Thank you, Miri…I promise that I will never, ever die. ;)

In the Zululand Observer

In my inbox tonight…an interview with Kris by Val Van der Walt of the Zululand Observer, November 14.

amazing people, Inspirations, travel

An article in the Zululand Observer about Kris…

In my inbox tonight…an interview with Kris by Val Van der Walt of the Zululand Observer, November 14.

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paints and pens, stuff i've made, travel

Departure date

9 November 2014

Looked up flights to Manila from Darwin last night (I am stopping by to see my Dad before I head to S. Africa) and they’ve gone up $150 since last week. Pushed by the steadily rising prices of the Christmas season, I bought a seat on the last flight that was under $500: November 23rd, Sunday. After that, prices shoot up another $200.

My Darwin days are numbered. I sure hope immigration issues my passport before the flight date! *nervous, about-to-be-sick laugh*

I spent all last night trying to make a storyboard, for the first time ever, and learn to use some simple video-editing programs, because I’d like videos to be a part of the trip’s creative output. Trying to sync the movie to music was the biggest struggle, but I think I’ve got it figured out now, though that’s only in theory. I don’t know how all you Vimeo Pro Account denizens do it, but I use a stopwatch. LOL Learning a new thing is always exciting, and I’ve recently taken on two new obsessions: watercolours and a GoPro. That’ll keep me busy (and too distracted to be seasick, I hope!) for a long time.

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art + design, blogging, life, travel

About schizzograffia

The ABOUT page on schizzograffia is finally up…click on the image to view larger

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Australia, paints and pens, stuff i've made, travel

Some changes…

3 November 2014

I finished working for Jacksons Drawing Supplies last Friday. A bittersweet occasion. Wonderful to have tied up that loose end (and feel, more strongly, that things are happening), but I took many a longing, backward glance at that Aladdin’s Cave of art materials that was my “home away from home” for two years. Even harder to say goodbye to the beautiful people who work there—though we haven’t quite parted, yet…there will be a few more get-togethers for “The Jackson Five”, before I actually, physically leave Darwin.

My passport application went in today…two weeks is the usual processing time. Plane tickets right after that. Which means I have two weeks to finish packing, clean the boat up for her next occupant, and get the hell out of here. (Deep, deep, deep inside me, there is a tiny voice screaming at the top of its lungs in panic.) It’s okay, I’ll be ready…if I can stop obsessing over my new blog for a few days, and resist the temptation to drop everything and paint another page in my sketchbook, which is coming along as effortlessly as my luggage and housework are NOT.

3 November 2014

There’s almost nothing left in my ETSY shop…a couple of Kris’ Monsoon Dervish, a handful of his Out of Census, and some Matryoshka journals, maybe half a dozen cards…everything else has been sold, between ETSY shoppers and folks around Darwin who’ve heard I’m leaving. If you bought something from me, recently, THANK YOU! It’s all gone into the savings account for the trip. I actually saved enough to not feel so worried, anymore…a huge load off my mind.

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aboard the M/V sonofagun, travel

many moons

Maun

photo taken in Maun, Northwest Botswana, by Philip Milne

Kris wrote last night from Maun, Botswana…it took him a while to get there from Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe because he had to make a detour around Chobe National Park for two reasons:
1) The park is mostly soft sand, very difficult for a bicycle, and 2) “Meals On Wheels (i.e. cyclists) are not allowed into the park, as big cats are part of the park’s animal population.

Despite not going on any paid safari tours, he’s seen a huge number of African animals just by cycling from country to country…many, such as elephants, range far beyond the borders of proprietary parks, and wander the salt pans in between Botswana and Zimbabwe. Looking for a place to do his laundry and have a wash after the day’s cycle, he noses out the nearest culvert, creek, or river, and has encountered hippos, giraffes, and more elephants who have come to the water for much the same reason that he has…a drink and a splash. I just hope he never meets with crocodiles like the ones in Philip’s photo!

Meanwhile, I sit and count the passing moons…still no word from Immigraton about my citizenship ceremony, and until I have a date for that, I can’t really say when I’ll be leaving. Please let it be soon! I miss my wandering love so much.

The last full moon was a big one. Here it is at dawn, setting behind Darwin’s remarkably ugly skyline…

moon at dawnTaking the moonrise was harder…even with a tripod, the boat itself is always moving, however imperceptibly, and the long exposure blurred the moon and its reflection…

moonrise

A bit like two moons in a sky the colour of sea glass, these spotted rays floated slowly past the boat in the morning…

two rays 3

Antidote to all these murky or misty blue moons is my happy truss tomato vine…popping with hot orange suns. Summer is coming…the dry rasp of cold mornings is gone, and the sky that was, only a month ago, as cerulean and flawless as a Wedgewood porcelain bowl, is filling with small puffs of cloud.

boat tomatoes

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amazing people, travel

At the ruins of Great Zimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe

There was a boy
A very strange enchanted boy
They say he wandered very far
Very far, over land and sea

A little shy and sad of eye
But very wise was he

And then one day, one magic day
He passed my way, and while we spoke
Of many things, fools and kings
This he said to me

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return”

(from Nature Boy by eden ahbez, 1947)

Kris wrote last night from the ruins of Great Zimbabwe…a major stop along his bicycle route around Africa.

This place holds special personal significance, and walking around the ruins was a sentimental experience for him. Kris grew up in the drab, oppressive environment of Czechoslovakian Communism. Everyone lived in fear or suspicion. The state determined every step of your life for you, well in advance. You were not encouraged to shine, or dream, or even enjoy your life. His father was a government official, but even they fell out of favour regularly, and when Kris was 13 his father died in a car ‘accident’ in which his brake cables had been cut. Needless to say, travel was not allowed (beyond the borders of neighboring Communist countries).

Yet, somehow, ten-year-old Kris—a voracious reader, and a serious, thoughtful child—managed to develop and nurture an adventurous, determined spirit. He tried to build a boat out of scrap wood in his apartment building’s communal courtyard, and he compiled a list of many countries, many places in the world that he wanted to see with his own eyes. Family, school and state did their best to squash such fanciful dreams, but I suspect they only sharpened the edge of his will. Eventually he escaped, traveling around the world, ticking off his list as he went, in his search for a new home, and finally settled in Australia. The ruins of Great Zimbabwe was one of the must-see places on his childhood list.

Every time Kris manages to reach one of the places on that list (and there have been many, now) it is an exultant declaration of his independence. It is the universe telling him that he is worthy of love. It is an affirmation of the validity, the possibility of his dreams. And it is another deep hurt, inflicted by his past, that life has kissed and made better.

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On a cold morning in Darwin, I’m dreaming of islands in the high tropics…

This gorgeous little film of Palawan From the Air by Scott Sporleder is the perfect way to start a daydreaming session. I lived here (El Nido, Palawan) for 7 years.

via Matador