Cutting Ties With Spats

It’s taken as read COVID-19 self-isolation isn’t an ideal situation in which to spend ones existence. Consequently, for one day only, I’ll not spout about folks disenchantment at deprivation consequential of coronavirus lockdown edicts. A literary strategy which’d deservedly expose me to criticism of condescension and ‘stating the bleeding obvious’ from accusers.

Instead, yours truly will concentrate on the positive elements lockdown has introduced in my life. Admittedly, these episodes significantly less prevalent than the negatives borne from COVID house incarceration; nevertheless times when personal growth’s manifested from that quarantine.

For instance, amid lockdown I’ve learned I can sort of draw. My caricatures improving to such an extent that soon viewers won’t need prompting as they ponder the identity of the etched subject. Unearthing this skill manifesting solely through boredom last August, after deciding to procure a sketch book, along with a set of coloured pencils, from Amazon.

Apart from throughout schooldays, which concluded four decades ago, I’d never drawn, or had the slightest interest in drawing until last August. Although late to the artwork party, I’m pleased to say GJ Strachan got there eventually, bringing with him a particularly splendid sauvignon blanc.

An example of my caricatures (above)

It’s fair to say, I’m absolutely loving the challenge of creating pencil cartoon depictions of selected subjects. A cast of hundreds sketched; predominantly actors, musicians, philosophers, sports stars and academics.

In the coming week, I intend to undertake some small decorating tasks and major garden maintenance for my mum, which for too long I’ve deferred through apathy, procrastination, or binge watching daytime TV show Homes Under The Hammer.

In particular, I need to repaint the untiled areas of wall in my mum’s bathroom. A black smudge residing upon the magnolia coloured emulsion on a plasterboard partition for weeks. My eye drawn to it every time I visit the loo. My resolve to obliterate to stain boosted by concluding it’s toyed with my OCD for longer than acceptable. Consequently, it’ll shortly be enveloped with fresh matt paint.

With regards my mum’s garden, I plan to jet blast the rear patio and Yorkshire stone wall, both lovingly constructed by my late father when moving into the property in 1989. My old man enigmatically laying the patio overnight after a late night visit from his mate Spats McCalliog.

Footnote – McCalliog didn’t actually wear spats, but demanded to be known by the pseudonym. A decision taken after deeming Shoe Laces McCalliog as too emasculating a nickname for a hard man who physically assaulting individuals for menial misdemeanours, such as misspelling his surname with just one ‘c’.

Eventually, dad cut ties with McCalliog. I’ve no proof to back this up, but It appears after laying our garden’s 36th patio in four weeks it must’ve dawned on the old fella his building work was risking a spell behind bars for aiding and abetting.

Incidentally, when referencing my old man ‘cutting ties’ with McCalliog, I’m of course referring to pater severing all contact with the local mobster. Not that he and Spats had a habit of walking around the place like latter day a Harpo Marx, defacing peers neckties with a pair of scissors.

Talking of using time in lockdown effectively, a friend informed me yesterday she intends to use her new found ‘hobby’ of COVID sourced hermitism productively by writing her second book. When I pointed out she’d not written any books, she cryptically and somewhat bafflingly, responded “I know, I’ve decided to pen the second book first!”

Anyhow, I can’t procrastinate here any longer, I’ve gardening maintenance to undertake. Actually, I can’t be arsed to do it today!…… Now, where’s that Homes Under The Hammer boxset?!

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