The warm Eskimo in my Sanctum Sanctorum

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'Sanctum Santorum, acrylic on canvas, 900x900.
Yesterday I woke up with what I jokingly call my 'post natal depression'. The colours in my head were red, orange, pink and black.

I am going on a trip tomorrow. To Sydney. The distance from Cairns to Sydney is more or less the same as from Exeter in the UK to Tripoli in Tunisia at a cool 2400 km at 32,000 feet.

Or from Amsterdam to a sunny spot on the coast some 184 km south of Istanbul in Turkey.

Makes me think of the many many times I flew Amsterdam to Lisbon (1861 km) and back. The Terena village taxi would be waiting for me at the airport. Senhor Ignacio, the taxi driver, often had some villagers with him who may have needed medical attention or made a visit to a grandchild in Lisbon.

In those days I'd go somewhere, only to come back to want to go away again, even further.

Now I painted the place to come back to. And the painting will be hanging where I rest my head at night.

It's never cold in the Igloo for this Eskimo, remember?

In Sydney, I will meet the very last addition of my colourful family, Nina Shirlaw, daughter of Abigale and David, daughter in law and son of Kevin and Margaretha Shirlaw, brother-in-law and sister of Norman and Sally Bakker, my brother and sister-in-law, parents of Angela, Vanessa and Jeremy, cousins of Jenny, our actress Deborah and x-box enthusiast Peter Woodley-Page, son of Ursula and David. Nina Shirlaw is great grand child number 8 or 9 to my parents Joan and Arie Bakker, grand parents also of my daughter, the soprano Renate Arends.

Who thinks we are not tribal.

I've been in Cairns now more than 9 months. It feels like it was a successful pregnancy. Looking back over the work I have done here I cannot hide a smile; all these births. Natural or cesarean? A smile of gratitude. Not only the paintings. But having arrived where I know I am to be.

I had nothing to do but start a painting with the colours I woke up with this morning. A 'Going away' painting about the before mentioned (yesterdays writing) Sanctum Sanctorum.

I did it with the speed of lighting. Finished, varnished and given a fresh new cot.

I'll be back.