Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Thursday, 31 December 2015
All's well that ends well
I suppose I should do a Janus and review the year, but there are some things that I just will not talk about.
It takes more than 365 days to work out what the most influential event in one's recent life has been, and although hindsight is a wonderful thing, foresight is even better. I wish I had bought that Vincent Black Shadow for £500 in the 1980s.
On Christmas day, The Boy noticed a slight drop in optimism during a conversation and asked me what was up. I had no desire to bring anyone down - and I still don't - but he asked and so I told him. Just a matter of fact.
I said that for the first time in my life, I had lost faith in the future - well, my future anyway. He is riding on the crest right now - straight out of film school and straight into yet another good job in the film industry, doing just what he has always wanted to do - i.e. the right thing.
He advised me to 'live in the moment', and I said that it was living in the moment for the last 45 years that has brought me to where I am now. I didn't get where I am today by thinking ahead, young man.
In my working life, I have tried to portray myself as indispensable to my best clients, and I think I have sort of done it with my current patron. What I have only just realised is that everyone else is indispensable as well. That's what you call slow on the uptake.
Every now and then, we all have to think back to a relatively small time when everything fell into place, and although we should look to the next time that these circumstances should come together like a planetary alignment, we need to go back just to make sure that it is still possible.
For a few years now, I have used the above fire-surround as reassurance that it is possible. It may just look like a rather over-the-top fireplace to an outsider, but - take it from me - it represents the perfect cooperation between a client who knows exactly what he wants, but can only describe it, and describe it very well.
It has to have pears - it is to be sited in an area which has been renowned for its Perry production since medieval times; it has to be apparently too large for the small room; it has to be 17th century in style and naively carved; it has to relate to his wife's beloved garden, with the formal parterres and pargetting of the fruit trees inside it; and - above all - it has to impress his guests.
This one is a one-off, but my best client is surrounded by stone, marble, plaster, paint and metal which has either been made, bought and/or restored by me. There is an almost uncountable amount of objects inside and outside the vast house. This work has to be seen as a whole - you know, the sort of lifetime achievement which gets people a knighthood at this time of year.
I can't show you all this stuff because I have signed an agreement not to, on pain of banishment, a hefty fine, or both. So has everyone else, so there goes my knighthood.