Friday 30 April 2010

From The Glory Of Bognor Regis To The Magnificence Of Crieff for the latest on the A Graceful Death exhibition next showing in Oxford in July for my website for my other website to email me

Bognor Has Met It's Match.

Today Alan took me out of my Comfort Zone in Bognor and whisked me to Scotland for four days. In Bognor, I know where the shops are. I know where the end of the road is, and I know how the sun will set and how the sun will rise but sometimes, sometimes, it gets a little boring. I wake up to Bognor most mornings, and go to sleep in Bognor Regis most evenings and I can get into a bit of a rut. I can, if I am honest, forget which day it is and lose the Sharp Edge I try to cultivate so that I can Get On. I can become slow and ponderous and find myself in the kitchen too much, looking for A Snack.

Alan took, has taken me, to Crieff. We are in a magnificent hotel which has not just one pool, but two. It has a posh restaurant, and squash courst, and tennis, and mountain biking, and get this. Just how perfect is this? One of the pools is for over 18s only. It is actually Locked. Locked! Once you book your place in the Locked Pool For Adults, they Unlock it and in you go. Towels provided. Sun loungers (the beds, not the people) and utter silence too. It is kept locked in case a 0 - 17 year old takes a running lunge at it and tries to get in. No! They are repelled and all those who can prove their eligibility quake with mirth and glee from inside. It must be very satisfying to hear the thud of Underaged Bodies Bouncing off the Door every now and again as you snooze with the Scottish Times over your face and your copy of the Oldie dangling from your hand, from the right side of the door.

We left early this morning after I had fed the French Student and 13 Year Old Son a huge cooked breakfast. I fear they will never eat again if I am not there to make it happen. I needed to see them put plate loads of sausage, egg and bacon into their polite little mouths so that even if my worst fears came true, and they did not eat again because I was not there, then they would at least last till 4pm before they started on the downward spiral into madness and starvation. Alan and I arrived at the airport nice and early and had an uneventful journey to Scotland and now I am sitting in bed, with Alan, eating jelly beans the hotel has provided as a Perk, and writing my account of this wonderful day. As I got into our extremely large purple and cream bed, I noticed that there were three sets of pillows. Two for Alan's side, two for my side and two for the middle. I wonder if this hotel likes to save on staff accommodation and each room gets a different employee to join them at some point during the night. We shall see.

I have had loads of texts from 20 Year Old Daughter, 16 Year Old Son and 13 Year Old Son. They are all extemely hungry and at least two of the above are suicidally depressed for one reason or another. It is Ok though, the French Student is Stern and Tough and has not sent me any complaints or thoughts on how bad his life is until Tuesday and I come home. So at least one member of my household is bearing up.

I am not a sentimental mother. I am hugely enjoying my time here with Alan, and have to say he is a Star for doing this. And because he has lost weight he is looking very craggy (ish) and even more attractive than before. And my unsentimentality has made me blase about my dear children pining and weeping in Bognor without me. I texted them that I was having a Whale Of A Time and I was sorry to hear of their misery etc etc.

Alan has thrown the jelly beans in their jar onto the floor in a bid not to eat them all right now. It is time we put them far far away and then jumped back into our posh Crieff bed and awaited the possible arrival a member of staff to explain away the third set of pillows on our bed.

Tuesday 27 April 2010

My Soul And Other Animals for the latest on the A Graceful Death exhibition due next in Oxford in July

My Soul. You Didn't Expect This...

Here I am in all my glory and yes. I do look like this. All the time. In my Heart of Hearts, this is the Real Thing and I thank my kind and perceptive photographer Alan Bedford of Bedford Consulting for seeing it, taking it, and capturing the essence of Antonia Rolls. Thank you Alan. Pause for shuffling of feet and clearing of throats and suppression of deep emotions Until Later.

My Soul. Today I am thinking about what is real, and the word Soul came to mind as covering what is inescapably real about us. Then I thought that Souls are Nice, and so perhaps it isn't quite as balanced as I first thought. One's Soul is What Is Real With All The Bad Things Removed. Does that mean that one can have a teeny teeny soul because one has spent so much time being ghastly? Or is one's soul Pure Potential, it is all one size only and bits of it light up when that potential is realised? So that means Jack the Rippers soul may have been the same size as mine and yours but only the smallest left hand corner lit up whereas mine - ours - is aglow most of the time.

