Thursday, October 25, 2012

Far Far From Home

'Where are you going' asked a big black spider...'

It's a shame that Mark Sainsbury will be looking for another role. I quite liked him, though I have to admit I tend to channel flick between Campbell Live and Close Up for the most interesting stories. Story is really important; much more so than who is presenting it, although it's true to say a bad presenter can kill a good tale. The thing I like most about Mark is his amazing moustache; not that I want it tickling me at all you understand, but I was quite inspired by it for the spider character in the recently released 'Far Far From Home' book I illustrated, written by the lovely Elizabeth Pulford.

I felt that a TV journalist is quite like a spider, trapping people in their lies and wrapping up the show with a thread dangling, ready for the next bite. I salute you Mr Sainsbury; and thank you for your hairy mandibles.

Far Far From Home is published by Scholastic and available at a bookshop near you! (Real spiders not included, cute bug will melt your heart).

Monday, October 08, 2012

Spring Cleaning

There's something about spring isn't there? I'm not normally driven to scrubbing things, but in the last couple of weeks I've moved my studio space within the house, tossed out a lot of books I never look at (to make way for new ones I will), cleaned out the bottom of my wardrobe where odd things lurk, like shoes I will never wear (to make for new ones I will) AND cleaned the kitchen table. That last one might seem like nothing to you, but it is the hub of the house and therefore attracts everything from my sewing box, garden hose fittings, important community notices, our chef son's knife set AND a set of cat paw prints. The cat it seems walks all over it when we aren't looking. This is all in addition to crumbs, cups, plates and packets of cornflour. Sometimes it's just easier to read the paper and have a cup of tea in the lounge...

But September comes and October brings longer days, the promise of warmer weather and a great deal more light- which shows up ALL the clutter. The following is a poem I wrote some years ago for Next Magazine as part of my regular column. It still rings true today though  as I finish organising cupboards and filling plastic bags with things destined for the op shop, I am reminded that the once great tradition of garage sales have been replaced by Trademe...though their fees are now so high and the profit margin therefore so marginal, it might all swing the other way. That would be nice. They were so much fun!


There's blossoms on the cherry,
Yellow daffies in the border,
And like a squirrel storing nuts;
I have been a hoarder.

Useful things for later use
Through winter I did store,
But now my cache is breaking free;
I cannot shut the door!

There's twenty cans of spray paint,
All with one burst left,
And my grand attempt at weaving;
It warped but never weft.

Paper bags from fashion shops,
Complete with visa chits,
Giftwrap saved from birthdays past,
And bows with curly bits.

There's baby gear as well of course,
And though I've done with that,
How can I throw out one small sock,
Or a tiny fluffy hat?

Still, with summer ever looming,
Resolution must not fail,
I'll gather strength and sentiment,
For a mighty garage sale!