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Sunday, 23 February 2014

The Artist Decides to be Adventurous at Some Point. After Lunch.



The True Fairy 1, head and shoulders.  Minus wrinkles and moustache.  All explained below at some point.  

It is 5.30 am on a Sunday morning.  It's a ridiculous time to write a blog.  I got up at 5 am in order to take my car, filled to the gunnels with fascinating junk, to a car boot sale.  I walked into the early morning air and was met with wind and rain.  "Stuff this for a lark" I said with feeling, and went back inside.  Fully dressed, full of purpose, I couldn't bear to go back to sleep.  There is something very appealing about carrying on regardless at a time like this.  I will not give in, I said to myself, I will make breakfast and have that.  So in the dark, early, pre dawn hours on a Sunday in February, I made a pot of tea and some toast, and decided to do the blog.

Here I sit then, fully dressed, two pairs of socks on, scarves and jackets, in my bed, full of plucky British spirit, fighting the urge to get back to sleep, writing this and drinking strong tea.  The dawn is breaking outside, the birds are starting sing, and I can hear the Silent Pole quietly gathering up his things and leaving for the airport to go back to Poland.  He appeared like a mist a few days ago and said that he had to leave on Saturday, and thank you.  He is a regular lodger in this house, coming and going from time to time, as one does in Bognor Regis.  He will be back.  He always is.  Even if I don't live here any more, he will find a way in through a gap in the wall, and find a place to sleep and work and no one will notice.

I had a revelation yesterday, while reading a detective novel.  The characters in the book had to take a boat to travel far, far away, and I was filled with a desire to get into a boat and go far, far away too.  It isn't really about going somewhere, I suspect. It is all about the feeling of adventure.  What I want is an adventure.  Life is an adventure, I hear you say.  Of course, but that is not enough.  Last November when I took the A Graceful Death exhibition to Bridport, a little old lady scuttled over to speak to me and said Risks!  You must take risks!  It is in your stars!  She went on to tell me that she knew things, and was a part time psychic.  I thrilled to the idea, and have been toying with the concept of risk safely from my cheery house in Bognor Regis ever since.  So far, any risks that I have taken have been tiny and tame.  Like, shall I eat my lodgers out of date bread when she offers it to me or throws it away.  Yes I said, and I lived.  Shall I apply for a grant to take a break?  Yes, and I got it.  Shall I sleep in my clothes for two nights in a row and see if anyone notices?  Yes, and if they did notice, they didn't say anything.  So suddenly, having read last night that the characters in my book were embarking on a dangerous mission overseas, and feeling the salty sea air in their faces, I longed to do the same.  I shan't be going off on a risky mission overseas, I don't like the idea of being cold and too far from a cup of tea, but I do like the idea of branching out and doing something a bit new.  It's all about feeling brave.  It's time to feel brave.

The car boot sale was going to be a brave move.  That fell flat, and now I have to clear the car of all the rubbish I filled it up with.  What's another brave move?  Well.  Here are some ideas

  1. Take A Graceful Death to America.  Are Americans ready for portraits of dying people? I don't know, I had better go and find out.
  2. Move house. A nice little cottage somewhere just for me with a hole in the roof for Giant Boy to get in and out from.  A bit like Gandalf visiting Bilbo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings. 
  3. Go away in a camper van on my own and pretend I am someone else.  
  4. Have an exhibition of the True Fairy paintings when I have enough of them.  I have four at the moment. Thing is, they are all obviously based on me.  And painted as if I had no faults or blemishes.  A series of images looking suspiciously like self portraits painted only when I am looking really nice.  I would have to practice looking modest and apologetic, as if it really wasn't my intention, that all these paintings, by me, of the true fairy, based on me, are so amazingly attractive.  Better do one with a moustache and wrinkles so I don't look too deluded.
The True Fairy 2.  The words say "there is distance behind me, and space ahead"  And still no wrinkles or moustache.  The dress here is not black, it is the deepest of blues.  Beautiful.
It is fully light outside now.  I have been tapping away since before dawn, and I am still sitting fully dressed in my bed.  While I have been writing in that pre dawn haze, that other worldly zone as day slowly arrives in Bognor Regis, writing and thinking in the wee small hours when only lonesome Poles are up and about and leaving the country; while I have watched the bedroom fill with the light of a new day, I have booked a self catering holiday in Saddleworth, Ooop North.  I am going to visit my friend and colleague Gail, who runs Elizabeth Way Funeral Service in Mossley. This is my adventure.  Gail has bought a painting, and this is a great way to deliver it.  Hello Gail, here is your painting, I am here for four days in a cottage near you, let's play!  What's for tea!  I had better check that Gail will be around.

And now.  Before I go and begin the rest of my day with a nice hot bath, here is a quick run down of Artist Extraordinaire News.  Hem hem.
  • Next weekend, Eileen and I are going to stay with our dear old friend Rhona, at her home in Dublin.  
  • A documentary film maker is coming this week to talk over making a film about end of life and people working outside the norm. A Graceful Death is outside the norm, so she is coming to try a bit of filming with me and Claire Rudland, who is a Bognor lady and is painted for AGD.  This is an adventure, she may not want to use AGD but you never know.

  • Claire Rudland, articulate and beautiful.  We get along famously then.
  • I am still doing my Jesus on the Tubes.  The Jesus I have just done is blowing bubbles.
  • I will be talking about AGD to St Heliers hospital in Surrey this week.  Next week, I will be talking about Swansong Stories and AGD to the Martlets Hospice in Hove.  I must look serious.
  •  I will be writing a guest blog for Dying Matters in April, I will link it to -
  •  A Graceful Death exhibition is coming to St Peter's Church Preston Park, Brighton! 20 to 23 May inclusive. We are currently inquiring whether portaloos can be placed outside.  There are no loos and we aim to sell tea.  This is where attention to detail really matters.
  • I am going to Saddleworth to stay in a cottage in March, so I can follow Gail around like a devoted limpet, as she goes about her work as a Funeral Director.  Gail has messaged me to say yes, I can follow her around.
And finally.  My guest blog on Wednesday this week is from Alan Bedford, who has worked in the past for the NHS as, amongst other things, a hospital Chief Executive, and now concentrates on writing serious case reviews for child protection cases. Alan will write about how despite doing very well at most things, he always felt growing up that it wasn't good enough, and ow this affected him and his relationships with others - with the risk of doing the same to those he loves.  Alan's blog will resonate with us all, and is something that we all understand.

I'm off to have a bath!  Must be nearly lunch time!  A nice early lunch at 10 am, yum.

Very smug.  Fully dressed, in bed, longing for lunch, but just too comfortable.  This is what I must base the next True Fairy on.