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...