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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

With family and friends this Christmass

Very big Mike on top of big Dave on top of the not so big at all girls on top of a straining couch
This pic made me laugh...Big Mike sleeps anywhere (sitting behind us in case you wondered)

Singing carols (John was thirsty after taking the lead) in the street

This house is so beautifully lit up that people come from all over to see it. They loved us singing Carols.
I remember taking our two small daughters for a drive through the cities just to see the lights...sigh.....this doesnt happen anymore

Not going away this Christmass was really no big deal. Having rented out our appartment has meant that we have a little extra this Christmass. Our beloved daughter, not being with us this year, has meant that it was NEVER going to be the same as usual anyway. There are other reasons too;
Letitia, who was responsible for one of my biggest lessons in life, and who blessed me in so many ways. Strange for me that I came to know her so well over a period of a year.....she was yet another of my friends who I've known for a thousand years and I will see her again. Spending this Christmas at home to be with her was her gift to me. The most precious.
Then, Emma....she is parly blind and deaf but brother!!!!!!.....she hears the vaguest rumble of thunder which throws her into a total and mindless panic. Walking around our house, you will notice shutter pannels missing, gouges in the front, back and garage doors, and a bent metal barrier going up the outside stairwell. She has her own little domolitian derby every time there's a storm!!!!
God alone knows what would have happened if we'd gone away this year...while we were at midnight-mass on Christmass eve, we had a huge storm and she chewed through and ripped apart our court-yard gate.
I've been sooooo tempted to teach her 'fetch' at the bottom of the pool...but, well, I get as far as shouting at her which absolutely crushes her...and thats punishment enough I guess.
This year, we spent the day with family friends. It was one of the most wonderful Christmasses we've had in a long included 21 people, mostly young,prayer, guitar playing, singing 'happy birthday' to Jesus, Christmas carols, swimming, good food, lots of laughs, two little orphan boys who joined us, Amazing Christmas lights, gift swapping...(literally...long storey),my son singing beautifully to everyone(he didn't take his pipes)human pyramids, singing Christmas Carols in the street....having such a perfect day really made me miss my vivacious in-your-face beautiful daughter ....she would have been the soul and life of the party!!! However, Christmas was made when she phoned later on and spoke to all of us.

The Highs and lows of Christmass

Letitia passed away on Boxing day, Robs birthday, at 7:53 am. We got the call at 08:10 and our day began with me crying, not for a friend, who I know, did not fear death at all, who found blessed releaf from her suffering, fighting and concerns... but for the family that she left behind, the reason why she fought this aweful desease with such positive resolve and bravery. Their heartache and pain will prevail for many months yet, possibly many years.

Anton lay with his head on her chest, listening to her last twenty heart beats and she went peacefully.

I have wondered since then, how much of what her and I spoke about re death and dying, actually had any bearing on the process itself. We as mortals, have very limited understandingof these things and books, stories, theories, theology mean little when one is in the moment. Who can say??? This such a 'usual' , normal' part of our existance that one would have thought there would be a greater acceptance of it ,less fear, and yet death is still the omnous 'Sword of Damaclese' that hangs over our heads from the time of our conception.

In the last few weeks, dealing with Letitia's breast cancer, I've had to battle that very same deamon...the one that tells you 'you're gonna die'.
Well yes, I know that I am, I just dont know when and that is not for me to determine or worry about. The fact that I have lumps all over my breasts at the moment,hasnt made it easy to prevent the concept of 'death' invade my 'life' , but the essence is always, "yes, for now,I am alive and I WILL live". I've thought of people like Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Florence Nightingale....all were subjected to abject poverty, dread deseases, they had nothing but their own life and confidently used it to benefit others without considering the risk or being sucked into a morbid sence of impending doom.

I was really hoping that the Lord would take her home on His Birthday...her extended family were all there with her, there was a family togetherness. On Christmass day, there is always a greater sence of forgiveness, prayerfulness, thoughtfulness and in a way, it represents a celebration of spiritual re-birth, a feast, a Holy Day, a Blessed day. I believe, that perhaps initially, it would represent a sad day for her family, but eventually, her memory will be part of the celebration, she will not be forgotten. A mutual friend phoned me the day after she passed away to tell me that she had a beautifull vision of her,standing in the light, waving and smiling. I KNOW that is exactly what she's doing now. I have felt her presence and she is happy.

