Art Studio and Life #56

Hello lovely family and friends

This first meme is on honour of my eldest who has been doing a joint uni project.

It’s a clear and beautiful day here in Wellington, but it’s also perishingly cold. I type for a bit, and then tuck my hands under my blanket to (unavailingly) try to warm them up. My phone says it is 3 degrees. It seems a waste to put the heating on just for me, so I’m holding out for now. We had a lingering summer, but seem to have skipped autumn and leapt straight into winter. Or maybe it’s just because there is a gentle wind from the South?

It really is a gorgeous day – what my skiing mates call ‘a blue bird day,’ which is appropriate, as it does feel rather like being on a ski field temperature wise. Not that I know much about ski fields as I have been to one three times.

One notable occasion was going up Mt Hutt neat Christchurch with the family. I did not try skiing, since I am quite capable of falling over on dry, flat ground. I actually fell off the foot-wide ledge outside my studio this week, when I was cleaning the windows. As I fell down the hill, I had a split second to wonder what I was going to land on. My foot hit something hard and narrow in the bushes below me, and I was able to climb rather painfully back up. I now have two fat, purple toes, but I’m grateful not to have been impaled by anything, so it’s all good. To an athletically under-enhanced person such as myself, the idea of tying two planks to my feet and trying to slide down the side of a mountain on ice does not seem like a fun, or life enhancing option.

My youngest and I wanted to go to the top of the mountain to see the view, so we queued (what a ridiculously spelled word) with all the actual skiers and, when our turn came, sat ourselves on a narrow metal bench and proceeded up the mountainside. What we did not realise is that there is a bar that you should pull down over your lap and lock in place to hold you in. Instead, we proceeded precariously up the mountain trying not to slide off our bench, which was tilting forward. We wrapped frozen fingers round the metal bar behind us and hung on for grim death, hoping that if we fell, we would land on a snow drift rather than on one of the tiny skiers below us.

Hoping off the moving bench at the top was nerve racking, but we managed. I have no idea how anyone does that with skis on. We did enjoy the stunning views, talking with forced cheeriness to each other about how great it was, but at the back of our minds lurked the dread of the downward journey. As we got colder and colder, we knew we needed to go back down, particularly before our hands froze, because they needed to be in good shape for the limpet grip required. As we hopped reluctantly on, a kind skier reached over from the queue and pulled the bar down for us and locked us in.

The relief! The luxury!

 We were lords of all we surveyed, lolling comfortably on our tilted bench. Our hands were free to wave at the skiers below. It was great, and it was only at that point that we confessed to each other how frightened we had been, because both of us had been trying to put a good face on it so as not to freak the other one out.

And now I have run out of time, so, this week, may you not fall off anything! May your long johns/polys do a great job of keeping you warm! And may you choose a favourite Mona Lisa meme!

XX Barbie


  1. Francis Podmore

    Hello from Scotland, dear Barbie.
    I know this is a week late but…

    You ask or mention “your favourite Mona Lisa meme”…
    What? Are there more than one to choose a favourite from?” I thought.
    So methought “Try googling
    ‘Mona Lisa meme ‘.
    And, oh YES!! One website has 450!!!#£#@^*^£!@!!
    [So THAT’S where they come from 😊]
    But I didn’t scream through 450 trying to decide on a favourite…

  2. Jean Rhoades

    Love the Mona Lisa memes, Barbie, so clever!
    But I winced when you described your fall – sore, bruised toes in this cold weather are not fun, particularly when they need to be tucked inside shoes all the time. Commiserations.

    • Barbara Podmore

      Thank you, lovely Jean. My toes are almost back to normal, ready for their next adventure!

  3. Mark Bing

    I have successfully navigated around your blog for a half hour now, read 3, they usually pitch up on my mail.
    There is nothing strange as folk, and we may too be getting into the hiring out accommodation thing. Sad when peoples bad hair days affect you!

    • Barbara Podmore

      Hi Mark, I’ll re-add you to my email list. Yes, people can be interesting. Reading about your staffing issues makes me in awe of your perseverance. You have some very interesting people (supposed to be) working for you. Respect.

  4. Helena Hatty

    ‘Athletically under-enhanced’ 😂 😂 that’s me as the outlier in an otherwise (mostly) well co-ordinated family. I’m a seasoned spectator though : )

    • Barbara Podmore

      Yes, if one can’r beat them, one needs to watch from the sidelines!


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