Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Silent Night


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.

13 comments:

  1. I'm glad you cant do that on blogger. I'd be dead.

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  2. I'm with you on that -- once it's winter, I want it to feel like winter. Hope there is a sudden outbreak of people wanting to buy art no matter what the weather ...

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    1. The show closed on Sunday, but she did ok.

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  3. I have a plastic bird that you fill with water, then blow through a pipe to make a bird noise. It drives me nuts.

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    1. p.s. Are you nuts? We are having beautiful weather at the moment, and I hope it stays like that until Spring!

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    2. Then I must be nuts, but I didn't flee to the South of France.

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  4. That must have been hard going for the best part of a week. Perhaps we could open a market stall together selling your commas and my exclamation marks !!!!! XXXX

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    1. P.S: don't forget to watch Lucy Worsley @ 9.00pm on BBC 1. XXXX

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    2. I can't watch L.W. anymore. She's unattainable and I am unforgivable.

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  5. Tom, you are awful - but I like you!! (not an original quotation!!)

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  6. Sounds as though you need to recover from your week in the gallery. Read a nice soothing book - perhaps a bit of Samuel Pepys for the nerves. As for the commas, they show your age. Our age.

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    1. I was reading Boswell's London Diaries when sitting in at the gallery. Boswell was not a very likeable person.

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