The coffee was deeply delicious, rich and luxouriously strong, with just a touch of cream and sugar, and tasted more than sweet on my tongue, as I’d just unveiled the watercolour painting of St. Wystans church in Repton, and the elderly woman who had commissioned it had just told me how pleased she was with it! And had clapped her hands in delight at the first sight of it. YESSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Success!!! We sat and chatted about Repton since it is a village I know very well, and infact I was fascinated with her appartment since I had known the large building she lived in many years ago in its previous existance and was fascinated to see how it had been adapted for multiple living quarters. Her gorgeously appointed appartment in particular was filled with natural light on this warm March day, with sunlight streaming through the large south facing windows. We hadn’t met before but got on extremely well as we discussed our lives and interests. Only a brief time together, but we made a good connection, as women sometimes do. As she walked me back to the front door, she commented on the two mediocre watercolour paintings of Repton that had recently appeared on the communial hallway wall and said, in dismissal of them “I don’t care for them much”. “I’m not surprised” I said in agreement “They’re not very good”. We shook hands as I left, and headed out into the welcoming spring sunshine again.
Whilst I was in the village I popped into the local bank and ended up having another long chat with the two friendly women behind the counter there. One of them commented on my surname and its pronunciation, and through that we ended up chatting about the reason I was in the village, to deliver a watercolour painting I’d done and then because of their interest I went on to tell them about the goddesses painting I’d recently done, and other paintings I’ve created and the reasons behind them. And to say that I wanted to speak to the chap in the post office since I’d been told by the woman I’d met with earlier that there weren’t any decent pictures of mine in the post office when she had gone in specifically to look for them as she’d seen my work before and wanted to purchase it.
And then on to the third reason for being in the village. A visit to the post office. Which should have been a pleasant experience based on the previous conversations of the morning. But the instant I walked through the door, I was greeted by…………………a dull and heavy greyness that pervaded the shop, the light, and the atmosphere. After the sunlight and into ………well…………a netherworld. Of uncared for merchandise sitting forlornly on dated wornout shelves, cardboard boxes piled up on old racks, abysmally ameraturish paintings that were well above anyones eyesight, and should be deleted off the face of the earth rather than exist in any art appreciating world. It took me a full two minutes to gather my shocked thoughts together, and go up to the counter where a shady character sat in the deepset gloom. I peered at him through the glass partition.
“Can I help” he dully enquired
“Are you the Post Master?” I asked cheerfully
“No, I’m not” he said
“Can I speak to him?” I asked hopefully
“No, I’m the only one here” he replied as the atmosphere deepened another notch.
“Ok” I said, a little less brightly “Well I’m an artist and have done pictures of Repton in the past and I was wondering if you’d be interested in having some of my pictures on the walls here but, er, you seem to be, er, having some er, building works done” (That was the politest way I could think of, of putting it!)
“They’re lowering the ceiling soon” he explained, as if that made up for the lack of any interest shown in marketing anything within the confines of the shop. Then he roused himself and said “You’d better speak to the Post Master. He’s next door. In the grocery shop”
“Ok, thankyou” I said, wondering WHY he had been incapable of telling me that in the first place, and gladly left the gloom of the shop, its sole inhabitant, and the sad forlorn merchandise.
I almost didn’t bother to go to find the Post Master, since if he could leave his shop in that state, was his shop really the place I wanted my paintings to be?
But, I thought, at least I’d have closure on the idea and could forget about it after I’d confirmed my apprehensions. So, into the grocers shop I went. And behind the counter was a handsome, smiling face of someone who knows what he’s doing and has “purpose”. Things looked considerably brighter! I explained who I was and the fact that I’d had a conversation with the guy behind the counter in the post office who appeared to be “bewildered”. He noddingly said “he spends most of his life like that” (which went some way to explaining things for me!). Anyway, after a short but incisive conversation it appears that he is indeed interested in having my artwork in his shop, is in the process of updating the shop, and that I’ve contacted him at exactly the right time regarding getting my artwork in there. So, I need to get some more paintings done, and return in a couple of weeks so that we can get it all organised.
The sun was still shining on me, after all!