Thursday, March 26, 2009

I am...up

I am not a housewife. I am not my body, nor my feelings. I am not my thoughts nor anyone else's thoughts of me. So all of this stuff can be acknowledged and left, because it is nothing. O.M.G! What the hell have I been reading about now?

I have been awake since 3am, and out of bed since 4am. In my dream an orca was chasing me through a wooden, two story house with lots of weird little rooms. The orca was huge and clumsy and was fine with out the water. It actually made it's way up stairs, through doorways with the explicit task of eating me. It trapped me in a small room, and I woke up as I was trying to open the window to jump.

What the hell sort of dream was that?

I have a goal of getting out of bed by 5am, to read, think, meditate, and/or run. I want to start my days earlier to get the most out of them. So this morning I guess was a success. It is 5.22 and voila! Here I am.

We walked to Booboo's for dinner last night-that woman is a brilliant cook. She made mostly vegan/vegetarian stuff and warned me before hand that I had..."better not have eaten all day", because she had made all this food for me. I did her proud, I over-ate. We turned the lights out, candles lit, for earth hour and the kids went crazy, all nine of them. They started dancing and yelling and jumping. Boo boo's house turned into a night club. They eventually left the living area, and played scary games in the darkness of the hall way and bedrooms. The noise got so bad, we let them watch a dvd for the last half hour of earth hour. (T.v is normally banned, so thanks, 'earth hour').

We walked home by about ten pm, the kids screeching and rollicking in the dark. I mentioned to Deane that kids are so much like vampires -at their optimal with darkness.
I have been glum this week. Reason: there is so much I want to do, my frustration levels are rising. To do anything, it seems I need to organise at least, 6 other people. The only thing it is easy to do,is clean the house an make food. I don't have to organise a babysitter, or check if its in the right 'time frame' for that. Blah humbug.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wellington graffiti, pizza for 25, life drawing

There are some very cool graffiti images around the mean streets of Wellington. Free public art!

I had an impromptu dinner for 25 on Saturday night. It does not take long to get to a seemingly large number...I just invite a few family's and bam! I'm feeding a crowd. I have a wonderful pizza dough recipe, involving fresh yeast, one and a half kilo's of flour, olive oil, salt and water. I work the dough and rest it for an hour. Our oven fits two pizza's in at one time, (the pizza's are the size of a standard oven tray), they take fifteen minutes to bake (thin crust). I work in between oven and bench throwing pizza in and out, passing them to Deane at the table where they are cut with a pizza wheel.

I made a rich tomato-onion reduction to dollop and spread on the base, onto which I chucked all manner of things that live in the fridge. They loved the bacon (organic,free range), feta and peppadew pizza. (I actually do the odd meat pizza for the meat lovers among my friends...). I did a few vegetarian, and one pure vegan pizza. For the kids who, errr, have rather bland buds, I made my 'kid famous' spaghetti pizza...yes, it is canned spaghetti splatted on the pizza base, topped with grated cheese. Baked and voila! Demolished. They chowed through three. Someone bought ice cream and cones, so the kids were happy.

And guess what? We finally have curtains! We put them on the french doors and the bay windows. It only took us five years..and five cold winters. The house feels more 'grown up', cosy and definitely warmer. We acquired the curtains in exchange for a bottle or two of wine. (Wine lovers are easy).

Life drawing this week actually taught me something. I was struggling with my drawing for most of the session, then the word, 'exaggerate' stomped through my head. So I exaggerated the angles of the leans of torso, legs, neck and the drawings started to look...well, okay. I went from tired and frustrated to enthused. Alas, I only 'got it', about ten minutes from the end of the session. At times, I am blind.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

skinless chicken thighs and life drawing....

