stir crazy – lockdown 2 day 150

You’d never guess it, but that’s my dining table behind me. Buried under all that STUFF.

Dining table, kitchen table, work table, studio table, very rarely eating table.

Here is a close up of the latest dog sculpture in progress.

For some reason I’m finding it really hard to concentrate and really work on my dogs lately. I can psyche myself up to work on them but I can only do it for a short time before I run out of steam. No idea why.

Maybe its time to move onto something else? Take a break from sculpture?

I mean the mending got me into a sewing mood. Maybe its time to tackle some items of clothing that just aren’t ‘right’…?

I don’t know.

Anyway, I’m not the only one going stir crazy. The entire greek population is. They’re going out in huge numbers and crowding beach-side walkways and parks on every sunny day. They’re going to parties and gathering in enclosed places despite the country being in lockdown with full restrictions and curfew in force. Why?

Cause it feels like the government is mocking us.

They restrict movement from one council or municipality to another, put a 2klm distance from home restriction on walks, exercise and shopping, yet they allow tourists into the country with no restrictions.

I mean, how is that fair?

Greeks have been paying the price of COVID19 safety most of a full year. Businesses are suffering, people have lost jobs… yet despite daily COVID19 cases being in the 3000 range, we are opening for the tourist season officially on May 15. Right after greek Easter, which greeks will not be allowed to celebrate with the usual church services, the Easter Friday procession of Christ or the Saturday night celebration of the ascension of Christ.

Not even with family Easter Sunday lunch where the entire family/neighbourhood gets together for the traditional lamb on a spit.

Do you see the hypocrisy in all this?

No wonder people protest and break the rules. They’re sick of being treated like idiots.

z

visible mending – lockdown 2 day 149

Yesterday when I put Lainee’s little blue jumper on I realised it had 3 holes in it. I have no idea where they came from but they were definitely there… And getting bigger. So something had to be done about it.

So this afternoon while watching Bold Type on Netflix (light hearted, fun, easy to watch while I work) I began mending with embroidery thread I had on hand. Lucky I had just enough in each colour to create a border around the holes to keep the jumper from totally unravelling.

Oh and for those who noticed, I did create 4 rings when I said there were 3 holes. That’s because I decided to make another hole so I can put Lainee’s harness on underneath the jacket and still clip on her lead through the hole.

Ok, so I’m not the neatest… I see mending by others on Pinterest and drool and want to emulate but mine always ends up looking like it was done by an sightless mole without opposing thumbs.

Still, Lainee isn’t complaining. She’s an easy girl to please.

Poor little darling is in the wars right now. You may remember she has a huge mammary tumour which I wanted removed a while ago but she’s got a heart murmur we’ve been treating meanwhile to make it safer to put her under… Well, she began licking the tumour while I was away in hospital and yesterday she made it bleed. Hence she’s swaddled in bandages and vet wrap around her middle now. I have her booked in for surgery to remove the tumour next Thursday… sigh.

At least she’s been a happy little girl, she loves the wind and goes bezerk when I take her out in it, and she’s playful every morning. So although its bothering her she’s been well in herself. That’s something.

z

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time flies – lockdown 2 day 148

Ramos and Annie resting.

I’m always busy but never seem to get everything done. Of course part of that is that I have a lot of lazy time – which I excuse as resting/taking care of me time. But in reality its square eyes TV watching time which I could very well use to create but I don’t.

Wow. That paragraph was smooth!

I’ve caught up with friends and their dogs a couple of times. That was fun.

I’ve been to the bank 3 times. Not so much fun.

Seriously. How many visits to a bank does it take to change a recurring payment from my aunt’s account to the nursing home?

Three apparently.

So far. Let’s see if today’s fix has taken…

Sheesh. I might have to go back to old style banking (the mattress).

Anyway… I mentioned a little cabinet I bought locally to fit in the tiny alcove/hallway between the living room and bathroom. I had planned to make a custom sized cabinet for there to hold my towels, but this is the right size and its so much easier to fix an existing cabinet than make one from scratch (when you want to make it from pallet wood and need to collect and break down pallets and don’t have a proper space to work yada yada).

