Art Studio and Life # 42

Hello lovely family and friends

We are starting to sweat down here in Kiwiland. We have reached soaring temperatures of 25 degrees C! It’s amazing how one’s body adjusts to a different climate. 25 degrees felt on the chilly side when we were living in Botswana. It was only when the temperature hit 40 (104 F), that the school would cancel outdoor sports activities, but of course, everything else carried on as usual. It seems to takes around a year, for one’s body to acclimatize. It is as if your body has some questions:

“So, how long are we staying here? Months, years? If it’s months, I won’t bother to adjust the thermostat.”

“It’s been a year now, so you are really determined to stay here permanently? Are you sure? I hope you are not messing me around. Oh, all right, since you insist, I’ll change the dial.”

The first year we lived in Botswana, we swam throughout winter. The locals thought we were crazy. By year two, we also shivered and put on a jersey if a cloud covered the sun and the temperature dropped marginally. Our garden consisted of compacted yellow sand, rocks, dead tree trunks and succulent plants. Succulents are the way forward. You break bits off, stick them in the ground, give them the occasional trickle of water, and, miraculously, they grow. That is my kind of gardening. We also had a small water feature with a trickle of water flowing all day, and an endless flocks of birds visiting it throughout the day. Botswana has over 600 bird species, 45 of which regularly visited our garden. I miss them.

In Botswana we were preoccupied with water cuts, keeping cool, and dealing with the sand that constantly blew into our house from our desert garden. We had never had to deal with mould growing on our windows or our clothing. That is a whole different skillset, one that I am still learning. The problem is, you don’t know what you don’t know.

We felt cold the whole of our first year in Wellington, but that was probably also due to the fact that our rental had some issues with damp seeping through the walls. Having always lived in brick houses in fairly dry climates, we had no clue that that could be a thing. We had humidifiers, not de-humidifiers in Africa. Living in a wooden house in a damp climate seems like a daft idea, until you factor in earthquakes. Dry and squashed vs damp and alive. Oh, right.

I’m keen for any of your top tips for dealing with damp and mould. I need all the help I can get, in that as well as in many other areas of life…   

Still no painting, but one of this week’s projects was refurbishing Bob the Builder toy box into B&B blanket box, my first ever re-upholstery project.


After. I had to eke out my staples, but just managed to hide Bob.

So, in the week to come, may you succeed at some creative project! May you enjoy the weather wherever you are! And may you eat chocolate!

XX Barbie


  1. Francis Podmore

    Thanks for yet another chuckle or 6 (:-))
    You may be right about bodies adjusting to temperatures, except that I think mine is going the wrong way. I am feeling the cold here in Edinburgh more than I remember being cold last winter. And it hasn’t been vert cold here, yet…

    “Eat chocolate “?.and I thought you didn’t (really) like chocolate (cake)..Hmmm…

    • Barbara Podmore

      Chocolate and chocolate cake are two very different things! Ones is great, the other is tolerable…