The good news is that Genna, her daughter went for an MRI and although there is an abcess behind her eye, the neurologist is not concerned at all. A small mercy, thank you Lord.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas at home

We put up our Christmas tree last night..our African grey was very interested in the lights
This is a little angel, one of three that my eldest sister bought for the three of us sisters, each is unique. We light them each Christmas as a symbol of our spiritual unity during this time of the year.

This is turning out to be a strange Christmas. Strange firstly because our precious daughter and sister, Bronwen, is now somewhere in or near Columbia and for the first time, will not be with us. Oh Lord how I miss her!!!! :o(
Letitia is slipping in and out of a coma now and I'm expecting a dreaded phone call with each passing ophthalmologist has also now discovered a 'pressure' behind one of her youngest daughters eyes and her dad (over and above everything else that he's trying to cope with) has just one more terrible worry to deal with. My parents are across the ocean with my eldest sister in Madeira, we are not in the Cape where we always are at this time of the year, but at home and there is so much sadness that I'm being made aware of this year in terms of people battling with operations, illness, loneliness and heartache.
We sat around the kitchen table last night...our board-room table....and discussed Letitia and her family and the impending trauma and the concept of death and dying. That simple deed of being united for a few minutes in order to deal with this life truth was such a blessing. There were very somber moments, especially for my husband Rob, who I think as a typical male, finds it very difficult to process emotions or express them.
Snapping out of it came in the form of a deep realization that our time together, in health, in happiness, the NOW that we have, is wonderful beyond words, precious beyond all riches..that even though family members are not with us..... their love is...our love is...... That eternal, in life and death.
We all jumped up and proceeded to the lounge to put up our Christmas tree amidst the usual banter between the boys, my eldest, gentle and sweet-natured daughter and I just shaking our heads at the 'cavemen'.
Yes, Christmas is a very special time of the holds many spiritual mysteries and gifts that supersede all others. It is the most wonderful time of the year, if not for anything else, but just for realising how truly blessed we are in our most humblest and difficult of circumstances.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My soul sisters

Painting on one's own can be uninspiring and lonely sometimes. Unlike conventional 'jobs' where the routine of getting dressed and fighting traffic, is all part of our existence (and I don't use that word without thought), we are forced to interact with people, who, although are like-minded in their goals and job description, often do not share our moral, spiritual, family values. I've been there, and Lord, it sucks!!!!!! Its a daily assault on ones spirit and God willing, I never have to go into that environment ever again.
Being true to my spirit goes further than just merely doing what I love, but being able to do this in an environment with some dear people. One of these is Noreen.

Noreen is one of those precious people who have a rare inner peace and an ability to see beauty in the most simplest of things...then express it in a unique and beautiful way and gosh, she has happily taught me so much. She is a busy art teacher, who has exhibits for all her students, a framer and art restorer and a very successful artist, but mostly, shes just a wonderful person who not only shares her knowledge with those around her, but her free and warm spirit too.
Today...I painted 3 freckles.....she painted a mandala!!!
My artist friends are incredibly dear to me, not just because they have similar interests, but I seemed to have been blessed with the most beautiful people in my life. I treasure them!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dogs in heaven

This is Emma or Perchance Emilia. She's my 13 year old Golden Retriever and I adore her. She is my shadow, my consoller, my loyal furry friend.
Someone asked me the other day if dogs go to a Catholic, my answer should me "no", but in honesty, our animals are such an important part of our lives, that I cant imagine any 'Heavenly' place without EVERY creation of God. He knows us as humans, and what our needs are, what brings us peace and happiness...can you imagine heaven without beautifull flowers and trees, mountains and cool springs...??? I cant. I cant imagine heaven without animals either!
Emma is the gentlest, sweetest dog in the world, she's never 'messed' in the house in her thirteen years with us, she's never growled, or bitten anything, she's suckled kittens and full grown cats, rabits and birds have sat next to her and on her, she sences my emotions I think before I do and reacts to them, dissappearing when I'm angry, licking me and sitting with her head on my lap when I'm sad. She jumped into my daughters car a few weeks ago and wouldnt get out till she'd been taken for a drive around the block....she is the first one to come with me at night to fetch one of my children...sitting in the front seat...once I left her in the car for the whole night, only to find her quite happy ,calm and ready to go again the next morning....without any of the expected 'mishaps' one would normally find in leaving a dog in a car the whole night!!!.
Em, I love you my doggy angel!!!!