So what is real about us? Dunno. I am thinking about this - in fact I woke up today thinking about this. Each of us presents ouselves as one thing and there is no garuntee that those around us pick that presentation up. Somewhere in the ether our presentation of ourselves merges with the expectations and perceptions of those around us, and we become a completely different person in their eyes to that which we thought we were presenting. (Like now you couldn't guess that I am dressed in a pink and white spotty blanket and bedroom slippers).

If one is concerened about how one appears then this is hard work. The Presentation is All, and the substance follows. Or not. I am not immune to this, despite being nearly 50. When I am in my Studio I am Seriously OK and whatever I do is Seriously Fine. It helps that I am always alone in my studio so I get no feedback. Any doubts I have can be argued away by Me and I always emerge The Winner. When I am out and about in The World, despite having had years of practice trying to Just Be Me, I often fear I will come across as a well meaning babbling booby. Just Trying To Be Me is a huge task because I am so many things and most of those things are dependent on Mood, Circumstance and Whether I Have Had My Tea. Oh well. I guess the trick is to just be happy with whatever you are at any given moment.

So that is what I will do. At any given moment, I am Deeply Content With Who I Am. I will practice Beatific Smiles and comments like "Goodness me, is that so?" and "It is all All One To Me I am Sorted" . When presenting my work I will incline my head and enter the Zone and say "This is the Real Thing. " The subtext being It Makes No Difference Whether Or Not You Think I Am A Babbling Booby, My Soul Is Lighting Up All Over The Place And You Know You Want At Least Ten Of These.

The Real Thing. Me (embodying my Soul) walking up the path to Enlightenment where Everyone is a Babbling Booby and All Paintings are Fab.

Monday 26 April 2010

Monday Mornings Are My Favourite Time for the latest on the A Graceful Death Exhibition next due in Oxford in July for my website for my other website
antonia.rolls1@btinternet to email me

Monday Mornings. Each One A Gem.

I may be overstating it a bit. Mostly Mondays are Gems. It is the first morning of the week ahead, and after a busy weekend with lots of Teenagers, Mealtimes, Football (Son, not me), Shopping (only for food. Always food. Never perfume or curtain material or silk lined slippers); after clearing up, washing piles of clothes (I just like your washing machine Mum. Nothing like your washing machine, so I bring it all home to you)... And, of course, being a Nice, Understanding Mummy. "I'll hoover for you Mum" says tall, languid Oldest Son. I put down the hoover, I am frantically trying to hoover before I take 13 Year Old Son to his football match because after I will have Washing and Gargantuan Meal No 53 to prepare with very little food left in the house funny that there was plenty yesterday..."Will you, my Son?" I say laying down the hoover attachment with tears of love and pride in my eyes, "Yeah," he says, "I'll do it within the next 2 hours. Or later. Or before I die. Yeah. Watching telly just now". So I say with a peal of tinkly laughter, "Never mind my dear, I need it doing right now and not a moment later so you just watch telly and I will hoover and may God strike you down with leprosy" and I carry on like Disney's Cinderella, sweetly admonishing myself for any unkind thoughts and doing the work of 10 maids.

Monday mornings mean silence. There is no one in the house. The washing is done and taken back to London or Brighton or Timbuktoo and there was just enough food for breakfast for French Student (who is very nice indeed and never ever complains), 13 Year Old Son (tricky, he is a thin 13 year old Obelix the Gaul) and me (Me? I am allowed breakfast too?) and there is no writing in the calender for the day.

So here I am. It is not yet 9am and I have had my breakfast, had my pot of tea, and am ready in my studio to Paint Angels. The sun is shining through the window and the hammock is swaying gently in the breeze. There are about 8 hours before 13 Year Old Obelix comes home and calls for his Whole Roasted Ox. In the meantime I have no housework to do, no gentle sweet natured empathetic listening to do, no Darling As Soon As You Have Finished That Meal The Next Will Be Only Minutes Away puff puff pant pant wipe sweat from my brow. I have no Yes I will Drive You To The Station - Which Station?? and I have no Oh My Sweet Child Of Course I Didn't Sell Your Shoes/CDs/Christening Robe At The Car Boot Sale. There is just silence, me, tea and Angels.

Thursday 22 April 2010

Morning. Back To Normal And Another Week Has Almost Gone for my website for my other website for the latest on the A Graceful Death exhibition due next in Oxford to email me

So. Thursday Already. What Does That Mean In The Grand Scheme Of Things?

