Potato, potato, ching chong tomato!

How do you answer when someone asks you: “What’s on your mind?” How do you answer when someone is trying to get all deep and philosophical and asks: “But how are you, really?”

I never know what to say and my reply depends on who is asking, why they are asking, and how much time & energy and emotion I want to put into it.

Saying exactly what I mean isn’t something I am good at. Sometimes it’s yes just to please someone else and end my ordeal quickly. Sometimes I say I understand when I really don’t have a clue, but I say it just so I don’t look ignorant. And sometimes I just hold back from saying anything at all.

But there are some very good reasons for not holding back and for actually speaking your mind. You could just get what you want without sounding demanding. If you are being asked maybe it’s a good thing to say what your needs are, you might just end up being happier.

When someone asked me today; “what’s on your mind?” I simply replied potato, potato, ching chong tomato only because that was the last silly thing I had seen on Facebook. This didn’t solve anything but it did make both of us happier. We burst into laughter, the moment broke my frown and we both burst into spontaneous conversation about everything frustrating & annoying at work and also about everything funny & fuzzy in our lives.

So….moral of the story is, if you are going to be real and really say what is on your mind or give some weird answer like potato, potato, ching chong tomato that is ok as long as you end up feeling lighter and happier.

Or you could just say porn – that should stop people from asking!



This art year was messy

This year was a really bad for me, in many ways, actually it was quite crap. And it certainly shows in my art. If I compare to past years I have painted the least this year. I also ended my art year with incomplete work which I’m not crazy about, but I guess at least I know what I’m starting with in 2017.


So this one ↑ …. this one was a real failure, it was abandoned. Incomplete and will never be finished. I don’t like it at all, I just hit a wall and it hasn’t been covered in white or black because I haven’t had time. I guess it was a bad choice, I don’t quite know.

And then this one …..


It feels a bit like an unrealistic high expectation. Is it? I don’t know, I hope not. It’s a challenge for sure, it’s going to take long, it’s huge, too many proteas…I don’t know what I was thinking. But I’m looking forward to finishing it.

The good, bad and ugly of plein air

At the end of August I went away on a plein air painting weekend!  It was a wonderful opportunity to be out in nature painting and learning something new and quite honestly we needed a weekend away and if I had not committed to this I guess we would have just sat around at home…hubby and I have not had a weekend like this in a long time. So as that famous idiom goes – with one stone we kind of hit three or four birds. It was a bonus!

I have been on an art retreat before, and painted outside, but our studio was set up and we spent a couple of hours outside looking for the ‘painting’ in the scenery and started outside but then it was completed in the studio again.

So this weekend was a completely different experience, that’s why I call this the good, bad and ugly. 

I really enjoyed it. It was humbling, and scary.  I felt both overwhelmed and stressed at the same time.  Just as the breeze changed or the sun started feeling warmer I felt uncomfortable and quite happy and excited all at once.

On the first day after the morning session I went to the room happy with my progress and surprised with what I had painted.


It’s lovely to be outside and I imagine myself painting in this peaceful place and creating something really beautiful….but at the same time there were bees and the sun started burning into my back and I was wishing I was back in art class.


The afternoon when we finished I felt just as happy with my painting and equally surprised with what I had accomplished that day.  But I didn’t quite enjoy that experience as much as the morning one. Finding the ‘painting’ in the scenery in front me was a lot harder in the afternoon.


Painting outside sharpens your memory, I learnt more about really seeing what was in front of me, about natural light and shadows and the real colour of things in the scenery. 

Painting in art class from a photo and with controlled light is a bit like painting in 2D, being outside is more like 3D. I was forced to see real life and real colours. Also the photos are as good as the printer or the ink in the machine so the colours are not always exactly the same as what is outside.

I felt like a part of the scenery.  Although you can’t touch the scenery (well I could actually touch everything in mine if I wanted to) being outside made me feel more connected with my art and with nature.  With the breeze and the sunshine its a romantic scene in my artistic mind. 


I wonder about Van Gogh…and I remember a book I bought, I don’t think I ever intended reading this book but bought it because it was about Van Gogh.  I searched for it at home, it’s a book of letters that he wrote to his brother.  Looking through his letters I  wanted to find something where he complains about the wind or the sun or the cold or anything. Maybe he never complains and that was why he just created beautiful masterpieces!

But then I found this, and it had me in hysterics – 

The politeness of the populace of the Hague towards painters is, however, demonstrated by the fact that a fellow behind me, or probably at a window, suddenly spat a wad of tobacco onto my paper – life can be very trying at times. _ Letter 262

Loud laughter from me, there I found something he moaned about.  He sounds very funny and I might not read the whole book but I must really make an effort to go through some of his letters.

