Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Years end

Last day of a year that has been good to me yet strangly troubled. I feel I'm at a crossroads and turning around and going down the same path is not an option.

It's a waiting game.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Surfs up

A photo son Sam took of his surfing mate Reece at Hot Water Beach. The boy has potential with his composition!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mary Xmas

A Very Mary Xmas to all my blogger friends. I want you to exercise restraint as above.

I'm having bacon!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hamilton Exhibition

I'm stoked. My treepee won the peoples' choice award at the exhibition worth $700 worth of prizes and I conned the gallery to let me leave it on the street (above). It's a risk because it could be stolen or damaged but it's great promotion as it's the main street of Hamilton, one of our biggest cities and right next to their prestigious museum.

We also did a round trip to Tauranga to deliver the portrait I painted of Elpie for her 50th birthday on Xmas Eve. Yes that is a gorgeous single malt whiskey from her fathers' distillery at Campbelltown on the Mull of Kintyre in my arms. Fair swap!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fresh scallops

A food magazine requested our scallop recipe so you (yes you) might as well have it too.

Fresh Scallops on Corn hotcake with Pernod Cream Sauce

Corn hotcake
3 free range eggs beaten
400gm can creamed corn
400gm can whole kernel corn
1 ½ cups flour
2 tsps baking powder
2 tbls sweet chilli sauce
½ tsp tabasco
½ red onion chopped fine
3 cloves garlic chopped fine
small bunch coriander chopped
1 cup sour cream
½ tsp salt and ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper

Simply mix ingredients until incorporated

To cook hotcakes…. heat oil in a saucepan until hot then spoon in mixture to make fritters golden on each side.

To cook scallops….we are lucky at Eggsentric, our local macadamia farm (Cathedral Cove Macadamia) makes us a macadamia chilli crumb which we mix with Japanese panko breadcrumbs and we toss the scallops in this mixture before cooking. You could use just the panko crumb or cook without crumbing.
Heat oil in a saucepan until hot, add scallops and cook quickly, perhaps a minute, then turn, cook for 30 seconds and flash the pan with the pernod. Cover the bottom of the pan with cream add flakey salt and fresh ground pepper to taste and cook until sauce thickens. Don’t overcook the scallops, take them out if this is happening and finish the sauce by itself.
Remember taste, taste, taste. This is how you learn about flavours.

To assemble…..Place a scallop shell on a large plate, lay two corn hotcakes on its’ edge with the scallops on top and pour the sauce over. Garnish.

The leftover hotcake mix makes a marvelous breakfast with bacon, hollandaise sauce and sweet Thai chilli next morning.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree

OK, I was seduced by the prize money!! But now I cringe to think I put all those baubels on my lovely treepee. Good road trip with Sam though. He drove his new (old) ute all the way to Hamilton (5 hours) without a hitch and without his father screaming. Called in to see Marion at Artspost Gallery and she will take some of my wooden sculpture for their foyer. All is not lost!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Death of Honesty

It is with great regret that I announce the death of Fern. It's not a physical demise but a blog site of honesty, joy and sadness. Her site came into her family domain and she felt her honesty about her feelings compromised family relationships and so with one push of a button obliterated all that wonderful poetry and insight.
Maybe in hindsight a change of blog name might have been better Fern.
I am constantly censoring my site for family and community reasons which isn't very truthful but I think even in everyday life we censor to make our society work. The truth isn't always right.
But in saying that I've always felt I need a blog where I can be brutally honest and swear and be vindictive with no chance of damage and retaliation. I think it would tell me a lot about myself.
So I'm sorry, dear readers, if I've given you the impression that I'm a nice bloke when underneath I'm a raging psycopath and I'm sorry to lose my blog pal Fern, may she rage in peace!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Reason (season) to be jolly. I hate this time of year when the feeding frenzy starts to buy, buy, buy, yet I get to be Santa. First at a pre school called Country Kids then at the local Playgroup. Now although I'm getting porky round the middle I don't fit the rotund bill so have to tie a pillow against my chest to fill out the santa suit. Then I try to put my socks on!!
I get to ride on a fire engine or a helicopter or a farm bike or just take my little car and startle the odd pedestrian with my long white locks blowing in the wind ( I can bring a smile to the lips to even the most hardened teenaged criminal, not that we have many!)
You probably think Santa is easy, just sit there on your decorated chair and hand out presents to the adoring kids but a lot of them are shit scared of you and you have to decide which of the gorgeous mammas you have to have sit on your knee to show the kids how it is done.
So the challenge every year is to try and get every one of the sixty odd brats to at least come forward and take the offered present. I lie on the ground with my legs in the air (it's alright this ain't Scotland!), sing badly, crow, shout, pretend I'm sunning myself in Samoa, promise playstations, even try to be meek and mild which I sure aren't. Then after three years Amelia finally overcomes her fear and she is off to school and I have to start afresh on Ryan, Anika and Jackys' mum (sigh).

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas tree

On Sunday I've got to dress my Treepee up for a christmas party. There is a festival in Hamilton two hours drive away and I've entered in the avant garde section. Not the most advantageous exhibition for my work but at least it will recieve a little attention. I will place Akio Hizumes' fibanacci star on top with lights and decorate the tree like our own christmas tree, the pohutukawa, which is just starting to flower. I can play with lights inside too

Monday, December 8, 2008

Naked feet

Most people don't feel comfortable in their feet anymore. With no shoes they walk differently, creeping along self consciously as if naked. So they encase them in leather and plastic and feel better up top but lose connection completely with good old mother earth.
I remember tramping high in the Pasubio Mountains north of Venice with friend of the family Piero who knew no English and I knew no Italian which is a great way to experience the landscape together. Anyway we kept meeting these very well dressed Italian climbers with all the gear including alpine hats with feathers who were aghast that I was up there in bare feet. It was summer so there was no danger of my feet falling off and after time the soles harden and climbing becomes a breeze.
Of course there are plenty of times when I have to wear shoes so I don't get an errant knife in my foot, but I can't wait to get them off and stand in some lush grass.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Man it's a wonder those gannets procreate at all! They out front at the moment in the sun of a beautiful morning diving headlong into the sea from a great height. It must be headache material when they go home from work. Sorry mum.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I Feel for You

You seem so
bloody and raw
so sensitive
flares at your

But it's not the
but the
single most
delicious moment
before impact
between cause
and effect
that offers you every

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I'm a grand daddy again! Number five, a girl to Duan my second son and Tracey, 9lbs, no trouble, a sister for Ella and Dylan.
Who are these beings, these products from my loins, who have such separate lives.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

And again symposium

Symposium has finished. Nice to have them, nice to see them go (not them but the dust and noise!) The quality is excellent this year but the auction was disappointing. I sold a small piece and Rika sold his. However the unsold ones stay in the garden for sale over the summer and now I have the joy of setting them in the garden which will make a total of 36 stone sculptures plus my wooden pieces. A good number!
Anna Korver won first prize of $3000 with her sculpture 'Flight' below and Tai Meuli won second of $2000 with 'Ocean Life' (can't find his image!)

Anna Korver 'Flight'

Jocelyn Pratt 'Catching Kisses' and Tui Hobson 'Bird Watch' (above)

Lauren Kitts ' The ascending ins and outs of life' and Donald Buglass ' Space-Time 4' (above)

And two of mine.