Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Footsteps in the snow.

The penalty for living in the most beautiful corner of England is occasional immobility. In my 24 years here we have had very little snow being close to the West Coast. But that was before the Climate Changed dramatically, bringing floods and pestilences and snow.
I was last at the gallery on Saturday but have been unable to move since then. 'Great' I thought - 'I shall go into writing purdah and get on with the next book.'
I was in heaven. The above is the view from the Pink Egg. Perfect. And an excuse not to do any last minute shopping or join the supermarket trolley dash madness. We can live out of the freezer - could be a strange Christmas menu but who cares? With a well stocked wine cellar, what more do we want? 'Have we any chocolate?' Michael asked last night when his perceived blood sugar levels were getting low. The answer was negative. 'I'll have to start on the Christmas cake then.' he said pathetically.
The call from GMTV came yesterday afternoon. They were on their way from Heathrow (?) to Manchester and wanted to do a live optimistic interview in front of the gallery fire about life after the deluge. 'Fine I thought. What time?' Live at 6AM was the chilling answer. Alright - no problem. I would go straight over now and stay the night in Cockermouth. I rang a neighbour with Land Rover. 'No Problem. I'll pull you to the main road' he said confidently.
The ice under the snow had frozen in solid sheets. I slewed about uncontrollably on the end of a tow rope. Just crossing the field was alarming. The sheep scattered.
'Why am I doing this?' I asked myself when I reached the gate. With a knee-trembling mile in front of me to get to the main road which was also problematic, I decided I could do without the excitement and retreated to the Egg. Breakfast Television could do without me very well I guessed. And they did.
This morning I saw a burly figure carrying a box approaching on foot through the snow. It was the intrepid Interlink delivery man bringing the catalogues for our part-exhibition at Messums in Cork Street in January. They are superb. It will be a great exhibition. Suitably called The Elemental North, it opens on 13th January and includes work by Sheila Fell, Percy Kelly and Karen Wallbank. If you are anywhere in or near London pop in and see it..
We are now seeing the big melt. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. We always have a gallery party with drinks and mince pies. I will do my best to get there,though it will be hard to leave this peaceful paradise, cocooned from commercial Christmas. I shall scurry back quickly.
May I wish you all a good, safe holiday. Hope you all get to where you want to be and do what you want to do.
I'm just finalising a cracking exhibition programme for 2010 - see web site We are open every Saturday in January and February
Hope to see you. Take care