On Sunday, I made dinner for 25 people. My sister came over especially to help. I gave her the recipe for 'Moroccan stuffed onion', which, we decided we are NEVER to make again. They were very yum, but Deb was cursing over the hour it took to 'core' 8 large Spanish onions. The pic is of her and Drew wearing glasses to help protect their eyes from the onslaught of onion..(wearing glasses does help). I was going to do a totally vegan feast, but on thinking I remembered that lots of people don't feel they have actually eaten till they've ingested MEAT. So, I made a huge slow cooked 'Kashmiri butter chicken' dish. As well as everything else, this involved me cutting 16 skinless chicken thighs into quarters, excuse me while I gag. I made about six other beautiful vegan dishes, which everyone ate - making satisfied noise's...(belching, lip smacking, slurping?...satisfaction?)

I also fed them a huge New York cheesecake (ta Nigella buddy...)with blackberries. Weirdly enough, I enjoy making cheesecake, then watching friends eat it. I don't partake of course....being the 'good-(croissant-on-occasion)- vegan'.

I have done life drawing twice since the last post. Last week, we got a male model, at which point I wanted to walk out and have coffee instead. I have nothing against males, I just dont like drawing them. I find them difficult to draw...women are so much more attractive!

Anyhoo, I decided to be a grown up-and stay till the break. The model turned out to be the best model I have drawn. He worked every single pose wonderfully. I thanked him at the end of the session. Unfortunately, my drawings were all crap, so they had a meeting with the bin not long after creation. This week we had a lovely model, who worked the pose. The images above are her.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Banned the t.v, discovered jazz...

Now that I am being the 'good Mother', I arrive home three nights a week after 7pm!...(oh..the lateness is because I am picking kids up from various activities etc, not that I am out playing bingo or whatever!) This means that I need to make dinner before the kids even get home from school...this means I actually have to come home at some stage during the cook.
Thursday is now our 'at home relaxed evening', and Friday is pretty cool too...for the moment.

We have banned t.v.!!! I have realised it served as a babysitter from about 5pm, and most nights, okay-every night it would dictate when I would serve dinner, run, bathe Paloma and a myriad of little time squish'es. So I draped a cloth over the dictator, hid the remotes. Our first t.v free evening...I found myself feeling unusually angry at the noise the kids were creating. I felt a bit lost. The kids floundered around, t.v-less. They bounced off the walls (and each other). They accused me of...'child abuse'. They said I left them..."no option- but to read".

We celebrated Izzy's eighth birthday. It was a success according to Izzy. Thank God! Eleven kids and five adults arrived at the chameleon restaurant (the Intercontinental Hotel) for an early buffet breakfast. Only two of the kids over ate, felt sick, wanted their mummy's. I find I have not much patience at all...but I tried my best to be kind.
Justine was over from Nelson for the weekend which also happened to coincide with the Wellington Jazz festival. So Justine, Deb and I and our men enjoyed dinner at Finc....okay, I did not really really enjoy the food as the only thing I could eat was a sparse felafel salad. Hold the feta. (I was hungry with a capital r.) We then toddled off to the town hall, which was fashioned into a night club for the duration of the festival. We sat at our funky table and listened to jazz. Of course. I forget the name of the really famous Polish trumpet player, but at times I wished he'd shut up and let the piano and double base go for it. I did not understand the jazz drummer either. He should have shut up too....I enjoyed it for the experience of it though. I have not a sophisticated jazz ear. The following day, Justine, Izzy, Paloma and I went to a free gig in the civic I am pretty jazzed out.
I have been up with my running- and went for another hilly bike ride today. I have decided to aim for the 'Taupo cycle challenge' in November but will talk more on that in my wordpress blog.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

life drawing again...

My first two life drawing sessions (in ten years) produced these left and right hand drawings-yeah, guess which the left handed drawings are! I have a preference for left handed drawing, (I am right handed). The lines are unsure and sometimes, beautiful, childlike and unknowing. We have had a beautiful energetic model and a not so good one, who basicallly fell asleep during the long pose. Models needs to 'work' the pose, it helps to impart life to the drawing....sometimes....
It is good to get back into it...drawing really helps with painting. I think it's the hand eye co-ordination-fine tuning my 'seeing brain'.