Thursday, 2 December 2010

Going... going... gone (eventually)

Well, that's it - Her Indoors' exhibition is officially over, and we have completely moved out. I spent an hour this morning, scraping that sign off the window. It was a nightmare to put up, and a nightmare to take down, but it's done now.

Yesterday was spent taking the pictures off the walls, wrapping them and taking the unsold ones back to the flat (across town and up 4 flights of stairs - this explains why I was seeing aliens in bread-baskets last night), all done in about 4 trips with the Volvo. The picture above is of H.I.'s daughter, reclining on a beach. Her 16 year old daughter walked past it on the opening night, and said to me, "So, Mum's arse hasn't sold yet then". After the man who did buy it had paid, I said to him that the proper title should be 'Mum's Arse'.

The removal was somewhat stressful. I think you may have heard of the weather we are experiencing here in the UK - freezing cold with lots of snow. Last year, in the same conditions, I discovered a little idiosyncrasy in my old Volvo estate (850 auto) - if you start the engine in cold weather and switch it off again before the engine has warmed to running temperature, it will never start again without being towed to the mechanic for him to take it to pieces and spend an hour cranking it over until it reluctantly - amid clouds of noxious smoke - decides it will cooperate after all. It is something to do with the computor that serves for it's poor little brain, apparently.

SO this time, I was taking no chances. I started it up and drove it the short distance to the gallery, then left it running whilst I loaded paintings into the back. I discovered another little idiosyncrasy however. For the first time ever, the back door had not unlocked with the rest of them, and I couldn't unlock it manually without turning off the engine, so I crawled through the side door and opened the hatch from the inside. Easy.

I loaded all the big canvases, then closed the back hatch and went to the driver's door to get going. It had locked all the doors on it's own, leaving the engine running and keys inside.

I knew I had a spare set of keys back at the house, and walked down the road to get them. It wasn't until I got there that I realised that my house keys were also dangling from the ignition, inside the locked car. I walked back to the gallery and borrowed H.I.'s set of house bloody keys, then walked back to the bloody flat to get the spare car key, then bloody well walked back to the car and gallery in order to drive back to the bloody house to carry the bloody paintings up 4 flights of bloody stairs.

Looking on the positive side, the engine was lovely and hot by the time I was ready to drive off...


  1. You need a vacation! That is funny, although I was not out in the cold.

  2. It's a bit sad when things have to come to an end, Tom. But I'm really chuffed for you and Jackie that the exhibition went so well! Loading your car up sounded a bit of a nightmare! My Focus will suddenly lock itself for no apparent reason. Been caught out so always take the keys out before shutting the door. That hot sunny beach, Ursula's sitting on looks very desirable at this moment in time!

  3. Ha-ha, that made me laugh. Sorry, but these things are always funny when they happen to someone else!

  4. Yes, thanks all - everyone was laughing except me at the time. I do lose my sense of humour quite easily, I think it's a family trait. I do regain it quickly though, which definitely isn't.

    That lake beach was Sanguinet, Molly - an idyllic place with white sand and fringed with pine trees. There's a nice restaurant on the edge too. Ursula's arse enjoyed it a lot.

  5. I'm too tired to translate that, Cher - you're going to have to do that for me. (Are you talking Jacques Tati?)

  6. ... oh, and are you talking Mr Bean? Who's Hens?

  7. Locked the keys in the (running) car while taking aged aunt into emergency with aged fretting uncle in tow before she went into a diabetic coma. Simply called Brilliant Husband and said I'm busy, you deal with it! Which he did. So glad the nuns taught me to develop my delegating muscles while at convent school.

  8. You are clearly not quite your usual self, Mr Step(Hens)on. Hope today's sunshine and absence of art manager duties puts you back on form.
    Sneaky Minx.

  9. Yes, those nuns are delegational athletes, aren't they J?

    Oh, I see, Minx. Actually, I never got the 'Hens' thing the first time. Can't think why not... Yes, today I am taking things a bit easy, aside from trying to find a place for all the unsold paintings.