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Friday, 31 December 2010

In which I reflect upon a year in grey horrid Plymouth...

This evening Vile ex-husband and Boy are to be entertainted (not a spelling error) by Very Dirty Diddycoy Woman and equally repulsive, rotton toothed, offspring. Do I text them to remind them to don clean undies?

Never one to let a prospective customer slip through One's tender grasp, I am currently holed up, snuggled in uggs and pashmina, on the Barbican. Fully intending to regale my Dear Readers with an overview of my first full year in Deepest, I stocked up on mince pies and seasonal fare at the Co-op and took up position next to the till...
Only to be interrupted by my first three Lenkie Bores of the day...
Bore No 1
'I've got a Lenkiewicz in the loft.'
Me - 'Oh lucky you! Why isn't it on the wall?'
'Haven't got the wall space. Is there a market for them?'
Me: 'Is it an original?'
'No. A limited edition print.'
Nurturing a strong desire to pull a large one off the wall and brain the ugly bint with it I replied...
'The limited editions are rather large, but you may be lucky and find a buyer.'
Enter No's two and three...
No two wanted to tell me about how she'd lived around here once and seen him in the street. Also, of course, the usual 'is there a market for it', and 'how much are they worth.'
Number three, thankfully struck up a conversation with number two which enabled me to rush outside and smash my head against the pavement until I passed out for a couple of minutes. Upon my return they had all effed off, thanks be to whatever!

Anyway, back to something much more interesting, Lovely One. A full year has passed since I've been here and I don't like it any more than I did when first I alighted on the grubby pavements. Plymouth is grey in the extreme. It is overpopulated by dull, miserable grey people too. The architecture is some of the most unnattractive and boring I have ever seen in any part of the country. In fact, Devon has a reputation that it does not deserve. I always expected it to be beautiful and lush therefore spawning a content and attractive people. Nope. In the main it's a mean, inward looking county that is unwelcoming and unhappy. Endless row upon row of grey uninspiring bungalows house an ageing population waiting to croak.
Somerset, however, is full of happy people who form cooperative communities and live life to the full, laughing and enjoying themselves.
I would be back there like a shot if it were possible. I miss everything and everyone.
I have made a life here in the gallery and a couple of chums therein, but it's not for me. Maybe Tamerton Foliot will be better. Who knows? It can't be any worse for heaven's sake! I shall attempt to immerse my dear little self in the local community and join things.
In Wivey One could always walk up the road and meet a friendly face for a chat or an impromptu coffee. Whatever was I thinking? There can only be one place like that!
It takes a massive amount of discontent for Lovely One to lose her Pollyanna outlook, but I fear the hour is approaching...

I shan't be alerting Boy and ex to the fresh shreddy requirement. Where they're going skid marked undies are de riguer.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

In which I sell sell sell AND IT'S ALL MINE...

I take it all back Darling Readers, the great unwashed Barbican shopper is a creature of exquisite taste. Dear Darling Lovely One slithered her poorly little self from between the eau de nil satin sheets this very morn to be met by an unusually large ugly crowd of shoppers seemingly intent on purchasing art. And, dear lovely ones, the art of Dear Lovely One!
There is nothing, in my opinion, to match the restorative qualities of a large wedge. I scoff at yer whisky in hot milk and yer Lemmington Sip. Give us a hefty bundle of greenbacks to whiff and me passages are cleared without delay!
Gone a bit quiet now, so having a bit of a scoff. Vast quantities of sausage rolls and chocolate must be consumed by midnight tomorrow night or I shall have to chuck them out for the birds, and a rather hoooge Rattus Rattus that has been sniffing around the patio of late.
Had some Lenkie bores in already. Make a bee line for the back of the shop and then drone on about having sat next to his sister's late husband's cousin's dentist or some such mind numbing drivel. I don't care. This is a shop. Buy something or fuck off!
OMG another one!
'I've got loads of Lenkie prints and an original', says this one.
So help me I shall silence the next one FOREVER.
Give me a Beryl Cook fan any day. At least they are a laugh! And they're usually female, whereas the Lenkie fan is predominantly male.
And therein lies the truth.
The bar is set that much lower for the male of the species.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

In which I want to murder all and sundry AND I'm not well...

Two blogs in one v boring day! I spoil you dear readers!
Under gallery arrest on the Barbican. Some window shoppers and one or two with a bit of Chrimbo dosh to spend. Mainly windowshoppers though, sadly.
Managed to offload a ghastly framed print of Polperro to a moustachioed septagenarian spending her fat son's wages.
A couple of Lenkie books and a Liz Jones calendar went to a delightful bint with a couple of v impressive coldsores.
And, of course, some weirdos...

Weirdo number one...

'Hello Darlin' I bet you're glad it's not snowing any more have you got a picture of concorde?'

me: No I'm sorry we don't have that kind of thing here. Perhaps the photography shop along the way might be able to help you.

weirdo one: 'How much is a picture of concorde?'

me: We don't have any.

weirdo: (brandishing a picture of a deep sea diver from one of the browsers)
'This big I want it. How much is that'.

me: 'we don't have any pictures of concorde.'