Hidden talents revealed

My daughter has been away now for almost a month and Lord knows how much we all miss this vivacious, in-your-face, beautiful and precious girl. Her boyfriend Brandon has fortunately been spending a lot of time with us and what a blessing he has been. He gets most of the news from Bron and shares it with us. Theirs is a new romance but a mom's heart knows, that this is a 'forever' one. By staying with us, he has helped us to fill an empty bed and hopefully, we as a family have helped him to fill an empty heart. We love him, this deep and soulfull young man and he is 'one of us' now.
He has been encouraged to follow up on his talents and I have eagerly been happy to help him get started...started?!!!....hardly!!! This young man has a natural talent. His drawings are detailed and done with passion...his first painting ever, of Cheryl Cole, is looking amazing and I cant wait to see the finished product. This is to be a present for Bron..there is LOTS of feeling going into it. He has also taught us all how to make sushi and nyoki...its wonderfull having a chef in the family!!!!

Crossed paths and faith

This the painting I started last week and which I've decided to dedicate to Lettitia. I'm not sure at this stage where it's going but I'm just slowly (and I do mean slowly) working on it and watching to see where it will go. it's fairly sombre at the moment, obviously in keeping with the mood that had enveloped me when I started, but my intention is to bring a happy contrast into it and build up layers of scenes, and feelings and images, those that I feel and sence but often battle to interperate.
Last week I went with her to Klerksdorp to help her during her final week of Rife treatment. Never in my life have I encountered someone who is so determined to change the seemingly impossible. This has been an extraordinary journey for me, of observation, growth, appreciation of the human spirit. Waking up every day to the sound of the oxygen machine, watching her struggle with everyday things like taking a breath, eating, walking, sleeping, talking...quietly reading her book, staring into space...I have been humbled, secretly in tears, but seeing, possibly for the first time, that we are all related, all connected somehow...that this stranger, who I met but a year ago, is important and dear to me, that although our paths are very different, they have, by fate, crossed and for some inexplicaable reason, I am helping her on this leg of her journey. In as much as she's determined to get well, I am as doubtful of my ability to see what she does and stay positive. So then why me????

Beutiful soul, heal...get better, this is my prayer for you. Should this not be ordained for you then be at peace for you are loved

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A revival

These are some of the photos I took when I first got my camera. The one on the left was taken when my sister and I went on one of our numnerous hikes to Mpumalanga. I havent done much this year, but plan to do way more in 2011

I love this ..I wanted to paint it at one stage

I think you can just see the little bee :o)

Yesterday, I went for my usual run..but it wasnt usual. It was 7:05 pm and almost dark! I would have been besides myself if any of my three children decided to go running at that time, but I guess you know the saying about doctors, nurses and teachers; they make the worst in the home environment.
For me it was less about the excercise and more about the need to 'breath' in this time and space. It was a beautiful, night last night, with clear sky's, a bright moon and cool crisp air...and I wanted to truely feel this within my soul to become one with it, be part of the nothingness, the peace, the realness.
The minute I closed the gate behind me, my sences were suddenly alive and I could hear everything! The quiet, the darkness, the shadows, which should have intimidated me, but only served to make me want to claim this beautiful night as I saw it, without threat or danger. I was hearing the black backed Jackal calling, the continuous high-pitched anthem of the bush crickets and their less vociferous brothers, the peacocks, the bullfrogs,..all were joined in an impromptu recital, with the rythmic falling of my running shoes, acting as conductor.
Running past huge homes with their high walls which had suddenly come to life with sound and smell. Dogs, plovers on nests, all admonished me for disturbing their peace.
On arriving home, I stripped naked and fell into the pool, floating under the light of the moon, hearing nothing but the sound of my own breathing.
I saw the stars last night...I saw the moon, ....I heard creation and Oh Lord, it made me happy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A deep introspection

The Battle
I feel you once more, dark omnence, your need to flatter me with attention
Illusory thoughts, perverse in your cruel deceptions of loss and baseless disapproval.
You speak anger and rejection and restlessness into my faithful heart
Allowing self-ridicule and fabrication to take hold and slowly mould this tortured mind.

Stay away !! lest I fail to rise above this wave for I grow gradually weak
Not much remains now to embolden me as I flail in this darkness you bring.
Today, perhaps only today, I have no strength to bring up the cudgel,
I have no strength to nurse self love and fight off your haughty spite!

