ANTONIA ROLLS ARTIST EXTRAORDINAIRE NEWS. An account of an Artist and Mother in Bognor Regis. Worthwhile, but exhausting, so pour the tea and make yourself comfortable...(this painting is a family portrait, about 2'x 3', oil on wood. It is the Ross Family, each family member with items that describe them best. And at the front, on the grass on the right hand side, is a photo of Grandma, sadly missed.)
11.07 pm Sitting bolt Upright In Bed Making Lists -
Because I have a big weekend, and a big month ahead. After the big month ahead is over it is Christmas. And then a whole new year begins which I have planned out to include me travelling all over the place with the A Graceful Death exhibition. I have also been invited by the wonderful novelist and writer Olivia and her husband to join them at their Chateau in France again next August. I have been invited with my two sons and one daughter and Alan. So I come with a Caravan. I am now, just for the record, the smallest in the Caravan. All my children are at least 6' tall and Alan is 6'3". I was once huge to my kids. Those were the days of Unquestioned Power. Sigh. I used to carry two baby boys at once, one in each arm, when they were 0 and 3. With my daughter on my head. Just joking, my daughter never got carried on my head.
The big weekend. Back to the big weekend. 13 Year Old Son is now 14. His birthday party is on Sunday but I think there will be lots of people staying this whole weekend. Eileen comes tomorrow, and so does Costya, the Boss of All Things. Alan is dropping by too and then off again. Saturday, Daughter and her friend may come or they may not. One may come and not the other, or either or both come the next day. Leave it open, they say. Of course, I say, don't let me get in the way. Sunday will bring Family to the lunch to celebrate 14 Year Old Son's further leaping into Wild Teenage-hood. To make the weekend more fizzy than ever, Arty Man With Motor Bike and Much To Ponder, is coming back after 3 weeks in South Africa. And the sub plot of this weekend is for Eileen and I to plan, organise, publicise and create our Art Fair, the organising of which we will do in the quiet moments between 4am and 8am, it seems, both on Saturday and Sunday.
Monday dawns. On Wednesday, the builders arrive to rip out the old kitchen and put in the new one that B&Q left a little while ago, in a kind of flat pack monument to Newness, in my garage. Monday and Tuesday will be frantic as I remove every last egg cup from the kitchen so that the bull dozers can raze it to the ground and re create a B&Q Marvel. I am not thinking about the dust and the mess and the lack of cooking and the noise. I am only thinking of the shiny newness of all the surfaces, of the cupboards that keep the doors on when you open them, and of the new hob top that is no longer either off or a furnace. And the oven door will be, at all times, attached to the oven itself. Revolutionary. And a deep and heartfelt thank you to Alan who is giving me this new kitchen. We send him a big hug.
But the real pressure this month is Eileen and My Art Fair. We are creating our own Art Fair, for Two, in a Hall in Arundel. I don't think we have enough stress, so this is going to put that right. This past week I have been making my Stuff to sell, and actually, I am doing OK. It has been great fun to set up with all the crafty stuff and make cards on the dining table, like a real cottage industry. Not being a great multi tasker though, I find it difficult to break the routine, and feed the Now 14 Year Old Son. Tonight, I said to him, Tonight you can feed yourself, my deeply loved and elderly son. So he had 4 packets of crisps, a big bar of Cadbury's caramel chocolate, and some sweet and sour sauce from the jar in the fridge. I think he was looking for attention, but I wasn't going to give it to him. Snip snip, I went with my card making scissors, keeping my eyes on the cards, Snip snip Can't talk now Son, glue glue, Yes Dear, have a bucket of profiteroles if you like, don't mind me (cut cut paste paste etc).
Suddenly, I am tired. What a relief. There is a goddam Scarpetta novel on my bed, and the thought of reading it to make me sleepy is making me a bit hysterical. We know what is going to happen in it, we discussed all that in the last blog. Scarpetta is going to suffer, there is a clever psycho pserial killer pretending to be her Mum, everyone is out to get her, but she is going to nail them with her deep intelligence and intellect (while remaining blonde and small and smart) though she will have to pay a high personal price which she will transcend and then she will be assumed into Heaven and the Pope will make her a saint. That is where these books are leading.