Day 95 5 April – school’s out

I don’t know if any of you heard of cyclone Debbie that struck Australia towards the end of March. She left destruction and lost lives as she crossed over and unfortunately New Zealand lied in her path. The central and lower north island was hit the hardest. The ground is already very saturated after the floods we had recently so it honestly doesn’t take much for roads to flood again. Houses were evacuated in certain towns and road damage due to slips and floods occurred.

We received notice from the school this morning that due to the worsening weather condition there will be no school which means the kids came to work with me. We were able to access our road from the top as the bottom was completely closed off. It rained heavily during the day and there wasn’t much for the kids to do. My daughter played shop assistant and my son was glued to the computer screen. They each had a turn to lick out the bowls after I baked, which is the best part of baking.



I found my daughter’s digital art pieces on my Instagram story that she posted out of utter boredom 🙂



Day 92 2 April – stars in a jar

My daughter was very secretive this weekend about coming into her room. We had to knock. Now I don’t mind closed doors in the house, she is 12 and appreciates her privacy, but when I know she is up to something when she hints that she is making something for my husband and myself. She asked about using my scrapbooking paper so I thought perhaps she is making us a photo collage. How surprised was I when she came into the lounge tonight and handed us this jar filled with origami stars! Each one unique.


She is our shining star!

Day 84 25 March – horror

A few months back I noticed the advertisement for Horror, a stage production from the Jakop Ahlbom Company, which pays homage to the horror-movie genre and will show during the Auckland Arts Festival. I jumped at the opportunity to see this piece of work and booked 2 tickets, one each for myself and my husband, and it is yet another excuse to spend an evening in Auckland city.

Tonight is the night! We took the train in as coincidentally this is the same weekend Adele is performing in Auckland. The roads would be manic and you save a lot of time and money using public transport. We took the train into Britomart, and took a short 15 minute walk to the Civic Theatre and Aotea Square. The streets were alit, lively and packed with city goers. There are a few small eateries opposite Aotea Square and we decided on Shawarmas and burgers. The food was so tasty and extremely filling. After dinner we slowly made our way to the Civic Theatre where a large crowd gathered inside. I knew the show is very popular but I honestly didn’t think that so many people would attend. We each got a drink, made a quick stop at the restrooms as we were warned that once they close the doors you will not be allowed to exit, or re-enter.

Walking into the theatre feels like a step back in time. The décor is a famous example of the atmospheric theatre style in which lights and design were used to convey an impression of being seated in an outdoor auditorium at night, creating the illusion of an open sky complete with twinkling stars. I feel like I should be dressed in Shakespearean style clothing watching Romeo and Juliet unfold. We took our seats and awaited the opening with anticipation.


What an amazing, well constructed and immensely clever show. There were so many tricks that leaves you wondering how did they do it without the gadgets and camera work of an actual movie. The sound is intense, you feel how your seat vibrates with each beat. The actors/actresses do not speak one word (apart from a single ‘Hallo’ during one of the scenes). Spoiler alert, there is blood! And lots of it. The show was 1h20m long but surely didn’t feel like it. It has you in its clutches throughout and I personally jumped a few times, but there is a bit of humour worked into it to break the intensity. You can get a sneak peak here.

Once the show was over, we leisurely walked back. We made a quick stop at Starbucks and with drinks in hand made it back to the train station. It was such an adventurous night out, one for the memory bank.


Day 55 24 February – pen on paper

My co-worker is away for a few days so I had the short straw on being at the shop until early evening. I don’t have a problem with this at all as it was reasonably busy at times, but there were moments of ‘you can hear a pin drop’ silence which frustrates the living daylights out of me. I don’t like being alone with my thoughts and need something to distract me. So I did what comes naturally, and that’s to draw.

I am a self-taught artist. I have mentioned in my blog entry Colours that both my ouma and oupa were artistic people. From a young age my sister and I were encouraged to find our own creative personality, and mine has been to draw. My mother enrolled me for art lessons during my final year of school as a way to help my destructive ED thought pattern and focus on positive creativity. The art teacher was a renown local artist called Spies Venter. I had an interview with him as he wanted to see my portfolio before taking me on board. He was impressed that I was able to teach myself still portrait drawing, but he noticed several mistakes and saw potential for improvement. He agreed to put me in a morning class for the times when I couldn’t attend school. I was the youngest person in my art class which suited me as I didn’t feel the need to compete with the other ladies. And I learned so much: depth, shadows, colours. I was thrilled when I was invited to have 2 of my art pieces on display at an exhibition for young artists.


I have since drew several pieces for family as gifts, but haven’t put pencil on paper for 10 years. Today, with a burst of frustration I took the nearest pen and paper and started drawing. Tension leaves my hand as I focus on the detail of the owl’s face.

Breath, draw, repeat.


Day 16 16th January – colours

I have both my children at work with me today, which in itself is going to make it a very long day for us all. I asked my daughter to bring her Animal Kingdom colouring book from the talented Millie Marotta with to keep herself busy. She wasn’t much interested in colouring in, so during a quiet period at the shop I looked through the book and found this simplistic yet majestic dragonfly. I sharpened all her colouring pencils and started colouring in. How much fun was that! It honestly had a calming and mesmerizing effect, and I struggled to put it down. I had to complete it and I’m glad I did.


While I was colouring in I couldn’t help but think about my ouma and oupa.

As a child I use to spend most of my school holidays with them in Pretoria. Both my parents worked and I don’t think there were any holiday programs available back in the day, so they would send us (my sister and I) off to stay with them. My ouma had the ability to keep us occupied from the minute we woke up. She was involved with community programs, volunteer work and church events. We often spend time with her while she was volunteering, meeting people from all walks of life and even lending a helping hand when needed.

My ouma and oupa were both creative people in their own way. My oupa painted, sculpted and made brass objects, while my ouma sewed, knitted, cross stitched and was an amazing baker. They encouraged both my sister and I to be creative. I would spend hours on end drawing birds in my scrapbook and then paint them. I would retreat to my ouma’s work room, listen to the radio while cross stitching a new pattern. And when I was older I learned fabric painting and made several cushions, one which I kept.

They have both passed on, but the memories of them are alive. Today I miss being a kid, but more so I miss them dearly.