Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I'm back

Hi, wow, after a spell of mad activity, I have so much to catch up on! (Thanks for the concern shown about my absence, as you will see, I have been fine!)
I was laughing with my daughter K as we went through some of the vast quantity of photos taken in the last two weeks, seems that Max and I count our lives in Gigabytes! Hopefully I can resume more regular blogging and visiting now that the latest exhibition is hanging (opening was last /night.)

So to do a quick catchup:
The building operations for my new studio have proceeded well, just a couple of final touches from the builder, and then I have to get in there to clean, paint, seal the floor, build cupboards and shelves etc. I can't wait to move my art stuff in there.

While we were at it with the bashing and messing, we got the builder to put a window into the kitchen above the top counters, to bring in more light from the East. We went through that hideous "what was I thinking" stage.......

........but it has made a great difference, and while we were at it we added some cupboards to the top to keep all the clutter, and gave the colour a bit more va va voom!

It will be wonderful when I can paint out there and our dining room, living room and study can stop looking like this!!

Amidst all the hectic activity, we have made a point of continuing our morning walks and getting some R&R..........

Last week there was a wonderful sunrise, witnessed by us and this cat on the chimney of a neighbouring house...... no it's not real but a ceranic sculpture! It was a great walk, wonderful moody skies, and as we were nearly home a summer cloudburst with warm fat raindrops, we got home soaking and refreshed, it was FUN!

One evening we went to the Spur restaurant at the beachfont. They made their name as a steakhouse serving lots of meat, burgers, and a famous "salad valley" where you can load your plate with an assortment of imaginative salads. What deeply impressed Max was the fact that the menus have little heart foundation emblems on them to show which dishes are heart friendly.

We also had a meal at a place overlooking the bay,

the Jazz Cafe at Brooks Pavillion. Sadly the only decent thing about it was the view. It was grubby, run down, and the food was appalling and overpriced. We will NOT be back!

One of our regular visitors to our Port Elizabeth Daily Photo blog, who used to live here years ago and is now in the States, asked us to feature St George's Park. Well, sadly, strolling around the park is not as safe as it used to be, and stories of muggers abound. So we decided to walk there at sunrise one morning, but we made sure that we were accompanied by Harry.

Harry is short for Dirty Harry, and he is Max's very evil looking paint ball gun, which is loaded with pepper spray pellets. It is insane that this is what peace loving people are reduced to in order to stay safe, but it is our daily reality and we have to deal with it as best we can. One thing we are determined about is that we will not allow the criminals to turn us into prisoners in our own home, too afraid to enjoy the beauty around us!!!!

One of the things we went to see was a sculpture a friend told us about. It is a tribute to well known local playwrite, Athol Fugard. There is a line in one of his plays about a kite.

This weekend I felt that I had enough art ready for the exhibition, and was too tired to do more, so we went off to St Francis for a break. Felicity cat is still too little to stay home alone so she accompanied us, and turned out to be a most delightful travel companion.
On the way there she curled up on my shoulder like a parrot, and purred as she watched the world go by.
In the suite, she settled in and took over, here she is keeping Max company as he blogs.

Both mornings had spectacular sunrises to greet the perfect days.
On Saturday morning we strolled down to Otters landing, the area to the south of the port, and had a great time rambling along the hiking trail, amongst the indigenous bushes, snapping away like mad!

The morning was not without excitement.... on our way back for breakfast we spotted two high powered rubber ducks with long range fuel tanks leaving the port. We had seen them on our last visit and we knew that they are Perlemoen (abalone) poachers, setting out for a raid on our shores. A little yellow boat followed them but came right back. We didn't know if he was one of them, (turned out he was a good guy!) so we went back to get a phone, stopping on the way to photograph the cars with trailers which brought the rubber ducks to the port, and catch the registration numbers.
Then I contacted the NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute) and they reported it to the police task force. Apparently they had been after the same group the previous day, with helicopters etc, but the poachers just run out to sea and with their long range tanks and got away again. They are completely brazen! And unless they are actually caught red handed, there is nothing the authorities can do .........grrrrrrrrrrrrr.
It seems that every time we have made it to the Port in the past year, the weather has been cloudy and miserable. It was quite nice to see blue skies for a change, even though I also love the bad weather.
After breakfast we went to the Bay and village to photograph different aspects for our St Francis Daily Photo blog, and the sea was a wonderful colour.

