Category Archives: my sketchbook

glimpses from my sketchbook and other original works

Is the ocean really broken?

I read one of the most distressing articles I’ve read in a while last week.

“The Ocean is Broken”  is the account of an ocean sailor’s journey across the Pacific.

“What was missing were the cries of seabirds that surrounded the boat on previous voyages across the same seas. The birds were missing because the fish were missing.”

rockpool painting by Margaret Hogan

I also spent some time today online trying to work out what the hell is happening in Fukushima. Wondering, two and half years later, what Tepco is really doing to stop the leaks. Whether they are getting anywhere. Or nowhere. And wondering the same of the Japanese government and whether we are being told the full story. Wondering why there isn’t more of an outcry from the international community. At which point Steve piped in and added “And why is Japan hosting an Olympics with a whatever price tag when it’s spewing radioactive fluid into our oceans?” My ocean. The ocean I grew up alongside. The ocean we escape to.

rockpool grey

An unnatural silence.

Rockpool painting by Margaret Hogan

Am I missing something?

Rockpool painting by Margaret Hogan

Is the ocean really broken?

Paintings © Margaret Hogan

Postscript…

I thought I’d add some of the links I came across. You might find them interesting. What frustrates me is that there doesn’t seem to be a clear international analysis of what’s happening. It’s like everyone’s taking Japan’s word for it that it’s under control when it’s clearly not. If anyone has better information please feel free to post links. M.

http://sprinterlife.com/2012/01/pacific-trash-vortex.html

http://www.dw.de/scientists-downplay-fukushima-radiation-hazards/a-17182633

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/03/radioactive-debris-washing-up-on-pacific-coast.html

http://theconversation.com/is-the-ocean-broken-19453

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A tale of unexpected visitors,
creepy stalking parents
and a gentle friend who makes guitars.

As a family we’ve tried to get to the snow on a couple of different occasions over the years and each time, someone has broken their leg – before we left. It’s a bit of a sore point, especially for Maddy and me because we weren’t the ones doing the breaking.

So last week when she announced that she’d given up on the whole family ski trip thing and was off to the snow with her boyfriend for a couple of days, we made a spur of the moment (a-last-minute-let’s-make-it-quickly-before-someone-breaks-their-leg sort of decision) to join them.

Well not join them exactly, but sort of tag along, you know stay somewhere else but catch up with them on the slopes, for a coffee … or a drink … oh go ahead and say it … gatecrash their weekend.

Yes we turned into creepy stalking parents who gatecrashed their daughter’s romantic weekend away.

Yes I know … I know!

Kangaroos

Actually it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. We booked a little cabin at the Kosciuszko Mountain Retreat.

Simple, clean and perfect for a pair of happy campers and their son. And we ended up with our own unexpected visitors.

It had been 17 years since Steve and I had been skiing.  17 looooooooong years!

By the end of Day 1, we were feeling every one of them.

By lunchtime on Day 2, I was looking for divine intervention and it came in the form of a massive electrical storm that closed the whole mountain (Damn that storm!) and left me happily ensconced at mid station with a kahlua and milk in one hand and a paintbrush in the other.

(Not my best effort in the sketchbook but I was just grateful to be able to lift a paintbrush at this point. Funnily enough I seemed to have no problem with the kahlua. On reflection that could have been the problem.)

Anyway after a bite to eat with the kids and with rain, fast turning to sleet, fast turning to snow, we decided to hit the road and head to a friend’s place in Canberra because there was NO WAY our sad and sore bodies were going to make the six hour drive back to Bathurst.

And as always, when we make the decision to slow things down, and take the time to stop, the whole destination here and now thing kicks into gear.

 

Simon is a beautiful friend.

A gentle man.

And he makes furniture.

I’d seen photos of his work over the years but until last night I’d never seen his work first hand.

I’d never fully appreciated that when it comes to wood, Simon is an artist.

A sculptor.

A designer.

But interestingly his first love is not furniture, nor men in lederhosen … his first love is making guitars.

Simon Ramsey guitar work in progress

He showed us his workshop

and you could just feel the joy he has for this work.

The precision

The beauty of the process.

The skill.

One day, when this little blog isn’t quite so little (she says dreamily), I’m going to go back to Simon’s and spend some real time taking some photos of his beautiful guitars and maybe just maybe, people will see them and call him from all around the world, and say “Simon Ramsey, I want one of your beauties for myself.”

A wise friend of mine told me a while back that her mum used to say:
“You should always have a dream in your pocket.”

Well that’s my dream for this week.

I hope you have one in yours too.

Have a good one.

Marg xx

 

P.S. Thankyou Dave and Gina at Kosciuszko Mountain Retreat for the little discount on the accommodation. Much appreciated.

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wish you were here … dreaming of a winter camp

When Steve lights a fire up the back

and the paints come out

it makes me think of winter camps here

And trippy canoe rides with friends

A world turned upside down

where everything seemed so right.

It makes me think of summers on the far south coast

of a treasured spot amidst the tea trees

where all we worried about was our bed, our belly and our kids

and time stood still …

and we bathed in a sea of turquoise.

The power of a simple fire.

We are overdue for a camp old friends. Overdue!

 

 

 

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