I really cannot draw. At all. Could give a weapon a try, but might fall over backwards and land in the dust, as I feared in Mushandike in 1972, when I was given the offer but huku-ed out. Cindy Spring sprang forward, fired mightily at the oil drum and retired, lip a-tremble and massaging her shoulder, ruefully. So a wee bit desolated to realise that I am Not the last in my line (if you pursue the matriarchal line) but on the paternal one – Pa – 1938-1946 RAFVR, Grandad 1914-1916 (Looks like Royal Berks, until Gallipoli- need to check), Great-grandad (Blackwatch? – but he was not re-known for his veracity) Great-great grandad ? Crimea.  All volunteers, I think and all bore arms in the Service Of King/Queen and Country. Mayhap one or two mercenaries along the line, but Pa avoided the French Foreign Legion after the luscious Marlene (temporarily) “broke his heart” – also the Red Locust Patrol and the Palestine Police. Me – wrong gender – right year – Had my gender been male, I would have been conscripted.

Neither can I make love or war with a pen/pencil/chalk/charcoal/all/anyof the aforementioned. It used to bug me – less so now and I can still enjoy the creations of others..

But I can scratch out a few words and manipulate wool and fabric to my own satisfaction. Which makes me smile.

School was an entertaining place – senior school, I mean. See Per Ardua, (if you wish)… The Art Room was rather lovely – along from the fears of Room 5 and extending for much more space than the average classroom. High ceiling-ed and corrugated iron roof. The Quadrangle was built when the ambient weather conditions were sensibly assessed and worked with, in collaboration, not in the face of and in (apparent) desire for modernity and too much window, not enough ceiling and facing the setting sun. Brother-out-law says: “Doctors bury their mistakes, architects have Other People live in theirs”.

It was an ideal room in which to paint, draw, sketch. My confidence and efforts were of such poor quality that I did not really enjoy it, one bit. There were moments of interest that alleviated the gloom. A bit like wee peaks on an E.C.G. which did trick the unwary and hope-riddled into thinking, “no, not the death agonies of a completely knackered myocardium..” I dropped grey paintwater onto Jane’s Disney-perfect Sinderelloid princess, coach and horses. Greywater and tears flowed, until the brisk art mistress brusquley mopped the puddles and bustled me out of the way. Perhaps with her buttocks. Can’t remember, but I enjoy alliteration, always, almost. Oh bugggrt.

There was a lovely box in mid-room, about 2 meters/yards square, 8 inches/no idea high. And full to the brim with scraps. Lovely scraps of fabric. We were to embark upon “Collage”. Oh yes.


  1. A form of art in which various materials such as photographs and pieces of paper or fabric are arranged and stuck to a backing.
  2. A composition made in this way.

Is wikipedia. Not me.

But fabric, not paper. I spent a period of time delving in the depths of the box, exhuming all sorts of lovely stuff. Natural, fake, fur, “David Whitehead – Lulu” range. As I say, more allsorts than a bag of Bassetts, but less flatulescent. I spent so long digging that I cannot recall what I stuck to which with whose adhesive. So yet Another “E” for effort. Knickers.

However – S.. managed to create a collage according to remit of a camouflage-clad person. Artyfarty teacher was most impressed. I was less so, smarting with a combination of pure unadulterated envy and cotton fibres up the schozz from too much digging and too little sticking. Just to redeem my Id, I did did snurk up my sleeve when I noted the label. “A Troppie” One “o’, two “p”s. Which provided me with a moue of malicious mirth. Horrid, I was. But a mo’bettah spellah. (and voracious reader) Thank you James A. M. and the 222.


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