Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures


’Palette Leftovers’

Acrylic on canvas 70cmx200cm

Marathon day. Singing and dancing supporters turning it into a street party, which Prince didn’t appreciate. Especially after another night of lightning storms.

The cheese-based crust (using a different recipe) for the Beef Wellington didn’t hold its shape in the Kamado Jan, resulting in a sort of mush. Fortunately, it still tasted great, but I think that had more to do with the foie-gras than anything I did. Terry did an Otto Linghi avo based salad that was simply scrumptious, served with grilled tomatoes that used a gazillion herbs. A burst of colour and flavour.

The Knysna Literary Festival provided it’s mix of weird, thought provoking, and inspiring talks.

Shoulder, doing it’s ’click-and-grind’ after the ride to Buffel’s, on a fabulous morning. Fortunate that my front tyre expired at the top of the hill and not during the decent. Two new tyres needed as both wheels now have punctures where the plugs aren’t holding.

Decided to change the tyres myself as taking it to the bike shop for something so trivial seemed unnecessary. Tyres arrived and I hit the first problem as the tyre tape on the one wheel was damaged and needed to be changed. Thisi also required a new valve, none of which I have. While the wheel was in to have that sorted, I did the other wheel. My shoulder not enjoying the strain of getting the tyre onto the rim, and neither did my hands.

The second wheel was even tougher and despite pumping like a maniac, I couldn’t get the tyre to sit properly on the rim. A visit to the garage provided the necessary oomph, however, the tyre was leaking at the new valve. Enough.

Not the cleverest thing to chose to do when I need my hands to paint with, not bruise them changing bicycle tyres.

Sunrise outer Thesen Island loop 7km run with the high tide next to us. Quite spectacular.

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Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Sweltering days making painting difficult. My hands sweating in the gloves. Getting them on, a sticky mess.


The studio, busy with tourists, walking around between golf games. One of my favourite paintings from our time in Pringle Bay ’Storm’ sold to an American couple and interest in some of the bigger paintings.


Prince spent two days at a ’play-group’. He passed his behavioural assessment with a glowing report, and spent Wednesday with a different group of dogs. The plan is for him to go on Monday and Wednesday so he isn’t so stressed with all the people, and kids, coming into the studio while both Terry and I are distracted.


Puncture on my front wheel heading up Phantom Pass. With only one bomb in my pouch, and no tools for a plug, and riding alone, I decided to cut the ride short. Amazingly, I actually got the bomb to work and inflate the tyre enough to get back to Caltex. I’m working on the assumption that a bag full of puncture repair bits will mean no more punctures!


Six weeks into the three month trial of lower insulin dosage. Average blood sugars increased to 7.1 mmol/L, with 10% of the tests above the 8.9 mmol/L maximum. A tad concerning, however, while my blood sugar levels may be bouncing off the ceiling, the numbers are skewed by the last week taking medication for my cold, that been particularly problematical.

For the rest, the hyperglycemia incidents have been triggered by fast running and the occasional hard cycle. It’s also corresponded with the heat of summer, dehydration, disturbed nights, mozzies, and dealing with a three-year-old Border Collie freaked out by thunderstorms.


Load shedding. Everything is quiet. Apart from Prince tearing his chew apart! Candles casting their mystical light in a world of darkness.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures


Small commissioned painting of a zebra and start made on the portrait of ’The Fisherman’. A painting to replace one of my paintings lost in a house fire.

The zebra still resembling a cart-horse, with none of the ’lightness’ I’m striving to attain. The rich grey, turning everything to a flat mush. Happier with the proportions of the head. Something, at least!

A tad apprehensive about the ride out to Buffels Neck. 70km, and four hours, being at the extreme end of what I can push myself to, while still retaining some control over my blood-sugars. To say nothing of how my shoulder will manage the constant bouncing through the Forest.

The Forest, green and sparkling after the recent rain, with enough overnight to keep the dust down from passing logging trucks. Overcast conditions meant we weren’t fighting the light-dark road surface that makes visibility, already hopeless through sweat-stained glasses, truly frightening when hurtling downhill!

Woolworths, carb-clever, seed-bars at the halfway stop. Not quiet the egg and bacon I had been imagining while out on the ride. Good enough to stop my blood sugars crashing further than the 4,5mmol/L level during the remaining 2 hours of cycling.
Move aside pork-belly. You have been superseded by delicious slow grilled pork shoulder. Simple and a sumptuous.

