Facing the fear

Gauging by the comments on my last post, my photo of the lady Redback spooked a few of you.

Believe it or not, spiders terrify me too, but when you fight the fear, and really stop to look at these little creatures, some of them are incredibly beautiful.

And realistically, it is not the spider you can see that is the one you have to worry about…

Growing up here in Australia, a redback spider was, and still is, part of summer life.  We are lucky here in Adelaide to not have the nastier Sydney Funnel Web, but our colourful black and red arachnid will still give you a nasty bite if you are not careful.

That said, I have never been bitten and really don’t know anybody who has.

It is routine to check the outdoor table and chairs, before sitting, and also under the window ledges and rubbish bins, and it can be pretty obvious when a spider is in residence by the messy web they like to leave around.

And usually, all it takes to evict permanently is a shot of bug spray, a quick brush with the boom and you are ready to enjoy a comfy sit.

I wouldn’t call myself a thrill seeker, I despise rollercoasters and know I have a problem with heights.

I am not really sure I enjoy flying, and to be honest, I can be quite shy when meeting people.

But facing fear, any fear, will make you feel alive.

It pushes you to experience the world fully.

I am a little scared of coming to the USA.  It is an awful long way and is going to be hugely expensive.

I can worry about the million things that might go wrong.  I can worry about missed flights, plane crashes, random shootings, terrorist attacks, bears, mountain lions, skunks, cholesterol overload….  (feel free to dispute my stereotyping)

I know there will be a frisson of fear when I put myself in high places like the Grand Canyon or on a balcony of a skyscraper.  There will be the fear of the crowds in New York, fear of getting lost or mugged or running out of spending money. (what if I can’t get a cheesy I heart NY t-shirt?)

And the fear that  meeting my friends, despite all the planning, and hoping and counting down, could all go horribly wrong.  (and I end up short a bodily organ or three)

But I am going to face these fears, and in doing that, I know I will experience such wonders, and beauty and fun that my life will be so much richer.   This, I am confident.

We all have fears, some more rational than others.  But we need to face them, even if we can’t overcome them.

(Big C driving still scares the crap out of me, but I am trying)

If you can, look again at that spider photo.  Look how beautiful she is.  How amazing her markings are.  The colours, and shapes are natures way of telling us to be careful of her.

She was just sitting on a rubbish bin, outside, enjoying the morning sun.  No bigger than a thumb nail.

Not hurting anyone.

And really, probably much  more scared of me.

And if you just can’t face that again,

Here are some triple chocolate chip muffins. Fresh out of the oven.

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Nothing scary about that eh?

Oh and did you watch the first Dazey Mahem video?  It really is fucking funny.  (That was before you got to the spider pic)








The sun has disappeared today, replaced by grey rainy skies and I find myself sitting quietly in my studio/office/girl cave with random music playing through the speakers of my laptop as I attempt to sort the ever-growing pile of crap on my desk.

A futile effort perhaps as I become distracted yet again by something I would rather do instead.

The morning started with a wonderful giggle.

My gorgeous friend Rabbit has started a YouTube channel for his alter ego “Dazey Mahem”.

The lovely Dazey has been in retirement for a few years but Rabbit has decided it is time to put her to work.

Her first video is a blooper reel as she works the bugs out and is random and hilarious and probably not safe for work.

Give it a watch though, and subscribe so we can hopefully get plenty of snarky wisdom and fun in the future.

I watched this girl “beat’ her face before the filming and that was art in itself.

I confess, I am a little in need of distraction this week.

On Wednesday, Big C will finish high school.

No more homework, no more books,

No more Teacher’s dirty looks…

No more mum hassling about homework or washing a pile of grotty school clothes.

No more shopping for backpacks and basic black shoes.

And in just over a month he will be 18 and legally an adult.

As his mother, this is totally messing with my head.

My baby all grown up.

It makes me feel so bloody old.

And this is all new to us.  MJ just simply went off to Uni to do his degree.

Big C will now be a “job seeker”.  And there aren’t that many full-time permanent jobs around.

So lets add fear and worry into the mix of Mother’s emotions.

But I shall distract myself with my art.

A new painting underway.  And still more work to do on the tulips.

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Plus I am figuring out what paintings to submit to a huge regional show that is held in January.

Plenty to keep my mind busy..

oh look shiny…

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Spring has sprung

And finally we get some warmth.
Warm enough to dry the washing on the line without having to bring them inside damp.
Warm enough to have the weeds growing in the lawn to the height of shrubs
Warm enough to enjoy breakfast cooked on our new BBQ outside on the patio.
And warm enough to have us getting the pool ready for summer swimming and cleaning the muck out of the turtle pond.

I love Spring.
There are flowers everywhere. Sure in my garden, a lot of them are probably weeds but they are pretty anyway.
Clocks have changed and we have lighter longer evenings.

I confess, it was very bloody dark last week when I was dragging my butt from my nice comfy bed at 4.30 am so as to be at work by 6am.
And for anybody contemplating doing the same, 4.30 m is a ridiculous and insane time of the morning to get up.

The actual work was ok. Just would have been so much better if I had been able to do the same job at a much more social time like say..8am.
But people want their mail in their boxes early and so it had to be done.

