Wednesday, 26 August 2009

el mexicano:


silver lining:


sea bubble:

(zoom in to see the bubble on the left)

sea lump:

(or waves as some people call them)

La Casa de Cultura:

We're still enjoying teaching the ninos every Monday.

It's the anniversary of the Casa on the 30th of August. Our childrens class is making a giant poster full of all sorts of English words that they've learnt and cut out with paper, pictures they've drawn and photos of everybody in the class to show off at the event.


La Casa de Cultura is La Punta's recycling point, and they help promote the 'idea' of recycling around the village.

oaxaca city:

We popped to the city for a weekend to soak up some activity. Lots of art to see for free, plenty fiestas in the streets and generally some amusing 'everyday' things to see.

stamp collection!!!
sounds dull, but there were some amazing old versions with very symbolic illustrations. I liked this one in particular from 1937.


one of the daily street parades, with full brass band, crowds in tradional dress. We were given flags to wave and the children were given sweets.


seed pods at el arbol del tule.

street arrrrrt:

paper mache artist:

prepares the 9 foot manequins for the street parade later that day. Giant traditional dresses are sewn too. His workshop was full of giant shoes and armless hands.

big eyes:

multi-coloured chicks:

The seven year old girl selling them had no idea how they became so colourful!


The tequila plant. Really strange things, so solid and a bit creepy.

mother hubbard:

Washing 'el viejos' pants.


My subject matter is a little restricted when I want to draw people.
Ed's been very patient.

Watch out visitors, you'll be my new subjects for a while.

Toma el sol 07/09

La Punta 08/09

beach scribbles


´Busy´ reading


Ed introduced me to oil paints.

My first attempt was a portrait of Ed... we decided later perhaps it's a stroppy David Bowie rather than Ed. It was fun and frustrating and the result a bit scarey, but it won't stop me trying again.

Ed's portrait of me however is pretty accurate!

Of course it isn't meant to be me.
The two heads have been staring each other out ever since.

My next attempt was to copy a Monet from an issue of National Geographic. It was originally a portrait of Madame Monet and her son. I gave up with the son, I couldn't get the little ****** to look right. Still only working on scraps of cardboard.
I'll have to try something of my own next.


A little tropical beach down the road with lovely water.

frutas y verduras:

Helping out a friend, we agreed to look after a little local cafe, Frutas y Verduras, for a few days. It's part of a hostel on the main street of La Punta. Tomo, the guy who owns the hostel, loves animals so much he can't help but collect them.

We met Lola the pig, we'd seen her a few times on the beach going for walks with Tomo's many dogs:

Normally she's in her pen with all the ducks and rabbits, she needs to be reminded every now and then that the small rabbits are not there for her to eat!:

We also met Maria the parrot, she usually spoke to us from her cage next to the cafe, but she'd venture out at other times to find a more interesting perch:

The cats had to be kept an eye on too, this one had just been caught out trying to get into Maria's cage:

We served crepes, juices and milkshakes and the very popular cafe mezcal (coffee mezcal with ice and milk... mmm). It was good fun learning how to use a crepe hot plate, and testing the results!

It was a pretty chilled few days:

This was our view... not a bad days work really:

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Snake Man

We took a trip to a nearby laguna with Magarito or Snake Man as he likes to call himself! The day started with a stop at his house to see his collection of animal bones and snake skins. He then took us out on his canoe through the mangroves where he spotted snakes, giant and baby iguanas, crabs and beehives and birds nests that seemed almost impossible to find to us even when pointed out and right above our heads. We rowed for a good while, it was calming even when Ed was holding the snake Margarito had coaxed off it’s branch. We were assured this snake wasn’t poisonous and the fact that it had bitten Snake Man and drawn blood was just because we’d disturbed it, it was pretty chilled by the time Ed was sat holding it for a good half hour.

I can’t say I felt calm when I was holding it though, the little wriggly thing was strong and well it could draw blood if it wanted!

