I’ve just taken time to catch up on what everybody else has had to say and it is genuinely reassuring to recognise similar patterns of emotions in all of us. The last time I felt so exhausted was when I foolishly undertook a week’s blacksmithing course. Then it was sheer physical fatigue; this week it has been sleep deprivation and hyperventilation that have qualified me to join the living dead. Thankfully, today has marked the onset of normality: supermarket shop, a quick read of the Indy arts section, leisurely walk with the dogs, pondering what I’ll make next…relief!
I managed to get my Opus book finished. I wish I’d had a little more time but I really don’t think it suffered much. I still want to make a foldout insert for the back of the book about an allegorical poem, The Vision of Canon Ripley. It’s all about a toad who eats too many grapes and explodes. (The computer wants me to refer to the toad as ‘which’ but I won’t.) That’s this weekend’s job. The real trial of endurance was printing off my research dossier. It was such a huge file because of all the images that I eventually had to programme each page individually, even though I was double-sided printing. I only realised what the problem was after literally hours of feeding the printer, which continually told me my paper was incorrectly loaded. At one point my lovely new printer nearly made it’s way through the study door to printer eternity. As the day progressed and the usual landmarks of Sunday came and went without my participation I was face to face with the Churchillian black dog, I can tell you. When eventually I did resolve it (relief and fizz all round), my darling M pointed out that the last full stop on the final page had shifted – *** it, that’s how it stays.
So, we were assessed on all but our Final Show yesterday. It’s a strange feeling to be coming to the end of such a long commitment. One of my fellow part-timers said today that he felt it was ‘a relief’. I said ‘what a shame, I’ve really enjoyed it’, adopting those limp platitudes one does on such occasions but I HAVE. I’ve loved it, not every minute but overall I know it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.
Enough of the emotion. Tuesday sees the beginning of show preparation. I’m thrilled with my space. I finally managed to track down my electrician who’d forgotten he was meeting me – he does a lot of hairdressing salons so I hope I’ve chosen the right chap! His remit is to flood the space with light without shining directly on the paintings (because they have varying glossy areas and direct light will distort the colour and texture). He went away muttering that he’d be in touch with ideas and I’m a little concerned, to be honest… That’s probably the next problem but who knows; I still have the ceiling to contend with, not to mention hanging the monster, Quintessence, or even getting them all to Burlam Rd. M is eventing again on Sunday so Monday is Vernon’s valet-day. Vernon is the horsebox – we called him that because the friends we bought him from described him as ‘looking like something out of Heartbeat‘. They’re right. Well, here’s to Vernon and next week!