Sunday, 14 December 2014

Dog Days - December

The emotional life of the dog is highly developed - more highly, indeed, than that of any other animal.
~ George Romanes 

While I agree most definitely in part with this quote, I must say that, I don’t believe “emotions” – anthropomorphically speaking – are reserved just for dogs.

And I’m absolutely sure most of you have experienced extra special relationships with many beautiful sentient creatures. Animals possess senses and knowing far beyond the limited range of our own.

I have loved animals who have displayed a very wide range of emotions.
Like my dear and incredibly intelligent British Alpine goat “Ella”.  Now, she was special…


Just in case anyone has wondered where I've disappeared to, I have been on the mad market merry-go-round for the past few months now, and feel drained and exhausted.
No matter how much stock I made for each market, I would sell most of it, leaving me seriously short for the following (pre-paid) stall.  Each week saw me doing overtime to come up with a full table for the weekend.
Many late nights at my studio table, staring out the window from time to time into the inky forest blackness, while the world slept.
I've existed on chocolate and coffee to get me through :)

And, it’s not over yet.

With my last Christmas market done and dusted yesterday, I must now produce for the huge New Year holiday market in January.
Having but two weeks to prep, make clay, speed dry (candling), bisque fire, glaze madly in an assortment of delicious colours, glaze fire, assemble and pack - in time for the eve of the market.
All this with Christmas smack bang in the middle. Gulp.

I’ll put in long hours, push through moments of delirium and sleep deprivation, and manage to stay on top of things – just.
Believe me, I’m not ungrateful, but…

… right now, at this very moment, all I really want is to be this cute kitty, blissfully content in the arms of an angel on a swing…


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Dog Days: November

We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment.
~George Eliot

Friday, 17 October 2014

In reverse

Coming home after a hard day's work creating worldwide chaos...


My presence here at my blog will be scarce for a little while longer.

Along with the amount of clay work I’m doing in preparation for Christmas markets I'll attend throughout Nov-Dec, some personal life stuff has arisen – some of it negative and very distracting.
So, trying to focus on my tight market schedule has been, well… trying.

I’m feeling more than a little scattered. And working to deadlines requires focus – as most of you will agree.
Add to that, factors that are out of one’s hands, there’s not a lot one can do.

So, this is how I’m feeling right now...

Also, I look to the skies for - at least part of - the cause.

If I had even the tiniest shred of doubt about the adverse effects of Mercury in retrograde before… I have absolutely none now.

Its “reversed” influence can, and will, touch many people during these periods. Some (lucky beggars) have nothing to report, and will sail through. Others have major ramifications.
All lessons to be learned, I’m sure. But an absolute pain when dealing with the issues at hand at the time.
In hindsight - upon reflection - things can, and will, be clearer.
When the mud settles.

Mercury the planet rules the sectors of communication, commerce and transport.
We’ve copped the trifecta.

Virgo and Gemini are deeply influenced by planet Mercury’s cycles.
Seeing as hubby is Virgo and I am Gemini, tension has heightened - to top everything off.

If I have to say one more time, “it’s not the menopause, it’s fucking Mercury!”.....

I will try to catch up with your blogs when I can. I’ve missed them.
And, I hope to be back here very soon.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Dog Days: October

My sunshine doesn't come from the skies, it comes from the love in my dog's eyes.


Even though they may now be clouded with the telling of time, there will always be sunshine in my boy Jack's eyes. 


Monday, 29 September 2014

Spring market musings


This is especially true when it comes to clay, glazes and... (temperamental) kilns. As many a ceramist and potter will attest to.

The spring market season hasn't kicked off quite as I had hoped/planned.
First, my kiln failed to work. Thermocouple problems resulted in a no firing. Followed by two over firings where temperature fluctuations produced bloated, distorted plates, bowls and some pendants. Glazes ran, and many hours of clay work melded with kiln shelves - resulting in a sad and sorry mess to grind apart.
All were anticipated pieces that would be missing from this (and near future) stalls, laying my optimism low.

Temporarily that is.

Onwards. Upwards. And continue to create fervently. Forget failures - learn from them, but don't dwell.
A mantra I've recited to myself many a time.

