To all my friends and readers and visitors, those who stop for a moment and those who pass right by…whatever you do during this Easter period, whichever way you celebrate it, or even ignore it…I wish you fun and joy, many chocolate Easter eggs, (may you win the Easter egg hunt), and the most important of all…stay safe and pass on that wide smile!!
Joyeuses Pâques a tout le monde!
Grab onto 2010…
…with a smile…
…and life live to the fullest!…
I am joining Hartman on a trip to Hawai, leaving tomorrow morning. Except for the looong flight, I’m looking forward to it. I am bit tired…could it be that summer was too much fun?
I don’t have anyhting to really post on Africantapestry. Apart from being tired and fatigued , I’m in a creative slump. The last thing I did, was the sketches in the previous post. Since then I scribbled a little bit for my recipes on Myfrenchkitchen, but they are nothing more than doodles. I hope to revive some creative energy in Hawai, so the sketching palette will travel along.
the packing and cleaning up and dinner are awaiting me, so I’m leaving you with a sketch I did for a friend a while back, and now it also serves as my greetings here – until October: Stay well, keep creating and make the most of the season you’re in!
…trying to get to Hawaii…
Maree passed the Kreative blogger award on this way a few weeks ago…THANKS! – and now I have to tell seven things about myself. I don’t have seven interesting things to tell, but I can name hundreds of things that I love that give me joy in this lifetime. So I’ll name a few of them.
Apart from loving my family, I adore my cats, Tokala and Ayiani. They are highly intelligent, as you’ll see from the sketch, and they teach me how to be humble and considerate andhow to respect others’ time and place. I know they see me as a very intelligent creature and recognise my superiority to them. They laugh at all my funny talk and come immediately when I call. I never feel like a fool around them. They hasten to fulfill my every will. I am royalty in their presence.
I adore being a plein air painter. I never really loved landscapes, until I went out and did my first one, which was a complete blooper by the way. But the process of plein air means much more to me than the result. Sic. Of course I’m lying! I love an awesome result! I don’t want to do it just for fun. I want to be extraordinary! I want to be gooood! That is why I go out there again and again. In search of that high that comes with the process . In search of the experience. In search of that complete knock-out that will one day come with a stunning result…hopefully.
I love my bicycle. I look quaint and adorable. My backside rests small and dainty on the saddle. I don’t wobble and I don’t bobble. The uphills are SOO easy and the downhills have people fleeing from me. It says that I am in command. I feel powerful. When I was 5 years old, I ran away from home with my bicycle and a clean cotton panty in my little suitcase. I decided the corner of my street was far enough away from home. Not much has changed. I still wear cotton and my bicycle still takes me away from home. To every corner I choose.
In my next lifetime I am going to be a professional photographer. They make a lot of money and never have to work. They never go hungry. And they are always well dressed. They always travel in style and see the world. And it is all fun. For that they get money again. And they look professional with all their equipment. Everybody has respect for someone who carries a lot of stuff. They immediately think that person must be good. I want to be goood. And it counts in my favour that I’m trigger happy. So I will be a photographer. After all, I’m not scared of animals. Or people. Sic.
I can name many more…Africa holds my roots, France holds my heart…travelling to far-off places was invented for me…listening to other people’s stories of their lives enriches me…nature gives me space to breathe…our mountain home sets me free…
Let’s stop here. Life is too short to only name the things we love. Let’s go do it.
I am passing this award on to:
Cathy at Cards and stuff- she is a lovely french Madame, now living in South Africa and does extraordianary African art and just had an exhibition a hwhile ago of stunning African portraits!
Cecily at Butterflyhands – she is a good friend of many many years and her blog is fairly new, but I know her talent and skills from way back and I have always admired it.
See this as a WARNING post!
pencil on paper
I fell for a scam today…almost!
We have been thinking about getting a little Jack Russel, since we’ve read Jock of the Bushveld years ago, a Jack russell being an equally lively loyal dog. Only still thinking about it.
Two days ago we saw, quite by accident, an ad on the internet for a Jack Russel puppy who was to be given away, due to circumstances. What made us look closer, was that it was in Monceau sur Dordogne, which is just around the corner from Puy d’Arnac and we could easily drop in to have a look at Doggy. .
So we answered.
Got an email back from Almari Dubelle, saying how pleased she was to receive our interest. She went on lovingly to describe her circumstances and last night I replied back, asking some questions, demanding the little femelle, suggesting we will come and have a look next week when we are in Correze etc, etc, etc… ending off by saying how much we look forward to seeing the doggy and I even attached some photos to show that the doggy will live in cared- for surroundings, go hiking with us, play with our cats and goodness knows what fun more!! So, off the mail wnet to Almari Dubelle in Monceau sur Dordogne!