Two and a half hours at a low heat (140) with the meat, skin side up and rubbed with salt, in a roasting pan with a bottle of white wine (I added a bunch of fresh herbs from the herb pot). It needs to be checked after an hour and a half and add stock/water as needed. Heat the grill to 240 and put the roast, skin side up, under the grill until it’s crisp and golden. (about 35min). Sieve the remaining liquid and serve with the roast.

https://www.recipetineats.com/pork-shoulder-roast-with-crispy-crackling/

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Thrilled that my portrait of ‘Soli’ has been selected for the second round of judging at ‘BP Portrait 2020’. It’s the most prestigious portrait painting competition in the world, held for the 41st year at the National Portrait Gallery.

Getting it framed,and delivered to London by months end a logistical nightmare. Particularly with the Brexit mess. Still, a nice one to have!
Ladies in the Waves’, from Terry‘s photo, taking shape on the easel, between hectic waves of holidaymakers. Grateful for all the support.
Puncture cutting our cycle through the Forest short. Fortuitous that amongst us we managed to negotiate poor short vision. Sweat. Shaking hands. Tyre repair bits. Managed to get back safely, with that touch of extra bougainvillea blood drama.
Cooking with IRON! Cast Iron. Not the refined Le-Cruset, or beautifully finished      Stuab, but the, ‘muscle car’ of cooking. My Xmas present. Ultra-heavy casserole pot for the Kamado Jan. Seasoned with olive oil over searing heat, before being entrusted with a meal. Duck Confit. Bacon strips lining the bottom of the pot, and a touch of extra Chenin moisture. Deliciousness. Cleaning up after duck. Not trivial. Not something to be left till the morning!
HbA1c, my blood glucose over the last 3 months, confirming the results of my blood sugar monitor, at 5,6%. The combination of careful diet and exercise keeping them controlled to the point that I can try cutting my insulin dose in half. Hopefully, this will also reduce the periods in the day when I go ’hypo’, which should make having me around a bit easier.
Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Small Cape-sugarbird painting and two new scarf designs based on the Irises and Foxgloves and the abstract seascape from Pringle Bay. Hours grappling with the enforced software changes as Apple eliminate third party software.

Buffel’s dune walk, beach and graffiti. Calf muscles a tad unhappy with the soft sand and steps. Not nearly as unhappy as my bum muscles after their first ride back on my mountain bike! Clavicle complaining at the abuse of the short Red-bridge, White-bridge loop through old Belvedere. 
Studio worked well for an intimate dinner at the long-table. Great weather helped.
Howling winds, and patches of rain. Perfect weather for a Boeuf bourguignon. That Julia Child favourite, but using the recipe from Plate that has the beef marinaded overnight and cooked on the bone. Not the prettiest of dishes, it was delicious. Served with a rich sweet-potato gratin and green beans, not forgetting the compulsory crusty bread for the sauce. 221 Cuve from Alvis Drift worked fabulously.
Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Studio busy with tourists and a new banner up against the black of the building site next door giving some visibility for the studio. 

A small painting of Cape Sugarbird, and two canvases prepared for the Greyton Art Walk next month. I will be painting there for a couple of days and need the canvases dry enough to travel. 

Resupply of paint a tad extreme. Cyan, an unknown ‘primary’ colour. Both in acrylic and oil paint. 

Axe Hill Machado, the Portuguese word for ‘axe’. 35% Souzão, 30% Touriga Nacional plus dashes of Shiraz and Tinta Barocca from Carlitzdorp is big, generous and chewy. Not quite the wine I would have chosen for a hot summer afternoon. However, it pushed the sun into the shadows and with a rich gorgonzola couldn’t be faulted.
Mountain bike back from its service With new cycling shorts to add that extra layer of bum-protection, I’m hoping that my collar-bone won’t protest too much.
Great to see the paddle steamer back at its mooring, after almost submerging earlier in the year. Summer sunsets wouldn’t be the same without the paddle steamer crossing in front of the apartment.
Blood sugars settling back to less scary levels. 
Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

If bending trees weren’t enough of a warning, kite-surfers screaming across the Estuary were. Only hardened cyclists braved the roaring winds for the Oyster Festival races. The Ultimate Fitness Festival?.

Sling keeping my shoulder from moving, too crazily. The blessing of a Mungo, superb woven towel, easing the chaffing. Blood sugars back into their normal range after the trauma, and a couple of coffee walks easing bruised muscles.

Cable ties my new friend holding the canvas against the easel, as ‘wingless’ I can’t catch the canvas as it does it’s bit to escape the abuse of my fingers smearing paint about. The large number of straight lines a tad challenging for my painting of the Norval Foundation exhibition.

While we we had to eliminate the beans from the Pork and Cannellini Bean casserole recipe, the sauce of the dish was sensational. The pork a tad on the dry side, which was disappointing. However, the Eastern flavours worked fabulously with the seared Bok-Choy.

