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!
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 www.mightyape.co.nz 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!!
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!