Art Studio and Life #52

Hello lovely family and friends

I hope you had a special Easter?

The Airbnb is now running!

https://Airbnb.co.nz/h/arthousewellington

It has been quite a journey.

I missed doing a blog last week or the first time in a year since I started. Sadness. I feel like I am currently living in a reverse Cinderella story. I used to be an Artist Princess, happily (mostly) painting in my studio and now with the BnB (plus my existing cleaning job), I have turned into pre-fairy Godmother Cinderella. I seem to spend most of my time scrubbing floors, vacuuming, cleaning windows, doing laundry, making beds, stocking jars etc. Unlike Cinderella, no singing rats or lizards have joined in to help me, just my non-singing husband when he is at home.

I am so grateful to have multiple Easter bookings, but it’s all rather full on.

The only time I have been in my studio is by climbing in through the window to retrieve a heater for the BnB. The window is now my new door, since the other one is locked while guests are in. It’s a good thing that our house is secluded, or I might get reported for breaking and entering.

The reverse transformation I am experiencing reminded me of a fascinating book I have read called “Once upon a Midlife.” It is a book about midlife fairy tales from many cultures, and the meaning behind them. Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty are classic youth fairytales that depict the tasks of youth – separate from your (evil) (step) parents and find a life partner etc. Youth tales take themselves seriously and depict quite black and white thinking (which is not teenagerish at all.) I do remember my dear mother sighing and saying “You are either ecstatic or in the depths of despair,” which, at the time, I thought was a gross exaggeration. Unlike me as a teenager, my own teenagers are very chill and seem to find most things hilariously entertaining.

An example: my youngest and two of his mates were very excited when they found cheap watermelons at the supermarket. They bought one and named him Kyle. They also bought a bottle of Mountain Dew. They took Kyle and the Mountain Dew to a nearby carpark, where they gouged a hole in Kyle and scooped out as much of his insides as they could reach and eat. They then filled the hole with Mountain Dew, which they then took turns to drink by lifting the watermelon (sorry, Kyle) over their heads, tipping it over and trying to aim the hole at their mouths. They were happy as (and rather sticky) when we collected them from aforesaid carpark. 

Anyway, back to Midlife

The Elves and the Shoemaker is a midlife tale. Remember the story? In case you don’t, the poorly clad magic elves help the poor shoemaker by doing his work overnight by making fabulous shoes which he then sells for $$$ (my son calls it ‘making bank’). In gratitude, the shoemaker and his wife make the elves some tiny clothes and shoes. The elves are happy as, don the clothing and leave, never to return. The shoemaker then has to work to make fancy shoes himself, which he successfully does. The Elves represent the magic of youthful inspiration, which leaves and is replaced by the hard slog of midlife. Sounds quite familiar…

The book also refers to a fun story called Stubborn Husband, Stubborn Wife about the switch over or midlife roles between men and women. Elder tales are mainly transcendent and mystical, while midlife tales are more humorous and accepting of human foibles. I recon that humor is a great survival strategy at any age…

In addition to the cleaning, I have had a new cooking challenge: making pickled eggs. I failed to read through an email about a youth dinner we were running, and I thought I needed to provide 34 boiled eggs, which I duly made. When I got there clasping my pot of peeled boiled eggs, I was shown the official eggs, so mine had to come back home with me. If you happen to be fond of pickled eggs, pop over for a coffee and a festive egg. I’ll also swap pickled eggs for chocolate eggs, just sayin’.

The man of the house also decided to make tomato chutney with 6kgs of tomatoes that we were given, and I had to lend a hand with that too. He is also willing to swap chutney for other foodstuffs.

So this week, may you have some youthful inspiration! May you visit and eat pickled eggs (adorned with chutney!) And may singing rats and lizards help you when you clean!

XX Barbie

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