UK Tour 2002
Wednesday 27th March 2002
For the last few days the weather has been almost as warm as it is in the summer here, which by most other countries is still quite cold. For us Brits it's all a bit disorientating. Our journey to Windermere is hazy, bright and warm. We stop only to swap drivers (Nikki's turn). Louise who has lost my mobile phone case has kindly offered to buy me a new one from the mobile phone shop in the service station. They don't have the right one but Louise still insists on trying out a few close looking ones even though I protest. I wish I had a shepherds crook with me so I could pull her away.
We set off and I sit in the back of the car. I'm not a good passenger at the best of times but today when I see Nikki is driving too close to the car in front I eventually can't stop myself from saying something about it. An inaudible comment is returned, then the car ahead breaks suddenly. Nikki breaks suddenly too. Smugly I say "See I told you". I can almost see the fumes coming from Nikki. Moments such as these are truly life enhancing and well worth noting in a diary for future smugness. So I hope you don't mind? I hope you don't mind that I put down in this song, how wonderful life is, when I'm right, and you're wrong!
We're now half way through the trip and I the only art work I've done so far except two paintings on my computer, is this diary. An interesting problem that's arisen is that there's a conflict of needs regarding how much time is taken to produce different types of art forms. Painters often need much more time than photographers, and as I'm the only one painting on this tour. The others are photographers and the amount of time we need is very different. We agreed that today we would go our separate ways for 4 hours.
Louise is having to return home today as she will be touring Ireland as part of a theater company tour very shortly and needs to get back to rehearse, so her boyfriend, Anthony, was due to meet us near the Lake. As per usual things did not go exactly to plan so it was a while before they managed to find each other. I sat down outside an open air cafe and waited there.
As I was sorting out some money for another cup of tea a young boy asked me if I wanted any help. I said "no thank you, but it's very kind of you to ask". This, as you may have read in earlier diary pages, is one of my stock answers I give if someone offers unwanted help. The child smiled in pride then asked me how I'd lost my arms, I told him I was born like it. He said pardon and even though I was tempted to spice it up and tell him it happened in the Gulf War, I repeated the same. Then I asked him if that was OK. He nodded. Then a man who was sitting nearby asked me if I was "Thalidomide". I said "no, there's no known reason, but it might possibly have been caused by a virus my mother may have had during the early stages of her pregnancy". The man said "It's funny because we saw you at the motorway service station and I noticed then how [ed. dexterous] you were holding your mobile phone"
I laughed and said "I can't do any crimes because everyone remembers me too well".
We got talking and found out that he was a photographer and she was a painter and I wondered what difficulties could arise from being in a partnership where different time spans are needed to produce the work.
They'd been married for years and had ran a shop together. He said the whole idea of a life where they needn't get up early if they didn't feel like it, or could sit and speak with a stranger, as we were doing, still held novelty value for them. It was quite moving to hear the excitement in their voices. We exchanged emails, as you do nowadays, and went our separate ways.
Louise had found Anthony so after a bit of time together we went our different ways for the afternoon. At first I went up to "High Brow Ridge" (Oh yes it's only hi brow art here matey!) but I couldn't find anywhere to park which had a good view. "Anyway it's so bloody pastoral here" I thought "You know sheep, grass, lakes and hills in the distance. I'll just end up doing one of those pictures you see on the Bayswater Road at the Sunday Art Market there." - a very disparaging thought if ever there was one. Instead I went to find an Internet cafe so I could correct the mistakes left from yesterday. So that was my opportunity to do a "Lake Windermere" painting out of the window.
I did find an Internet Cafe in Windermere called Tea Too ltd.. Now who ever says men can't multi task did not see me there, because I managed to read 27 emails and reply to most of them, upload about 30 files, drink Earl Grey tea (I wonder if I can get sponsorship from a tea company?), eat a biscuit, and have a good chat with the Cafe owner, Amanda, which included guessing her Zodiac sign correct on the first attempt (Yes I know, it's sad but true), all within 50 minutes!
After doing all that we met back at our rendezvous point, had a snack, then said our farewell's to Louise. It was time for Lou to toodeloo!
We got home in 1 hour 12 minutes which rather impressed the other people in the Caravan Park social club who reckoned on a 1:30 to 2:00 journey. I suppose if anything this diary could always be used to illustrate what is meant by immaturity.