Harbour Town full of athletes as it’s Forest Marathon time. Studio busy with the registration traffic generating its own energy.

Bartinney wine dinner at the Turbine. The lamb bredie, paired with their Cabernet Sauvignon, scrumptious.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

‘Unicorn 2’

Oil on canvas 1,5mx1,5m

A few tweaks, and a couple of significant changes to the composition of the Rhino.

I decided to leave the tempestuous background, with its rough texture alone, as a contrast the smoother dust in the foreground.

Grateful for the collector who commissioned the painting. Loved the opportunity to work at that scale.

I. Remarkably, no blood! Hugh walked my bike out to where Clare could collect me home before Terry could get me casualty and the operation to fix my ‘properly broken’ clavicle. Fortunately, no complications, and while my blood sugars have gone crazy, they have sent me home after overnight observation. Six weeks, or so, my penance.

Hospital is not without its humorous side. The care I received was of the highest standard and professionalism.

A shared ward with a Dutch tourist who tore a knee ligament, and not only was a heavy smoker but had an absolute phobia about needles. Getting him prepped was a lesson in physiological counseling and slight of hand that was the envy of many magicians.

A nonagenarian woman, cranky in the extreme wanted go for walk outside, throwing he walking frame across the corridor as she doesn’t need assistance. Despite her recent knee surgery. She also decided on her midnight stroll, after insisting on coming into the wrong ward that I was occupying her bed and should be removed immediately.

An early morning tussle with e grumpy man who tried to leave the hospital to go home despite not being able to move unassisted and nobody at home to take care of him. Apparently he couldn’t get the USPGA on his TV screen.

I slept a bunch.

Norval Foundation

Brief shafts of sunshine through low clouds, natural spotlights highlighting the colours of ‘Wind Scuplture lll’ in the sculpture garden. Definitely best viewed from the warm comfort of the Skotnes restaurant.

Enjoyed the Collector’s Focus exhibition and wondering through the David Goldblatt exhibition, was transported back to my brief, terrifying, stint working at Grootvlei gold mine. While intrigued by the Yinka Shonibare CBE exhibition, Tradewinds’, I struggled to be engaged.

Scrumptious lunch. Beef bone marrow and sumac salsa, followed by beef flat iron with tomato Brodie and green beans. A glass of Skotnes red blend.

Rowing boats in a clients house

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Rose stopped past the studio to see the painting of the Oyster Collectors that I painted from her photograph

Erica’s in purple and pinks between banks of grey salt-bush alongside the paths through the Forest. Enough rain to turn trails into rivers that extra element of fun.

Colours swirling on the canvas for my painting of the Heads. Getting a tad lost in the water of the estuary.

Easter treat damage limitation with a run to the bottom of Phantom Pass. Ile de Pain, hot-cross bun with its apricot jam glaze and icing sugar crust (52grams of carbs) probably wasn’t sensible.

Bunch of people visiting which gave us the opportunity to try a couple of different places in our part of paradise. The late afternoon ferry out to the rebuilt Featherbed restaurant for their forest dinner. The building spectacular, and while the food might not be memorable there was plenty of variety, even for a diabetic.

Parmesan crusted kingklip, with a chilly/butter stuffing at Fatfish, looked amazing and was delicious. No less so than the tempura-prawn salad, with a great selection of wines by-the-glass.

Sold

Oil on canvas 20cmx20cm

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventure

Our part of paradise being transformed with building next to us undergoing a massive rebuild. A modern update to what has, to-date, been constrained architecture along strict low-impact guidelines. As with the rebuild of Ile de Pain, the building itself is set to become a destination. A year of chaos and noise ahead!

Not the best, for a sensitive Border Collie.

Stopped playing with the portrait of ‘Ben’, the racehorse. The muscles of the horse a guide for the direction of my finger strokes to add power and breath life into the painting. Constrained by the small 50cmx60cm canvas.

Ben is beautiful mixture of dark brown, gold and red. Indigo (Ferrario No.57) for the iris of the eyes with Mineral Violet Light (Ferrario No.46) highlights. Raw Umber (Ferrario No.76) for the dark brown. Cerulean Blue and Cadmium Orange for that touch of sparkle.

A gap before a world turned crazy. Storms ripping across the estuary. Insides turned to mush on Homtini Pass cycle. Not much time to enjoy the stunning indigenous Forest, as keeping going forward was all consuming.

Small elephant painting sold, and the new silk scarf samples of the dolphins and King Protea have been shipped. While most are already pre-sold, it will be fascinating to see how they have turned out