Monday, 28 March 2016

Sketch Crawl # 8 : Central Station to the Laing

I didn't go to last weekend's Sketch Crawl.

One day, when I was very little, I left one of my toys on the pavement outside our terrace house; within minutes it was gone, probably into the house next door where a family of petty criminals lived. My Mum gave me a good telling off for being careless with my things and I began to learn that not everyone was worthy of trust.

That episode may be the reason I've lost almost nothing of consequence in the sixty-odd years since and why, when something goes missing, I obsess about finding it. Experience has shown that eventually that which was lost will turn out to be that which was mislaid. 

The day before last weekend's Sketch Crawl I realised I didn't know where my pencil case was. An old blue one I've had for over 25 years, it contained my favourite pens and pencils. Despite turning over the stuff on the studio floor and searching in several bags, I couldn't unearth it and still haven't.

Perhaps my little anecdote about the lost toy helps to explain the extraordinary effect the loss of my pencil case had on my mood, especially at a time of year when I never feel good. By the time I was due to get ready to go out and meet the other Sketch Crawlers, I'd sunk really low. So I spent the rest of the weekend trying to find the pencil case. A huge pile of papers was sorted and binned and the studio is now in a much better state than previously, but still no pencil case.

I've put together a replacement set of instruments, although I'm going to have to buy a new Pentel Brush Pen, but even now I still find myself looking under chairs, down the side of the sofa, in bags I know I've checked before, in the hope that the familiar blue pencil case will jump out and shout "Surprise!".

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