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for the A Graceful Death exhibition, paintings from the end of life
The Merry-Go-Round Of Life, Even In Bognor Regis
Even, as they say, In Bognor Regis. I live in Bognor Regis, and from this town, I create my World. I sit in my studio and tap away at the computer, and paint my paintings, and plan my plans. I bring up my children and clean my house and then - then I shoot off into the big wide world and make things happen. Bognor Regis always welcomes me back once I have finished whatever Thing I was doing beyond its borders, and after a little while recouperating lying around on feathered cushions and peeling grapes, I start again. This, Friends, is what I am doing now. Starting Again.
I have had much happen on the domestic front. Beautiful Blonde Daughter in Brighton is changing directions for the better, and has a lovely new boyfriend too. Costya, the Muppet, the Teenage Overlord, Ruler of South West London and Soon, The World, is back at college. He is creating a Myth around himself, a kind of Film Version of his Life in which he stars and does all the editing. This takes up many of his days and probably a good deal of his nights too. There is hope he will get some qualifications too, but that is secondary to the Legend that he is creating. Takes up a lot of study time, and is exhausting, I am told. Never mind, I can but give the odd Critique of the Film from time to time and ask if he is eating properly and going to bed at some points during the week, and asking gentle questiions about course work.
13 Year Old son broke his foot in August and was off all sport. He was inventive with his crutches and used them to shoot me and demonstrate martial arts moves. As soon as he was able to take up Games at his new school, we got less than 24 hours notice of his ear operation for which we have waited about 4 years. So now, he is injured again and unable to do sports or games or anything much till after Christmas.
13 Year Old Son is a bit like Taz of Tazmania in the cartoon. He is fond of, and longs to try, Cage Fighting and Boxing. He likes Brainiac (the very brilliant and hands on science programme that really does explode cars and experiment with chemicals and such important problems such as Can You Walk On Custard? Turns out, just to let you know, that you can walk on custard, but you can't cycle on it.) and longs to do that. He loves Football and started American Football at school, and wants desparately to learn to play Rugby. You get the picture - he likes rough contact sports and daring explosive smelly dangerous ways to spend his time. Now, however, after his surgery, we know that he will never hear in his left ear, so he may decide to get a hearing aid. He will be the only Rugby Playing Cage Fighter, with an American Football background and a Qualification in Explosives and Smelliness that keeps stopping proceedings and saying "What? Can you repeat that?" and "Not the Ear! Not the Ear! Got a hearing aid! Hit the Nose, leave the Ear, Thanks." Wham.
And so, onto the House. It is filled with Intrigue. Nice Intrigue, but lots of Action. People come and go and the rooms fill with fascinating characters that pop into our lives and pop out again. Arty Man With A Full Schedule, and his Ginger Best Friend, have a fascinating life. They have popped into my life and have not yet popped out of it, which I am glad about. Never a dull moment. And they and I were fascinated by the Silent Pole when he was here, because he was so very silent and polite and absent. A lovely man, we agreed, but with no clues at all as to what he was really about. Oh it was intriguing. There were Dogs in his life in Poland. And a Wife. And....and....we couldn't discover anything else. Dogs and a Wife. Not much to go on. And then a small jar of Beetroot appeared in the fridge. A Clue! What does this mean? Dogs, A Wife, and Beetroot! Oh what next, we asked each other, what next. Well I will tell you. Yesterday I found a bag of Polish Bread. He left it behind when he went home last week, and I will file it with the other clues and come up with an answer. A Profile. Once, I passed his door and heard Voices. His Voice and someone elses. The room is too small for two, so I reckon he was Skyping. Skyping the Wife about the Dogs while eating Beetroot and Polish Bread. I know these things.
And me? I have A Graceful Death opening in an Invitation Only exhibition in Dublin on the 21 October. I must get that ready.The Nicest Man In Ireland, husband of Darling Dublin Friend, (as they are my Hosts for the show) is driving over in a large car with his friend, Nicest Man in Ireland no 2, to pick up the paintings and take them over as a gesture of support for the exhibition. They will stay over this weekend and pack up the car with the paintings, and then drive back to Dublin. So, the paintings need to be packed and labelled. The A Graceful Death exhibition includes too a small exhibition of Jesus on the Tube and Every Day Angels. This works very well as a whole, and makes the show very wide ranging.
I think, now, that I will do a bullet point list for you to see how busy I am. This way we can all see how things are panning out. Hem hem.
- 20 October to 26 October 2010, A Graceful Death in Dublin.
- I have a painting short listed in a National Art Competition. See what happens to that by the end of October
- 13 Year Old Son becomes 14 in November. Oooh. A Cage Fighting Party I fear.
- Eileen and I have a Christmas Art Fair for one day in Arundel on November 28. You will be Summoned to it. Be ready.
- Application to fund A Graceful Death meetings in November, very hopeful about this. You never know.
- February 2011 AGD goes to Manchester
- Arty Man coming too, if all works out, to make an AGD film. He is a very gifted film maker and I think he is a talented fellow. Hope this film happens.
- A prospective showing of AGD in York, at a lovely teeny Stately Home. Hope this comes off. Probably for 2012, as I am so busy in 2011.
- I intend to try a painting in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition
- I want to take AGD to the Edinburgh Festival
- Clarissa and I have plans to go to India for a few weeks
- November 2011 AGD goes to Birmingham for 4 weeks where I will be doing workshops during the exhibition with the talented Penny Hewlet, a wonderful poet. And, I hope, other workshops that are in the pipeline and are very unusual. All around Bereavement, Life, Death and Hope.
So there you have it. A Busy Bee. And, my dears, running alongside all this are my portrait commissions and my blogs. So if I make out that I drift from flower to flower, humming a merry little tune while waiting for the kettle to boil, I am being disingenuous. Don't believe a word of it. I am fibbing to hide the real level of activity so that you think I have many different levels of existance here, in Bognor Regis on sea.
And did I say that I am getting a new kitchen? No? Well, I am. But I have not got round to dealing with that yet. Pity because the kitchen arrives alongside the Irish Men in their Car on Saturday. I am told, as I called B&Q, that as I am not ready with a builder yet, that I can refuse the delivery, and it will be taken back to the depot. "No!" I will cry on Saturday. "You cannot bring that kitchen in here! Can't you see I have Irish Men in the house? Take it away to the Depot and Let That Be A Lesson To You!" I have to be firm like this, because you can't cancel the order with less than 5 days notice to the kitchen deliverer people. It takes 5 days for B&Q to a) pick up the phone and say "Don't do the Bognor Delivery just yet pal" b) go in person to the depot and say "The Bognor Delivery? Not just yet, hold off for a while" c) send a telegram to the depot saying "You know the Bognor Delivery? They are not ready, don't do it" d) send an email saying "Bognor Delivery is Off on Saturday". What I have to do is accept that with less than 5 days notice, the delivery people can't understand No and have to come out anyway. So I make them take it back and that is fine, apparantly. They pay for the petrol, the time, the manpower, etc.
Now, you must get on with your busy day. I must go and wake up the Deaf Cage Fighting Son and give him some Food. Then I must invite Ireland to the A Graceful Death exhibition on the 21 Oct, and plan a feast worthy of the Two Nicest Men In Ireland for Saturday night. (And erect the barricades in case B&Q try and slip a kitchen in later on in the day when we are not looking).