I knew at the beginning of the year that it was going to be a difficult one. I didn’t know at the time that it was going to be the MOST difficult one ever, for me. But then, what can you expect when life changing decisions are made, and need to be acted upon…………..
So January started with the understanding that I was getting divorced. As soon as possible. But things don’t happen in quite the way you expect. Various cogs need to be put in motion first, and some of those cogs are reliant on other people, and their decisions. And added to that I knew that the house that I loved and had lived in for twenty years had to be sold. That was a very difficult decision too. So, I started decorating to get it ready to go on the housing market.
As it was, the house wasn’t sold to complete strangers, but my half was sold to another. Which should have made the selling far easier, and it would have done if Land Registry weren’t being pedantic to the nth degree over which parcels of land I owned and didn’t own. That took from July to the end of November to sort out. Five whole fucking months of arguing!
Whilst that was happening, I was looking for another house to live in, a lot smaller than I was used to, with less land, but somewhere that was right for an artist. I looked at every house for sale within a 15 mile radius in my (limited) price range, and visited four – three of which were hugely unsuitable for various reasons, one of which I fell in love with on paper, and even more so when I walked through the door of it. And deeper still when I finally bought it. It is the right house for an artist, it is the right house for me. I love the rural village it is in, and love the fact it is near arterial roads. Fortunately the vendors were patient people who liked me, and wanted me to have the house, although the “quick sale” we were all hoping for dragged on for four long months because of the Land Registry problems. But at least I was able to rent the house, whilst renting out my half of my own, much beloved house. But, in renting, there were limits to what I could do. I had to leave the house in the state it was in or else risk losing the large deposit, should the house sale fall through. So, I didn’t hang any pictures on the walls, as my heavy pictures needed walls drilling and proper fixings put on the walls. And I wasn’t going to unwrap any of the boxes I’d brought, or my carefully wrapped pictures, until I knew the house was going to be paid for, and mine complete. It had taken me weeks to wrap them all in the first place, and clear my last house of twenty years of accumulated clutter! And I didn’t want to repack them and start again.
Added to this was the fun of buying a car (a new experience for me) – and I chose one that was perfect for my needs. Within four months of buying it, it had had its front wing totally mangled in a car accident that happened whilst I was sitting oblivious in a pub having lunch in a pretty Essex village, when someone managed to reverse with such force that his car shunted the Mercedes parked next to mine, and embedded it sideways into my car. I am so thankful that I wasn’t between the cars at the time! The car limped back up to the Midlands, and was duly mended and looked as good as new when it was returned to me a couple of weeks later. Three weeks after that, my car was hit in EXACTLY THE SAME PLACE by another vehicle as he drove off a road into the side of mine. I just got out of the car and thought “Fuck, not again!”. I bet the garage repair men thought they were going through deja vu when it was towed in to be mended for a second time!
Also, I had an exhibition to put on – at Burton on Trent library. It had been booked months in advance, long before I knew I was getting divorced, and moving house. The woman I’d organised it with offered to cancel it, but I said I’d go ahead, and did the best I could with it. In the end, it was a success and I have other connections through it – including going on Radio Derby to promote it, which was an interesting experience.
Added to this, it was seven weeks before I got the internet at my new address, for reasons that seem to make sense to telephone companies, but not me. It was four weeks before I had a phone put in, and that involved endless, exasperated arguments with the phone companies too. Not helped that mobile signals are intermittent at this address too. I also had to go out and find furniture for the new house, so Ikea has become my second home, as it is both cheap and practical with its furnishings (all of which have to be put together of course! although I liked doing that bit).
And then, just when I thought my life was settling down again, and I could start getting things straight, my mum died.
So, when people ask me, in passing……………… “Have you painted anything recently, Jackie?” I look at them. And smile, and say “Well, its been a big year ………….” …and start telling them why I haven’t painted anything recently………………
But I’m certainly not complaining about the year. Far from it. Its been a good year as well.
And I have done some painting………… although not as much as I’d have liked, they have been good ones. I did the beautiful and mystical Goddesses painting, and I did a selection of artwork for Stuart who continues to be a walking advert for me, telling everyone in his life about the pictures I’ve done of him. I’ve done some excellent drawings of the male model I met a year ago, and he has grown to be a good friend of mine too. I’ve done a couple of landscapes which have been popular, and I’ve started to think about writing erotic stories too. And I’ve done the painting of the girl with the universe in her hair because of a woman I met.
But, more than all of this, she is my muse. She also, has become a good friend, and I love the fact that I inspire her creativity as much as she does mine. Meeting her has got me back into wanting to paint properly again. She inspires me.
So, its been a big year, a year of change, and challenge.
But, these have been the building blocks for next year.
When I can start again, afresh.
So, I wish you well at the end of this year, and want to thank my friends for their positive help and support, and for listening when I’ve had a lot to deal with. I want to thank my readers for following my life through this blog, and for mentioning it to me when we meet in real life. I want to thank my true friends for their friendship. And I want to thank my man for being so wonderful, and being there for me, always.
My love, to you all …….