Hockney’s rubbish

October 25, 2012

I wrote this post way back just before Easter. For some reason, it’s been lying around as a draft. And so now I’m publishing it. I hope you like it. But if not, hey, what gives?


Or so you’d think, listening to the folks wandering the Royal Academy’s galleries. We went along to see Hockney’s latest exhibition, A Bigger Picture, on Good Friday. The exhibition closes this Easter weekend, and, just like us, it seemed many people had left it to the last minute to go. And so the queues were huge; at least an hour and a half until you could buy a ticket, and then another wait depending upon which time slot you got.

A nice lady stalked the queue, pointing out that, if you became a friend of the Royal Academy, there and then, you could get into the exhibition, there and then. And for free too! Once you’d become a friend. A friend who gives money that is. And so let me introduce you to my little friend; the Royal Academy.

Why do people queue up to see something they’re only going to moan about? What is it about art that gets people so angry? Heck, if you don’t like something, just move along there. It’s not as if Hockney’s only done two or three paintings. just relax please; all you people who have left it til the last weekend, to come with your words and your talking.

In a packed gallery it’s easy to loiter by those who have something to say. Occasionally you learn something; I never knew Hockney once gave Damien Hirst a dead leg in Tesco’s (I may have misheard this one); but more often than not you learn more about the talker… and hell, I know that in writing this I’m sort of showing off my big art mouth, so feel free to heckle…

Here’s my favourites:

Elderly fop to squirelled madame and (possible) first date: “And look, here, there’s no definition, as if he couldn’t be bothered, or got bored.” Move along please.

Grey fellow to owled and tired wife: “He says he painted them all at different times of the day, but look! Look at the sky! There, and there, and there in that one too! It’s the same blue! He’s used the same blue paint!” Owl wife; “What’s your point?” Grey mullet; “It’s just the same blue, he’s used the same paint!” Next please.

Tim Dowling lookalike pushing a baby in a pram to his word-beaten wife; “It’s a shame you don’t like blah blah blah.”

By the way, it wasn’t Tim Dowling, just to make that much clear. The little I know of Tim Dowling, from his columns, I doubt he’d choose to be so provocative to his wife. Surely he’d keep mum.

It’s not a shame that his wife didn’t like blah blah blah. I’m glad she didn’t like blah blah blah (blah blah blah because I can’t remember what it was… a Hockney thing). Maybe she liked the next one. Or none. That’s ok. No shame.

Was he threatened by his wife not liking what he liked? I do wish, in the gallery, she’d gone all Peanuts Pesci on him and started a “Shame, how?” row.



I don’t like some things. And I’ve had friends not get that, or not like it. l like shrugging and going “what gives?” I like Sparks. If I took it upon myself to tell all my friends that it was a shame that they didn’t like them, well, I’d have no friends. I just have to accept that not everyone likes Sparks. And the “don’t like” is the crucial thing. I  can’t choose to interpret “don’t like” as “don’t get”. It’s not for me to think they’re missing out. It’s their choice. Idiots. Shame.


Dogs, sheep, llama, people

October 21, 2012

A few weeks back we went to the Brockwell Country Show. The choir I’m in, Note-orious, were singing there. After singing (but no dancing from me; I was still on crutches, recovering from a fractured pelvis- convenient indeed) I hobbled around and took a few pics of dogs, sheep, a llama, and some people.

I hope the people featured don’t mind. I still feel a little uncomfortable photographing strangers. Not so much with the animals. They like it.

Skyfall scuffle

October 15, 2012

I don’t know what the title of this blog post means. I must find a diversion.

Look! James Bond’s legs!

Did that take your mind of things? They’re his legs! James Bond’s! He even has a slightly pointing-in right foot; like I had as a child because I was weak, anaemic, in need of sun ray treatment. I used to walk like a pigeon (or like James Bond it seems). After a few months of clinic visits I over-compensated, walking like a Salfordian chimpy Charlie Chaplin (years before Liam looned and looped along).

My walking style has settled now. Over the years a happy compromise has been reached.

I wonder how many happy compromises are reached when the Bond directors are picked? (There’s a jump worthy of a blogger stunt double!)

Fans may yearn for a Scorsese/Nolan/Tarantino 007, but it will never happen. Take Skyfall, the 50th birthday Bond. The Bond People have picked that well known action director, Sam Mendes. Oh… is this my scuffle arriving?

I’m sure it will be great. It looks great. There’s enough people behind Bond (the Bond People) to make sure it works. That’ll be why it’s never a Scorsese or a Ridley or a (RIP) Tony Scott; they just couldn’t bear not having the control (the directors, that is. Oh, and the Bond People!)

Stop! Don’t let yourself get in a tizzy. Let’s relax. Here’s Adele.

It’s just that… he directed Away We Go. I… really… am at a loss. I feel weak. Pigeon legged. I just can’t go through that again. You can read my thoughts on that film here.

Maybe (like I said in that thing you might have clicked on, even read) it wasn’t his fault. American Beauty was good. Maybe he’ll prove to be the new Lewis Gilbert; at ease with both Shirley Valentine and The Spy Who Loved Me.

It’ll be great. The Bond People won’t have it any other way. He’s 50! Not that he looks it.

I’m 50 too! So less miserabilism Hickson. It’ll be great. you know it will be. You’ve even bought tickets. For the bloody IMAX no less. It’ll be big, that’s for sure.

Let’s end on one of the best Bond songs, by Marvin Hamlisch (RIP). Sung by Radiohead.

Away we go.


October 12, 2012

My crutches have gone. I’ve handed them back. Though, living close to Catford, perhaps I should have kept one.

I don’t know what it is about Catford, but most of its people have a crutch. This isn’t the lazy observation of a Catford call-througher, passing from Forest Hill to Lewisham, depositing his crutches back at the hospital, now he has, at last, been discharged: been declared officially fixed after fracturing his pelvis some yonks ago.

This observation; that most people in Catford have one crutch; is 100% true. And it’s no exaggeration. At least 76% of Catfordians have a crutch. Or, put another way, about 1 in every 54.

Why this is the case nobody knows. Do they – Catfordians – regularly fall over? Breaking bones willy-nilly? Do they get the standard two crutches and then, when better, think “I’ll keep one, just in case?” Do they pass one on to a friend? For emergencies?

It’s an odd thing. Only see in Catford. And only seen by lazy wannabe McIntyre’s.

But it is true!

And here’s another thing. You never- NEVER- see anyone with crutches in Dulwich Village.

I guess it’s just the way things are. Here’s my fractured pelvis.

When the Olympics opened and Danny Boyle made us all feel happy to be alive- in those heady, crazy, joyous days; before Savile, before Armstrong- I danced around the lounge. A newly-wed full of non-jingoistic, patriotic pleasure. I trooped up and down, on the rug, mimicking nations never heard of before, entertaining my wife with my tomfoolery, terrifying Archie, the dog.

Then, two days later, still full of hope and awe, I jumped up at Charing Cross station to rescue a caught balloon. I never reached the balloon. But I did fall hard onto the stone station floor. And I did, thanks to a drink or two, shrug it off, putting on a brave face for my new in-laws.

But when me and Zoe came to change trains at London Bridge it became clear all was not well. Something to do with my colour I believe. And the fact that I wanted to just lie down on the floor.

I enjoyed the Olympics. The Paralympics too. All from my bed. All on Tramadol.

Now, I’m better. And I’ve written this. A blog post. My first in… I can’t use yonks again… It’s been a while though. I’ll try harder. One a week. At least.

Now the crutches have gone it is time to slowly build up those blog muscles once more.