Eventually he f****d off only to be replaced by weirdo two...

'I used to live in a big house.'

Me: 'How lovely.'

weirdo two: 'Do you want to buy my paintings. I've got loads of them.'

Me: 'Try selling them on the internet.'

Weirdo: 'They're by Bla Bla. Have you heard of him, he's really famous?'

Me: 'No I haven't. Would you like to speak to the gallery owner? She might want to take one in on sale or return.'

Weirdo two: 'I live in a bungalow.'

Now, I've been back here all of two hours and I could cheerfully carpet bomb the entire area.

Ancient red haired woman just popped in to tell me that she's 80 and her sister's are 83 and 91.


In which I am glad the season of not very much goodwill is over...

Well, Dear Readers, it's all over for another year, thank goodness! Boy graced us with his unwashed presence for three days and sat playing on his I phone or computer for most of the time. He and Bloke circled round each other, and Lovely One, for the entire time making One feel uncomfortable in the extreme. I would go as far as to say there was real hostility, though I shan't lay the blame for that at either's door.
No conversation passed between the two. Lovely One took refuge in vin rouge, something I hardly ever do these days. I longed for Wiveliscombe and my little cozy flat.
I had no idea how fraught step families can be. I nursed some stchoopid idea that everyone would be chummy and we'd all have lovely times together. Some hopes!
I know that Boy is alright with ex and is getting along ok, but I bitterly regret leaving him there. I always thought that he'd get fed up and come to deepest Devon, but now I can see that is never going to happen. I will never be happy whilst he is under the tender care of vile ex-husband. Their standards are way below what I consider to be acceptable. But, it has to be said, they are like pigs in pooh!

Blokes grown up children came on Boxing Day. I am nice to them.

A very alarming piece of information was passed to me by Boy.
Apparently, vile ex-husband is being pursued by the woman from whom I rented the Red Hat shop. Lovely One always suspected she was aiming her soiled gusset in his direction. How positively ghastly!
She is grubby in the extreme. As are all her many and variously fathered offspring. I well remember, whilst working at the estate agent in Wivey, attempting to sell her vast cavernous dwelling. Incidentally, after she'd taken £2000 from me that I'd borrowed for her to pay her mortgage in order that I could keep the shop open, which was misappropriated, I imagine, since we were bunged out of the shop when her gaff was repossessed.
Anyway, dear reader, I dragged many a punter through the filthy dump that was liberally sprinked with soiled, gusset up, shreddies and the like. Ducks and rabbits paraded through a hole in the kitchen door which had been shredded to sawdust by something that simply cannot have been a mere domestic dog!

A catering business was run from this hell hole!
Anyhow, I digress, Boy and vile ex-husband are cordially invited to her current des res for New Year's Eve doings.

Oh to be one of the very many flies on the wall!!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

In which I am front of house in a three ring circus...

Everyone in this establishment has special needs of one sort or another...

Yesterday a customer came in to collect a pic that had been framed and, of course, it was still at the Elburton Drop in Centre. Miserable Old D was immediately seconded to deliver said pic to the irate woman. Irate woman had a v nasty cold and was snotting all over Lovely One as she moaned and carried on in an unattractive manner. Dear Little Lovely One as 'front of house' gets it big style for all the things that go awry in this three ring circus. Irate woman huffed off eventually to await delivery with a massive gilbert on the end of her red nose that I chose not to tell her about because she was horrid!
Anyway, I digress, as per...
Miserable old D was furnished with Irate Woman's post code in order that he could
a use satnav
b a map
c get a printout from multimap
but no...
He phones Irate Woman and gets a load of unintelligible instructions which he couldn't hear anyway since She who must be Obeyed was yelling instructions into his other ear. Eventually SwmbO grabs telephoning device out of his rheumatic grip and takes over the 'how to get there' conversation.
Mis old D huffs off down the road to see his 'oppo clutching the order form with the post code written on it. Comes back without it some minutes later.
'Where is the postcode' inquires Lovely One.
'You've got it' replies Mis old D
'I haven't. I saw you go off with it', say I. 'Give it to me and I'll print you out the way there from Multimap. Or would you like to take my satnav?'
Wondering why She who.... wasn't joining in I discovered the main reason was that she'd fallen asleep in the chair. She awoke with a start when he stormed out of the door yet again, clearly having realised that he had indeed left the order form somewhere on his last expedition. Arriving back some minutes later I saw him screw it up and drop it on the floor, whereupon he alighted upon it crying..
'Here it is. I told you that you'd got it', pointing a gnarled digit in my direction.
I pointed out that I had, indeed, seen the cunning old git drop it on the floor, but he wouldn't have it and huffed off to make the delivery.
That's the last I saw of him.
I hope she wiped her gilbert on him.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

In which I am wounded in the service of art...

