Thursday, November 22, 2007


Four boats, one beach, 100 kids and lots of wind all add up to thrills and spills and screams and beams.

The Waterwise programme has been around a while teaching kids how to sail and become wise on the water. With our very long coastline, I'm guessing about 4500 kilometres, having fun on the water is a big part of our Kiwi life and the ocean can be very unforgiving as our drowning stastictics show. Our own Hot Water Beach is the second worst in NZ for drowning because inexperienced people become hot in the pools and then rush into the surf and are carried away in the undertow.

So the local Whenuakite School invited donations to buy four boats and Eggsentric is proudly displayed on one sail and I trained to be an instructor. The kids get 90 minutes each time and learn to rig the boat, go through it's safety features and their own such as life vest, sun block, warm clothes etc. and understand a little of how to read the weather such as clouds and wind on the water.

But the real fun and for some the real terror is on the water when they are in control of a bucking little boat with the wind whipping the sails. We teach them to capsize, right the boat again and bail the water out and that usually gives them confidence when they realise nothing bad can happen.

The real joy for me is when they finally get a feel for it and I can take them out into the Bay where the wind is true. A line of little boats with grinning skippers

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lauren Kitts working on her piece that is now a headstone in the local cemetry
The stone delivery - what potential!

Naughty boy, I haven't posted for a week. It's amazing how running a restaurant fills up your days and nights. Plus I had to deliver an address to artists this week about owning a gallery, teach kids from the local school sailing, arrange the rock delivery for the smposium, tutor at the art school and read the paper! Merlot the dog and I are both putting on weight because our walks in the morning are getting shorter and shorter.

It's always an exciting time when the lovely blue/green rock from Maratoto arrives. I choose the pieces in the quarry but it's not until they are here away from the quarry that they really start talking. When the sculptors come and choose a rock they are of two schools. Some have an idea in their mind and choose a rock to suit that idea, others look at a rock and see an idea. The former is perhaps the safest way because it's not easy working under your peers and the publics eyes. You have to have something finished and acceptable at the end of the week. I am one of the latter but I get it easy, if I don't finish it I blame the sculptors for having to look after their every whim and feed them and listen to their stories. My last years effort is still sitting under the trees, I'll have to hide it and pretend it was sold over the summer!

We are not looking forward to the fine talcum powder like dust that spreads through everything because the gardens are looking fantastic at the moment but it's all part of what we do and who we are.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Still have time

Beautiful this morning after three days of rain. The sun has just come up (ie. the earth's gone down) and the tide is full and still and clear. My coffee is hot and long and the list for today is mercifully short.
I'm still finding time for sculpture so have the best of both worlds - able to feed the family and indulge in fantasy at the same time!- hopefully one day the art will do both.
I designed the arches above to sit flush as an entrance to my exhibition but after storing them in the basement staggered I like them much better. They seem to compel you to walk under them, cathedral like.
The other picture is a new design leaving gaps in the timber, feeling much lighter and the shadows make it change as you walk around it. The front figure will be taller when I get my errant nail gun back from the doctor and I will probably add three more figures, two smaller as if children.
The design permutations are endless. Perhaps I can be laid to rest in a box made from little pieces of wood!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Rage against the night

Pictured above are the committee, with my seat vacant of course, testing the wine and the venue for my upcoming 60th on Jan 3rd and the picture of a picture above that is Chookstock 1998.
We were back on the farm when I turned 50 and I built a big stage and organised 5 bands and called it Chookstock! We had a water slide down the hill and a bouncy castle and B-B-Qs and 450 people turned up with their tents and caravans. It was a blast.
Now 10 years later and 3rd Jan is one of the busiest days of our restaurant year with 200 lunches and 100 dinners so the possibility of much organisation is very small. However we are going to close for the day and my fellow musos are going to perform on the outside stage with hopefully Kokomo Blues who played 10 years ago rocking us late into the night.
What more can a man ask for as he 'rages against the night' than friends and relatives and music and madness and mayhem