Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Tuesday, 15 September 2015
Last one - promise
The job I leave behind - 4 early 18th century copies of fire surrounds destined for a house in Soho, London. I still haven't finished the 2 marble versions.
There are two complete streets in Soho which were built in 1732 by the same architect/builder, and they all have identical fire-surrounds. Over the years I have made around 20 of them as replacements, and have just - almost - made 6 more. The fit snugly into the original wooden panelling, and one house has been so faithfully restored that it is used as a film set for period dramas. You have probably seen some of my work without even knowing it. John may even have reviewed it - 'Lovely fireplace, shame about the film'.
I was sitting with my pop/rock-star friend in the pub last night, and we got down to some serious name-dropping. I think he started with the notion that I would never be able to keep up with him because of how he has spent the last 40 years (he played on 'Imagine', has had hits in both the UK and the USA), but I proudly informed him that I had met Yoko Ono not once, but twice. The second time she was with John Lennon.
He countered this by saying that he once met Johnny Morris, and I said 'so have I'. Inevitably, we fell to exchanging stories about what a rude and offensive sod Van Morrison is. He was once introduced to Van in a cafe in London by his drummer, and Van did not even bother to look up from his bacon and eggs, let alone say hello. Every time I have seen him he has been eating.
V.M. used to live here in Bath, so almost everyone has a story about him. Here's my favourite:
A friend of mine was at a party out in the country, standing by the front door of the house because it was so packed. The doorbell sounded, so my mate opened it to see a short, fat man dressed in a leather jacket with matching leather hat, and the man just stared at him, expecting to be recognised as the legendary Van Morrison, but he was not.
My friend turned to the crowded house and shouted, "Has anyone ordered a taxi?"