This little guy had glass on one side and the front. I removed the glass on the second side and plan to put flywire there to let the towels breathe. In keeping with the traditional old piece I’ll put a cut lace curtain inside the glass front to hide the towels.

Here it is in the alcove… just enough space for my easel beside it. Perfect.

And guess what?

I’ve done exactly nothing to it since I got it (well, other than removing one glass panel). Its been way too windy to work outside – which is where I have to sand it. I can paint it in the living room. It IS my studio after all.

I still need to buy the flywire and trim to finish it off. So I have a fair amount of work to on it before its usable. Guess I better start at some point…

I also have the other cabinet I bought online which needs 4 new doors and 2 new drawers as well sanding and painting.

I have my work cut out for me.

Stay tune for updates… when I get to them.

z

a few more of my favourite things – lockdown 2 day 147

Today I’m sharing some of my favourite movies. This is a tough one cause there are so many favourites!!! I love movies but there are some that have a special place in my heart. Where do I start? Where do end? So many films.

But here are some I always remember, some I own, some I only watched once and never forgot, but all favourites.

Let’s start with some Australian films. Disclaimer: I love Australian movies. And English ones. And American ones. And French. And Swedish… you get the picture.

The Year My Voice Broke. This reminds me of growing up in a small town in Australia. The first years of my life I lived first in Tocumwall and then in Griffith, NSW. There’s just something about small towns and the open spaces around them that just gets to me.

Another one that gets to me is The Dish. The Aussie humour, the sheep, the countryside. If you haven’t seen it watch it.

Another film I love. I think its the irony of it, a blind man who takes photos – cause he needs proof that what people tell him is around him is true.

The Big Blue – a fantastic film about relationships – between two men and the sea, between a man and a woman, between a man and a dolphin, about competition and love… A beautiful film.

Chasing Amy. A spin off of Clerks where I first met Silent Bob and his foul-mouthed sidekick. A movie which speaks truths about expectations in relationships and lying to ourselves and others by omission.

Flowers for Algernon. To be honest, this should have been in books since I read it before I ever saw it. Either way, its a heartbreaking story about a man who had nothing, gained everything, then lost it all again. Below is a pic from the original movie.

Harold and Maude. Classic. Again, the irony of it was what got to me first, but its all about living life to the fullest. Its more than a romance between a young man and a much older woman. Its about living without regrets.

The first Swedish film I ever saw: My Life As A Dog. A young boy learning to understand the world.

Torch Song Trilogy. About being gay in the 70s, about a relationship between a man and his mother and his relationships with himself and other men. A great film and play.

And no list would be complete without The Party. Peter Sellers at his crazy best, the drunk waiter, birdie num nums and a whole lot of bubbles.

As I said, there are probably too many movies I love for one or other reason to list here. These are just the ones that came to my mind as I write this post. New films, like Avatar – a world we wish existed, in harmony with nature.

And old films like 12 Angry Men (also a great play).

If I don’t stop here, now, I’ll never stop. I have things to do!

z

a few of my favourite things – lockdown 2 day 146

In the vein of sharing memories and things I miss, figured I’d share a few of my favourite things as well. There are so many of them, but I’ll limit myself to books and plays for this post. They’re sort of related as most plays I love, I read as books…

Firstly my favourite books of all time. These are books I always buy when I find them, especially the version I first bought. Call me sentimental. I always have a copy in my bookcase, or two or three of each. And I enjoy reading them again and again.

The Crysalids by John Wyndham – I first read this book when I was a ‘tween and it struck a chord. I’m not into science fiction as such, but this book is special and it started my obsession with books/movies about the end of the world. (Yep. I get the irony in that.)

Every Night Josephine by Jacqueline Susann. This book is responsible for my love affair with poodles. After reading it I set out to find a black girl poodle. Instead I found and fell in love with a white boy (Timmy).