About 30 minutes later, I get an abrupt and rude email back, without a thank you or any decent manner, no answer to any of my qustions, only retorting that the dog is sort of already in transit! I STILL believed everything is cosher, even felt bad for probably making her assume we are taking the dog!
So I thought: “Oh, well, we DO want a doggy, Well accept it and love it, seeing she went through all the trouble, PAYING for the transit and all.” I was just so grateful it wasn’t the rude Almari Dubelle in transit I’d have to accept!
So. This morning EARLY I get an email from the transportservice: firstname.lastname@example.org, saying the dog will be delivered at our house this afternoon at 15:00, but they are waiting for the receipt of transfer of 85 euros to:a Hermann Gandaho in Porto novo, Benin and the dog would arrive from a Melanie Pieschot, somewhere in Togo, Africa. They even advised me to say the transfer is for a friend, which would make my taxes cheaper!
“How very kind!” I thought!
By now you can start laughing, because I did indeed storm off to the post office , completed a mandat western union, paid the 85 euros and 13 euros postal taxes and the electronic transfer happened immediatelybefore my eyes.
And just there, clarity struck my mind as fierce as the lightning on late afternoons in Corréze. I immediately realized this was a hoax. There was NO Jack russel, or any other dog! It was all about getting that transfer money and I would be the duck. In the course of a second everything flashed through my mind, much like I think your whole life would flash before your eyes in your last minute on earth..
Everything about this whole affaire suddenly made sense…the emails, the weird requests, the even weirder behaviour…everything fell into place. I immediately asked my adorable agent at the post office to stop it. Too late. But because we were so quick on it, we were able to block it and OF COURSE I called back my extremely-friendly- dog- owner-donor at +22993057106, telling him to go ahead and deliver the puppy, we are anxiously waiting! So he demanded me to immediately scan and send the receipt, they need the account number to complet the paperwork? Really? We would then have our doggy by the afternoon. Really? (I can afford to be smirky now…I’m not stupid after all…sic)
I told him affectionately…we were good friends by now, remember….that I will personally hand the receipt to the agent dropping off doggy this afternoon. Mr Agent can even have a coffee, while we quickly email the details, doggy can have a whee and if all is in order, Mr Agent can leave and doggy can stay behind at his/her new home and everybody will be happy!
Well. His stories got longer and the explanations complicated as to why it can’t work that way. That was that. He didn’t get his money. We didn’t get Doggy. Hartman took me for a coffee and I bought ink cartridges for the printer.
On arriving home, I ran upstairs to check these emails of the last two days, not willing yet to let it go. Did some searching on the images and links of the so-called transport company and found the images were somewhere downloaded from “Loisir et Sport” , the text and titles were taken from “liensutiles”(both of which you can google) and several other sites which were used in this “probably photoshopped document”.
I am very low this evening. Sad about nog having our Jack Russel, angry with myself for being SO gullible and stupid. But my biggest sadness and disappointmentare are in this world and the fact that people like this exist AND they get away with what they do. I almost let them get away with it.
So what does this all say about Internet? I ‘m not sure.
One thing is for sure. For me personally, this happened to make me more careful about how I use the Oh, so handy Internet! I was always careful and wary of it. But then, slowly and surely I started loosening up and getting slack..
Well, I’m back to being the secret agent, keeping myself to myself and watching it with an inspective eye. .
My last word is one of warning. Laugh at me, mock me, ridicule me for being SO gullible and naive and ignorant, but when you’re done….watch your step around the Internet!!
Saying goodbye is always hard. And even harder, when you’re the one staying behind. We said goodbye to very good friends last week who returned to their home country after many years here in France. For now I’m sad, but tomorrow or the day after or next week, all will be OK again and I will start planning our visit to Australia. A friendship with such deep roots, cannot be pulled out.
…may the road always rise up to meet you…
Sometimes people come into our lives who leave a distinct impression, who change our lives for the better and we only realize it much later.
Joanna came into mine years ago and added so much richness to my life, which I only fully realize now. We were so different, yet shared so much. We were tolerant und understanding of those differences and appreciated the uniqueness of each of our personalities. Those differences even started rubbing off, making us enjoy what we’ve previously disliked. We were frequently off to les brocantes, searching for rose coloured glass for her and old stuff for me. We would stroll through nursery gardens and rescue half dead plants to see them bloom in our gardens the next season. We had lunches in little hamlets and drove all the wayout for a chocolate dessert. We “coffieed and caked” whenever the opportunity showed itself. We disagreed on movies and cracked up with Mamma mia. I tagged along in her search for clothing and she told me to wear brighter colours. I listened patiently when she ranted about Air France and she got me out of bed when I was depressed. I supported her in her cardmaking and she constantly encouraged me in my art. We baked tarte tatin and searched for new pressed veggie juice recipes.
