The Great Procrastinator (and the death of my father)

There was a lot to write about in the second half of 2019; there was a lot I wanted to write about in the second half of 2019. The apparent disintegration of established procedures in the self-presumed ‘mother of all parliaments’, the buried investigations into political malfeasance, the mainstream British media following up its investigatory acquiescence with an onslaught of servile repetition of whatever deceits its political masters declared necessary to be made, an election where our vote wasn’t counted and that will likely be our last that can be made as British citizens living in mainland Europe, the realisation that Brexit was going to happen and the rights of Europeans living in the UK as well as the rights of British citizens living in Europe was of little significance in the eyes of most British politicians. Then there was the ever accumulating personal knowledge of evidence that perhaps we may be too late to save future generations from the carnage being wrought upon our living environment. The arctic ice caps are likely to have disappeared in a few years, amplifying the warming of the oceans and then likely signalling the real point of no return. All these subjects to write about… not because a huge number of people hang on to everything I write – just more to formulate a confusion of thoughts into cogent and simpler arguments should the need arise to talk about these things in conversation.
And then my dad died. He’d been ill a while; in and out of hospital for odd ailments and problems. Nothing that seemed to signal an end was imminent – but then my mother was doing a good job of silently taking most of the worries onto her own shoulders without spreading it down to her two sons.
On his own terms, he didn’t want his funeral to be a sad event, but a celebration of a life enjoyed and well lived. It always sounds cliched but it was true. Though technically a few years too old he was perhaps the shining example of the ‘boomer’ generation. Born a year too late to do National Service, he was a teenager when the word ‘teenager’ was still a relatively new idea. He benefited from the post-war social reforms and when his father wanted to retire from business, bought his bakery business from him, which then flourished effortlessly (his own words) until the mid 1980s. He social life was full through weekend sport and a passion for collecting old (he would optimistically call them all classic) cars. And throughout those years he was a relatively fit and healthy man. So, on his terms, it was a life enjoyed and well lived and should be remembered in that way.
It’s only been a few months and I do miss him. I haven’t been able to make much work since he passed away and it’s probably been best that way. I’ve had a few months more or less artwork free and instead, with some help from a bit of money left to me, I’ve been doing some building work in my studio. Whenever my dad visited my studio he would complain about the fact that the barn doors had holes in, the walls didn’t all meet the roof, there was no insulation (actually, there wasn’t even a ceiling), there was no heating, lighting was via extension cables that ran all over the floor and that it was not an environment conducive to work. In fact, more than once he suggested that in my previous roles as a trade union rep, if I’d been faced with working conditions like this I would’ve been leading strike action to get it improved. I can’t deny that.
So, finally, in my mid-fifties I will be working in a studio that is warm, dry, comfortable and safe. I’ve included a large wall specifically for drawing, two metres by four… for BIG drawings… and there will be a small exhibition space too, just to show some fresh work up on walls if people come knocking on the door. There’s a couple of weeks worth of work still to be done to get it finished, but it will be ready for the summer and some open studio weekends. So thanks dad… and mum.

The new four by two metre drawing wall. There will be large drawings…

back to writing menu

5 thoughts on “The Great Procrastinator (and the death of my father)

  1. Sad news about your father Guy. Why not make some portraits of him, from a photo and from memory. I didn’t really have a ‘good’ relationship with my dad; when he died I just felt older. David…art teacher…self employed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry to hear about your Dad. Remember him being a very happy, smiley man. I do remember his viewpoint on Mrs Hubbard and her attitude to you and me. Always wondered…. why didnt she just move us?? And by the way, md fifties??, Not yet!! It sounds like your Dads legacy will improve things considerably. Good luck with it all.

    Liked by 1 person

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