Oh angel, thou who has guarded this redemptive soul in love and mercy
See this battle raging, pray don't renounce this weak and uncertain wreck
diffuse this wretchedness and undo this grim mindedness that I cannot
For I am not prepared and do not recognise its form or its subtle bearer

I have just finished writing this and I was surprised how the words just flowed ...from where?
I thing everyone has battles to face, the hardest being the internal ones which are the worst ones, where nobody can hear you or see the torment. It can be the quiet killer which leads to a sickened spirit and ultimately, body.
I felt a bit like this today, but find solitude in my art and music and I guess in the peace which I try and make a conscious effort to surround myself with.

What caused this?. A million things. and nothing. I give my heart readily and that can cause such anguish when its not seen and received for what it is...your whole life, the source of your life the essence of your being.
I understand solitude as it is safe. .and now I seek it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

What the......??!

Aaaagh....just seen some more orbs! Holy smoke, we had a LOT of guests at that braai

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Books and Beasts

Of course, I managed (only just as a weekend is a very short time), to do what I love. I managed to do these only bby waking up really early...5:45 am on Saturday and 5:00 am this morning.

I love drawing but get frustrated as I havent learnt to draw quickly and tend to want to add too much detail. My journalling is my life and I have recently began adding pen drawings to my scribbles which I think will progress into something better, quicker and more expressive.
This morning, while sitting enjoying the sunrise, I noticed a group of Wildebees and Zebra, about 50 meters away. I grabbed my 'Steven Spielberg', and in my inconspicuous white geans, charged after them through the bush. after about 500 meters, I stood on a Soetdoorn thorn and totally blew my Rambo-ette rush to get the shot of the year by hopping around around on my remaining foot trying to prize out this three inch creation of Satan.
The Wildebees gave a snort and all I saw was dust.
Ok, so now I know that I will never be a world famous photographer...its all up to my art now.

bugs in the bush

This place was riddled with bugs!!!! When we arrived, we were stepping on beetles..eeeeeugh, not fond of the crunching sound or feeling, but I think there must have been at least 7 or 8 different spiecies of beetles flying around. Once the tent flaps were closed, it actually sounded like rain pelting into the canvas. My daughters were hysterical. On our first night there, Rob and I could hear their screams (20-30 meters away) and the boys laughing . Andrea bumped into a millipede the size of a small snake (which in fact she thought it was). The next morning, it was my turn. I discovered that I'd been up-close and almost personal with a Red Roman for the entire night. Andrea found its bigger brother in her sandle this morning...again producing hysterical screams and great mirth.
The photos are of one of the many nests of ants, carting away a one or two of the beeltles which I swept out of the tent each morning. the second is of the sweet little critter which shared our bed and the third, a stick insect, which now has 'teddy-bear' status with the girls.

The inside and outside of paradise

My three precious children...Oh Lord, how I adore them. I have so much to be gratefull for so much to be thoughtfull of and so much to pray about. They argue like any young siblings, but they love each other dearly and will always be there for each other...I am praying especially for this, as life is such that your brothers and sisters are your closest and dearest friends.
The photos are of my three helping out with supper before the rain, the fantastic bath...a simple tin tub (and in my oppinion better than the most expensive, jaccuzzi, gadget-filled, fancy thingy-to-wash-yourself on the market) and a wonderfull idea on how to use your husbands old army pith-helmet, in fact, they used one for the basin too. Never spat toothpaste in a hat before :o) There was someones old army boot hanging above the bed, just for decoration...fortunately, he must have been fussy about his feet.

Orbs (no, really!) and Boot Camp

We decided to go away this weekend, as a family fairwell to our daughter, Bronwen.

I have been feeling pretty emotional about my daughter leaving on Wednesday and although I KNOW that she has her own life and own journey now, which is really, just beginning, and that we have prepared her for it as best we can as parents, its none-the-less a very hard throwing ones precious daughter into this crazy world with the attitude of 'there...its your's, go and take it" .
We went to the 'boot camp' part of a nature reserve/5 star caravan park which consisted of evenly spaced, fully equipped tent houses. It was in the middle of the reserve area with lots of zebra, wildebeest, impala, etc and lots of bird life, which weren't at all shy and which came pretty close to our tent.
We havent done much of this as a family for the past two or three years for various reasons, but we all had such a lovely time together. Saying this however, I couldn't shake the sadness around my heart at my daughters impending journey.
The three photos are of the tent house, the fantastic out-door shower (where my husband took lots of photos...) and a small and cozy boma just in front of the tent....But, take a look at that last photo carefully...there's a large and unexplainable white moving dot in orb????? What do you think?? hmmmmmmmmm........