this beach is one of my favourite places on the planet at any time, but particularly at sunrise, the huge expanse of unspoilt sand, the waves rolling in and the sun painting it in all shades from pastel to wild, it is just amazing to be there and soak it in!
As soon as there was enough light, I settled onto the beach and did a little painting of the lighthouse, while Max strolled along the beach and then back to the lighthouse, and took a whole bunch of photos (including this one!)
Back home, Fergussen finally decided to let Felicity cat snuggle close, hopefully they will be friends soon.
And then on Monday, I did another painting...... inspired by one of our daughter-in-law's photos of Sudanese refugees.
And I hung the exhibition, which opened last night.
Here is the gallery owner Tossie, a delightful person, lurking in the doorway.
And here I am explaining the inspiration behind the refugee paintings to a journalist from one of the local newspapers.
Pete Parrott very kindly gave me permission to use one of his photos as inspiration for a picture, here is the result. Thanks Pete!
And that brings us back to today, where I have spent hours editing photos and compiling this mammoth post, so there we are, all caught up on my news, and tomorrow I will start to catch up on visits and see what you guys have been up to!


Old Wom Tigley said...

Fantastic post, to comment on any of the photo's would be wrong as they are all excellent...
I'm your pictures are all hung and I wish you well with it.
Peter will be over the moon when he see his photo made into a painting.. I justknow he will beam with pride.
Great to have you back posting..


Ali Honey said...

Congratulations on hanging your exhibition - I hope you get many viewers.Best Wishes for that.

I love the photo of you painting on the beach. I am also enjoying the daily photo sites.

Lilli & Nevada said...

WOW!Those are all such wonderful photos and i love your new studio.
I have to say i love love love your Siamese Kittie, she looks so much like my Buttercup when she was a baby, very light in color, but now has gotten very dark.

Kerri said...

Wow...Wow....Wow! You have been BUSY! What a WONDERFUL post! Your paintings are AWESOME!

Anonymous said...

Gee ... this is really the reflect of a busy life.
Great paintings and amazing photos.
Nice to read this post and glad you're back.

imac said...

Wow, glad you back tho, looks like you have been very busy.
The photos of the decor looks great but hard work and a bet there was a lot of mess with all that going on.Love the art you have looked a good show too.
Also your walks too are great photos.
See you made up for loss of blogging time with a long enjoyable post.

Sheila said...

Great photos Suze. I'm glad yo posted as I was getting a bit concerned.Now I see Max looking fit as a fiddle and know you were both out having fun..!
I'm sure the exhibtion was a huge success,
I do like the last picture you show here. It has so much atmosphere. Lovely..!

Old Wom Tigley said...

Just called back to let you know how much pleasure I saw in Peters face last night when he called around. To see your picture of one of his photo's was such a boost. I'm hoping it is things like this that will help him through life. I need to make him see he as value.. and the daft thing is HE DOSE.. it is getting him to see it.
Would it be OK if he shows your pitures against his on a post... I'll of course link to you.


RuneE said...

I must thank you for the very generous and nice comments that you made in my blogs. Yes, I do try to enjoy the time I have "bought". What would otherwise be the point of it all? :-)

You seem to have been pretty busy yourself lately. Impressive decoration and even more impressive exhibition!

Sad to hear about the crime wave in what looks like a very beautiful area. Maybe it will be better when things settle a bit more.

Sorry about the word verification , but it beats the "spam criminals", though I'm continuously debating the need for it with myself.

PS I have been trying for a couple of hours to send this comment - Blogger can be a .....

Pete said...

great post
pity about the poachers.
sometimes I can't understand why the authorities hands seem to be tied behind their back