethan turned, and went to sit on a chair, the dog followed sniffing, and was almost at the chair when the handler caught up and held it tight.

Karen was by this time in the doorway, holding her pepper spray, because she had heard male voices. She said his face just drained to white, and he sank down to his knees, and called his partner, who took the dog away. He was sick to his stomach because it was such a close call; they said afterwards that they cannot believe the dog did not attack instantly, because they are trained to kill.

Apparently, when Karen heard Christine coming back, she looked around to see who it was, all Christine saw was her arm silhouetted in the doorway. As she had earlier seen the same shady character who had accosted both her and me on previous occasions (the time her phone was stolen, sorry, can't find it now to do a link), hanging around outside, she had added 2 and 2 and got 5! She thought it was him in the building.

So it all ended ok, except that several adults had an unpleasant adrenaline rush and a lot of police time and manpower was wasted, and needless to say we all apologised profusely for the false alarm, and thanked them for responding so fast.

The thing is, because we have all had nasty experiences recently, and the city is experiencing a crime wave, it is easy for this to happen, one can’t be too careful (if you are new to this blog, the incident in October where I was stabbed by an intruder is described here with a few updates in the following posts.) Speaking of that, I got a visit from the detective on that case the other day. The man who stabbed me, and was also wanted for armed robbery in East London, was let off on bail of R200. So there you have it, the value of a human life, according to South African courts, is about US$ 25!
The poor Police spend their lives (often literally) on going into dangerous situations to apprehend criminals, only to have them freed by the courts. It really is a disgusting state of affairs!

Recently a Port Elizabeth magistrate was temporarily suspended, because she didn’t want to work after 4 in the afternoon, so she dismissed all the cases still pending after that, and freed the accused, among them a rapist, and a murder!

I guess the whole incident only goes to highlight that we all carry on life here, but our nerves are on a hair-trigger because of the daily level of crime we have come to expect as normal.

And Ethan? Well he was blithely unaware that he was even in danger, and was chatting happily about the doggie that came to visit him! That’s why I am blogging about this now, so one day when he is old enough to understand, he can read this and give thanks that a miracle took place, and he was somehow protected from a certain mauling.

Yesterday, Princess and I moved this massive pot, complete with soil, plants and trellis, from the back courtyard, through the house, and onto the new ledge next to the front step. We were puffing like two old steam engines afterwards, but still, not bad for two old ladies hey?
We are SLOWLY getting the house back into shape after the alterations, SLOW being the operative word. Turns out Andrew may not be the National Treasure I first thought he was, and I am still waiting for him to come back and replace the basin he broke…ho hum. So will HOPEFULLY post pictures of the completed bathroom by the end of next week….hope springs eternal!

Finally, a few of the daily photos and out my front doors taken recently, but not posted yet…….

And what better to do on a cold rainy day than doze in front of the TV with a blanket and some kitties?.......


Sheila said...

I was almost sick to my stomach reading this. Thankfully no one was hurt. I have young grandchildren and the thought of this happening is terrifying.
I often think life is held so cheaply, and in so many ways.
A life sentence here means out in as little as 5 years, and if you await sentence in one particular facility, they reduce your sentence as time served, because it isn't a very nice place...WHAT..!
Don't people who break the law, and harm others abdicate their rights when they commit those crimes.Sorry, I'll get off my soap box.
Lovely photos, and brilliant ATC's and all the more enjoyable today because a little boy is safe and sound..

Ali Honey said...

Glad that turned out okay phew!
Your ATCs together like that look wonderful...there must be somehow you might use them all together.
I can see all the images in them you mentioned except the cat's eye.

RUTH said...

I'm so glad all turned out ok; what a terrifying thing to happen. The ATC's are wonderful and Special Thanks for the "silver lining"'s beautiful!

Janet said...

I tried sending you an email the very day this was posted and this morning I had a notice in my mailbox that the email was delayed and will be held for two more days! I wrote you a nice long note about the ATCs (along with my address) so hopefully it will eventually get to you. If not try emailing me (it's in my profile) and then I can respond directly to that.

Suzy said...

I am speechless. What a harrowing tale. That was a smart dog too; it must have sensed that this was a child. Animals can be truly amazing.

And your stabbing??? Yikes.

I will be thinking extra hard about you. Take care!

The ATC's are very beautiful. I like the idea of making a bigger abstract piece and then framing smaller parts of it.