Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Saturday, 29 April 2017
Most of the pub is at a festival in Bruton, organised by the other half of the pub. I won't be going, not because I am too old but because I hate music festivals. I hated festivals when I was young too - I went to the first Glastonbury on a motorcycle, rode onto the site, looked around in disgust and rode home to Surrey again.
The last day of this particular festival is actually May Day, which this year falls on the Bank Holiday Monday. As much as I like the idea of taking the day off and running naked through a green field wearing nothing but a daisy-chain, I will be working.
For the first time in recent memory, I am actually enjoying my work. I am making a fox from plaster of Paris, which will eventually be turned into real bronze. The fox will be stalking a pheasant (the next thing to make) which will also be in bronze.
I imagined that I would spend my latter years instructing other people to make this stuff for me, but since my glamorous assistant went AWOL, I find that I am the only person I know who can do it, so I am doing it myself.
Part of the fulfilment that this work brings is to let my peers know that I wasn't lying when I said that I have never asked anyone to do things for me because I couldn't do them myself, unless it involves something like landing a plane or brain-surgery. They thought I was in deep shit when Glamorous Assistant went, but they now know I was just being lazy, and my indifference to glory was just that - indifference.
My erstwhile, young assistant trainee who has been turned into a manager saw the photos of the half-finished fox and said, "How did you get the proportions right?"
At that moment I realised he had not learned much in the year or so I had been training him. As with every other activity which could be called 'art', the answer should have been obvious. You use your eyes.
H.I. is constantly telling her students that it is not good enough to simply 'look'. You have to 'see' what you are looking at.