My Old Granddad used to give us a sentence to punctuate. See if you can do it. Answer will be at the bottom of todays post.

time flies you cant they fly too fast

And if you manage to do it, then you should be very pleased with yourself, as none of us could make sense of it. In fact, take the rest of the day off and spend it in a chocolate shop.

What is happening here? I am not so tired, and time has taken on a new meaning. Before today, perhaps till the day before yesterday, time was a Bugger. There wasn't enough of it and most things that needed to be done didn't fit into it. I wasn't at fault for over planning, oh no. It was all time's fault and therefore beyond me to fix. Time was the Thing That Was Stopping Me or at least, time was Getting In My Way (if such a thing can be possible). Then, noting very sensibly that I was losing the plot and becoming a ferocious but drooping blob, I took Time Off. Tuesday afternoon I cut short my engagements (such that they were) in London and came home. I went early to bed and then, at some point, Wednesday arrived.

Wednesday! The day in the calender that has nothing in it all except for wide, white, blank space!

I saw the French Student and 13 Year Old Son off to Wherever and went and had a bath in my silent empty bathroom, with a large clean empty house around me, and had lots of tea and bread and jam. In the bath. The sun shone through the window and I thought Ho Hum, More Of This Please.

There were Things To Deal with that really needed to be done, and for a small moment, I became sulky and mutinous because What The Goddam Hell Things That Need To Be Done On Wednesday When There Is No Writing In The Diary I Might As Well Commit Suicide ... until I thought of how, in times like these, the Dalai Lama would just Smile and engage some part of his Advanced Brain in Peace, Contemplation and Acceptance. And Barak Obama, when he was having a bubble bath in the sunny bathroom of his choice, would have long ago conquered his fury if Michele came in with the phone and said "G7 on the phone, dear".

So I made the Things To Deal With part of a Fun Day and do you know? They were easy and quick to sort out. I spent the morning in Bognor on my bike, being at One with the Outside (part of the plan to make the Things To Deal With easier to do) and came back to a fabby lunch of my choice, and an afternoon with the sun shining through the window of my studio, painting Angels on Pebbles for Arundel.

At 4pm a lovely Quaker friend came for tea, and so on till at 8pm I was in bed. Yes. The day of my Recovery, Wednesday, was almost Over and I was happy again. From 8pm I answered some phone calls, don't quite know what I said or who was on the phone but I am sure that if I was scarey they will call back today. 13 Year Old Son was doing his homework somewhere downstairs (in itself a miracle. He doesn't believe in Homework) with the French Student. He kept rushing upstairs to tell me something garbled and relevant to his world, and having bounced off the walls in my room and broken a few valuables, rushed back downstairs to do some more Geography to the Simpsons on telly which I was powerless to prevent because I had become paralysed and enchanted all at once with pleasure at being in my bed and theoretically Unassailable.

So. Time today is my Friend. I am happy with it, it is fitting in nicely with my schedule, and my schedule is fitting in nicely with my capabilities. I accept that time is only a concept, and that it was really my fault that I couldn't get everything done in such a concept, and am happy to say that All Is Well Again, And Time Is Not A Bugger.

Time flies, you can't, they fly too fast.

Did you get it? Take the afternoon off anyway, and enjoy the chocolates.

Monday 19 April 2010

Late Post. Not Quite The Last Post. But Definately Not Early. for the latest on the A Graceful Death exhibition for my website for my Other Website to email me

Late Night Blogging, Because I Am So Busy. Join Me In Some Haphazard Blogging Hours

Haphazard because I am normally very structured, when I can fit structure in, and I write this before I do anything else in the morning...

News Flash - the Hamster is still alive. There was a terrible silence early this morning, and still no sign of movement late tonight when I returned to the studio. I was terribly alarmed and thought maybe the influence of so much Art on a Hamster is Deadly. But no, this is a cultured Hamster. It was asleep for a long long time, in my studio, and may have been thinking up an epic hamster poem while resting, so I was right to leave it alone and go to Oxford for the day with my 80 Year Old Mum. Because it can't write it is going bonkers on its wheel again.

