Sunday, August 29, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me..... 25 today... NOT, oh well!

There is a very funny, and thoughtful, chapter in one of the Winnie the Pooh books about Eeyore's birthday. For those of you who don't know.., (and if you don't, please read "The House at Pooh Corner" by A.A. Miln), Eeyore is a donkey, and a rather melancholic character, he lives in the southeast corner of the Hundred Acre Wood. On the map that comes in the book, this area is labeled, "Eeyore's Gloomy Place: Rather Boggy and Sad".

On his birthday, Eeyore received an empty honey jar from Pooh (Pooh had eaten the contents himself!), a popped balloon from Piglet (who had accidentally burst it), and a note from Owl. Instead of being unhappy with the gifts, much to the relief of his friends, Eeyore quite enjoyed putting the popped balloon in the empty honey jar, and taking it out again!

Lysdecic Nuberms!
I am finding that birthdays do bring out the Melancholic Eeyore in me! My only comfort about being the age I am is in rearranging the numbers in a lysdecic -sorry- dyslectic way! 25 seems better than --! So, this year I shall attempt to be 25 (again!). No doubt, I will frequently forget this (my memory is not as young as it once was..).

When I WAS 25, The first time round, I was at Otago Polytechnic School of Art in Dunedin (New Zealand) as an "adult" married student, majoring in painting and printmaking. I did feel quite old then, I enjoyed Art History..., and was rather conservative in my approach to painting! I painted out of doors a lot, and, when I could, I did painting and drawing from the nude figure.

We had a nice day yesterday visiting my parents in Oamaru, doing the early birthday celebration thing and catching up with my sister, Christine, who was staying there for the weekend. I also got to see my two month old great niece (and her lovely mother). The G. N. is very sweet, she slept a lot, cried a bit, and currently weighs a lot less than our Ginger cat! It is amazing just how small humans are when they are young.. and how much bigger, and heavier, they can get later when they are -- years old! Everyone is thrilled with the weight that my little G. N. is putting on, and I am trying my best to lose the equivalent of her weight every 3 -4 weeks!

A Nice Book!
My sister gave me/us a lovely book for my birthday/our wedding anniversary. The book is called "A History of Gardening in New Zealand" by Bee Dawson.

The book has a beautiful cover and is full of lovely photos, paintings, and illustrations. The text is fascinating, and it is possible to just dive into the book almost anywhere, and find all sorts of interesting things about New Zealand history that is viewed from where it touches gardening and cultivation of plants. I am loving the book, and you can find it at bookshops and on line. I grabbed the cover photo from which is a New Zealand online shopping site with a good selection of books.

More Crystalline Pots
This morning I finished getting some crystal glaze pots ready for firing, and I loaded them into the electric kiln. I hope to fire them tomorrow, which will make for a long day. I have used 3 different crystalline glazes, and I have a new test glaze in the kiln (a crystalline base glaze with nickel in it). It is always good to include tests, and..., with this sort of firing, there is always something experimental going on!!

Too Quiet
We had the gallery open this afternoon, but it was very, very, very quiet, with only one person in who was feeling a bit lonely I think, and just wanted to talk. Laura is finding things a bit sad in the gallery at the moment, as we have got some really nice work on display (it really is..!), but too few people through the door. Things are also very quiet in the gallery in Dunedin so it is not a very easy time for painters and potters! I honestly think that the recession, that we are told is over, is actually hitting much harder this year than last year when it received all the media hype! At this time... sadly, the government are about to raise GST (which will make things harder for people without much money), and we have other tax increases too (which are called "user charges" so they don't sound like the tax increases that they really are!!).

Vegetables and Jam!
The good thing is that we have had real encouragement from people in the community. People have shown a lot of kindness and goodwill regarding my trip to America, and I have had cards, phone calls, cheery waves in the street, and some donations of money to help me meet the costs of sending the pots over to North Carolina. We are a small rural community here, and I suspect there will be quite a few things in common with the Seagrove area of NC. People help one another in a quiet way that runs deep, and actually means a great deal. In our first weeks here when we were very new to the area, people visited with armloads of vegetables and pots of jam. It is wonderful how much can be said through vegetables and jam!