Margarito’s dream is to live on the laguna, he already sleeps there sometimes in his hammock hanging from the trees. Having had an eventful, traumatic and pretty hedonistic life he now appreciates fully the tranquillity of the lake, in his 50s he’s super fit, drinking 9 litres of water a day and not eating meat. This is how he makes a living, taking people out on his boat, teaching them about the nature of the lake, it’s crazy trees, plants and creatures.

aboot this hoose

On arrival we got a taxi straight to Karla’s place to discover she’d left town! No more local friends, no more local and no more school! We spent the first week working out what to do next, staying at our friend Bret’s rented bungalow with him, his friend Jason, three rescue dogs Skip (chilled and a bit picked on), Palomita (hectic on just three working legs) and Scooby (old and senile, best not to look him in the eye) and a cat Hercules (puts up with having it’s entire head inside a dogs mouth). In exchange for a bottle of ron (rum) and a weekend of dog and cat sitting while they went on a surf/road trip. It’s Bret’s friend(Jason)’s friend(Carl)’s friend(Chris) from whom we’re now renting our new home. I love the way things work out here, there’s always someone new to meet here opening up new opportunities.

Carl, from Northhampton, long term traveller and musician now mainly settled in Copenhagen, is here on a two month surf trip and seeing his friend Chris. Chris is from Oz and lives in Puerto (at La Punta) with his wife Rosella from Mexico and their daughter Valentina in their hotel with the most amazing views of all of Puerto. Carl was staying at the hotel and introduced us to Chris, we came to see the views and the lovely place, there’s a cottage, some air-con apartments and some shaded apartments all next to a big pool, which is under renovation at the moment. All the guests this month have cancelled due to the swine flu! So he’s given us a very good price for the month, and as the main pool is out of use (although we can use his own at the house or the neighbours hotel who have no guests at the moment). It’s pretty far away from everything that we were really close to before. But the trade off is the stunning area, very chilled and luxurious accommodation.

Also it gives us the chance to find a house to rent in La Punta which was an area we fancied living in. It’s quiet, a bit hippy, lots of families both Mexican and expat, the difference with the expats in this area is that they don’t all congregate or isolate themselves, it’s all pretty mingled. From here we’re really close to the community centre and the kids classes. We may be able to use the place for our other lessons too.

Here were a couple of options we really liked on our house hunt:


Back in Puerto and it’s super hot! Just sitting typing is harrrd work! We’ve come back to rainy season though, so we do actually get some weather. Most evenings have cleared the sky with heavy downpours for maybe half an hour and you get a good breeze with it. But our first experience of the rainy season was a full on tropical storm. It was a relief to feel almost cold and good fun to get soaked through and drinking hot coffee and brandy, a good old English winter warmer not really necessary but tasted good all the same. I hadn’t heard thunder quite like it… each crack followed by an involuntary squeal! And the sky was like a plasma ball, pink, blue and white veins of lightning all around us! Amazing. This first storm lasted all afternoon and night and the landscape changed with it, especially the beach. Puerto is on a hill like most beach towns, and most the roads leading down to the sea are dust tracks. The rain flushed everything from the town and the various housing areas onto the beach and into the sea, the beach then had changed into great canyons where rivers had been created toward the sea. So for the last week the beach has offered some odd drift… dolls heads, bike wheels and a lot of mud. This was a particularly bad storm, and the cleanup of the beach is slowly showing. The best thing about all the rain is how fresh everything looks. Before Easter it was hot and dusty and everything had a bit of a sandy, dried out look. But now the mountains are green, we can see more of them as the sky is clearer and the trees are full of amazing colours.


24hrs in New York on jet lag… Brilliant! Best place to be if you want to pretend you’re not tired, there’s too much going on to close your eyes.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

(organised) chaos!

Well we're coming to the end of our first leg in Mexico, and it feels like yesterday when we nervously got on that plane in Heathrow last November.

This week has been fun, as the final English classes are going by we've been having fun with lots of 'review' games, an excuse to play around with some (organised) chaos. The final ninos class resulted in 12 children (and Ed) hopping around on one leg with hands on their heads shouting 'dice 'd' por favor, por favor!!!' 'say 'd' please, please!!' because if I called their fourth and final letter it would be their turn to crawl through the giant rainbow tunnel!! When we planned the game we imagined some giggles or maybe even a complete flop... we never imagined the hysteria and excitement that we ended up with! Brilliant! Video posted here, pretty poor quality but you'll get the gist.

Happy Snake

A lot of the fun with teaching the children comes during planning... The Happy Snake Game became a bit of an obsessive art project for us both... a giant dice made from an old box brought back from a trip to SuperChe, and a bright assortment of drawings around a simple board game route, it became a competition to fill your space with the most colour. This was the result... look at that happy face!

Luckily the ninos enjoyed the game too and it's become a favourite!