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Who is this stranger

Last night, I invited my ill friends family to supper.
They have a little girl with Downs syndrome who absolutely drew me to her and I believe its because in a way I identify with her as I quietly watched her and followed her as she danced around the garden, gesticulating to someone unseen, who she obviously knows well, by her loud little laughs and animated conversations.
At stages in my life, I think I felt or feel like she does: different, cut off and not part of this world as we know it, lonely but happy to have her own space, nievely not knowing any different nor caring to be. I do not have the long and audible conversations with my inner self as she does (that sure as hell wouldnt go down well as a wife and mother) but my innermost thoughts and feelings and experiences are as audible and as real to me. I have often just walked off while my home was filled with guests, to acnowledge that space within myself which needs quiet and calm and reflection. I remember climbing to the very top of the res building as a student to 'escape',...climbing trees, talking to them, crying at 'funerals' of squashed frogs, half-eaten birds and mice, going for long walks on the farm on my own, up the mountain and to the old family grave yard to 'speak' to everyone there....telling someone there to 'stop haunting the farm house as it was scaring us'...long walks on the beach, writing to mermaids in the sand to 'take me home'....voices and images of people long gone, seagulls hearing my heart...ooooh, there's just so many strange things that I have done and experienced in my past and lately, to write here.
I believe in serendipity and fate, not in circumstances and chance. I believe in deep and eternal and everlasting love and the ability to recognise it again, and again and again and not just a word which is written in a dictionary as a "strong affection for another".
Why do I secretly record a young man with autism, sitting in a restuarant, to study his movements and wildly flailing arms and head...feeling that I need to understand where he 'is' and what he is trying to tell the world..that he, like me, is not of 'here'.
Who am I or rather, what am I, that I feel things and sence things and hear things that nobody else does?? This is no sudden or new thing for me but why, after 46 years, am I am I only acnowledging it now??
This morning I was mocked by the very person who I need to be myself with, for having spoken about this. But in honesty, how can I speak about things that I myself do not understand and expect others to. I am always looking for validation in the things that I do...I always have, ever since I was a child, and maybe its because I have always felt that I am different, that I do not belong here, always trying to get people to recognise something in me which they have too...maybe, just to see ME for this wierd creature that I am and accept and love that ME even especially when I cant.
I wrote a blog in the early hours of this morning that doesnt resemble this one at all. It was an outpouring of all the wierd and wonderfull things that happened to me as a child and now recently as an adult. It is something I never, ever exploration of that inner place where you only go every now and then and only when its safe....well, maybe, the powers-that-be didnt want me to share all that stuff. I went into it again this morning to add a picture and to add something else which I had since remembered...and POOOOOOOFFFF......gone! I cant do this again. I cant get that deep within again . This will have to do ......for now.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

finding that place...

I never finished this one as I didnt know where I wanted to take it.
Water colours are my nemesis and totally intimidate me. Need to practice a lot more, NO, NO...what I neeeeeed is to find the freedom within myself to just 'let go', remembering, as so many people have said to me "there is no wrong or right in art"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Odds n ends

The last two weeks have been filled with decisions, anxieties, exciting events, exams and fortunately, painting.

Decisions: not to study for a BVA next year after all. I have three years left with my school-going son...precious years, which I want to be a part of. We may also, finally have an opportunity to travel a bit this comming year and exams and large art assignments will prevent this.. it is also 'our' time where we (my Rob and I) are healthy and able to do things we should. Lastly, I need to make a little money now. Its time to get serious. Art assignments will pretty much prevent me from doing that and hell, I'm not getting any younger. I wanna PLAY and EXPLORE and have fun with paint and clay and pencils..everything out there which could possibly be construed as "art"!!! ( Pfffffffftttt...did I say "money"???...since when does an artist make money??? :o) )

Anxieties, : My friend is gravely ill with cancer......there is nothing more to say on this.

On a lighter note however, my daughter is leaving next week on The Seabourn Oddysey. Shes working as a stewart but will be doing a world tour..Florida, Oz, NZ, Vietnam, Brazil, Philipines, Dubai, etc, etc ending up, I think, in Rome. My children havent been away from the homefires for longer than two this is soooooo hard. Saying that, I'm so proud of her and happy that she has this opportunity. She's a bright, hard-working, bubbly young woman and we love her dearly. Her exciting life's journey is just beginnning.