Hopefully, seeing as apparently, “things happen in threes”, that’ll be it for a while, and I can see this busy season through without any further problematic incidents, as every firing counts from now on - at least til after Christmas.
... she says, crossing fingers, touching wood and pleading to the Universe and importantly..... the kiln gods ;)

 Not quite as abundant as planned...

The recent local market was off to a slow start. Big black threatening clouds in the distance, followed by a shower or two, delayed many visitors in the morning.
It was a small market, and not a huge crowd was anticipated, but fortunately, more ventured out to see what was on offer as the day brightened.

It was lovely to have people admiring, and buying, my wares and wonderful to get great feedback from return customers who stopped by. Especially those who turned up proudly wearing my pendants or brooches from previous market purchases.

One customer arrived at my stall with a safety pin holding her scarf together.
She chose a beautiful aqua coloured, heart shaped brooch, and left with her scarf decoratively secured and a wide smile on her happy face.

That brightens the spirits, when I sometimes question why I do what I do…

As always at an outdoor venue, dog watching offered a very welcome distraction, as owners brought their fur babies out for a mingle.
I have an extremely soft spot in my heart for wiry coats and whiskery faces. And, especially for Scotties and Westies.
The brooches I make are very good sellers.

Those who buy them either have, or had, a Scottie/Westie - or buy them for someone they know who do. And once asked, people always have a wonderful tail tale to tell about these little characters.

So, when this jaunty little lad walked into view, I was super excited!

While his dad waited in line at the nearby food vendor, I asked if I could lavish a pat then take a photo of... “Chumpybones” - I think the kids named him, don't you? :D

He was a delightful and dignified little fellow who stole my heart that day.

Later that night, last toilet break outside for Jack before turning in, we were visited by a resident Brushtail Possum who calls the nearby forest trees, home.

Not in the least bit shy, she gently accepted a piece of apple from my hand and graciously posed for a quick photo.
Then, we bid her a, “goodnight missus” and left her to her nocturnal pursuits.

The weather looks good for this coming Saturday’s market.
And, as I write this, the kiln is on. I hope that it is a successful glaze firing.

At last glance, a few minutes ago, the kiln temperature read 666°.  Shudder...

Tuesday, 23 September 2014


We are told that September 1 is the first "official" day of spring here in the southern hemisphere.

I prefer nature's seasonal guides rather than the Gregorian calendar, and await the days when I feel the change.

Today is the vernal equinox, when day and night are of equal length. And, after a long, grey winter, it truly feels like spring has arrived.
There is a perceptible shift in the air as the wheel turns.

I'm grateful to have had the sun's gentle rays warm my cheeks on this special day.

And, at 2:30pm - as if on cue - the blackbirds burst into a strong song to herald in the new season.
Now, I think that's official  ;)

Happy spring/autumn (in the north) equinox everyone!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Dog Days: September

A dog has lots of friends because he wags his tail and not his tongue.


Saturday, 23 August 2014


recent foggy forest morning heading up the mountain 

I want to thank everyone who read my last post and commented about the sad passing of Robin Williams.
And, also for your empathy and warmth towards me for sharing a little of what was a difficult, vulnerable part of my personal journey.
Your heartfelt words brighten my spirit ~ more than you know.

Even though it is still very cold, there is a perceptible shift in the air. The light is changing and our world here is slowly waking from its deep winter slumber.

The vernal shift, lifting the atmospheric grey.

On the mountain, the cooler air stays the blossoming just a little longer. But today, I found this generations old tree, its fragile branches heralding a welcome return to spring…

a promise of light after the winter’s dark


My posts, and comments at your blogs, might be a little sporadic as I create and prepare for the coming busy spring/summer market season. But, I will come back as often as I can and keep in touch...

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Dark reflections

The death of Robin Williams has shocked many. And, has sparked discussions in social media the world over.
Some sad, some confused, some outraged, some righteous and some cruel.
In truth, no one has the right to judge or condemn.

I apologise in advance to anyone who reads my following words, and finds them displeasing. If you have strong thoughts about suicide, perhaps it’s best to click away…

I've been in the deepest of dark holes.
Scared, alone and wanting an end to everything.
No more abuse - verbal or physical... of the most intrusive, personal kind.
Not another moment of the whole seemingly endless mind fuck that is a brutally damaging dysfunctional family.
Sick of being the only child, and therefore the one who bore the full assault.
Weary, at such a young age, of witnessing real life horrors.

