Yellow saddle


From the courtyard of a cafe in SS15, an area of Subang Jaya, that’s becoming trendy with a growing student population. 

Bits of this watercolour work and others don’t. It’s a pity the bike was so central but that’s just how it was. The intention was to capture the bamboo and shade but I got lost in shop fronts, the broken fence and the technical bits of the bike all becoming a distraction. I should have left the bicycle out but then how could I?

Back to the larger A5 format and hence the attempt at further detail. 

Billboard to nowhere


KL road infrastructure cuts through everything including the outer suburbs. 

Occasionally the elevated highways can look beautiful, the spanning concrete arches catching the early morning light, transforming a banal undercroft into a cathedral aisle.

From a vehicle you get no sense of the drama of these places, the leftovers of city planning. As I tried to walk beside the road to find my way to a park, people watched me suspiciously from their stopped cars at traffic lights, wondering why I was taking taking pictures.

Back in KL


This is the view eastward towards downtown and the Federal Highway, a river of car lights and traffic that never ceases. 

The curved building, Mesiniaga, partially framed at the end of the axis, is by Ken Yeang and won the Aga Khan award for architecture in 1993. It is the only example, I believe, of his ‘Bioclimatic Skyscraper’ that was ever built. 

We’re in our Airbnb apartment on the 12th floor looking out on to other buildings we’ve seen constructed over the last decade of visits to the Malaysian capital. To be living inside one, if only briefly, is very interesting but for all the wrong reasons. 

Auckland downtown


Back to trying a streetscape and it’s hard. No room for errors and difficult to judge the layering of washes. As always with watercolour, once it starts to go wrong, it’s impossible to rescue. 

A quiet Sunday before meeting Anne, Jen and Chris this evening. Back to KL tomorrow. 

We’re really sad to be leaving lovely New Zealand!

The Hours


A fantastic book which I devoured in two sittings as we caught the ferry and train back to ‘weather bombed’ Auckland. 

A post modern novel based on Virginia Woolf’s ‘Mrs Dalloway’ which I read in KL before arriving in New Zealand. 

This book I stumbled across in Queenstown and just had to read it after experiencing again Woolf’s genius.  

The Bone People

This long and wonderful book has kept me company throughout all our riding in New Zealand. 

As we caught the ferry out of Picton to Wellington, returning northward, I finished it and read the following opening sentence to one of the final chapters about the heroine:

She travelled for weeks in an aimless way, all around the South Island. 

The descriptions of the land and sea complimented much of our own travels in the south, giving a depth and meaning to places that I’d otherwise have been without. This is a great, beautiful and emotional book.