Hello lovely family and friends
BREAKING NEWS: we have two new family members!
Hobbes and Davy have been adopted from a cat shelter.
I guess they are teenag cats, as Hobbes is 7 months old, and Davy is 6 months old. Our house finally feels like a home! I have had pets my whole life, and living without any for four years has been hard for me and the boys. The Breadwinner was fine without them, but he is really enjoying this naughty pair.
Hobbes was called Shortbread, but trying to find a nickname from that – Shorty or Bread? Plus, my redhead son, who wanted a redhead cat, is a Calvin and Hobbes fan. Davy was called David, but that seems a bit too grown up for him for now. The cats came from different foster homes, but are already practically joined at the hip. They are very curious about any activity in the house and always want to be near a person. Walking from one room to another has become challenging as it entails being orbited by two furry satellites. And when you are trying to get out of the garage without them, cunning is required.
Jack feels the need for some ginger support, because redheads get given a hard time in NZ.
Red hair is so rare in Botswana that Jack was like a celebrity there, which does have its own issues. From when he was a little baby, he had glowing copper coloured hair, and people were always touching his hair, and wanting to pick him up. When he was about four years old, someone asked me if his hair was dyed. I found this very amusing and told our delightful gardener, who started working for us when Jack was just six months old. He said that he too used to think Jack’s hair was dyed, as it was the same colour that our gardener’s hair was when he peroxided it in his fashion-conscious twenties. Eventually he realised that the colour never grew out and was natural.
When we visited Scotland, Jack blended right in. Here in New Zealand, there are almost as many redheads per capita as there are in Scotland, probably from all the Scottish immigrants. Common boy names here are Lachlan, Calum, Cameron and Hamish. Not hard to guess where they all originated from. So, it’s ironic that the redheads here are called by a derogatory name – ‘ranga,’ short for orangutang. I think it originated in Australia.
Try calling some other subsect of humanity after an ape (or monkey) and see how well that goes down…
Jack copes well with it, and doesn’t mind his mates calling him that, but has had a few run-ins with more aggressive people.
Leaping from gorgeous redheads to art:
What does creating a painting actually entail?
- The first stage of a painting is getting the concept, which I can’t show you because it happens in my head.
- Buying the canvas.
- Priming the canvas with a thin wash of Burnt Sienna mixed with turpentine.
- Creating a PowerPoint slide of it.
- Sizing up and drawing the image (maths involved!)
- Covering the back of the drawing with blue pastel, and tracing it onto the pre-primed canvas.
- Mixing colour
8. Blocking in the first layer of paint.
9. The beginning/blocked in/dogs dinner stage of a painting
10. Painting on a second layer of paint starting from the top and working downwards, to avoid smudging.
11. Refining the water and glass.
12. Blocking in the cherries
13. Adding final layers to every part of the painting that need it.
14. Adding D rings and wire, and hanging it on the wall.
Orcas often swim around Wellington, and a little while ago, a visiting family pod lost a young adventurous orca who got separated from his mother and trapped in a rock pool. He was rescued and moved to a seawater pool, cared for day and night by a crew of willing rescue workers and volunteers who fed him and kept him company, actually staying in the water with him round the clock. Respect. While they did that, other rescue crews searched up and down the coast for his family pod, hoping to reunite them. He was named Toa, which is Māori for “warrior” and became deeply loved for his friendly personality. Sadly, he died almost two weeks later, leaving his carers heartbroken. This is a tribute to the Warrior and his people.
Long may Orcas swim in our seas! (even if they get annoyed and try to wreck boats)