Eleanor said...

I think in many places you don't get pots of jam anymore. I do however throw vegies over to the new neighbours occassionally. It's not as bad as it sounds; they are donkeys ;-) We get new ones once a month or so on a rotation. I think the owners must have about 50 because there are always lots of different ones I haven't seen before. Of course that makes the dogs jealous and then I have to find them a cucumber to run around with too. That or a potato.
Happy Birthday!

TropiClay Studio said...

Hi Peter,
I am jealous at what you are doing with these crystalline glazes! I want to do some experimenting with them in the future. Sorry about the one that got away, it had such a nice form,and the glaze was awesome on that one.

Linda Starr said...

Happy Birthday

Armelle said...

Happy Birthday to you Peter, so I know now that you are elder than me, a month and a half, I must respect, he he he !!!
Hope the galery will not be so quiet, and your beautiful crystalines pots will be ready for the show at NC. Wish you many sales in US :-)

And all the best

Hannah said...

Happy Birthday Peter,
Hope you had a great day. Are you feeling better?
Best wishes,

Arkansas Patti said...

Happy Birthday Peter,

Just remember, to me, you are still a puppy. I have no desire to be 25 again, but the 60 decade wouldn't be bad to redo.
So sorry that the recession is hitting you too. We are having another down turn here also. Everyone here is cutting back-- everything from having vacations, spending for new things and even having babies.
Know it will turn around, we just have a ways to go yet.
Keep feeling better.

Judy Shreve said...

Happy Birthday Peter! I have always felt the Pooh stories were the best & read that book to my son many times.
What an amazing gift the NZ gardening book is. I love the cover.
It's great that your community is so excited (and helpful) about your visit to the states. Your writing is so lovely - you'll have to keep a journal of your trip to share on your return.

Angie said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY sorry I'm a day late.
I sometimes long to be younger but then I think of all the things that made me busy, mad , tired,fed up etc back then ...the pluses hair was thicker, my joints didnt ache and I was slimmer ....ah well at least I have time to craft and do what I feel like, rather than what I should lol Love your post xx

potterboy said...

Happy Birthday! By your reckoning, I was 34 two days ago - not much different from the 43 reality, although I'd give everything to be 34 again... it's a real bummer getting old, isn't it.

Peter said...

Hi Eleanor,
I got a good laugh from your comment! Thank you for easing me gently out of my birthday induced melancholia! We have a friend who has 6 donkeys, but my mind is "boggling" as to what 50 would be like! Cucumbers and potatoes for dogs to run around with is quite creative too.. , I think that my doctor would approve of everyone having their "greens"!
Now..., Eleanor, are you Eleanor my niece?? or are you an Eleanor that has appeared on my blog for the first time??? In either event, you are most welcome, and it is lovely to hear from you! :)

Hi Robert,
Lovely to hear from you all the way from sunny Guam (where it is currently 78 degrees!). Warning from the Surgeon General... crystalline glazes are addictive! I hope you do try them, but they can be incredibly frustrating as well as beautiful! It was a shame about the one that got away, but I will try similar forms again and see if I can get things to work.

Hi Linda,
Nice to hear from you, thanks for the birthday greetings.

Bonjour Armelle,
"Respect...he,he,he...!" That is so nice! Lovely to hear from you:)

Hello Hannah,
Good to hear from you. I getting more robust again. A half hour walk every day, taking care what I eat, and trying not to overwork is all helping! Wish I had taken a bit more care a lot sooner though! Just didn't seem to find the time!

Hi Patti,
Sorry to hear that the recession has found more teeth again in your part of the country. It is a hard time for people, especially those who are in poorly paid work, or no work at all. In our country, the wealthy... still seem to get wealthier, and Directors (poor darlings) still like huge bonuses.., even if what they are directing is failing!

Hi Judy,
The Pooh stories are delightful, and I am so glad that they have found their way into your family too. I love the simple black and white illustrations in the books, and the gentle, and wise, humor that runs through the writing.
Are you coming up to the Clay and Blogs exhibition? I would love to meet up with you if at all possible.