Under gallery arrest on the Barbican today. Elburton yesterday. Sold an artist's proof of the Barbican first thing this morning, so that's cheered me up after having to get out of me snuggly pit and disentagle meself from a bear.
Yesterday was crap! Didn't sell much. A few framing orders and a rake of Chrimbo cards, mine of course, and that was about it. Spent most of the day taping up frames for Dear Little S. Well, in between painting a pic of stinky dog for Bloke's Chrimbo pressie. Completely shagged it though, by dropping black ink on it, so tore it up in a paddy, and bunged it in the Indian Takeaway bin next door in disgust.
So it's shreddies and socks for him again!

We have here, at the moment, a gang of Lenkie observers. Oh goody! THIS IS A SODDING SHOP, NOT AN EFFING MUSEUM. BUY SOMETHING - OR F***K OFF!

No - I don't want yet another bloody six hour discussion about Lenkie sodding vich!
We do now have lots of Beryl Cook stuff on offer and her admirers seem a much nicer bunch. Don't mind a chin wag with them from time to time.
There is just too much stuff in this shop. It confuses the browsers who can't be arsed to wade through the thousands of prints and originals stacked all over the place.
It's flamin' freezin' in 'ere again! Lovely One is ackled up in a long sleeved thermal vest, two big woolies, a thick scarf, winter trousers and uggs, and I'm still bloody freezin'
Many, many window shoppers yet again, but sadly no one getting any money out.
Back again on the same blog two weeks later...
And guess what? Under gallery arrest again on the Barbican. Today my work seems to be generating most interest. I say interest, since people are oohing and aahing at it, standing back to admire it, picking up prints of it and then sodding well putting them back for God's sake!
Only the intrepid adventurer out today though. Icicles hanging off everything and persons skidding about william nilliam.
Have put Black and White Hoe painting back in the window since everyone stops to look at that.
Every time I come in here I bung it in the window and every time C comes in here she takes it out again and replaces it with the lesser work ' A feel of the Hoe'.
Why? Who knows, who cares.
Yesterday being incarcerated in the Elburton Drop In Centre I resolved to cut my own mount for the latest masterpiece 'Plymouth Cityscape 1'. Dear Little S had shown me how to do same only last week. He shows me everything too quickly and I can't keep up so I made a bit of a dog's breakfast of it. But that wasn't the worst of it I held the blade upside down and sliced a rather large flap off me finger. Well, 'Texas Chainsaw Mascara' or what! Litres of Darling Lovely One's blood gushed forth all over the shop. In a flagrant disregard for the 'workers' She Who Must be Obeyed hadn't replenished the Winnie the Pooh sticking plasters so thinking on me feet, I wrapped the distressed digit in bit of framer's tape and shot next door to the Charity Shop for a bit of first aid.
Well, suitably bandaged and with me arse in a sling, I plodded on with the mountcutting. I did it - albeit the wrong size, colour and shape, with creases and blood all over it. Not to be defeated I shoved it in the window with a disclaimer and a promise to re-do it when a grown up comes to work.
More people looking in - Come in - Come in - my child needs new shoes!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

In which One 'Comes Dine with Mimi'...

Following the disaster that was Friday's open evening at the exhibition, Saturday saw Lovely One sell her most expensive piece. Oh joyous day! So that's another good month. Now, catch up with She Who Must Be Obeyed, and get the spons for it all before I fill up the overdraft yet again.
The first meeting of the 'Elburton Drop in Centre Come Dine with Me' club was held at the Polaroid Swinger's gaff on Saturday night. What fun. What Larks Pip! (See Great Expectations)
Dear Little S inhaled the best part of a bottle of Vodka and then sheared to go down town to imbibe even more laughing water. I sloped off home at the same time and snuggled down with me blankie and hot water bottle, and me Bear of course.
Anyway, I leap ahead, TPS lost marks for not providing a menu and not topping up the drinks quickly enough. But having said that, Dear Little S could have used an intravenous drip rather than a glass!
The scoff was tip top! Prawns, smoked salmon, fillet steak creme brulee, chocolates, wine, vodka... In fact, Lovely One heaven!
TPS put on rather an unusual floor show, singing, dancing and generally showing off to the degee that she has now been re-christened and shall henceforth be known as 'Mimi'
Her long suffering hubbster and assembled sons just ignore her blatant exhibitionism and desperate attempts to attract attention to herself and carry on much as poor Vile Husband and Boy used to when ignoring the antics of Lovely One. However, One pales into insignificance in the face of Mimi and her
A classic case of the youngest child yelling, 'Look at me mummy' Mimi whipped out the childhood photo album to entrall us all with pics of her in various 'show off' poses with ponies, other assorted friends and animals and even Robin Cousins doing a skating show off thing. Anyway, she's cleared off to Wales taking pics in a Loony Bin. Wants to watch they don't keep her in!
Cranked up the Bentley and visited Vile ex-husband and Boy on Sunday to vacuum them. Filled up me dust bag with one swipe over the rug, but it has to be said they had cleaned the kitchen and bathroom in honour of my visit. Boy visiting for Chrimbo this year. Will eat me out of house and home, relieve me of any spare cash and then vanish into the distance methinks. Still, will be lovely to see him.
Have dropped off the 'Stones' portrait at the printers and am plodding on with commission piece down on the Barbican today. Dear Little S in charge of flogging exhibition pieces today.
Wish us luck...