So I am back in Clifford Chambers at the Hosking House – my books are on the shelves, the fire is lit and the computer up and running – now it begins, the long-awaited retreat to complete my next show.
I set off yesterday, on a glitteringly bright and beautiful afternoon, and rumbled up to Stratford-Upon-Avon with my cat, Peer Gynt, mewing sadly in his basket beside me.
After unpacking, I spent the evening with Sarah Hosking, in her cottage at the bottom of Duck Lane. We supped on stuffed marrow and red wine and talked about art, the world and everything. In mid laugh, while we were putting the world to rights, there was a strange explosive noise, and all the lights went out. We wandered up Duck Lane to find other villagers hanging out of windows wondering if their’s was the only light or had the whole village been plunged into darkness. But yes, it was the whole village.
Sarah saw me home to the cottage and I lit candles and burned a few logs on the fire, until wasted with tiredness I fell into the old oak bed and slept.
Peer now seems at home, perhaps it’s my imagination, but he seems to remember it here and is happily sitting on the windowsill looking out at the grave stones of St Helen’s Church scanning for mice.
Today the work begins!