Hello Angie,
Fear not..., you were not late, in fact your timing was probably perfect. Thanks to the strange ways of international datelines and other incomprehensible things, your comment was sent on my birthday (29th August), and was probably a lot closer to my actual time of birth than the birthday is that I celebrate here (the NZ 29th is a bit "early"!!). I had a wry smile to myself when I read your words, "my hair was thicker, my joints didn't ache and I was slimmer" as they sum my own condition up rather aptly too!

Ha, Potterboy, my 25 sounds better than your 34, even if it isn't really! Lovely to hear from you Andrew, and commiserations from a fellow sufferer in finding yourself a year older!

Dad said...

Dear Peter,
Your niece has a glut of cucumbers, so your sister informs us; and the donkeys and dogs don't come as a surprise so, Yes! Eleanor IS my granddaughter!

ang said...

ahhh veg and jam brilliant stuff..congrats on clocking in another year peter and happy birthday cheer from here :))

Peter said...

Hello there Dad,
Ah Ha! The glut of cucumbers have given the identity away!

Hi Ang,
I'm enjoying the wave of birthday cheer! Many thanks for that!

Tracey Broome said...

Sorry to be a bit late with birthday wishes, but happy birthday! I turn 50 next month so you are in good company!

Peter said...

Hi Tracey,
No apology needed... at 52 I am now so balding, doddery and forgetful, that I hardly know what day it is, and it takes me much longer to celebrate my birthday!

Christine H S said...

Happy Birthday Peter and sprightly 25 you are at that. I tried turning my age round when I read that, but it didn't work, just made me even older!
I must go re read the Poo stories again now.
August has been really quiet here too, I am also thinking that maybe the recession is coming home to folks. We will all just have to sit it out and feed cucmbers and donkeys to our neighbours. Oops, getting befuddled here, must be that huge ages I have amassed overnight.

Peter said...

Hi Christine,
Tee, Hee! I like the pythonesque image of feeding cucumbers and donkeys to neighbours!! Sorry to read that recession is with you in August, that is not good to hear, as I imagine that it should really be a busy time for you with the holiday makers??

There is always a risk with the age reversal trick..., it has to be used very selectively, and only when there is an advantage to be gained by it... In most other instances an out and out lie is called for! Thanks for the "sprightly"... it's amazing what botox and at least 6 long hours in makeup can do every day!!!

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Happy Birthday Peter.
Love your work. I miss my kiln and wheel.
Your pieces are beautiful.
I found you through Arkansas Patti's wonderful site.
Hope things pick up for you and your wife
Take care

Peter said...

Hi Maggie,
How kind of you to write, welcome to my site! I have just hopped over to your site, and it looks beautiful, you have a great eye for design! I look forward to catching up with your news there.
Best Wishes, P.

doug Fitch said...

Happy Birthday Peter!

Peter said...

Hi Doug, Thanks for that! I was working away with earthenware clay today, making a large (24 inch high) planter and I was thinking of you over in your lovely part of the world! Nice to have the hands in "real" clay rather than this white stuff I have been using lately!!

Dad said...

The more I return to your last blog and gaze at the pots, the more I get addicted to them!
I must admit that my first viewing of the 'one that got away' was not good... but now I LIKE it... Rather like Lizzie's reaction to Mr Darcy in "Pride and Prejudice".
... and the greens are gorgeous. We really must come and eyeball the real things soon!

Doespins said...

Hi Peter, belated birthday greetings since we share the same birth year although I got to 52 slighty before you.
Planning on calling in on Saturday pm been meaning to come through and see your new pots in real life for ages. Very quiet here in Oamaru too, just that time of the year, always glad to see August go.

Peter said...

Thanks Dad! It is funny how one can change. Some good new pots out of the kiln on Monday. Just need to find the time to separate them from their catchers and grind the bottoms.

Hi Doe,
Happy (earlier) birthday to you too!
It will be good to see you Saturday afternoon.