Monday, January 28, 2008

Artist at Work.

So relaxed. We live in a studio surrounded by finished and unfinished works on canvas and felt.

Turtle rock, of course. The felt gives the image a three D effect.
Scene from Terelj. We are going out there for a VSO workshop towards the end of February so I hope to get some good snow scene photos. Don’t really have any decent snow photographs yet.

New kid on the block.

Carol arrived from Australia, (you know the place where it is now summer time with a lot of heat), a couple of weeks ago to spend a month doing things for the Lotus Children’s Centre. We had just been out for lunch and visited a book fair at the Buddhist Centre. Hence Carol looking a little rotund. Coat stuffed with paper backs!!!

We passed the place where Gek worked for a short time, a Singaporean outfit delivering business courses. Very smart inside.

The Mongolian New Year is getting closer and this weekend has been ever busy with people getting in supplies for the holiday period. Including mutton. This day is well below -20 C so about freezer temperatures outside, in the middle of the day. Could drop to – 37 C in the night. Well tucked up in bed when it is that cold.

Gangs of 20 or so men and women clear the streets of ice by chopping at it with spades and then dumping it out of the way of cars and people. It hasn’t really snowed a lot at all this year but the temperatures have been the lowest since 2001. Any water in the atmosphere crystallises and you get a sparkly effect in the air as the tiny crystals catch the sunlight. Quite magical.

Tourist street. A couple of minutes later poor old Gek was flat on her back. But no damage done. Well padded as you can see!!!!!.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Arty Photos

Gek has been poorly and hasn't left the flat for several days. It is too cold out there!! So she has had time to play.





Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sometimes I Wonder.

At the corner of the office car park is a manhole minus a cover. The hole gives access to the steam pipes that heat the city centre buildings. It is a warm place. It is also the home of a man who uses a wheel chair to get around. To enter his 'home' he sits on the edge of the hole, takes the wheels off his chair before lowering himself and the dismantled chair down the hole. The operation is completed by pulling a piece of cardboard over the hole.

This is not right.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Iced Tigers

Why Tigers you may ask? Tiger Beer of course. From last year Tiger Beer has been brewed in Mongolia. Mind you, for the past week you cannot buy alcohol in Mongolia. On the 31st Dec. 11 people died, poisoned by tainted Vodka with dozens of others became ill, some losing their sight. A tragedy. So the government has imposed a total ban on the sale of all alcohol, no matter where it comes from, no matter what type of drink it is in and no matter where it is sold. Not only shops and bars but restaurants are also dry. Even the State Department Store. As of today, 8 days later, there is no sign of the ban being lifted. The word is, it will not be lifted until the Mongolian New Year. Boy, will that be a party night!!!!! As a direct consequence of the ban, the police are reportedly having a much easier time. Far fewer crimes reported, no drunks to lock up, fewer cars crashing into each other and much reduced violent offences. Every cloud………. etc.
Big aren’t they? Brave isn’t she? GRRRRRR! or should be that Brrrrrrrr!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Sculptures in ice.

And of course where there is Mickey, there is always Minnie

But who is this?

A partially completed building that looks like this in the daylight.

New Year’s Eve - 2008

7 pm and –20 deg C. Good time to go out for a bit of socialising then?.

A small fair at the centre of the square with a couple of hot food stalls draws people in..

And on the south side, a large skating rink. Thing is, this is all a lot more sophisticated than last year. You can almost see the change in UB happening day by day.

Lotus staff party

The annual staff party. 40 plus people are involved in educating and looking after the 130 plus children that depend upon the Lotus Centre.

Only once in the year do the staff of the centre gather together……the annual party.

They very kindly invited me along. Gek is treated with a lot of affection and has very clearly been accepted into the Lotus team. Another brilliant day in Mongolia!!!!!