Happy memories

Saturday February 19, 2005

“I’m going to paint the kitchen ceiling today,” Graham said. “Will that bother you?”

“Nope. Just so long as I’ve got a small space clear and clean to make sandwiches for lunch. But I’ll need rather more if I’m going to be able to cook us a roast dinner this evening.”

“Why would you want to do that?”

I stopped for a moment, all puzzled, like. “Oh, shoot. It’s not Sunday, it’s Saturday, isn’t it?”

“Right. And I’ll be doing pasta.”

“Fine,” I said. “I’m obviously going doo-lally-tap if I don’t know what day it is. I shall run away and hide.”

“No. Don’t do that. Why don’t you make a start on those bits for eBay. That’ll keep you quiet.”

“Boring.”

“Even so.”

“Well, alright, then. I’ll do the horsebrasses first, and then start on the pottery bits.”

And so the little house by the fenside turned over to become a quiet but not over-stretched hive of industry once more. Graham applied paint to the new ceiling, having swathed the room with sheets of filmy plastic, and I started to get back up to gear on the eBay project.

To my dismay, one small box of carefully packed pottery ornaments must have received a heavy clout or poor transport at some time in the past few years and many of the pieces were chipped, or rubbed. A couple were actually broken. We picked over the wreckage, and Graham agreed that I ought not to sell damaged goods.

“Oh, well,” I said. “No great loss. I’ll put it out with the trash.”

“‘ere, wait a minute. What’s that down the bottom?”

“It’s that old mains-powered electric clock we had in Somerset. Undamaged, but I wouldn’t be able to sell it anyway. Just an old piece of junk, should have been dumped years back.”

“You are joking, of course?”

“No. Why?”

“Don’t you realize it’s a 1950s icon? I’ve got a picture of this in one of my design books.”

“You don’t mean it?”

“I most certainly do. What’s more, it’ll look great in the new kitchen make-over.”

“If you say so. Looks like junk to me.”

“You wait and see.”

“I shall look forward to it.”

He’s right, of course, and when a little while afterwards I caught him stealing time to give it a good clean-up, I had to admit it.

I stole time, too, not really being in an eBay mood, to work some more on my collection of discovered watercolours. As they dry and flatten I’m scanning the best of them, and making a portfolio so that I have something to show for the last time I concentrated my efforts on painting. It’s inspirational for this new period, too, pointing me in the direction of what works for me and away from subjects, styles and methods that don’t. I don’t think I’m going to be doing anything approaching photo-realism, preferring a looser, more expressive style. And I doubt I’ll be going too far down the abstract path, either, though that is not completely out of the question. We shall have to see how things develop.

It’s good to look over old stuff, though, and I’m still pleased by this careful pen-and-wash sketch of Milton Abbas. I wouldn’t do it this way now but it’s good to have a clean record of the way I used to work. And Milton Abbas has a magical appeal for me. One of the prettiest villages of its type in England, and a place of happy memories.

 


'96
Milton Abbas, Dorset
pen and watercolour wash on Langford paper


Oh, and to record another milestone, my hit meter ticked over another half-million last night. My profound thanks to all those who keep visiting, helping me to keep the words flowing, and the pictures, too.

 

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