But this morning, as I have said, I went to Oxford with my 80 Year Old Mum . Mother is not happy driving and I took her to a lovely sad beautiful celebratory requiem service for her old Nursing Days Friend, called Rosemary. We went to the most picturesque village outside Oxford, where Mother had spent many happy years training to be a Nurse. At the end of each pew in the tiny country church wich held the service, was a pot of rosemary. A thoughtful and loving touch. Rosemary for Rosemary. It set me wondering what to do at my mother's memorial service one day in the future, as my mother's name is Maureen. Little pots of Maureen doesn't work (nor exist). Her surname is Rolls so little bread rolls on teeny saucers was as far as I got. With teeny teeny pots of jam and little knives to spread the jam... But no. The service would become a giant sandwich eating memorial service. People would not remember Mother's dignity and elegance, they would remember her every time breakfast was served with a tray of hot rolls and jam. Or at afternoon tea. They would say "I say, this reminds me of someone." And the reply would be , "don't know why, but Maureen Rolls comes to mind" and there would be some thoughtful munching. "Wasn't she that glorious lady who's daughter linked her with Crusty Bread at her Memorial Service?" someone would say after a few minutes. "Can't see the link myself. Fancy being associated at ones Memorial Service with Hovis" . But for the rest of the day, and each day following, Maureen Rolls would live on with splendour and joy in all their thoughts, and only a few would have Worked It Out.

It is late. As I speak 13 Year Old Son is in the studio behind me feeding the Inspired Hamster. It is too obsessive about its wheel to say Thanks Very Much, but I know it will be grateful in its little poetic heart. 13 Year Old Son says Hamster will go back to his room tonight. That will mean someone has to either remove the wheel from its cage, WD40 the Hamster or WD40 the wheel. The Hamster will, whatever happens, relentlessly work out its displacement issues on the wheel, and take a long time coming through. It may even forget its epic poem as it can only do one Big Thing at a time.

It is late. Soon I will go to bed. Tomorrow I will get up extra early and make two pizzas and some pasta for both 13 Year Old Son and French Student when they come back from their places of work. I, where will I be? Friends, I am like the Hamster. My life is on a Wheel and like the Hamster I am crazily and sqeakily going round and round on it. Tomorrow, despite having commissions to do, book from Highly Talented Friend to read so I can illustrate it, Angels on pebbles and canvases for Arundel, dinners to cook, I am going to London. I am taking the Beatific Eileen (see other posts about the removal of Eileen's Gall Bladder and the references, in some circles, to Gall Bladders being linked with Bad Temper, Thwarted Plans etc etc. The thing with Eileen being that she wasn't terribly cross to begin with and is now on a par with God for cheerful benign happiness now that her Gall Bladder is gone) to London and home, dropping off Costya's Stuff to him now that he is back at college and living with my Lovely Sister In Law, lunch with an Eccentric and Loveable Bonkers Geologist Cabinet Maker Friend of Many Years, tea with the Ever Inspiring Clarissa and then ... I was to go somewhere else but I know I will be so very tired and incoherent that I am going to come home.

I am very over tired and overwhelmed at the moment. Time in the Studio, with self-feeding household would do me much good. Or perhaps the removal of my Gall Bladder.

Friday 16 April 2010

Back In The Studio With The Hamster for my website for the latest on the A Graceful Death exhibition to email me

Me and Costya having our own Zen Moment in the kitchen together. Hamster could be anywhere, it doesn't care as long as it is on its wheel.

The Hamster And I Have Run Away Together

And ended up in the studio. The Hamster, as always, has no say on where it goes. It is only a dwarf hamster but can make one hell of a noise on the wheel which it does all night long. Only Costya knows how to put WD40 on the wheel and avoid the hamster which is addicted to its wheel and gets Cold Turkey if you get between it and the wheel. I have WD40'd the hamster once or twice so if Costya is not here, I put the cage in the furthest corner of the Studio and everyone sleeps like a baby. Except for the Hamster which goes bonkers on its wheel to compensate for its sense of displacement.

So here I am in the Studio. I have not been in here as an Artist for ages. I have been on Holiday with SAGA, I have been a Car Boot Seller, I am now a Dinner Bed and Breakfast Person, I am always a Mum (exhausting job) and now I am, again, An Artist. I will start painting Angels on stones and small canvases for Arundel. It will be a peaceful, silent, lonesome occupation. But that is balm to my soul, which has been a cooking, cleaning, driving long distances, not much sleep kind of soul for a while now. It almost feels like cheating to have such a pleasant day ahead.

