JUST ME :: and a stack of blank pages

:: Living creatively ::

About me

This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realise it is play. The only thing that is ultimately real about your journey is the step that you are taking at this moment. That’s all there ever is. I’m here to tell you that the path to peace is right there, when you want to get away. When you are present, you can allow the mind to be as it is without getting entangled in it. If you miss the present moment, you miss your appointment with life. That is very serious!

Friday, February 8, 2019

The Dragonfly and the Daisy

 Black ink sketch on Bockingford

After spending several years under water in fresh water, the Naiad (Dragonfly larvae, about 2cm in length) emerges, crawling up a plant stalk, usually at night, as a fully grown Dragonfly (order Odonata). They may be on the wing for just a few days or weeks and are fast, agile fliers, sometimes migrating across oceans, and are often found near water. I’ve watched them emerging from my wildlife pond many a time and am always amazed at the beauty that comes from such a voracious (and ugly!) little predator, capable of catching small fish twice their size.

Monday, February 4, 2019

A happy ending

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

“Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year.”
 
 

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

African buffalo

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm

African buffalo or Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer)

African buffaloes are strong and imposing animals of the African savanna, but today few populations exist outside the confines of national parks. These formidable grazers are the only wild cattle species, and bonds between females are strong. If one individual is under attack from a predator, the herd will rush to the victim’s defence, and a herd is easily capable of driving away an entire pride of lions.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Herbs in pots - Coriander



Ink and watercolour sketch in watercolour sketch pad.

Having herbs in terracotta pots on your kitchen windowsill is an excellent way of always having fresh herbs handy for your cooking.

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is an extremely popular herb that is used extensively and liberally in Indian, Thai, South African and Middle Eastern cuisine.


  • Use in all types of curries, pickles, chutneys and sauces.
  • Sprinkle over fresh salads.
  • Use to flavour soups, carrot and coriander is quite popular.
  • Use to flavour home-made bread, waffles and scones.
  • Coriander is used as an ingredient for some cakes and biscuits including gingerbread.
  • Use to add flavour to creamed cheese or mayonnaise.
  • Use to garnish meat, fish or vegetable dishes.
  • Use in meatballs, meat or vegetable burgers and other home-made dishes.
  • Add to stocks and gravies.
  • Use in marinades, particularly for meat and fish.
  • Coriander goes very well with mushrooms.
  • Use to spice up stir-fries and bland vegetables such as spinach.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Herbs in pots - Lemon thyme

Ink and watercolour sketch in watercolour sketch pad.
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Having herbs in terracotta pots on your kitchen windowsill is an excellent way of always having fresh herbs handy for your cooking.

In cooking, lemon thyme (Thymus citriodorus) delivers the best of both worlds. It has a soft herbal thyme flavour along with a subtle essence of lemon, all without any of the bitterness we sometimes get from regular thyme. It pairs well in everything from salads and vegetable dishes, to meat, and fish.

Lemon thyme is also used for the following :
  • relieving muscle spasms
  • has anti-aging properties
  • immune system
  • easing digestion
  • easing a tight chest
  • constant coughing
  • relieving asthma
  • promotes relaxation
  • laryngitis
  • gastritis

Monday, January 14, 2019

Bluegum fantasy

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm in small sketch-book

Blue gum eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus to the botanists), have been a part of the South African landscape since the Gold Rush, long enough that legends have sprung up about how they first made it to the country. The usual story is that 19th Century gold miners encouraged planting of the trees as a quick-growing source of quality lumber, then were disappointed to find out that South African-grown eucs produce wood unsuitable for much besides rough fenceposts and firewood.

The stories have some factual basis: there was a speculative eucalyptus-planting rush in the first years of the 20th Century, with people planning uses from fine furniture to rot-resistant railroad ties. And the home-grown trees, which grew far more quickly than their Australian counterparts, did not turn out to make lousy timber! The logs were extensively used in our mining industry and to this day they are still popular as fence posts and roof timber.



Thursday, January 10, 2019

Herbs in pots - Oregano

Bladk ink and watercolour sketch in watercolour sketch pad.

Having herbs in terracotta pots on your kitchen windowsill is an excellent way of always having fresh herbs handy for your cooking.

This aromatic, ancient culinary herb (Origanum vulgare), also referred to as “wild marjoram,” originates from the hilly, Greek countryside, and is now grown all over the world. Its pungent, spicy, slightly bitter flavour pairs well with almost any vegetable preparation.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Herbs in pots - Parsley

Ink and watercolour sketch in watercolour sketch pad.

Having herbs in terracotta pots on your kitchen windowsill is an excellent way of always having fresh herbs handy for your cooking.
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It’s easy to write parsley off. Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is just the requisite garnish that decorates plates at fancy restaurants. Right? Wrong! Parsley is a popular culinary and medicinal herb recognized as one of the functional food for its unique antioxidants, and disease preventing properties.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Sunshine in the rain


W&N watercolour on Arches 300gsm

On cold and rainy days I sometimes feel I just HAVE to brighten up the day with something smiling! Not that I don’t smile during rainy weather, I love it! and sunflowers are the perfect flower to brighten any dark day.

"Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men and animals. Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others again are plain, honest and upright, like the broad-faced sunflower and the hollyhock."
- Henry Ward Beecher
 
 

Friday, October 20, 2017

My favourite outfits

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm

I just love autumn shades and these days comfort also plays a huge roll in planning my wardrobe - gone are the days of squeezing into tight jeans or hobbling along on 6" heels - go with the flow is what I say!