Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Wednesday, 7 December 2016
I hear rumours of unseasonably warm weather coming here to the South in the next few days. I don't like that idea. I think Winter should be cold once I have begun wearing my overcoat, and stay cold right through until March.
Right. Now a rare give-away for all you bloggers. I seem to have more commas than I need, so if ever you find yourself running short, you have my permission to come over here and help yourself. Take as many as you want.
Cher (my garden) has just posted a very festive and photo-heavy blog piece on Bath's Christmas Market. In the immediate background of one photo, you can see the banner for H.I.'s exhibition, so it is just a matter of chance that I am not in the picture too, standing outside and smoking a cigarette as I did every half hour or so.
Both Cher and I chose to throw ourselves into the middle of the Christmas Market, but the difference is that she enjoyed the experience, whereas I regretted it, having discovered that Christmas shoppers are not in the least bit interested in looking at paintings of warm environments, let alone buying them. We (I) decided that it could be worth the extra money to hold the show during this hectic time, but how wrong we (I) were (was). The other difference was that she was free to leave, but I was not.
Very close to the gallery was a man with a ten-inch wide moustache selling hundreds of wooden objects in the shape of animals, reptiles, amphibians and birds, and each one made a noise which was supposed to be a representation of what the real animal, reptile, amphibian or bird would sound like if it were really alive.
The owls, for instance, would let out a feeble but loud hoot if you blew into them, and the frogs had notches cut into the ridge of the back which sounded a little like a frog-call if you ran another bit of wood along them. There were water-whistles which let out a not unconvincing sound of a mad blackbird when you blow them. One creature made a noise like an out of tune recorder, and he played one line of 'Silent Night' on it every ten minutes.
If anyone approached his stall, he would demonstrate all the noises in quick succession, just to show the potential buyer what they were capable of. These sounds were the audio back-drop to my life for seven days, between 10.30 in the morning and 7.00 at night.
Halfway through the week, I could bear it no longer, so I went to visit the man and his stall. He immediately began blowing and tapping, thinking that I might buy something. I told him where I was spending the week, pointing to the gallery a few feet away.
"You must want to kill me," he admitted. "I'm sorry, but if I don't make these noises, nobody will buy anything."
I assured him that I understood, and just wanted to find out if I liked him or not. Luckilly I did. It would have been intolerable if I didn't.