And what about Monet, did he perhaps complain about painting outside?

Now that I am home with my two finished paintings I feel I don’t like them as much, like they need to be fixed, like something is missing, maybe it’s the magic of being outside that has faded and gone away.

None of my paintings are a masterpiece but I feel the ones I do in the studio are more a masterpiece than these two that were painted outside.


The actual process of painting outside was too quick due to the changing scene and shadows and time just runs away!  I feel like I should have stayed outside longer and persisted and continued painting, but I know I would not have coped with the heat and longer hours. All those hours painting I tried maybe 3 different brushes but that weekend only one brush worked for me, soft eve series size 1, I’m not even sure how that was possible. 

It was a good learning experience and I really did enjoy it. I will do it again and will paint in oils again or try water-colour, hopefully be more prepared for the challenge next time.  I would like to try this near water, near the ocean it won’t be bees it will be sand flying into the canvas giving it a real 3D effect.  

a huge thank you to Sanchi for teaching me

or rather let me sign off the way Vincent used to, which was usually –

With a handshake, Yours sincerely,


Ramblings and pecan nuts


It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop – Vita Sackville-West

I’ve been thinking about this quote a lot, for many reasons, one of them is the blogging. I haven’t blogged for ages. Sometimes I feel guilty as if someone was depending on it and waiting to read something from me. Sometimes not thinking about it at all.

There have been opportunities and many topics on my mind too. But that’s the thing the moment has passed so now it seems pointless to talk or write about them. I let the butterfly go!

It’s quite alright, what would I do with those huge butterflies anyway?

  1. The current politics and what’s going on lately in SA
  2. Some religious issues and wars that have been in the news
  3. All sorts of other crazy things going on around us which actually just end up being political too
  4. And why on earth are pecan nuts so damn expensive?

I had opinions strong ones about all the news articles and conversations going on in media forums and sometimes in the office but these were just butterflies moths that I didn’t want to catch….and I let it all go. So now it’s pointless, really, the moment has passed. And that’s ok, I feel better for it.

I do have some real butterflies saved, I started them but some are not finished and I’m not ready to click “post” yet

  1. The story of me – that’s a nice one but I need a photo of my big thighs and stretch marks and have not asked anyone to take it
  2. I was born to be a mother – this was meant to be posted on mother’s day but I have not finished it
  3. My selfie, my self-portrait – well that’s because I’m not 100% sure it looks like me, although I did paint the double chin
  4. Dream. Starts with the letter Z – this is still a dream and when it’s close to reality maybe then I will post it

Anyway this is just random ramblings about me, I love to blog and don’t do it regularly because some things are hard to share, and other times because it is just better to let the moment go….and once you let it go then you can’t go back. The butterfly of the moment has gone and the mood has passed.

For now I hope to come home in the evenings with a little bit of good energy for a blog post now and then. First I need to finish the ones that are saved in draft file and hurry up already.

Seriously now, why are pecan nuts so expensive? Why?

In the beginning…What I have learned

Day 31: (Bonus topic) What I have learned from the Writers Bootcamp Challenge
In the beginning…

It was just something I wanted to try out. It is more serious now. I answered some questions the other day on blogging –

What made you start blogging? I was home (6 weeks forced holiday) recovering from a hysterectomy and was very bored with TV and I started reading blogs (mainly of ladies healing from hysterectomy and other more serious illness and their journey) I thought I’d just write about my pain and how I survived the op and all the negative emotions that I was going through at the time….turned out something completely different

What has blogging taught you? Maybe I am a bit more honest with myself, I am shy and tend to hide a lot and I admire people who put their feelings out there, and really write from the heart. No fear! I don’t always do that, but have learnt to be a bit more honest with myself and my feelings when I write. It’s a long and hard process though

What do you avoid blogging about?  🙂  Exactly what I have just said my real feelings, what hurts me most, I avoid that all the time, and sugar coat everything

Day 31 – What I have learned from the Writers Bootcamp Challenge: I have opened up more and wrote as if no one was reading it. So it was easier, although challenging, it felt good once I posted each blog. I Only posted it to twitter not FB – I don’t know why I did that?!!

Write from the heart – write like you paint. So I struggle with some paintings but I don’t give up and do always finish them. Even if it is not my favourite one that I show everyone and boast about, I still put it out there and I definitely complete it. So why not do the same with writing? Huh, miss P??

I’m going to try. And on that note, it’s time to take a break from the blogging and concentrate on painting!  Here’s a pic of the new one I started last night. It was an awesome painting day and I can’t wait for it to dry so I can add the little birds ….♥