The paintings I dream

Thursday April 7, 2005

Another chill, wet and windy day. The wind is coming down from the north, getting colder all the time, drifting snow over the Scottish north-east and proceeding down the east coast, heading in our general direction. Bracing, in other words.

We transferred the softer plants we had waiting to go into the beds to a safe place inside the garage by the window where they’ll be happy enough until the cold spell arrives in earnest and passes in a few days. The pansies and polyanthus we’ve already planted seem to be tough little blighters, not much at risk. And, should they succumb, they’ll be easily and cheaply replaced.

For all of that, there’s still a breath of Spring in the air, and this is no more than a passing visit from the Arctic.

Graham decided it’d be a good day to tidy and clean his workshop. On my way out to Spilsby for bread I popped my head round the door to see how he was doing and found him cheerfully bagging up some sawdust and offcuts. He’s rather rueful, though, to think that while this is by far the nicest workshop he’s ever had, it hasn’t really seen much use. No heavy construction jobs have needed doing here.

“We’ll have to see that the next place has a good workshop, too, and a fair amount of work needing to be done,” I said.

“Oh, yes,” he replied, cheerful as the day is long. “That’s definitely high up on the list.”

Our list is steadily becoming a carefully defined entity and I was running over it in my mind as I drove over the drearily damp roads to Spilsby. It’s quite clear now that, barring last minute changes of mind, we’ve decided against London. We’re both of us hankering after a rather more rural lifestyle, working out the what’s, why’s and wherefore’s that’ll see us safely moved and established once more in a quiet country location, with neighbours at a respectful distance.

I have a feeling, an urgent feeling, that this time we need to get it right. I face the propect of another move with some trepidation, fearful that the physical strain of it is going to take me to my limits. A country lifestyle will build my strength up once more but I don’t think I have too many more moves left in me before I have to take a back seat. Literally. I don’t relish that thought.

The dash from the car into the Co-op and back was a cold and uncomfortable thing but I settled back warm and comfy, and drove home in good spirits.

It’s been a happy day. Not for any particularly obvious reason, nor marked by any clearly happy event. Just tootling along, getting stuff done, and enjoying.

I decided the time had come to wrap up the ragged edges of my poetry writing, moving all the ‘finished’ but unpolished poems into my work-in-progress folder. There’s more than enough material there for another book, when the poetry particles flow once more. As they will. For the moment however I have a sense of tying the bundle up with pink ribbon and lodging it safely in a drawer, leaving the poems to whisper and mature in darkness and the scent of old sandalwood. I have no doubt that I shall turn back to poetry in earnest once more, one day, and that between now and then I’ll trot out small poems at irregular intervals, just because I have to. Other than that it’s clear that I’m on a poetry hiatus. Not blocked. Just empty. For all that, I find that I’ve written fifteen ‘finished’ poems in the year we’ve been here in Lincolnshire, and that’s not a bad crop. Not a bad crop at all.

I’m enjoying drawing and painting now, and photography, too, and find it a more than adequate outlet for my creative juices. Not having a regulation messy studio to which I can retire every day makes it less than easy to maintain a continuous flow. A studio space is however on that list, alongside Graham’s workshop. In the meantime I do the best I can, working a little some days, not at all on others, but every day, without exception, I dream of paintings to come. You wouldn’t believe the paintings I dream.



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