Sunday, 12 June 2011

Giddy UP

In haste before pushing off for a week's holiday. It's that horsey thing again.  Fascinated by them but still pretty scared of them.  I did the first four sketches at one of London's greatest inner city patches of countryside, Mudchute Farm on the Isle of Dogs.  It's attractive, clean and lacks officiousness - great atmosphere.

Marvellous stableyard with over a dozen horses sticking their heads out to be drawn, nicely framed by the darkness of their boxes.  

And some were  patiently being groomed

Others a little impatient to be out

There were young women and little girls were busying themselves in the way that always fascinates me: that slightly self-important way of pushing wheelbarrows, bossing noble creatures around as if they were toddlers and negotiating the hierarchy between themselves.

Finally, my tribute to Stubbs and Ucello from drawing at the National Gallery the other day. It's free!  I recommend it.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Back In The Day

Feeling red-faced for stranding my blog back at the Royal Wedding and leaving that unfortunate image of Princess Beatrice hanging around.  The good news, on the off chance you haven't heard, is that she sold the damn hat on e-bay for £81,100.01 with the proceeds going to Unicef and Children in Crisis.   That's a genuinely happy ending to a bit of a nightmare.

But I had my own Kafkaesque nightmare on Saturday.   Having offered to meet the glorious Diane Torr, who never travels light, from London's Charing Cross station and help with one of her rucksacks,  I awoke to find that someone had hit me over the head with a sledgehammer.

I just managed to call and give her an alternative travel plan then fell back to sleep.  Next time I woke she was leaning on my door bell around lunchtime, poor thing.  We were so looking forward to seeing each other and going to Broadway Market, the Tracey Emin show at the Hayward Gallery and more.  So at this point I just managed a cup of tea and to suggest she get in touch with some other chums before I was feverishly back in bed with another whack from the hammer.  The arms of Morpheus didn't feel so sweet any more.

Next I am aware that Radio 4's been blaring into my locked-in syndrome for bloody hours and I fumble beside the bed to turn it down.  It must be dawn and how on earth has Diane managed to sleep through this din? It's horrible. It's so complicated the news,  everything's happening at once, it's complicated, it's loud, it's complicated, it's horrible.. aarrrrrrggggggh.  I claw myself out of bed, stagger on to the landing. Diane's bedroom is empty oh my god!  Why didn't she come back last night?  Jesus is she OK?  I'm shaky but I go downstairs for a drink.  It's  7 o'clock  and I slump into a chair staring vacantly at the clock.  Then I feel a lurking sense of terror.  The sky isn't getting any lighter.    

It's getting darker.   

And darker.   I don't understand!  

 Well yes, it finally dawns on me that I haven't even had a good night's shuteye.    I call D and she's on her way home. 'I tried to rouse you from your sleeping beautyhood but you just wouldn't wake up.  After a while I decided to go out. Do you need any supper?' 

*   *   *

One good thing.  I seem to have got rid of my writer's block but who knows?  I at least hope I'm back soon.

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