Saturday, February 27, 2010

Eyeing the future

School starts on Monday, National Art School in Sydney. New school, new life, same eyes.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Houses needing rowboats

There are a row of houses in Patonga whose only access is by boat. If you want this view...
you have to be prepared to ladle water out of your dingy and row across the inlet.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Climate change

I am back from the Land of the Long White Cloud to the Land of Humid Februaries. My route was circuitous, Dunedin to Sydney via Brisbane as there are currently no direct flights. It is only three hours flying time between Dunedin and Sydney but it feels like 1000km closer to the equator.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mirror mirror on the wall

This mirror was in the wonderful 'whiskey' building in Oamaru that went into receivership the week after my visit.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Please and thank you

In Dunedin everyone thanks the bus drivers. The elderly, children in school uniforms, adolescents. Sometimes the bus driver thanks the passengers as well.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Modaks in Dunedin

Modaks has the world's best coffee: you get a good cup regardless of which staff member is making it. That is pretty special and the result of the owner's former job teaching coffee-making at the Polytech.
Modaks is also very supportive of local artists and features a revolving exhibition of local work on it walls.

Modaks Cafe is for sale in case you are interested. If it is sold, I am hoping the new owners are just as committed to good coffee (and art).

Friday, February 12, 2010

Dunedin sketches

Cats, Cafes and Landscapes. This sketch of the hills in NE Valley and other new drawings made around Dunedin are online at

On Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach is just south of Dunedin. A southern Dunedin suburb. YouTube tells me this video is blocked from viewers in Germany because the music on the video is copyrighted there. Sorry!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Nature takes over

The honeysuckle is taking over the house next door. It looks as if someone walked out one day and never returned. Honeysuckle tendrils reach forward and are slowly consuming the house and car. The flowers are so sweet smelling though that you forget the dereliction of the house.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Oamaru has a population of 20,700 and buildings to rival Berlin. Locally quarried limestone Oamaru Stone is known around New Zealand as a beautiful building material, especially where ornate moulding is required. It was used here in Oamaru in the 1880s when Oamaru had a reputation for the best built and most mortgaged town in New Zealand.

The bigger building with Bank of New South Wales carved into the top now houses the Forrester Gallery, one of many galleries and craft establishments that make the town worth a lengthy visit. The smaller building is a coffee shop, one that made me miss the coffee at Modaks in Dunedin.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Dunedin Shop Window

The endless summer comes to an end. Yesterday felt like 28C. Today they forecast 17C but the thermometer said 12C.

Frankie and Tasman

This is Frankie. She lives in Melbourne. Purrs as she jumps uninvited onto your lap. Was rescued from the pet pound and has become her owner's joy.
Tasman lives in Dunedin on the other side of the Tasman Sea. She too is her owner's joy, but nips at strangers if they irritate her. Here she is eying up a nip-candidate.

Student city

Dunedin is a university town and many houses in the northern end of town are student accommodation. The new year is about to start and students are moving in ... pushing furniture along the streets on shopping trolleys.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Cooper's Freud

Dunedin and nearby Port Chalmers are full of such wonderful art. How could I have forgotten? It is such a pleasure to be in a city where citizens buy local art because they love it. The result is a plethora of art which is every bit as good the art on show in Berlin, Cologne and Zurich.
This is ceramic artist Jim Cooper's Freud. He stands in the garden of a gallery in Port Chalmers. Freud has lost is arms, but is still charming none-the-less.


The Ralph Hotere park overlooking a milk blue Otago Harbour is a wonderful native garden. In it there are several different types of flax, a plant I love. New Zealand flax (Phormium) is not at all like the northern hemisphere flax (Linum) but the fibres of both can be used.