If the tea ceremony were a game, it would be croquet

The local croquet courts are a collection of horizontal planes low to the ground.  Very little is vertical except the players, the hoops and a small green shed.  In the current drought the short, dry grass looks and smells like tatami matting.  The pace is meditative, the ethos courteous, the movements stylised.

To borrow a thought from Okakura Kakuzo: as with the art of life, the art of croquet lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings.

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The discreet charm of car parks

Those paying attention may recall my plea for more paintings of car parks.  I have put my brush where my mouth is and here is the result.  In an engineering feat to rival the Great Pyramid of Giza, a nearby school removed its football field, carved a car park into the earth, and then put the football field back on on top of the car park.  So far as I know, neither slaves nor extraterrestrials were involved in the work – though Erich von Daniken may prove otherwise.  The entrance to the finished car park has a pleasing low-lying symmetry and looks rather like the sleek slot of a cassette tape machine from the 1970s.

Car park entrance

Painting with gemstones

I have not read Henry Adams’s Mont Saint Michel and Chartres for many years, but I remember he told a story about the monks being tricked into supplying gemstones to be turned into coloured glass for the cathedral windows.  However, it turns out you can turn gemstones into paint.  I bought some paint made out of the gemstone malachite simply because I wanted to paint a malachite ring using malachite paint.  Here it is:

Malachite ring

Keep your spirit level …

… wise words in both life and building construction.

Richard Russo explains that if you’re building something very tall you can’t afford to be ‘half a bubble out’, but if you’re building something shorter it’s probably going to be OK.  It’s all about perspective.

Continuing my series of paintings of coloured liquids in glass vials, this is my spirit level …

Keep your spirit level