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss – What can I say? Probably my favourite book of all time. I would read it in a house, with a mouse, with a fox, in a box, over here, over there, I would read it anywhere!

My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok – I’ve mentioned this book before. A book I adore though it makes me question how much of an artist I really am since I’m not obsessed by it as a little boy called Asher Lev. I also blame this book (and other Chaim Potok books) for my fascination with the Jewish religion.

Of course I have tons of books I love but these are the ones that stand out cause they’re the ones I always buy again.

I grew up loving books. I remember my favourite days at school were book related… one was the day we’d get the brochure with books for sale. We lived in Greece at the time and buying books in English wasn’t easy. We had a library at school and I was a regular visitor, but having my own books was special. My parents would allow me a certain amount of money for books so I’d pour over the brochure, reading the synopsis of the books I liked and carefully deciding which ones to buy. The other best days were the days the books arrived in their boxes, opening the boxes and breathing in that new book smell… ahhh…

The only book I remember from back then was Where the Red Fern Grows, but there were so many more.

Now I have a Kindle and sure, I’m a book lover and I love the smell of printed paper and the feel of a book. But I also love having countless books at my fingertips at any given moment. I love being able to carry one slim tablet instead of a heavy book (or two cause I was close to finishing the first). I have to admit though, I miss having a bookcases full of books…

Then there’s theatre.

I love live theatre, but I must admit I have two favourite plays I never tire of seeing. In the theatre or as a movie, professional or amateur.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard. I fell in love with this play when we had to read it for school. Especially the speech below. I mean, how can you not love this play?

ROS: …Do you ever think of yourself as actually dead,
    lying in a box with a lid on it?
GUlL: No.
ROS: Nor do I, really… It’s silly to be depressed by it. I mean one
    thinks of it like being alive in a box, one keeps forgetting to
    take into account the fact that one is dead… which should
    make a difference… shouldn’t it? I mean, you’d never know
    you were in a box, would you? It would be just like being
    asleep in a box. Not that I’d like to sleep in a box, mind you,
    not without any air – you’d wake up dead, for a start and then
    where would you be? Apart from inside a box. That’s the bit I
    don’t like, frankly. That’s why I don’t think of it.
    (GUlL stirs restlessly, pulling his cloak round him.)
    Because you’d be helpless, wouldn’t you? Stuffed in a box
    like that, I mean you’d be in there for ever. Even taking
    into account the fact that you’re dead, really… ask
    yourself, if! asked you straight off – I’m going to stuff you
    in this box now, would you rather be alive or dead?
    Naturally, you’d prefer to be alive. Life in a box is better
    than no life at all. I expect. You’d have a chance at least.
    You could he there thinking – well, at least I’m not dead!
    In a minute someone’s going to bang on the lid and tell me
    to come out. (Banging on the floor with his fists.) ‘Hey you,
    whatsyernaine! Come out of there!’
GUlL: (Jumps up savagely) You don’t have to flog it to death!
    (Pause.)
ROS: I wouldn’t think about it, if! were you. You’d only get
    depressed. (Pause.) Eternity is a terrible thought. I mean,
    where’s it going to end?

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde – The cleverest/funniest play ever. I’ve seen this so many times, even once in Adelaide starring Geoffrey Rush back when he was still acting on stage in Australia. He made an excellent Ernest.

Ah. My favourite things.

Besides poodles of course.

z

crazy farm life – lockdown 2 day 144

The ducks on our dam.

Again on the memories. This time its about how crazy life got on the farm… I do really miss it you know. I dream of my poodles all the time, I miss the smell of the Tasmanian countryside and the sound of our geese and ducks every morning, cuddling standard poodles… having a workshop to make things in.

I mentioned I bought a cabinet. I got it home yesterday and removed the glass on one side as the other was missing. I left the glass in front. I considered sanding it here, outside, but didn’t have the time so I moved it inside. Its light anyway, especially with less glass. Now I have a sore back.

Thats what months of not doing anything does to you.

