Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Rain stops play

In East Anglia where I live it had not rained until Monday for three weeks. This is most unusual, and Britain as a whole has been sent into shock by the unnerving sight of the colour blue in the sky. Of course my main worry was that the weather would break just as the studio was delivered. It came on Monday, dropped off apparently by a cheery Polish chap with a body like Schwarzenegger.  In the end I stupidly ensured rain by doing the only thing that is guaranteed to make it pour, I moved some paintings around. If there is ever another terrible drought in Ethiopia or other African country, all the UN need do is air lift me and my little pink Vauxhall Corsa over. As soon as I pull a few paintings out of the boot the heavens will open, the locals will rejoice and crops will grow green and strong.
So the studio build has been on and off with the rain, and as of last night was about 3 feet high. Today it has reached apex height and windows are being put in. Fearing theft and warping from rain, boyfriend has filled the garage and dining room with the wood and windows. Due to the adjustments needed during assembly he is permanently coated in a find dusting of sawdust. A tarpaulin covered the half made walls overnight. Although getting it built is physical hard work, the longest job will be fitting it out. It needs a sink, heating, electrics, lights, worktops and of course, most importantly, pretty cushions, and rich tea biscuits.

My Saturday class has finished now and it is on to the one-day courses soon, plus chasing up the inevitable one or two people who have not booked in for autumn. I have a waiting list for Saturdays, so if places are empty, I can hopefully fill them. I have already had 6 bookings for the Mosaic one-day course I have arranged for November. There are a couple of local exhibitions coming up soon, and when I went to pick up from the latest Colchester Art Society exhibition I was delighted to find I had sold a Monoprint. The print was of a dove, and I have sold a couple of them unframed in the last year, a reminder that I must add ‘Do some printing’ to my long list of activities I am not finding time for.
Forgive the poor quality of the image; monoprints are a nightmare to photograph, due to the sheen on the ink. For this reason I no longer put them on my website, although now I have a better camera it may be time to try again.

Time is even shorter this week as I am a taxi for my daughters 2 weeks of work experience. She has been lucky enough to get a place at a local stately home and gardens. Famed for its Tudor days, many locals get involved and don costumes. This is why you can sometimes find the odd person wearing doublet and hose, or medieval robes wandering round Tesco when you pop in for a loaf of bread. Although the teen is mainly interested in the gardens she has been given a variety of tasks. On the first day she helped out in the kitchens.

 “How was it?” I asked when I collected her. She shuddered and fixed me with a serious stare. “If you visit,” she said, “never under any circumstances eat the food.” Only cowardice and a fear of legal action prevent me from relating the stories she told me on the journey home. Suffice it to say insects were involved.

Now that the studio is being built, I went this afternoon to visit the Estate Agents I rent my house through, and give notice. Now comes the major job of going through all my stuff and packing up. Cupboards and paintings I have hung must be removed and walls made good, in order that my deposit is returned. Despite my obsessive tidiness, everywhere I look now seems full of stuff I no longer use, and won’t have room for. I am filled with, in equal parts dread of going through it all and delight at having a huge clear out. I am not a hoarder, being so keen on throwing stuff out that I once had to buy my own blouse back from a charity shop, when regret set in. But it sits uncomfortably with me that despite my take-no-prisoners attitude to clutter, I still seem to have accumulated large amounts of excess possessions, books being the number one crime.  A question haunts me… Who bought all that crap and put it in my house?


  1. Good luck with the studio build! The weather is supposed to get better at the weekend :) I once had a breeze-block wall that had reached about the height of your studio blown over completely by a stray gust of wind!

  2. I'm always happy to see you've had the time to post because I love to read them. You've taken our sunshine and we've had more rain than we know what to do with. Hope all goes well with the studio too