Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Christmas to you All from Waikouaiti Old Post Office Pottery

Well it is that time of year again. In New Zealand New Zealanders are sweaty with heat and frustration. Old rust and stuck on goo is being scraped off barbecues. Gas bottles are being shaken and sniffed at, checked and refilled. "Ezy to assemble" tents are being forced to assume what are hoped to be tent like shapes as some tug on ropes and others bend high tech carbon fiber poles whilst instructions are being yelled.

Socks are being purchased at the last moment and wrapped for difficult to buy for uncles. Plastic weapons of mass destruction are chosen for the ten year olds. Ipods, monopods, stereopods, telepods, and pods of all kinds are parceled up for the teenagers with text tuned thumbs.

Late, "I almost forgot..." cards are being written and posted in the hope that they may get there in time for Christmas, either this one (unlikely), or the next one (also unlikely), or maybe New Year....

Supermarket car parks are full of shoppers desperate to fill up metal trundlers with items that will in due course fill friends and relatives with more food. There are diabetic Christmas puddings, heart foundation puddings, bowel cancer puddings, celiac disease puddings, puddings for vegetarians, vegans, believers, and unbelievers. There are Christmas hams made from pigs, hams made from sheep, and hams that could contain chicken, fish, and traces of peanuts.

There are Santas around every corner, Santas on parade, Santas in schools, hospitals, doctor's surgeries. Santas down chimneys, Santas down flues, Santas through heat pumps! They get in anyhow, and leave things in socks. Socks in socks for the difficult to buy for Uncle!

And it is occasionally hot here, we have just had the longest day. We may yet have a few days when the wind settles enough for us to declare that summer has arrived. We will perspire over Christmas dinner.

There is mystery at Christmas. There is a passing of childhood, and a celebration of childhood. There is companionship, and there is parting. There is giving, and there is selfishness.

Some will sing New Zealand Carols that have no snow, holly, mistletoe, or ivy, and will offer words that reverberate proudly with flax, cabbage trees, pohutakawa, and sunshine.

Others will long for the Christmas trees of childhood, twinkling lights, angels, and snowy flakes falling softly, to celebrate the child in a stable long, long ago.

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

Peter, Laura, and Ginger the cat!

(pohutakawa: Metrosideros excelsa, a coastal evergreen tree in the myrtle family, treasured for its beautiful display of red flowers that are at their peak mid to late December. Known as the New Zealand Christmas Tree)

Here is a link to some New Zealand Carols which you might like to have a look at.


traceybroome@mindspring.com said...

Again, I am saying, You must write children's books!!! This is wonderful, thanks for taking the time to do this post, it was so fun to read!!!

Linda Starr said...

Oh Peter, what a fun post, I loved your paintings especially the first one. Happy holidays to you, Laura and Ginger. Are your paintings watercolors? they are lovely. Have you ever done any paintings with pots? I would like to see your rendition of a painting with pots.

Peter said...

Happy Christmas Tracey,
Lovely to hear from you.
Glad that you enjoyed the post, I think we all need fun at this time of the year!

Happy Christmas Linda,
The paintings were done on the computer. I draw everything with the mouse and use a wonderful free program, GIMP. For some reason I use the mouse left handed, but write right handed! I really enjoy the freedom of drawing on the computer, and love the flat, print-like colours. When I was painting (with oils and watercolours) I enjoyed painting pots. I should try again now that I have been potting for a few years.

Judy Shreve said...

Merry Christmas to you & Laura & Ginger. I try and imagine Christmas during the summertime & just can't visualize it -- but your story helps. Hope Santa brings you everything you've wished for!

Peter said...

Merry Christmas to you Judy, Lovely to hear from you. I still can't get used to Christmas in summertime, and I have been here since 1976... Oh well! I think Santa is helping our sales at the moment, pottery actually going well which is really great. Hope you have a really nice time with family and friends this Christmas.

Doespins said...

Happy Christmas to you and Laura too.
Thanks for keeping me entertained and educated with your great blog.
Interesting seeing the raku pot coming out of the fire.
Lets hope for a not too sweaty Christmas!

Armelle said...

Very nice post Peter, and I can imagine Christmas during the longest day, under the sun. It's quite strange.
Lovely drawings with GIMP, I like your Santa.
I am happy for you, Santa is helping your sales !!!

Merry Christmas and Happy new year

Peter said...

Hi Doe,
Thanks for that, lovely to hear from you and to pop over to your blog and learn about alpacas! The internet's fun isn't it! Happy Christmas!

Hi Armelle,
Happy Christmas to you. I think that Santa finds New Zealand rather hot at Christmas time. The wearer of a fur lined hat really needs snow! Santa was good to us yesterday with more sales from our studio, I will have to think seriously about doing some more work to fill the gaps!

Jewels said...

Merry Christmas Peter and Laura! Your illustrations are wonderful Peter!

Peter said...

Thank you Jewels,
Merry Christmas to you too!

Jewels said...

Hello Peter! I have been catching up on reading past posts today. The rich colors you obtained on your raku pot is spectacular! I don’t think I would have been able to part with that one! How wonderful to have had a seasoned potter working with you in your studio! Lovely post filled with lovely people. Wishing you and Laura all the best in the New Year!

Dad said...

Well we love your Christmas pud, but even more we'd love to share the genuine article stashed in the freezer doing a 'til ready'...
so having shared our 1st Christmas 2009 with you and having had a quiet 2nd one we're looking forward to the 3rd - but in 2010 when you're free to tuck in!
... after all, the Queen has 2 birthdays per year ...

Pat - Arkansas said...

A Belated (there ARE 12 days of Christmas... oops.. you're on the other side of the date line so I really AM too late) Merry Christmas season to you and Laura, and Ginger the cat.

Love your paintings and the entire post.

Wishing you a most wonderful and prosperous new year.

Linda Starr said...

I just sent you an email, hope all is well.

Peter said...

Thank you Jewels, Dad, Pat, Linda for your comments. Sorry not to get back right away, I've just been catching up with things after the busy time of Christmas/New Year and our studio being open and the blog has been in a holding pattern! I've just put a new post together for the new year, complete with video. Happy New Year!