Monday, 24 January 2011

Fish (again II)

A little while ago I went for a walk down the coast. Im currently staying in the Bay of Plenty, on the East-Coast of the North Island of New Zealand. The North Island is already stunning and apparantly the South Island is even more breath-taking. In a few days I will travel south.
But back to my walk down the coast, when walking down the coast I saw a big fish moving, by looks of it it seemed to be a little reef-shark. But it was just an old National Geographic that inspired me to this drawing.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Fresh Fish

On one of the treks I met this lady from New Zealand, Doreen, and she invited me to her house for some kayaking. She has a gorgeous house on an amazing spot next to a bay. All you see is water, birds and trees. Dave, the other horse-volunteer and me did some kayaking but we also spend a lot of time at the beach. After we got back, Doreen told me to empty the fishing nets. We caught one fish, a Flaunder, its a flat fish. (for the dutchies: like schol). Im not a vegetarian and quite fond of meat and I always tell myself I should be able to kill a chicken. If I dont have the gutts to do that, I should not be eating meat. I have never tried to butcher my own food. But this fish needed to be killed before I could eat it. A rock or a knife? Writing it all down makes me sound like a horrible person, like a crazy lunatic who likes to kill. That's not the case at all. I found it difficult, but I do eat meat and fish sometimes. So I got on with it. After the fish was dead, I cleaned it, took the insides out. Washed it down. Cleaned it again. Made a drawing out if. Put flour on it and im going to fry the fish in butter any second now. Caught myself, yes put it down myself (sounds nicer than killed it myself) cleaned it myself and will be eating it myself. There are no big adventures here, but little ones pop up out of nowhere every day.

Saturday, 8 January 2011


Ive started 2011 in a very special place: New Zealand. The dutch arrived centuries ago and gave New Zealand its name. But after a violent encounter with the natives of New Zealand they spurted off again. I will be helping this lady with her horses and in exchange i get to live in this beautiful spot, swim in the swimmngpool and do amazing horseriding-treks.
A month is quite long to stay in a place where most action comes from the flies who buzz around all day. So sometimes I wonder, isn't it too long for me, 7 horses, a handful of people and one farm for 4 weeks? But today we did this big trek with 18 horses / riders and i was such a big adventure. The trek itself was, for a horse girl absolutely AMAZING. Through hills, cantar, going down, going up, streams, lunch on top of the hill with the horses just roaming around (untied). But more interesting was to listen to all the people around me and be part of New Zealand in this way. We got up the cattle-station, and I had to use the lavatory. Between the young cows there was a little shack, a deep hole and one ragged curtain made of an old cattle-feedbag. While spending a penny I had a cow looking at me. Welcome to the outback of New Zealand.
During the ride I overheard conversations about who bought of cattle of whom, "Was it good cattle?", and I learned we were riding two different farmlands, one from the Nashes, and one from some elses. We had to open gates, close them again, "Here is the border from the Nashes-farmland", "No we don't have permission to enter this part of the land." Stories and conversations I would never hear just backpacking around. So as a traveller I had such a good day as well.
In the afternoon Don, the leader of our group, came by for a cold beer. He's turning 80 this year, jumped off and on his horse the entire trip and entertained us with some stories. One story was about how is thump was ripped off by a horse. I wont go into details too much. The other one is about his birthday-mission this year. As I said he is turning 80 and he's planning to take his horse to an area where you are not allowed to ride. "I will be there real early, when it is still dark, jump the fence with my horse, and ride up to the top. If they arrest me, they arrest me". But most interesting was the story about his dad arriving to New Zealand around 1907. Only 16 years old, came all the way from England by boat and started a life here for himself. There was nothing here yet, hardly any roads, a few Maori-villages. That was about it. His mum was from Ireland, and arrived at the age of 3. That's how his family got started. Now he has 3 daugthers, 1 son. 12 granddaughters, 1 grandson. He has, as he says, all halfbreds: half-dutch, half-swedish, half-greek. Great guy with a great attitude, laughing, very happy with the life he has and had until so far. Take every opportunity that you can get. I guess he's right! This is my one to meet loads of Kiwi's, listen to them, talk to them, do gorgeous rides and eat as many avocados as I can! And hopefully draw a bit in between.

View from the house Im staying in. Prince is his name. Leader of the herd.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!

Vanuit Auckland, Nieuw Zeeland een vrolijke zomergroet. Het klopt natuurlijk niet Oud en Nieuw vieren in een zomerjurk. Elke keer als iemand 'Happy NewYear' zei had ik het gevoel dat ik op 31 juli op een gek thema feestje was waar we deden of het Oud en Nieuw was. Maar het vuurwerk was echt en groots.

Er is turqoise zee, zwarte lava, paarse bloemen en een zeer rood verbrandde nek. Maar ook gewoon groene biobakken langs de kant van de weg en postbodes van TNT.
Nieuw Zeeland, komt op me over als een goeiige labrador. Traag, groot, lief en vriendelijk voor iedereen.
Morgen stap ik in de bus en ga naar de Bay of Plenty. Een plaatsnaam vol belofte. Ik hoop er veel te zitten, te tekenen en te fotograferen.