Legends from our own lunchtimes

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Big Night

It was cold outside so I declined the kind offer to accompany the girls to the markets to top up our dwindling supplies of sheep cheese and honey cake, deciding to while away the morning nostalgically playing architect. Before the mound of steaming mushrooms, pork and baguette landed on the table for lunch, the extensions for the new house were as advanced as plans to continue the national general strike indefinitely, with big rallies planned for Paris on Saturday.

With no, or few trains running, getting to Paris becomes problematic, and with getting to Paris problematic, getting to London um… challenging. With disappointment verging on sadness it seems we will be forced to cut our visit short to be certain that we can make our Eurostar connection, but then a day in Paris is always a good thing in the cheer-up stakes.

I'm not sure if it was the uncertainty regarding the travel logistics, or whether I really was nervous about the function, but as the afternoon rolled on I found myself pacing back and forth. It felt like the countdown before one of the girls' weddings.

When we arrived, Olivier guffawed and looked at his watch.

We were two hours early.

That was our plan, and we managed to fill the time quite happily adjusting lights, polishing sculpture and going over speeches in our heads until the first invited guest arrived exactly on time. Suddenly we were in Barclay's Premier Club. A cloud of deja vu descended. I was back in a familiar environment full of suits and rugby hugs and girls in power dresses. This was just another opening, but there was something very unfamiliar about it all, I was on the wrong side of the fence!

The plan was always to prepare a collection that would compliment Dume's sculpture, and it must be said to the credit of the dynamic duo the plan worked! Of course no one was going to sidle up to me on the night and say "I hate your stuff", but it was with some relief that the exhibition seemed to draw a good deal of positive response. Olivier, as he turfed out the last guest at two tomorrow morning thanked us, and declared the exhibition to be an extraordinary success and has asked if we could leave our work in place till April!

From our perspective, as we dined at three we weren't really up to too much analysis, but we all agreed when the red dot appeared on Mr Three, perhaps the most personal and therefore the least likely we thought, to attract a purchaser, we all felt a quiet sense of achievement. We collectively need a few more sales to cover costs, but there are enough people in love with the other pieces to make us confident that we will probably not go broke.

Of necessity, I am writing this the morning after. It's early afternoon in reality, and we are all staring at each other quietly confident. About what we are not sure, but there is enough afoot to ensure that we may not find boredom in the coming year.


Joan Elizabeth said...

Woo hoo ... you are an artist not just a painter. I felt like that when my first book got published ... I was a author not just a writer.

Shirl said...

Nice work Pa! Can't wait to hear all about it in person!

Allan and Laurelle said...

Congratulations Pete. It's about time.

Ann said...


cara said...

Fantastic! Great stuff. What an achievement. How about an exhibition in Queensland?

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