I glanced at the clock on the bedside table, five fifteen in the morning!! Apparently when you are old you don’t need sleep, or so I am always being told when I complain about lack of sleep. Well, I may not NEED it but I would certainly like to have, what I consider my fair share. Yes, I know, a Victor Meldrew moment. Yawn. (See that proves it, I’m STILL tired!!!)
BUT, accepting the fact that six hours is all I am getting I wander downstairs to make a cup of tea. I glance out of the kitchen window and see that the woodpecker is hanging upside down on the nut feeder, having breakfast. ‘Morning Woody’ I mumble to myself and make a ‘nice’ cup of tea. I wonder why we say that? ‘I’m just going to make a nice cup of tea!’ as if we would deliberately make a bad one.
I had started a new painting a few days previously and it was still on the dining room table (My studio) ready to be worked on again. I had been to Madrid and had loved the city as a whole and in particular the galleries and the museums. As you would expect there was a great deal of religious art around and at first I must admit I walked past most of it looking for something more to my taste, but as time went by I became more interested and lingered longer at some of the better ones, admiring what they had been able to achieve all those hundreds of years ago.
At sometime during the holiday the seed was sown to paint Mary Magdalene once I returned home and indeed, a recently started Magdalene was what was laid upon the dining room table when I sauntered in to look at it.
I stood sipping tea and looking down at the painting there was something wrong with the right side of the hood she was wearing. I had been aware of this for a couple of days but couldn’t work out what it was. Perhaps it’s just a bad painting I thought, looking out of the window to see what the weather was doing. Raining. Summer, in England. According to the radio it was ‘baking hot’ in the south, but Billingham was lost under a sky the colour of ink. I sat down, picked up a paintbrush and stuck it between my teeth, the action of doing so reminded me that I had an appointment with the hygienist the next day. More pain, I thought to myself. (Which was totally unfair because she was very good and I don’t think I ever even felt a twinge of anything remotely close to pain. But I had a manly image to keep up so I was determined to make a fuss and had even considered crying to demonstrate how much pain I was suffering but was bravely soldiering on.)
I started dabbing away at Magdalene, altering some colour here and an outline there. Hmmm, I thought I could see some improvement, so I continued, dab, dab, alter, dab.
After a while I heard the post box rattle and looked up at the clock on the wall. 12-45!!!!!!! The morning had gone and much worse, my ‘nice’ cup of tea had gone cold. I stood up, stretched and wandered out to see what the postman had brought. It seems, I can get a huge discount on a new roof, just because ‘someone’ is working in my area. I put it in the bin for consideration later. I could also receive a huge payout for a car accident even if I wasn’t injured. It joined the new roof in the bin. My local supermarket had so many special offers on, they were almost giving things away. This was obviously going to be my lucky day, so I filed that in the bin too and decided it was time to shower and begin the day properly. Before I went to shower I decided to have another look to see how the painting had progressed. Strange the head now looked lopsided. I sat down, picked up a paint brush and stuck it between my teeth. Dab, dab, alter, alter. The phone rang, I glanced at the clock. 5 o’clock!!!!! The day had gone. I looked out of the window at a sky filled with rain, I walked out of the room and headed for my shower determined not to look back at the wobbly headed Magdalene.
A little while later, clean and ready to begin my day albeit in the early evening, sandwich in hand I stood looking at this weird apparition on my canvas. I’m sure it wasn’t this bad when I began my alterations this morning. I thought I could see what it was, so I stuck a paint brush between my teeth and sat down, dab, dab, alter, move, shift, shuffle, dab, stroke, alter, dab. Hmmm, I thought, it’s looking more like a woman and less like a gargoyle with a tea towel on it’s head. I began to feel thirsty and thought it was cup of tea time, so I stood up and stretched. Midnight?!?! Couldn’t possibly be!!! But it was. So flushed with success, ignoring the half sandwich with the curled up edges and denying myself a cup of tea I took myself off to bed.
I glanced at the clock on the bedside table, five fifteen in the morning!! Apparently when you are old you don’t need sleep any more last night than you did the previous night.
So accepting the fact that five and a quarter hours was all the sleep I was entitled to because I was old, I wander downstairs to make a cup of tea. I glance out of the kitchen window and see that the woodpecker is hanging upside down on the nut feeder, having breakfast. ‘Morning Woody’ I mumble to myself. Five minutes later I was stood sipping tea and gazing down upon Mary Magdalene, who seemed to have rediscovered a lopsided, demonic grimace and had taken to wearing, what looked like a soggy dishcloth, while I slept. I thought I could see what was wrong so I stuck a paint brush in between my teeth and . . . . . . . . . . !
Anyone interested in seeing Magdalene can find it in my dustbin under an offer for half price roofing, a promise to win me thousands of pounds in a settlement for an accident I never had and food that can be purchased for less money than it takes to grow from my local supermarket.