Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I think my feet might be hovering close to terra firma now

Hi, well that was an interesting spell! It is winding down now, and life is taking on a slightly normal tone (if you bear in mind that normal is a very subjective term, which means different things to different people!) Who knows, I might even have time to take notice of what is happening in the world around me and resume regular ranting soon! And I have been missing my regular round of blog visits, but hopefully they will also re-start in the next few days.
Last week I sealed the floor, and, with Max's help, built cupboards and shelves etc. I found a painter to help, and managed to get the new studio and courtyard painted, and also the dining room and study, to cover the layers of paint spatters which have accumulated there over the last few years! Then began the monumental task of moving my art stuff in there, and all the camping gear tools etc which used to live there out of the spare room and into the garage, where we also sorted out the cupboards, and moving furniture around from all over the house. All this took place by navigating around the newly laid tiles in the courtyard, between rushing off to the hardware for more sand, cement, paint etc at regular intervals! My Physiotherapist did well out of the deal!
But here it is...... the new studio ready for the next spate of paintings....

........the dining room is looking reasonably respectable again (not that we have had time to sit at the newly cleared table for a meal, but at least we can if we want to!!)

.....and the study has gone from this....

..........to this.

Just the tiling to finish up now.

My Dad and his partner Connie share a birthday, and the 6th March was a milestone, he turned 90 and she turned 70, so we went to East London for a gathering of the clan to celebrate with them. We spared them the cake with 160 candles (after all Escom has made sure that candles are a sought after commodity!) but had a lovely get together none the less!
My sister and brother in law (Ali and Dave, who still live in Zimbabwe, I TOLD you normal is a subjective term!!) returned from London where they were visiting the adorable Mr Matthew, their newest grandchild, and came down for the weekend. Their son Pete, his wife Jo and their delightful son, the year old Jacob, as well as Jake's new sibling, still in mommies tummy.....(I tell ya these guys may have had to wait for grandchildren but they are making up for lost time!!!!).... all came down from the stunning village of Clarens, where they currently live.

I say currently, because they plan to move to a tiny wild rural village in the mountains of Lesotho, into a house where the first modification they have to make is to enlarge the little structure around the pit toilet so that Pete's tall frame can actually fit in there!...again normal is a flexible concept! But seriously, I admire them, they have chosen to set aside their own personal comfort zone, and live among the poorest of the poor rural people and help teach them sustainable planting methods to sustain their families, and likewise Ali and Dave have chosen to stay in Zim to help make a difference there, not just because they are nuts!

K,J & little Ethan came with us (we had to check out Thandi's performance as a family car, she did very well!) and as if that whole crowd was not big enough, we all had dinner with my step dad and his wife, and my 3 step brothers with their wives and kids. It was a lovely evening, we all had just one night to catch up with each other before scattering back to our various corners of the planet, and we really made the most of it. A huge thanks again to Aubs and Rene for coming up with the idea and hosting the whole thing, for their amazing hospitality which made sure that everyone of the 26 people ranging from the toddler to the 90 year old were happy and comfortable, and providing that WONDERFUL Chinese dinner...mmmmmmmmm. (I bet your neighbours are glad you don't have dinners for 26 people every day!)
I wanted to post some pix of the clan, but they are on Max's camera and he is in a meeting, so I'll do it in the next few days.

On Sunday, it was raining, but Max and I took a stroll before breakfast to the beach. Eastern Beach in East London has a headland where the waves pound against the rocks, and the whole scene was even more lovely with the sun's rays battling to emerge through the dark clouds.
After taking Dad and Connie to a restaurant for lunch, we all said goodbye, and we headed back home.
Yesterday I collected the remaining paintings from the gallery, as the latest exhibition is over, and so it seems a few weeks of coming back down to earth are on the horison, whew.
The tilers are almost finished in the courtyard, and once they are gone, at least we will be able to sort out the plants, and best of all, teach Felicity to go to the loo out there instead of in her stinky sand box!
She has grown so fast, and her weekend alone with the big cats was another milestone, she loves following Fergy around. This is a bit of a worry as he often goes out onto the busy street in front of our house. He is incredibly street wise, we have watched him looking out for cars, and waiting till the road is clear before crossing to the Park. But of course, she will follow blindly, so we have to block the kitty door to the front and keep an eye on her when the door is open.
So there we are, getting back to "NORMAL"!


Laura Albertyn said...

Well - very jealous that you were all together this weekend - one day!!

I love the new studio and the house is looking fab!! So nice to have your own space!!!

Love Laus

Old Wom Tigley said...

NORMAL.. my you had me worried then...
I should think the 'get together' was a great thing to have done... I always enjoy them, but I find the build up to them stressful more than the days themselves.

The rooms are looking fantastic... I hope the new area for painting gives you renewed insperation and many a master piece is painted there.
Al the best

Suzi-k said...

hey Laus, we thought of you guys and wished you could have made it, but as you say....ONE day! That is the sad reality of families scattering across the global village, we can keep in touch so easily on the web, but it is a bit harder in real life!
Tom, hehe, had you worried did I? Imaging how boring it would be if Max and I ever really did become NORMAL! I know what you mean about the buildup.... I always dread big gatherings, and wonder if my dad will behave, and whether I will have the energy to stay awake and hold a coherent conversation with anyone, but it usually turns out to be fine!

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

WOW... what a transformation! That is AWESOME! The difference is like night and day.

That photo of the beach is beautiful with the suns rays pulling down from the clouds. Amazing.

Janet said...

I'm so green with envy over your new studio!! It looks wonderful and I'm sure you'll be spending a lot of time out there. That terra cotta color in the dining room is gorgeous and the paintings just look great against it.

Your family gathering must have been fun. We don't have that many family members within driving distance to get together like that.

That last shot of the beach looks so peaceful. What's better than an early morning walk along the shore?

Anonymous said...

Suzy, I see you have been fully occupied doing amazing things ... lovely colours there.

Loved the beach photo.

Kerri said...

Whew! You have been a busy lady!
Your studio looks SO Fabulous! Wow!

Sheila said...

Suze your studio looks amazing. I love that warm paint colour too.
Sounds like a good time was had by all at the birthday party, I'm still smiling at the thought of 160candles..!
Definitely milestomes worth celebrating that's for sure.

Jenty said...

I love the colours in the study!
And what a light and airy space in the studio! Very nice

Ash said...

Well done! What a lovely feeling it must be to have stuff SORTED and all fresh and ready for more painting! The new place looks great (but I saw MY painting in the earlier post and it reminded me how much I still want it! - we need to speak about setting it on its way across the seas to the Scottish Borders!) Hope the exhibition is going well - actually, I am sure it is.

xx L

Shirley Goodwin said...

The new spaces look great.

Pamela said...

Your studio looks great!

I love the colour on the wall.

imac said...

What a make-over you have done.You should take a break and rest now.

Suzi-k said...

hi all, thanks. Imac, good plan!