Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Xmas Card

The birth of my oldest son triggered off artistic attempts to capture his image on paper. That was 14 years ago. The same year I decided to use one of my paintings to create a Xmas card. Being something of a traditionalist I have always loved receiving cards but I thought it would be useful to create something unique and also keep people up to date with events when sending them. Ever since my cards have featured paintings of the children or our animals. I have one friend who tells me she has kept every single one.

Naturally the newly-adopted failed farm dog had to be the subject this year so I thought it would be good to depict her in a typical pose in our typical environment. Lately I have taken to photographing the sketch or painting as it develops. Might come in handy one day. A 'how to' book perhaps.... so many ideas.... too little time.

This was the result.

Oh, and I was thinking about something I heard the other day. Had been walking the steep hills behind Eastbourne with Robert and I was listening on my walkman to Justin Du Fresne close his last show of the year. It was a glorious day and I was taking in the harbour below. Justin was reading Desiderata to some ethereal music. Ave Maria perhaps. I have heard it before but this time one line jumped out at me.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Amen to that.

To you and yours, Merry Christmas everyone.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

S59 and Sweden

I responded to a DomPost published proponent of the S59 legislation which triggered a further response.

Dear Editor

Tom Radley (Letters, December 19) writes that Sweden, "... has taken a far higher number of immigrants relative to its population than has New Zealand." Many, he says, come from countries where violence against children is acceptable, hence Sweden's ongoing problem with child abuse despite smacking being banned in 1979.

In 2007, of the children who began receiving care and protection services in Sweden that year, almost two thirds had one or both parents born in that country.

The problem of child abuse and neglect is not confined to Sweden's immigrant population which is, by the way, proportionately much smaller than New Zealand's.

Lindsay Mitchell