Strap On A Pair She Said, So I Did.

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Phew! What A Scorcher! (Someone Had To Say It).

That subheading has absolutely nothing to do with this post but if ‘The Sun’ newspaper is too occupied with Brexit, Football-Fever and whatever else they cover then I’ll do the honours. Not that this is journalism by any means, in fact this is just a round up of the last few weeks since my previous post.  

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Retracing Admiral Lord Nelson’s last steps on dry land.

That said, the hot weather has slowed me down, especially on the art front.  On Sunday we went to a small beach by Spur Redoubt.  Our route takes us through the small tunnel Admiral Lord Nelson walked through before boarding a barge and being taken out to H.M.S.Victory to lead the fleet into the Battle of Trafalgar. And don’t get me started on Portsmouth City Council doing bugger all to celebrate Trafalgar Day!.

We were on the beach by 10am but in our haste to get over there before it got too hot, we neglected to have breakfast so by 11.30, when it clouded over slightly we walked home to eat.  Big mistake.  

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Admiral Lord Nelson walking along Broad St. Old Portsmouth before boarding H.M.S. Victory.

Walking back through the tunnel, the heat that side of the fortifications hit us like a Mack truck and although it’s only about a 10 minute walk, we were completely drained and didn’t go out the house again until early evening.  I’m not complaining, far from it, I love the heat but the major drawback has been I’m unable to complete the orders I have for my street art as it’s so hot the paint dries too quickly.

On that note, a couple of weeks before, my wife politely suggested I ‘strap on a pair’ and take my stuff over to Old Portsmouth and try to sell some paintings.  Not one to trifle with ‘her indoors’ I duly complied and we headed off, me dragging a heavy suitcase full of cans, paper etc and my wife with a beach bag.

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Like a Swan. Calm above water but paddling like crazy below the water. Quite a nerve wracking experience.

I set up my stuff in the shadow of the Square Tower, a place lots of artists use to sell their works on a Sunday morning when I was a kid.  Surprisingly, once ready I began painting and didn’t feel incredibly self-conscious until at one point I had a crowd of about 20 people watching. Luckily, I was wearing my favourite Fedora and the broad brim saved me from actually having to make eye contact with anyone and I completed that painting without making a complete hash of it and much to my surprise a chorus of ‘ooh’s’ and ahhh’s’ went up but no one actually put their hand in their pockets unfortunately.  However, I’m pleased that I can say I’ve actually done street art ‘in anger’ so to speak, with an audience.

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I might look the part, but I remain a ‘Painter’ as opposed to an ‘Artist’.

Another 1st for me and a topic that has always eluded me. Selfies.  I just don’t get it. Any Instgram or Twitter feed smeared with selfies is guaranteed NOT to make me follow someone, no matter who they are but at the age of 53, I succumbed and took my 1st real selfie.  I say my 1st as once I met Jimmy Floyd Hasslebank in London and as my daughters are Chelsea fans and fancied him something rotten, I stopped Mr.Hasslebank as he was leaving the hotel, explained and he kindly posed with me.  My daughters faces at the dinner table that night were priceless. So I don’t count that one as I did it just to wind them up.

The heatwave continued and the next weekend we had 5 of our grandchildren stay.  Thank god we live by the sea! A relief in this heat but always a banker that keeps the kids occupied, lots of fresh air and it wears them out.  By about 1pm, I was fading fast and there was only one thing for it.  Cool off.

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Luckily I hang out by the slipway on the Hard and although I don’t know all the fishermen there, I know enough of them to help myself to a Tender without much fear of being berated by the owner and of course, I duly tied it securely back to it’s mooring when we’d finished.  I got the three girls in and took them for a ‘drag’ round the Warrior moorings.  They loved it and so did I, wet jeans or not.  A kid on the quayside asked where we were going.  ‘On holiday to France’ I shouted back much to his Dad’s amusement.