Diary of an Adventure

Leisure Island Adventures

Movie and burger night at Pezula kept us awake for the movie, and provided interesting burger options. The lamb with mint tatziki, and the chicken with halloumi cheese and avo the stars. The cinema didn’t have the intimacy of Franschhoek and the hardware failure midway through the movie had that definite ‘home movie’ feel.

Sun out, wind manageable, meant that I was out paddling. The wave action from tidal flow and passing power boats had me floundering to keep my balance, which wasn’t helped by some large fish-type thing that darted out from under my paddle. I did manage to keep clear of the sandbanks.
An anxious moment at the apartment with a wall that forms the new kitchen not being structurally sound. Fortunately, with the sun out they were able to get a new supporting wall into place. The plumbing for the new vanity unit also needed to be moved as it wasn’t where the basin will sit. Dodgy stuff this building! We did get to see the completed vanity unit, the first cupboard crafted for the apartment by Design-Wise. Quite magnificent.
Handing over a print of his portrait to Ernest.

Clear, cold skies. A sky of blinking stars. Braai fire.
On the easel, a rowing boat on the beach at low-tide. Wet sand, glistening in the sun, with the odd indentation in the sand leading to the boat. It’s an uncomplicated painting that absorbs. The serenity of water. One of those ‘stop before you mess it up’ paintings.
A trip out of our valley on a grey, stormy day to Plettenberg Bay and Dirty Therapy Nursery. After wandering through the nursery trying to imagine what will work on the new patio at the apartment, a French, soup plate sized cappuccino, on the terrace with its views to the mountains. 
We stopped at Almeria, where we have spent many happy holidays with Aly and at the Grand on Main Street, that felt as though we were back on Zanzibar. Only cleaner and without the humidity!
In the drive to create as energy efficient house as possible, I have come across ceiling fans (Aeratron ceiling fans) that are eco-efficient, an award winning design, and silent. Using only 10% of the electricity of normal ceiling fans, they reduce winter heating costs by as much as 30%. The walls, floor and roof have insulation, and with double glazing the heating and cooling needs should be reduced

Diary of an Adventure

Leisure Island Adventures

Feel as though I’m turning into a dragon, with a new skin of scales forming. The Dermatologist assures me that baby shampoo, and Dove soap are the long term solution, with nuclear strength cortisone the immediate help. South Sudan days still impacting my immune system.

Grey skies, full of rain, lifted enough for us to walk along the Estuary. The island quiet again with the ending of the school holidays.
New running shoes, from Craig’s on-line wholesale guy, a tad intimidating. Flashing red flames on black, with ultra white soles. Definitely not built for joggers. Not that the wet, cold, days make the idea of heading out for a run appealing. For now, I’m keeping the lid of the box firmly closed incase they escape.
Clouds of colour. Vibrant. Laughter. Looking down on the pattern which identifies Knysna. The waters of the lagoon, waiting lazily, for their chance to race between the Heads. An abstract approach to the skies and the shapes of the lagoon.
The changes to the studio apartment limited to the bits that are possible to do inside as a week of rain prevents the kitchen addition from progressing. We have made plans to leave the rented house on Leisure Island in October, which allows some leeway in the expected completion date.
Fresh paint supplies arrived from the States. The larger canvases I’m able to paint taking chunks out of my paint stocks. No drama in navigating the import duties at the Post Office, which was unexpectedly clean, organized and efficient. Most amazing was that nothing had been stolen from the box!
Excellent dinner at the Turbine. The small chair I was sitting on a bit of a concern. The food was inventive, visually stunning and tasty. Great wines from Remhoogte made me glad we were only driving as far as J9 after dinner.
Polly’s visit to the Vet after a few restless nights. Vital signs all good. Right hip and knee joints non-existent and left hip joint hardly functional. Extra pain tablets to make her comfortable

Messing About with Paint


I have added a new Album to my On Line Gallery with paintings of my elephants that are still available.


With the forest elephants in Knysna, it seemed appropriate to bring out the herds, and the special pace they have in my life. Painted in Botswana and Tanzania, they provided hours of entertainment, observing their antics.

At full moon the elephant bulls have moved back into the breeding herds and there is much posturing.

The younger ones doing their utmost to look fierce, pushing and prodding each other, while teenagers have a full go at each other; shaking heads, billowing and chasing shadows.

Larger bulls, preferring the stare you down method, with the larger of the two standing nonchalantly with his legs crossed not a bit phased by the attitude of his younger challenger.