In the very early seventies, treatment of childhood physical and sexual abuse and mental health issues were still rather unrefined.  Even if I had had the chance to "see someone", in those days, and be told by some sombre, authoritative textbook psychologist that, "things will get better when you're older", would've been bloody pointless.
Do adults forget how long 'time' is to a child?  Let alone a child who is treated in the worst possible ways by the very people who should provide love, protection, nurturing and supportive guidance through those tender, vulnerable years.
The concept of "older" might as well be a galaxy away.

Nor were the options to re-home abused/neglected children, carefully established... or, well regulated.
To find oneself in a “foster” home, only to be equally abused and treated like property, was confusing and terrifying. Devastating.
All trust, gone.

Imprints of multiple hands intruding on the most private, inappropriate places leave indelible scars on the soul, long after the blood has been washed away, and bruises have healed.
I’ve seen, and endured, things a child should not.
Decades cannot blur memories locked behind closed doors in the labyrinthine mind. 

Once, a Gillette razor blade was to be my salvation.
I sat on the cracked toilet seat in the old decrepit bathroom, hypnotically staring at the dull grey sheen on the deceptively sharp edge. The ever so thin metal felt cool against the soft, warm skin of my wrist.

The haunted mind of a hope-less child.

I opted out of death's release, and back into a life far more sinister.  A coward in my own eyes.

In high school, I was bright.  Ironically, I excelled in Human Anatomy and Physiology.
But, the dread of home life kept me from concentrating for lengths at a time. I alternated between focussing on lessons and fear of the inevitable three o’clock bell.
The bell of hell, I called it, as my stomach lurched at the sound.
During school hours, I found it was easier to play the clown, and make the other kids laugh.
My distraction, was distraction.

Humour can effectively cloak a troubled mind.
And, manic humour can be a cry for help.

I understand the depths one can plummet to. Regardless of status or position in this world.
Money can't quiet an un-quiet mind.
Drugs and alcohol can dull, but they can also disturb and provoke that which lies dormant for most of the time. Cleverly concealed by bravado and uber confidence.

Many people don't really see - nor do they really listen - anymore. Many don't know how to read the signs.
We, as a society, seem to have lost intuitive cognition.
We writhe in condolences... after the fact.

When I heard of Robin Williams' death, I think I might have been among the few who didn't question, "why?".
I was very sad to hear of it, yes. But honestly, I got it.
Deep down, I felt a release for him.

He isn't haunted anymore.

The shock of his death had people questioning, "Why would he do such a thing? He was the funniest man on the planet, had everything he wanted, was rich and famous and loved by all. I/we don't get it."

Celebrity isn't a ticket to sanity.

Many will say, "the drugs and alcohol eventually led him to it". As if people need a logical reason to appease their thoughts and questions.
But so often it runs much deeper than that. To times before substance abuse made the pain "bearable".
Rarely will we ever know the real reasons.

His death will be a topic of thousands of conversations around the water cooler for, oh, at least a few days.
Before the weekend comes, and once again at the cooler on Monday, there is "the game" to discuss.

Of course, I hope that Robin's death will cause people to look deeper.  Delve further into mental health with a quest to understand, and to treat those with troubled minds a little kinder, and with more mercy and compassion.

But, the cynic inside me gnaws at my hope like it is gristle on the end of a chicken bone, until the marrow is sucked out, and what's left of hope, dribbles away...

We live in a world of increasing disconnect. One where far too many of the self interested and absorbed seek a superfluous, highly maintained perfection.
There seems little consideration or tolerance for "imperfect" souls with tormented minds.
It's too easy to say, "get professional help, take some pills, then, dance, monkey, dance".
As long as the monkey keeps dancing, let's not ask questions.

Perhaps some people don't want to look too close... they might see something they don't want to see.
And it'll shatter their reflection of perceived perfection...

Rest in a trouble-less peace, Robin.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Wake up!

car cat alarms

For everyone who has (or has had) cats in their life.

I love the big fluffy ginger at the end, sitting patiently by the bed.

So sweet.... and persistent :)