31 January 2006


27 January 2006

The best book cover ever

26 January 2006

Studio stuff

It looks as if I'm going to have somewhere at home to move my studio stuff to (the sun room). Now all I need is to get my head together enough to do some work. I haven't really done anything since the false start at Liz and Andrew's from a couple of posts back. I'm thinking some basic exercises to start off with (to at least get drawing again). I've got a few ideas for new stuff knocking around in there somewhere, but they haven't resolved themselves into anything yet. Of course reality has only recently resolved itself into four comprehensible dimensions. I'm still reading kids' books after all.

24 January 2006

Some links

Just to make sure the Internet's crazy enough, Ben and Steve have started up. The best pa site I visited up north is perhaps Ruapekapeka, simply cos of the info available. Most of them are completely unmarked and you either need a map that's better than this one or a local unless you know what to look for (terracing). And we can't be forgetting Tane Mahuta now.

Oh yeah

23 January 2006


Going to the Bay of Islands was a very good idea. I haven't been up that way for at least 10 to 15 years (not since the epic trip with the wife and her then boyfriend). Scott and I spent each day hooning about the place, mostly viewing and visiting pa sites (funnily enough I had a view of archaeologically significant volcanos from the rooms I slept in at both places I stayed: Mt Eden when in Auckland and Pouerua when in Pakaraka). I got too much sun, drank too much, smoked too much, and chilled out resting my weary bones of an evening in one of NZ's oldest buildings. It was all good. Everyone we stopped to visit had set themselves up in primo spots (by way of an example, when I went back to the van to grab my bag on one such occasion I was told to check out the waterfall - 'once you go over the swing bridge over the river, go through the orchard and up the track on the left' I was nonchalantly informed). I believe I said something along the lines of chucking it all in and moving to paradise more than once.

I deliberately didn't take many photos as part of a memory rebuilding exercise (remember the urupa), but did take a couple during the excursion up Tara tara.

Looking up:

Smidgeon of the view from the top:

Scott gave me a lift down to Auckland (we'll pass over the horrific plane experience without comment), and we went via the Hokianga. Took twice as long, but it was worth it. It's crazy to think that this morning I was saying hi to Tane Mahuta:

And now I'm back here.

17 January 2006

Fit and working again (sort of)

I think the pills are beginning to kick in. Not that long ago the train palaver would've caused a 12-hour continuous panic attack, but it didn't (I think simply travelling again and not being in any hurry to get anywhere helped). I'm able to read more than just kids' books (not that I can remember anything of it afterwards) and even do some small drawings. I've stuck a couple of strips of paper together and folded them somewhat idiosyncratically to make a screenfold book that I'm beginning to fill in:

14 January 2006


Never travel on Friday 13. It all started out fine:

I even had an interesting formal arrangement to contemplate when I wanted a break from the window:

Then a truck took out the overhead cables just up the line and the train stopped dead, so we waited round for a few hours while they sorted their shit out:

Then the luggage door on the bus that took us to National Park (where a train that worked was waiting) didn't open:

Then the local mechanics eventually got on the case:

We left at 7.25 am and were meant to arrive at 7.25 pm. It ended up being about a quarter past midnight.

13 January 2006

Disappearing act

I'm getting up at some good awful time to catch the train to Auckland, then I'm going to the Bay of Islands, so I may well disappear from here for a week or so. Then again, I may not. Who can say?

12 January 2006

Report from Planet X

Well, yesterday was fairly full on. I don't remember much after arriving at the psychologist. I do remember texting Rose afterwards that it had been 'hard but good'. What I remember of it was that it was a bit of an infodump - getting to know me and making an assessment (which I think was that I'm in no fit state to begin therapy until the pills have properly kicked in or something like that). I'm going back again in two weeks' time to see how I am then.

The attempt at getting a copy of the recording was a complete and abject failure. I crashed on Dave's couch as soon as I'd taken my pills (first day on increased dose) before Kelly even arrived. In any case, he'd apparently had problems with electrical interference (don't ask what that means cos I don't know) so it wouldn't have been a goer even if I had been conscious.

11 January 2006


I'm off to see a psychologist this arvo. I'm not really sure what to expect. This evening I'm going to try and get a copy of some recording some friends and I did just as I was coming off my manic phase. There were a couple of things we did where I did rambling spoken word type vocals off the top of my head. All I remember is that one was called 'Only one life to live' (but was mostly about reincarnation I think) and the other 'Common sense nihilism'. Very interested to see whether they make any sense.

I think I might get the hell out of Dodge in a couple of days as well. Hit the road, clear my head.

09 January 2006


I pretty much slept all of yesterday away, apart from brief periods of consciousness here and there. Today, on the other hand, I managed to get into a truly foul mood, despite the bucketloads of medication and sedatives I'm taking. I don't like being dicked around, and I'm going to have to give up the studio because of it. The whole situation really pisses me off. Oh well, it's not as if I can use it at the moment.

