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!

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.