I do have my French Student's parents and brother with me for a couple of days. They are the Dinner Bed and Breakfast victims. Very nice people indeed, and so clever. They all speak English and the children of the family speak 3 or 4 languages. Blinking Ada. That is very good. "I can't speak French, or German, or Spanish" I should say conversationally at dinner, "but I can paint a Fairy on a Pebble. Look!" and show them an assortment of Fairies on Pebbles.

Eileen is superbly placid still. Having no gall bladder seems to have made her unpeterbable. In order that I can rent out her room she has gone back up to London for a few days, and will come back here tomorrow. None of this has rippled the calm of her gall bladder free psyche. (This is in reference to Tasha's comments and my reading somewhere that the Gall Bladder is linked to Bad Temper, Frustration and Being Thwarted In One's Plans etc. Removing it removes all obstacles to Happiness). Eileen is the New Buddha. (Thin one.)

Another thing I must do today is to re-read my clever friend's new book. I am hoping to illustrate it and it is a Darn Good Book, for children, but because Friend is so funny and witty, the book will appeal to adults too. Today is turning into a very acceptable day it seems. Later, I will start to cook for my Guests From France, and my Sons From I Am Starving Land, and that will be the end of my peaceful Antonia moments in the studio (with the Hamster). Until then, Friends, Zen Moments In The Studio for me. (And the Hamster).

Monday 12 April 2010

Gosh. Sunshine, Washing Machines, Bicycles, Gall Bladders and the Dentist. for the latest on the A Graceful Death exhibition for my website to email me

All Of The Above, And More, And Yesterdays Car Boot Sale, And It Is Only 1pm.

The Car Boot Sale is only a memory now. Already, just 24 hours after it finished, it is History and has lost its Golly-Gosh-New-And-Exciting sheen. Other things have taken the foreground. Other things like taking Costya to the dentist for an X Ray (again) at 8.20am. Things like planning Scrambled Eggs for my breakfast - to be polite I asked the Sons if they wanted some and they said Yes. Silly me, of course they would like some. So Scrambled Eggs for Three then. After the scrambled eggs, I announced that I Am Not Cooking Again Till Tonight My Babies So Make Your Own Meals Today. Sons looked pitifully at me , as if I had said that I may have to saw their legs off for fun. I ignored the pleading, starving, and haunted looks they trained on me and became Hard and Indifferent.

So I took 13 Year Old Son on a bike ride. It started as a trip to the Post Office in Bognor, but because someone may see 13 Year Old Son on a bike and in the company of an Old Person Who Is Embarrassing And Mad Yuk, it became a hike along the cycle paths of the A259 instead. I like this ride, we can turn off the A259 to a village called Colworth, which is very country track and a handful of houses, before joining the A259 again and whizzing along the cycle path a hundred times faster than all the cars crawling along in a traffic jam caused by Building Works and Roundabout Re Jigging further along. Oh for the wind in one's hair. Oh for the sun on one's face and the calories burned up by cycling fast up a teeny incline...but 13 Year Old Son had a different take on it. His was -
  • He had a tummy ache
  • His pedals were broken
  • His back hurt
  • He had poo on his shoe/pedals/whatever
  • The bike was too small
  • The saddle was too thin for his Boney Bum
  • His ears were hurting in the wind
  • He was going to be Sick

I left 13 Year Old Son at the end of the ride to go to the Post Office alone, with strict instructions to ride home on the pavement and call an ambulance etc.

When I got home he was, to compound it all, stopped by the police for riding on the pavement and told off. "Did you tell them your Mummy made you do it?" I said with loving concern. "No" he said and the implication was that he Took It Like A Man and if he can't get a job later on in life, it is because his criminal record dates back to a sunny morning in April 2010 when he was 13 Years Old and his Mum put him up to his first offence and then scarpered. (To the Post Office).

My washing machine that Alan bought me has been delivered and fixed up too! Still all before 1pm when I started today's blog. The man who brought it round and fixed it in was called Alan too. Maybe there is a conspiracy of Alans to make sure I am OK. Bet the police man who stopped 13 Year Old Son earlier on wasn't called Alan. My Sons have been stock piling the washing for me so that I can, in their minds, play with my new machine this afternoon. Is that before, I enquire, or after I go with Eileen to Tescoes to buy more Foooooood and cook it all and clear it up and do my Art and clean my house and go mad trying to Do It All?