08 January 2006

'The story of an artist' by Daniel Johnston

Listen up and I'll tell a story

About an artist growing old

Some would try for fame and glory

Others aren't so bold

Everyone, and friends and family

Saying, "Hey! Get a job!"

"Why do you only do that only?

Why are you so odd?

We don't really like what you do.

We don't think anyone ever will.

It's a problem that you have,

And this problem's made you ill."

Listen up and I'll tell a story

About an artist growing old

Some would try for fame and glory

Others aren't so bold

The artist walks alone

Someone says behind his back,

"He's got his gall to call himself that!

He doesn't even know where he's at!"

The artist walks among the flowers

Appreciating the sun

He does this all his waking hours

But is it really so wrong?

They sit in front of their TV

Saying, "Hey! This is fun!"

And they laugh at the artist

Saying, "He doesn't know how to have fun."

The best things in life are truly free

Singing birds and laughing bees

"You've got me wrong", says he.

"The sun don't shine in your TV"

Listen up and I'll tell a story

About an artist growing old

Some would try for fame and glory

Others aren't so bold

Everyone, and friends and family

Saying, "Hey! Get a job!"

"Why do you only do that only?

Why are you so odd?

We don't really like what you do.

We don't think anyone ever will.

It's a problem that you have,

And this problem's made you ill."

Listen up and I'll tell a story

About an artist growing old.

Some would try for fame and glory

Others just like to watch the world.

07 January 2006

Website update

I've just updated my website. There's not much new, except a couple of new pics to round off 2005 with (plus some watercolour stuff that's already been on here). Pathetic really. There should've been several more finished by now, but for obvious reasons they haven't been.

Oh yeah, there's some new links as well (and an old one that's been updated to something more appropriate).

06 January 2006


Ben McF rang me at about noon yesterday suggesting an overnight camp at Otaki Forks. Didn't have to think about it, just threw some stuff together and jumped on a train. It was pissing down when we got there. There was some serious discussion about doing the bolt after the 7 o'clock weather forecast talked about a heavy rain warning, hail, and thunderstorms (which together with the sign next to the precipitous road in that said 'unstable road edge' could have been a little too interesting). We had dinner, went for a bit of an explore, and (as the sky was looking a lot less ominous) checked out the 10 o'clock forecast. That talked of showers, sometimes heavy, instead, so we decided to stick it out. Sure enough, the night passed uneventfully and this morning I was woken at dawn by the birds and the sun streaming through the tent walls. Sat at the front of my tent in my sleeping bag and smoked a cigarette as I looked at the hills and watched the birds (mostly swallows). It was all absolutely brilliant. I actually felt not nuts for a while. Took some pics from various spots on the way out:

And I couldn't resist this photo of some northern European touros' van outside a cafe in Pekapeka (despite the goddamn all pervasive advertising, of which the paint job is a sneaky part):

04 January 2006

And now for something completely different

Bulls - Rural New Zealand:

Just out of Bulls there's the Tutaenui Stream. If I'm not mistaken 'tutaenui' literally means 'big shit'. Big bullshit? That has to be yet another example of the famous Maori sense of humour (the first European documentation of which is a couple of classic examples in Cook's journals).

(Incidentally the Maori word for a local variety of magic mushrooms is 'tutae atua', which is literally 'god shit'.)

And there's still more

Went to the doctor again today. He's upped my dosage, and it'll go up again next week if that goes okay. I'm also booked in to see a psychologist next week.

03 January 2006

Miscellaneous blither (and a fair amount of whinging)

I've been having trouble with my email. Paradise reckoned just before xmas it's because of a 250% increase in spam on the same time last year. I just got a message saying that one I sent on 20 December hasn't been delivered (though that seems to be Yahoo's rather than Paradise's fault).

I caught up with Maciek yesterday, who's an old friend from Dunners who I haven't seen for yonks. They came round for dinner, and it was all really good.

I felt decidedly odd yesterday and slept most of the arvo away. Consequently I stayed up till half three in the morning watching the second half of the first season of Twin Peaks and then had strange dreams. There was one nasty one, but the next couple were okay. All I can remember though is the general tone and isolated images. I should keep a sketchbook and pen next to the bed. Of course, there's not much point at the moment, as I'm not really up to drawing.

I'm very nervy today. Being woken up by the loud metallic bangs of scaffolding being taken down right outside has done my head in. I'm also freaked out by the fact I need to sort out what I'm going to do about work in the very near future. Besides not handling stress very well at the moment (the place I work is quite stressful by its very nature, and I find the delicate and complicated negotiation required by the actual work I do stressful as well), I can't concentrate on things (which is why I'm not up to drawing, and can only read very simple things for short periods of time) and my memory's poked - so I think I'm screwed. I don't know what I'm going to do about it. Bloody life.

01 January 2006

New year a go go...

Common-sense nihilist


visitors since 29 March 2004.