Sunday, 29 August 2010

Moody, Braindead and Cross

www.antoniarolls.co.uk for my website
www.jesusonthetube.co.uk for my other website
www.agracefuldeath.blogspot.com for the A Graceful Death exhibition, paintings from the end of life

Raffum Raffum Raffem.  With Knobs On.

I was cross.  Hot and bothered.  Flustered.

I was sitting with Attitude in my kitchen.   Wrapped, like a Militant Boiled Sweet in my faithful pink and white spotty blanket, ignoring the pots, pans, plates, dishes, cutlery, packaging, crumbs as they lay strewn in the sink and on the table, and Not Acknowledging  the bits of butter and ketchup strewn around the floor, cooker, doors, etc, I glowered and muttered rude things while above my head a Black Cloud (like in cartoons) began to rain on my head.

 My phone kept buzzing with angst-ridden messages from the Offspring who were having Difficult Days and The World Was Ending and What Was I Going To Do About It (since it was likely to have been my fault anyway) and I had forgotten to email important Stuff to Darling Dublin Friend, who did not know I was experiencing Meltdown in my kitchen.  "That Antonia!"  she may have thought, "Too many light, airy and frolicksome things have once again skewed her sense of duty,"  Here she sighs with a patient yet sympathetic expression,  "She means well", she would say as she switched off her computer, folded her notebook away and tucked her pencil behind her ear.

That was two days ago.  I am not like that now. Two days ago I solved the crisis by going to bed.  I had an early night.  I took tea up to bed with me.  I turned off my phone, and I lay in my bed with my arms folded,  pouting and frowning till sleep overtook me, and in the morning, the rain cloud had evaporated.  Now I am  happy again, back to normal with a Sun Beam over my head.  And sitting once more in my kitchen which I will describe.  Hem hem.  Here we go.

My kitchen is full of uplifting-ness.  It always has fresh flowers on the table in two or more vases, and it has all my teapots on display.  Each chair has lots of cushions to sit on and there is always the promise of food and tea.  And the tea can be made in any of the pots that you desire.  Choose a pot, I say to my guests, to suit your mood.  Some say "Eh?" while others say "Whahay", and choose the whackiest one they can.  There are about 18 teapots in my kitchen.  That, I imagine, covers 18 moods.  I have too, plenty of spotty, stripey, big, small, wonky, unwonky, mugs and cups and saucers to help moods a)  get better  b)  get worse.  I have a larder too.  That is a Plus Point, I think.  It is a whole room devoted to Food.  A Whole Room.  If I could fit a bed in there, I would.  Then I would go missing for days, and no one would think of looking in the larder.  And because the Offspring only eat if I provide food, the larder door would stay closed.  The kitchen is lovely.  The radio is set permanently to Radio 4 or, if there is to be music, to reggae when I do heartfelt dances while washing up or cooking or talking to the latest cold caller on the phone who starts with " And how are you today, Miss Rolls?"  I reply with a throaty "Raaaasta" and they go away.

I have been in the Studio too this week, painting a portrait of a wonderful old man.  He looks pale and beautiful, thin and elderly, with a walking stick and a cigarette in his hand.  Portraits have their own life.  This old man is looking out at us from a Rembrandt like brown background.  It makes him look mysterious.  I am following my intuition and letting him guide me as to what he should look like.  I have also started the big self portrait that will signal the end of the Steve paintings in the A Graceful Death exhibition. This painting is about Survival and Transcendence.  About coming through the grief and finding that life is still there when I start to look again, and that happiness is not only possible, but necessary.  And right.  That will take time to do though, and I am intrigued as to how it will come out.  There is much orange and yellow in it, which is full of joy.
Joy.  A good word to finish with.  And a memory just surfacing, of when the Muppet was born, he was taken to the special care baby unit where his three dedicated nurses were called - Joy, Hope and Charity.  Better than Moody, Braindead and Cross which is what I would have answered to a couple of days ago.

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