Well I’m open at last – the Eagle has landed.
And the owls have landed, the highland cattle paintings, the buzzard photographs, all my cat paintings, Villager Jim’s chicken photographs, his famous Springwatch starlings have landed ……..I could go on and on but you’ll be relieved that I won’t. Yes we’re all here. Present and correct.
No more moaning from me about decorating ceilings, hammerin
g screws, instead of nails, into walls, no more falling off ladders…..aaaah I shall miss renovating. It was all such fun.
Had you there didn’t I? Oh my gosh I’m so pleased to have finally finished the DIY and moved in. Now comes the nitty gritty bit. Trying to find the floor under all the mess, where shall I position the till, is that painting hanging straight, where did I put the dog?
It’s been a week of fighting customers from trying to ge
t in the door while I’m in the middle of utter chaos. The electrician keeps leaving the door open. I’ve had to politely tell a number of enthusiastic wannabe customers that I’m open at the weekend but not before. Most people are very understanding when they can see all the debris and my harassed, red sweaty face but some wouldn’t take no for an answer. I had to gently – then quite firmly push a rather bolshy gentleman from Buxton, back out again. He had waltzed in wanting to inspect my woodwork.
I then had to politely inform a lady from Ashbourne that not only could I not sell her anything, as there was no stock in yet but I actually couldn’t see her or what she wanted to buy - hadn’t she noticed it was very dark and I was so sorry but I had no power while the spotlights were being installed?
My favourite chap was the one who wandered in as the workmen had left the door open – again -grrrrrrrr – looking for the cat lady as he had brought his prized Persian for me. I plonked my big fat paintbrush down in a heap of sawdust – I’d regret that later- stumbled over the debris trying to get to the light (at the end of the tunnel), wiped my hands clean on my painting shirt to gently handle the cat and get to know my subject. I oohed and aaahed at what a gorgeous creature (she really was) The cat purred and we became fast friends there and then. I enthused at h
ow I could paint a square canvas if he’d like, with possibly a black background to pick out her delicate smoky grey colouring. I scrabbled around for a pen and a bit of paper, spitting sawdust out of my mouth and took his details. He’d come from Litton and we exchanged phone numbers and he thanked me very much and started to walk away. I sniggered and said “Haven’t you forgotten something?” Der and I think I’m forgetful sometimes. What a silly Billy he was. I pointed to the cat in the pet carrier at my feet and grinned, I’m ashamed to say, a very patronising sort of grin at him. The old chap looked a bit startled and simply stared in bemusement at me. I pointed down again and said “You forgot your cat silly”
He said “But I’m not picking her up for 2 weeks?”
Well that wiped the snigger off my face.
“What? Erm - you’re joking aren’t you?” I stuttered. He shook his head and my mind started whirring and kicking back into life. I swear you can hear it sometimes clanking and groaning under the weight of my brain not being used very often.
Then it dawned on me – I had wrongly assumed I was the cat lady in question. I’m quite well known for my cat paintings (boast boast). He actually wanted Sarah next door. Sarah the cat lady who has a cat sitting service. How purr-fectly stupid did I feel? Luckily he saw the funny side about me taking up half an hour of his time, manhandling his cat – Oh how we laughed. He thought it was exceptional service that he was getting a free painting while he went on holiday.
Perhaps I should take that idea to Dragon’s Den too? Nah wouldn’t make any money that way and my dog would eat the cat guest so it’s a no brainer. All’s well that ends well as he actually DID commission me to paint the Persian when he returns from sunny Spain in a couple of weeks.
I haven’t actually painted now for 3 weeks, 36days, 15 hours and 34 minutes. Who’s counting? I BLOOMING WELL AM! I shall go insane if I don’t paint soon. My first on the list is a beautiful black and white cat called Rosie (she has a very interesting chin as you will see in next week’s blog. Her owners want her recreated in my painting “Mendelsson the Musician’s Cat” but with Rosie as the star instead. Her mum is an actual music teacher so it’s very appropriate and I can’t wait to start it.
In the meantime I’m going stir crazy from being creative for so long so I had to make do with doodling on the shop counter – that I should have been painting chocolate brown. As you can see I would NOT make a good cartoonist!
Blog brought to you by Helen Clark, The Gallery, Rowsley