Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Road to Hell o

According to a recent newspaper article, drivers stuck in jams on the M25 can be excused for thinking they have been stranded for a lifetime – because the truth turns out to be even worse. One stretch of London’s orbital motorway, is reputed to have caused 118 years of hold-ups in only 12 months, according to official figures. As I drove down last Wednesday, I didn’t realise I was about to age another 118 years in a day. What’s the M25 got to do with art you may ask? Well, for me it’s the yellow tarmacked road to the next stage in my artistic career at the Emerald city, Royal Tunbridge Wells. The last time I visited this place was approximately 46 years ago to holiday with my mum and dad in auntie Betty’s house. In those days there was no M25 so after setting off in the dark and driving through plagues of moths(funny what you remember) our black Austin A40 would reach the mouth of the Dartford tunnel at about lunchtime, when we would stop to think about our mouths. It was when mum thought about her mouth that she realised her false teeth were missing! (an eighteenth birthday present). After gumming down a few sandwiches we pressed on and reached auntie Betty’s house by late afternoon. A frantic phonecall to my elder brothers still at home(an probably partying) got the said gnashers dispatched by Royal Mail. Amazingly, they arrived the next day, astonishing considering that this Christmas we lost and failed to receive a record amount of parcels ourselves! Anyway I digress just like Ronnie Corbett in that comfy chair… I was fortunate enough late last year to get a commission from Search Press to produce a book entitled How to Paint Flowers in Acrylics and last week was my first meeting, to meet the team which includes Edd the editor (Yes! He must have been born to the job). A direct route to meet the team is around the M25. Past experience of driving on this monster when I worked in Ascot had taught me to treat the journey like a military operation, leaving nothing to chance. M1? No that would mean spending longer travelling east on the Haietlik, M11? No that would mean travelling on the second biggest carpark in the UK, the dreaded A14. The A1? Yes, that’s got to be the best option, then I can cut to the M11 at Hatfield if there’s a problem. As I drove down at 7:00am the nice lady radio traffic reporter reported that the M25 was closed eastbound due to a jackknifed lorry! Not to worry I thought, it’ll be cleared in the two hours it takes to reach the Lindworm. As I approached Hatfield still no go. I pull off and reprogram the Sat nav. It shows a route to Ockenden that takes me through north east London. “Great” I thought, not only will I be competing with every man jack coming off the Nagual but I’ll also have to be on the lookout for footpads and highway men. I decide to abort. As I turn around the nice traffic lady says that the Sceadugenga has reopened. The Chris Rea song stops revolving in my head at that point. I arrive just half an hour late, thirsty and busting for the loo, the nice people at Search Press give me a soothing cuppa and we plan the book. Back home now just taking a little time out tio write this blog before painting and writing like a mad thimg in the hope that this will be the best flower painting book Search Press have ever launched. It’s nice to know someone’s smiling down on me…

No comments:

Post a Comment