She saw me when I was happy and gay and handed me the tissues when the world was all wrong. She saw my house when it was sparkling and smelling of roses and she washed my dishes when it started crawling out the door. I saw her when she was beautifully coiffed and I saw her when she was digging up the garden. I saw her when she went through chemo and I saw her when we celebrated her first clear check up and we laughingly celebrated with a coffee and cupcake. She pulled weeds from my garden while she was sick and I prepared dinners for those difficult chemo times. I took photos of her without her hair and we played around with wigs and bandanas. I took photos of her after her hair had grown back and we laughed about the impact of time.
Thinking of Joanna makes me smile. She talks a lot, she jokes a lot, she teases a lot, she laughs alot. She turns passivity into action. She can’t grow old for her spirit is too young. Like her, I want to laugh a lot and joke a lot and tease and I also don’t want to grow old, because my spirit will be too young.
Invigorated by spring and salads and fruit and spring vegetables and all the great art I see everywhere, I feel myself bursting with ideas and inspiration. Apart from loving painting, I also love writing and I’m getting more and more a feel for illustration. Writing and illustration make a good combo, so; for my writing which I’ve started with a while back, I’m considering doing some illustrations for as well. I have tried my hand at one or tow before which can be seen here:
…shut the gate!…
illustration done in rotring pen and watercolour on Fabriano artistico HP.
We have a friend who’s a farmer. His pride is his huge selection of animals, and especially his bulls. But he also has vineyards. And his biggest struggle is to get the farmhands to remember to close the farm gates behind them, so the cows and bulls don’t roam about in the vineyards. After stripping his temper once too often, he promptly planted a post on the gate on which, in no uncertain terms, he forcefully sergeant-majors them to keep the gates shut. The punchline on the illustration is written in my mother tongue, but it roughly comes down to: “Keep the @&*#@.. gates shut… the cows are in the vineyard!!”
I’ve run into some health hiccups a while ago, robbing me of all energy and all willpower to maintain or produce any kind of act, let alone be creative. Thank you for the concern and supportive emails I’ve received from friends out there. I hope to be back with full vigour and energy soon.
And now it feels very “flat and empty” to leave on a note like this, so since I am here for a whisper of a moment behind the computer, why don’t I use the opportunity and time well and fill it with nonsense… After all, nonsense is quite a creative invention. And a very creative excuse. As well as a creative brush-off: “Oh, don’t talk such nonsense!” Probably what you’re thinking right now.
While I am here in front of the keyboard, searching for the right keys after so many weeks, and for that matter, the right words, I might as well try and do it creatively or at least then, call your bluff creatively… I’m not sure I know exactly what I’m saying, but it sounds creative to me. Like nonsense, sort of. What is nonsense? Something that doesn’t make sense….surely creative then. Doing and saying the suspected and at the last minute, adding an unsuspected twist…cunningly creative. Or speaking in utter incomprehensible sentences, or talking about things you know nothing of…defintely creative! Or to shut up someone who is actually being very creative in the use of thoughts and words and you have no clue as to what this person is saying….stupidly creative.
Once, a few years back, I was in the company of interesting people (or so I thought), around a beautifully set table, sharing a wonderful meal. As usual, I was the listener. At some stage, the conversation turned to people and bad driving skills(is it a skill?). So I thought I had something interesting to add to this part of the conversation and so added my humble and creative opinion (?): “I think women are more inclined to use their indicators than men…” and without being given a chance to explain the science behind my madness, I was stared upon with shocked horror and brushed off with a creative missile launching: “Now the only time you open your mouth and it is to talk nonsense…?” That scarred me for life, I haven’t opened my mouth since(?) until now… “Oh, nonsense!”
It has been raining ALL day, and I’m not exaggerating when I say non-stop!
♪…I’m si..ingin in the rain, just si..ingin in the rain… ♪♪…
The ironing is always behind.
I have to iron. I have to see sharp folds and straight flat edges on shirts and linen and skirts and yes, T-shirts. Except of course jeans. No straight folds there. That makes them look nerdy. I learnt that from my daughters.
Sketches done with rotring artist pen and water wash in moleskine.
Like with a desperate diet, I start off every Monday with the determination to iron immediately when something comes off the line. Just to see my diligence fade into submission by Wednesday. The result is a growing mountain of washing and a leaking cup of courage. So I let the mountain run its course… after all, it is already there….and wait for the magical day when my cupeth runneth over again.
I’ll probably always have this habit that needs fixing.