My aging parents are also off for three months to Madeira on Monday. to see my sister. :o) they're even taking their hangers .....and despite being told that my sister has 4 kids and LOADS of hangers, they refuse to take them out their suitcase......which they finished packing three weeks ago!! them to death!! Finally, exam time...two stressed young people at home at the moment...and me having to constantly crack the whip with one of them!!!

Painting....let me show you:

These three were 'throw-aways' which I've been playing with. Not my usual tight-assed style, but OBVIOUSLY I had fun 'amending' them a little

Bye..for a while

Our appartment is to be rented out for a while. We have family and friends in CT and plenty of reason to visit but our 'home' will not be available for a while. This is a long term decision and we embrace it as such.
Rob and my last visit was to collect some bits and pieces and we ended up doing a 30 hour/ 2890Km trip over three days......aagh, not keen to do that again in a hurry!
I have made some great memories this year..with family and friends and know that they will be made again

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Listening to the little people

Gill and I went to Paternoster on the Sunday (via Darling, Malmesbury, Riebeek Kasteel). We arrived there at around four, having pretty much lost track of time. We managed to get accommodation at a quaint little cottage at a steal (R400!!! for the night). We then went for starters at the little red beach restuarant mosied of to the hotel for crayfish.

The next morning, lots of photos later, we sat amongst the little fishing boats and dunes to do some drawing and painting. After about an hour, and really getting into it, a group of school children walked up to me, saying 'helooo aaanti Sharon' (obviously ushered to me by Gill. In retalliation, I confirmed that she WAS in fact my mother. Well they asked.) They soon made themselves comfortable with my phone, camera (not from a lucky packet) and my paints. But what a blessing. I loved sitting with them and listening to their chatter, answering their million quiestions. The little girl of 8, Tiana, was eventually sitting with her head on my shoulder telling me about her 'fat' mother who works in the hotel as a dish washer, her eldest sister of 25 years with three children who still lives with them, her middle sister of 19 with 2 children ('met een in die maag'), her third sister and two brothers. What I found interesting and really sad was when, upon looking at the photos of my aunt and cousin, Claude, on my phone, they asked me "Is daai man ook naar" (Is that man also horrible) giving me the distinct impression that the males of this lovely little village, predominantly fishermen, are not endearing themselves to their children and women-folk! On speaking to one or two fishermen, their lives revolve around the sea and bringing in a good catch. They leave home at 2 or 3 in the morning and return at about nine or ten, often with the labours of their day having been spent at the local bottle store.

Luciano, a small 9 year old boy who very obviously had a cold, also referred to the "naare mans" but adamently confirmed that he too would be a fisherman one day, whereas Tiana wants to work in the houses (the little houses used by us 'lani' holliday-makers) as she "kan baie geld maak" (could earn a lot of money). When I suggested that maybe she become a teacher or a 'verpleegster' (nurse), she didn't know what the latter was. ... And so the cycle continues.

Luciano ran down the beach and took zillions of photos with my honesty, the thought did cross my mind that I wouldn't see either ever again..but sometimes, its good to listen to ones nieve heart and go with a bit of blind faith and trust, because he did eventually return with huge grin on his little face.

After close to an hour and a half of sharing stories, my paints, water and journal (they each painted a little something in it) we drove them to the little store where they wanted us to drop them off and with a packet of biscuits between them and their suitcases, they walked away and didn't look back.

They'll never know how much they touched the heart of THIS 'lani'.

New friends and strangers

The week in CT was great, although I missed my family so very much as usual, especially my darling Rob. I have been away from them for two weeks over the last two months and although as an artist who loves her quiet space, I know that as a woman, my family complete me in every way. They are my next breath and heart beat!!!

I spent some time with a good friend and my very precious sister, aunt and cousin. Lots of laughs, fantastic food, long chats till three in the morning. I met some lovely new friends and some interesting locals and maxed out our car rental milage.

Chatting to a fisherman with knarled hands and a heart for the local seals, I discovered that this community of fishermen, all have an interesting story to tell, if we just took the time listen! I ended up sitting with my legs dangling over the edge of a harbour wall, chatting to them and eventually trying like them, to feed the seals with my mouth (and yes...I did put a piece of dodgy fish between my teeth too....fortunately, I still have lips :o) )

The story he told was of a 'lanie' (rich white guy) accross the harbour who has been stealing and breeding baby seals for the tourist be used as shark lure sharks to a cage dive. The method used; cutting the seal pup and draging it behind the boat to attract the sharks. This is abhorrent!!!!! Apparently this poor fisherman's protests have fallen on deaf ears. I need to find someone who will listen to my storey now too!