Eileen has not got a Gall Bladder. She had it removed last week and is here to recover. Tasha said something along the lines that Chinese Medicine links Gall Bladder with Anger. Another book I read recently said the Gall Bladder and Liver are linked to being thwarted in Moving Forward, Plans and Hopes and Strategies and such like. Alan (my one, not the Comet Washing Machine one or any of the Other Alans I know) is also waiting to have his gall bladder removed when a place comes up. So will I be left with a benign, placid and peaceful Eileen and Alan, both of whom steam ahead unopposed in life, smiling all the while, their plans coming to fruition with hardly a twitch, while all of us with Gall Bladders plan in a frenzy of hopeless rage and bad temper? We will see. Eileen wasn't very cross to begin with, so any anger that was taken out with her Gall Bladder must put her on a par with the Dalai Lama. That is of course, if both Tasha and the Chinese Medicine Thing is right.

So. Much to do today. It is now 13.48 and I have still to prepare all my stones and canvases for Angels in Arundel and the two commissions. I may have a third commission, I will have to wait and see for that one. And still more to come today, tons and tons of washing. Tescos and a Big Cooked Dinner for Sons and French Student and Eileen and Me. Right. On with the Angels for Arundel. With or without their Gall Bladders.

Sunday 11 April 2010

A New Post Tomorrow. It's Just That I Have Been Selling My Children At A Car Boot Sale And Haven't Had Time To Do The Blog for the latest on the A Graceful Death exhibition due in Oxford in July for my website to email me

That Just About Sums It Up (About The Car Boot Sale And The Kids)
I tried to sell a framed print of this Bum at the car boot today and a lady came up and said "Why do they do these dreadful pictures of Women?" When I said, "But it's my Bum! I painted it based on My Bum," she looked at me crossly and said "Disgusting." So I sat down on my Bum and made sure no one could see it for the rest of the car boot sale. I am sure she has told her church group that there is Porn at the Car Boot Sale at Fontwell.

I have not had time to come to the studio and Blog, because a Car Boot Sale is an exhausting thing to do. Days of preparation and sneaking into the childrens' rooms when they are out and taking out Stuff they have (one hopes)Forgotten About. Going through the kitchen cupboards and saying Ha! It is Years since I cooked in this saucepan, and Whoopidoo, I don't need this kitchen table/front door/child anymore and so on.

So I am £30 richer and utterly frazzled. Tomorrow I am going to come to the Blog with Gusto and leave you all on the edge of your seats today. "What," you all say in your emails to each other, "can we do to fill in the time till we know what she is doing?" Well, I understand this and will tell you as soon as I can tomorrow morning about the Car Boot Sale, Eileen's Gall Bladder (she is recovering here having had it removed last week) and all the exciting things that make up a Life In Bognor Regis.

Until tomorrow, when after a good night's sleep and a large fried meal, I will be All Go Again. Byeee.

Wednesday 7 April 2010

The Amazing Tone Gets On With Things for the latest on the A Graceful Death Exhibition due in Oxford in July for the Jesus on the Tube website

Angel Happy With Her Teapots

acrylic on wood, about 4"x 4" and very jolly. I am making loads of these type of Angels for the craft shop in Arundel.

The Amazing Tone Gets On With Things Thanks A Lot To Tasha Who Came For The Day Yesterday And Said Nice Things

It is true. Tasha did come for the day yesterday, she did say nice things and I am getting on with things. It takes the visit of an old old dear friend to fill one up with clear crystal water and make one feel full of life and possibilities again.

Tasha and I go back a long way to University in Aberdeen, where we were so arty we nearly fell over. Tasha is tall and slim and deeply witty and intelligent, and is not someone to mess with. She is full of Drama, English, Performance, Poetry and Writing. She has big blue eyes that sparkle with the most cutting wit; if you are a pompous twit or ever so slightly up your own bottom do not go and talk to Tasha because you will not know how to get out of the encounter alive. Tasha speaks sense and does Yoga. She is the first person I ever met who chose to eat plain yogurt. She has long slim legs. She wore little skirts and leggings and had wild hair and whoever she turned those penetrating witty blue eyes on, had to stand up straight and not be an idiot.