Messing About with Paint


Oil on Canvas 102cmx78cm

The composition of my portrait of Ernest wasn’t sitting correctly on the canvas. He felt either overawed by the space around him, or caught in headlight dazzle.
I used the ‘Fibonacci Sequence’ to determine the golden points and cropped the portrait so his eye was centered on one of them. I then tilted the composition by 5 degrees to bring his shoulders onto the diagonal line, and create tension with the space around him.
Burnt Umber and Ultramarine Blue, mixed for the base grey colour. The ‘Cooler’ colour pushing back the shadow areas. The warmer colours of Magenta and Indian Yellow Deep were used for the shadow area, over painted with Van Dyk Brown and Golden Ocher, to create depth and interest.
Naples Yellow Light and Deep were used for the lighter areas of the face, with pure white for the highlights. A tad risky, and a first for me.
Diary of an Adventure

Leisure Island Adventures

Owl greeting the sunset. The sunroom of the house a haven on these chilly days. Morning walks hurried and afternoon walks scrambled between Tour De France.

Whole pumpkin cooked on the weber, with chèvre. The pumpkin essentially for Polly’s food, but an excuse to try something I haven’t done for far too long. Served with grilled lamb chops made for a simple, scrumptious dinner.
My bum hurts after its 10 km trail run through the forests. I think there was a flat section at some point, but I missed it as I was trying to clear the sweat (tears???) from my glasses, which were flecked with mud from the latest fall. The palm of my hand, bruised from its use as a shock absorber. Both from the tumbles as well as moving trees out of the pathway that were strategically placed to prevent a headlong dive down the hillside. Between this, the flowers in the fynbos were stunning!

bru  Coffee

Oil on Canvas 40cmx50cm


The village is noisy with Forest marathon (which I did not do) stories, fueled by the great food and wine which is everywhere. It’s school holidays and the rain has stayed away, so kids are all over the streets, with their laughter making the stars sparkle. Even the chaotic traffic seems energized.
A tide of pink shirts, including Terry, for the breast cancer awareness walk. Enthusiasm unaffected by the grey brooding skies and rain. I was happily ensconced with a Seattle coffee and the Sunday papers, watching the flow of pink through the rain speckled window.
My painting, ‘The Sea’, has gone to its new home. Always special to hand over one of my works and see it take on a new life as it energizes discussion. Looking forward to seeing it hanging in its new space. The challenge to paint more abstract works!
At the studio apartment, the bashing out of the outside walls has started. The wall around the staircase has gone and the garage walls are ready for the slab. The kitchen extension has started, we have finalized the tiles to be used in the bathroom and the new stove and fridge are ordered.
Ernest, a sculptor from Zimbabwe sits at East Head selling his art to passing tourists. He has the most amazing face, which I wanted to capture. It’s been awhile since I painted any portraits and the larger canvas I have to work with is invigorating.

Messing About with Paint

bru Coffee

Oil on Canvas 40cmx50cm
Outside the burnt remains of Ile de pain, the wooden security board have been decorated by shops that are still operating from the Boat Shed building.

Against this orange backdrop, a pop-up coffee shop has opened, bringing life back to a spot where people walked in some trepidation.

The inspiration for a painting, of a pavement café a tad stylized by one of the shops, French Kisses.

Diary of an Adventure

Leisure Island Adventures

Knysna Oyster Festival. Ten days of adventure racing, food and wine. 

Bubbles, chocolates and oysters at Villa Castollini, with its view over the lagoon. Wild, cultivated, strawberry, smoked cheese and tomato oysters were paired with different bubbles. Some combinations worked better than others with the smoked cheese the most disappointing. While they were generous with the bubbles, and all were bubbles we didn’t normally drink, none of them stood out. There was a good Merlot for the non bubble types like me.
A big title, for a small painting of a rowing boat on the beach, with the tide out.
My fingers struggling with the touches needed to define the rowing boat. A touch of blue linking the boat to the sea beyond.
Flavours of Knysna provided another opportunity to top-up the wine levels to accompany all sorts of creative oyster dishes by the restaurants of Knysna. The honours taken by Butterfly Blu with a toasted coconut and Malay curry oyster, followed by a tropical banana shot and coconut foam. Lethal!
Outside the burnt remains of Ile de pain, the wooden security board have been decorated by shops that are still operating from the Boat Shed building. Against this orange backdrop, a pop-up coffee shop has opened, bringing life back to a spot where people walked in some trepidation. The inspiration for a painting, of a pavement café a tad stylized by one of the shops, French Kisses.
Leaden skies, with winds full of mischief, disturbed nights, unsettled days. Timed perfectly for the X-Terra at the Pezula Field of Dreams. I slipped, waded, and sploshed my way around the trail running course, with Craig handling the MTB section like a machine. My fitness trashed in the first mad km. Tons of mud filled fun.
Bashing and crashing continues at the apartment. The new ceilings are in. The walls for the garages are up and the electrics are progressing. 
One of my larger paintings, The Light In Between, sold to a collector in Brisbane. A run around the village to find shipping quotes for the painting that also deals with the Australian fumigation requirements.