The dying embers of 2017 have sparked a few opportunities for me. Principally being able to exhibit in a gallery in Pall Mall. I don't feel that I've had a particularly productive year art wise, I don't think any of the work has really landed. Having said that this will be the third time that I've exhibited in London this year which isn't bad.
Sunday also coincided with the Odd Box fund-raising all-dayer. Odd Box are a fantastic Cardiff based record label who ran into some financial difficulty earlier on this year. They managed to get out of it via a crowd funding campaign, and the all day gig was put on to provide some additional help. So I had to be back in Cardiff for 2pm. I booked the Mega Bus up (glam, glam, glam, Lucian Freud would take the Mega Bus all the time etc etc) and the train back and worked out that it would be a tight turn around to get across town to drop the paintings off but that I had some wiggle room and that it was doable.
The weather yesterday was appalling, not even my cat wanted to go out, but with a heavy heart I strapped the smaller painting into my back pack, picked up the larger one and trudged through the rain to the bus stop. The Mega Bus was half an hour late and then crawled out of Cardiff. I could feel myself getting angry, it felt that cosmically that the universe was conspiring to fuck my day up, which is of course bollocks. I was able to let go of the anger and rationalise it to myself. As we started and stopped up a snow clad M4 I knew that there was nothing I could do and I'd just have to deal with the situation which was probably going to mean buying a new ticket back to Cardiff.
I was on the tube when I should have been on the train back to Cardiff. Negotiating the tube this close to Christmas was a gigantic pain in the ass, and it was pretty wet and miserable. However getting to Picadilly Circus as it started to snow was magical an I took a moment just to take it in. Finding the gallery was the easiest part of my day (despite walking in the wrong direction initially). I met Lelia, the exhibition organiser, shook her hand, then unwrapped my paintings. At one point I was wrapping the bubble wrap around my arm like a Doctor Who monster (Noah the Wirrin from 'The Ark in Space', 1975).
I looked around at the other work, which I was impressed by, then scarped back across London, which was considerably easier without two paintings. . The advance train ticket I had was valid for the booked train, so I thought I'd get a Burrito and buy a new ticket. However when I got to Paddington there was a train to Cardiff just about to leave so I thought I'd risk it. I say the train was about to leave, it would be another half an hour before it left Paddington, due to some tedious signalling and/or weather related problems. When the ticket inspector did come around I could feel myself beginning to blush as I handed the ticket over, fully expecting to have to buy a new ticket, but he didn't seem to give a shit. I think he had bigger fish to fry that day.
The train crawled to Cardiff, got so packed at Reading that people were standing all along the corridors and we finally got into Cardiff over an hour late. Cardiff Central looked like a refugee camp. I was okay(sih) about getting in so late as the line up for the Odd Box had been moved around as there'd been a few cancellations due to the weather which meant that it was more of an 'afternoon' than an 'all dayer', still a very strong line up though.
I met up with Sian and we went for a drink and intended to have some food, however when I went to order food they said that they stopped serving food at 4, I wanted to throw a table over but I calmed down and we went somewhere else. Cardiff was eerily quiet, I guess the weather putting people off coming in. We went across to The Moon for the gig and bumped into a load of friends and the first band we saw were The Loves, the vintage Cardiff indie heros, and very poppy and sweary they were too, great fun. Next up were a stripped down acoustic version of The Darling Buds, which again was great sparkly indie pop. I don't know there stuff very well, but there were some obvious devotees of the band there. They are signed to Odd Box so I'll have to check them out.