Tasha came yesterday with her two sons. Older Son was born the same year as my 13 Year Old Son. Younger Son is 7. Both sons are different to look at as chalk and cheese and both sons are Produce of Tasha and her lovely husband Rob. Lovely children and interesting children. In fact the youngest is famous in our house for saying Up Your Bum to Eileen when she asked him where his coat was when he was 5, which no other living creature would ever get away with. Eileen thought he was wonderful, and both Eileen and Tasha's Youngest Son have become entwined in our household with the words Up Your Bum.

So what is the Amazing Tone getting on with today? I have space in a craft shop in Arundel to sell Angels from the beginning of May. That happened this morning (I think Tasha did it by Will Power from Lancashire). I have two commissions to do by the middle of May and I have another car boot sale on Saturday. Tasha must be responsible for these too and I am looking for the connection. At the moment Tasha is responsible for All Good Things so I expect if I buy petrol today and the price is lower than last week, I will put it down to Tasha. Thanks Tash.

Off to take Costya to have an X Ray of his jaw now. He is having much orthodontic treatment as his teeth in his top jaw have followed a different path to most of the human race and are Doing Their Own Thing in his mouth. His bottom jaw sticks well over his top jaw and having seen his X Ray we both agree that he has an Amazing Jaw Line and he is not going to have surgery to make it Normal. I think he should carry a copy of his X Ray around with him and whip it out when the conversation flags. "Look" he will say, "at my amazing jaw line. Don't you wish you had one?" We were also moved, when we were looking at his Amazing Jaw Line in the X Ray of his head at the Dentists, by his Jutting Brow. Wow, we both thought, separately. That is Pre Historic. My son therefore, is a modern opinionated and deeply fascinating Neanderthal and it is proved by the dentist's X Rays of his head. I gave birth to an intelligent and deeply opinionated Cave Man.

So, thanks to Tasha, the world is turning and life is happening. I am full of light and bubbles and All Things Are Possible. Time to go with Neanderthal Son to the Dentist and admire another X Ray of his head.

Friday 2 April 2010

"Starting At The Top" Kind Of Thoughts From The Artist In Bognor Regis for the latest on the A Graceful Death Exhibition

Starting At The Top. What's It All About?

This is what Starting As You Mean To Go On means. It is like starting at the top. You get a sunbed and lie on it in your best spotty swimming costume and let the day begin. Occaisionally you put your Mother on the sunbed while you go and get more food but this, more or less, is it.

If you start at the top, the only way to go is down, they say.

I have never started at the top. Today I feel grumbly because I have always had to work so hard to do anything and I think God should just give me what I want for a week. Or more. So I am not very comforted by the Starting At The Top Only Way To Go Is Down business because it is trying to comfort me by saying that it is OK to scrabble around at the bottom and midway because I can still rise above it all. Except that Today, Today, I should like to be at the Top. I should like to employ people to scrabble around at the bottom and midway for me so I taste only the sweet fruits of Success and Victory. I should like my Scrabbling Around Staff to have huge satisfaction doing this, and to have longed to do it from the moment they could walk. I would like my Scrabbling Around Staff to be so happy in their work that if they are not Scrabbling Around for me they come knocking on the studio door with a pleading and pained look on their sweet, upturned, honest but clever faces, and beg to be allowed to move Just One More Mountain for me. Oh Go On Then, I say beaming and chuckling kindly, Just The One.

But. Folks. I am, like all of us, Managing Ok Really. Someone who has Rice, Raisins, Avocardo and Lemon Juice for breakfast can't be too far down in the doldrums. If I was really low I would be having Worms for breakfast. Someone who has booked a hair appointment for today can't be feeling too defeated by God not giving them all they want now please. And I go to London to collect Costya and I so looking forward to seeing this hansdome and ridiculously opinionated son of mine. And I have tea with Clarissa and then Jacky and have my 13 Year Old Son with me all the time. (13 Year Old Son speaks only in riddles. A conversation with him is not a conversation it is a Mine Field where you will Lose. It is very interesting how his mind works, interesting and very unclear. Almost a complete mystery, one could say. A day with him makes your head explode. But he is very loving and nice. And, he has no idea of Personal Space and is always just two inches too far into your personal space so we fall over in a tangled heap very often. "Oh 13 Year Old Son!" I say with feeling. "Ha ha" he replies with glee).

Oh well. Best Get On and do the Scrabbling Around myself. Until midday when I get my hair done.