Of all the lovely people we met at Mandy’s birthday party last weekend, we felt an immediate special connection with Rob and Julia. Rob works as a carpet-layer (which is also David’s trade) and he and Julia are spiritually-aware, making it easy to connect with them on a number of levels. Since they invited us down to Snells Beach to visit them, on Friday we made an effort to find their house, call in on them and see if it was a good time to visit.

Julia was home alone when we arrived; Rob was working down in Auckland. Both Julia and Rob are serious artists — painting and sculpture being the primary media that they work in, although Julia also dabbles in photography and Rob works casually as a floor-layer. After Julia explained that she was a painter, she invited the girls to have a turn with her paintbrushes, paints and pastels. They loved the opportunity to make more beautiful pictures!

The girls painting, July 2011
After encouragement from Julia, the girls embark on creative pursuits in Julia's painting corner.

On Saturday, David went to work with Rob. We often find that we connect most deeply with those whom we share formative experiences — and David and Rob certainly connected well while they were driving and working together. Their life stories share many parallel elements.

The girls and I used the day to explore the local area and playgrounds. While wandering back up the beach at Snell’s, we met Julia who was on her own beach-combing mission. She invited the girls back to her house while I returned to our truck and drove it back to our parking spot out the front of the house. While I was still on the beach, I met a lovely lady who invited us to come and park in front of their beach house when we were ready to move on from Rob and Julia’s.

I would have loved to take pictures of Rob’s and Julia’s fantastic works of art — some are still in production and others are completed. However, they’re still establishing their styles and reputations and aren’t ready to be publicised yet! When they do go public, I’d like to be their first fan!