I’m really getting frustrated on the whole no space to work thing. Every time I see a place which might suit its not for rent. No one has storage spaces here, and if they do they use them themselves. Garages are not common, and given most people don’t have space for sheds on their land and you need a permit to put up any kind of building on a property (the law limits the meterage of ‘building’ any land can have on it) when people do add on to their house its always living space, not workshop/spare space.

I really don’t know what to do. I’ve thought of a container on some land at the ‘family compound’… I’ve thought of asking to build a concrete slab and put up a pergola with a roof – but again… not allowed to put up more structures on the land I could do that on. Temporary things are allowed (with restrictions) like a container or a caravan, but not permanent structures… and a pergola is permanent. Sigh.

Realistically my options seem to be 1. rent a place and pay top $$ for it which I can’t afford. 2. find a place to rent to live in which has the potential space – very hard to find full year rentals here and its very expensive, plus i’m not sure I want to move. I like where I live. 3. find the money to build on our land – lots of money… or 4. give up.

Anyway… back to the memories of how chaotic life can be on a farm… click here to read the story.

z

searope basket – lockdown 2 day 145

I’ve been a day behind on the blog for days now so today you get 2 posts so I can catch up. At least I think this is catching up. I may be 2 days behind… hmmm…

Anyway, I’ve been working on art sporadically but seem to have spent most of my time lately doing things other than creative work. Like cleaning up the courtyard out the back, planting seeds and other such stuff. Considering I’m planning to have an exhibition this year, I really need to get cracking on art.

One thing I began and actually finished this week was another sea rope basket. I’m now officially low on sea rope so need to go for a walk on the beach to gather more. I had to buy more thread this week too as I finished the last spool. I like to use a crochet thread in a natural colour for my baskets.

Making these little baskets is kind of zen, I can do it while sitting quietly with my thoughts (though my thoughts tend to get loud at times…) or while chatting to someone or watching TV… They take a while to make and I’m getting calluses on my thumb from pulling the needle throught, but hey, you gotta suffer for your art.

I love finishing off the edges of these little guys with loose bits of rope, in this case knots I had to cut off the bits of rope in order to make the basket. It gives them a sort of whimsical feel…

They’re not really big. I’m considering making a bigger one but it will need a whole lot more rope…

Anyway, its time for another beach scavenger walk…

z

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family meals – lockdown 2 day 143

Another memory from 2013. It seems like such a long time ago. Another lifetime with the way life has changed since then.

To read click here – impressions about Greece and stories about my family.

Today has been a very busy day. I took Zefi to the airport to return to Athens then I went to groom a friends dogs and ended up having lunch there and talking for hours.

All this after Zefi corrupted me.

Not that it took much to corrupt me.

She sent me a link to a vintage piece on FB and I promptly bought it without checking the measurements for my space. Then after dropping her off at the airport I stopped in at an antique store and bought another cabinet which will definitely fit. Both need work. And I will make space for both of them!

I blame Zefi for everything… for getting me in the mood to spend money and for getting me on the road to finding something I loved.

Eh. I gave her the power tool bug, its only fair she give me something in return…

Such is life.

z

still sharing – lockdown 2 day 142

I’m still galivanting around so nothing new to share – yet. I have some finished sculptures to share but need to take photos of them. Again. For some reason the photos I took a couple of months ago are crap (technical photography term).

Anyway, I’ve been revisiting my family posts from my old blog on Blogspot and enjoying them. I used to post a whole lot more about my family back then. I don’t want to repeat the posts but I figure I can share them.

Click here to enjoy a post about a visit to the family ossuary.

z

more sharing – lockdown 2 day 141

Its a pretty awful day today, gale force winds blowing pots off my front porch and all. Not fun.

Given I spent the day doing as little as possible I have nothing new to share. So I’m sharing my grooming room. I loved that room so much. I spent months creating it and then years working in it. I miss it. I miss having my own grooming room, working from home, having a workshop to make stuff…

Some things are just impossible to match here on Paros. Rents are unaffordable, places to rent are impossible to find, space is a luxury. Sigh.

So enjoy my almost finished grooming room… here.

z