Thank god for coffee and concealer.

At least it was only a week and now my shift returns to normality (what ever the hell that is) and I will get some free mornings to get the overdue chores done that were ignored last week.

Having said that, this weekend has been a lovely mix of productive and lazy.
Saturday it was back to a new term of art classes. I was all ready to start my little cafe scene that I want to paint but my teacher had another idea, getting the class to do an exercise in abstracting a landscape.
Of course the whole abstract thing still gives me dread after having it rammed down my throat at the last school but this was a different exercise and we didn’t even have to paint it unless we wanted to.
I did and came away with a (unfinished) nice little painting that is a good practice for doing that particular scene another time.

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After class I had my hair done, nearly falling asleep in the chair as my hairdresser redid my colour and we both agreed that a nana nap was in order for later that day.

Which of course happened.

Today I have been cleaning windows, washing clothes and helping hubby with the spring turtle stocktake.
After hibernating in their pond all winter, it was time to drain the green slime, check on the little creatures and refill the pond with fresh water.

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There is a lovely shoulder of lamb roasting in the bbq.. oh yes, we got a new bbq to replace the one that hubby managed to set fire to last Easter. Like any new “toy”, it is getting lots of use as we work out how to cook on it without cremating the food (Sadly the chicken didn’t appreciate just how hot it was and quickly became charcoal)

There hasn’t been any more work on the tulips since last Sunday. I took it to class for show and tell. My teacher is impressed and made some suggestions and I will get around to it eventually.

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For now though, I think it might be time to hang out the last load of washing and then pour myself a coldie.
Cider or wine?

Either sound rather nice for now.



Ps I renewed the domain lizardhappy.com for another year, so I guess you are stuck with me for a bit longer


Some things are impossible to explain.  They just are.

We can try of course.

Put it down to habit or circumstance, time of the day or routine.

But usually there is no explanation, no reason and it all remains a mystery.

This week there have been so many times when I have looked at the clock to see the same combination of numbers.

Perhaps not on my clock but on the international clocks I have on my ipad.

Emails sent and received, time stamped with that particular number and happening often enough for me to wonder if there is some significance or some message that I should take notice of.

I don’t understand numerology but believe that there is more to life and the universe than we can possibly understand and so I will ponder and then paint.

For painting something had become an almost overwhelming desire in the last few days.

Perhaps because it has been a few weeks since I put brush to canvas.  Perhaps it is a reaction to the routine and demands of everyday work.

But the need to cover a canvas with colour dragged me from my bed early this morning and without much more than a photo for some inspiration, I started a new painting.

No pre-drawing, no tonal sketches or measuring.  No over thinking.

Starting with a blue background and just a basic chalk drawing before adding paint.  Mostly dark reds and greens to begin with.

The only plan to get the darks in first before adding the light later.

Its loose, textural and quite abstracted.

I worked quickly, pushing away the nagging insecurity whispering that it could all go terribly wrong.  That I could fuck up a perfectly good canvas.

And I went back to the beginning.  When I didn’t know “the rules”.  When I just painted instinctively.

Big brushes and knives.

It is a long way from finished, but it answered the need.  Tomorrow I will paint more.

Next week, at class, I will start my street-scape.  I will measure and plan and think.

For now though, it is all about colour, shape and light.

I guess my streetscape will be about the same things too.

But for now,

This is a little freedom from thinking.

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Stop the world..

Wake, eat, work, sleep, repeat.

There was a long weekend, the clocks changed, a friend came to visit, we had wine and food and an awesome time.

But now, I am back to the grind

The Boss is sick, people are on leave and it just gets busier.

So you get a crap post, simply so you know I haven’t abandoned you all.

and a photo of amazing lemon meringue pie which I enjoyed at the new Jamie Oliver restaurant in the city.

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This weekend I hope to paint.  I need to splash some colour.


I miss having paint under my nails


Tiptoe thru the tulips, with me

My flight was scheduled to leave at 5 pm Tuesday, so there was still plenty to keep us busy before having to say goodbye.

First on the agenda was breakfast.  On the Marina.  My favorite Eggs Benedict washed down with a delicious Mocha before we went for a wander along the dock.

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The kind of place where the rich people park their boats and to our delight, home to playful dolphins who swam around those boats providing us with post breakfast entertainment.

Of course dolphins are almost impossible to photograph (believe me, I tried) and I did get a little video which I might have to upload to YouTube sometime.

From the marina, we went into the city, via a quick stop at a chocolate shop to stock up on gifts for the abandoned males.

Perth is such a wonderful city of contrasts.

Heritage buildings sitting comfortably next to modern high rise.  Gardens, Street Art, designer labels and waterside pubs.

It has a vibrancy and go ahead attitude that I would love to see in my city.  And if I had to live anywhere other than Adelaide, it probably would be my 2nd choice.

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As we were enjoying one last glass of bubbles before heading to the airport, my phone buzzed with the message that my flight had been delayed.

Only 45 minutes, but enough time for another drink and just a little more lingering in the beautiful sunshine.

It was late when I got home.  And the weather was miserable the next day.

But my boys had missed me and I was happy to be home.

Next time I get off a plane it will be somewhere in the USA.  Only 13 months to go.