I spent my first day in Montrose, wandering and sleuthing my way around. I surprised a sleeping shag on the beach, and asked the toilet attendant what is the best thing about Montrose ? It felt as if I had asked her a very personal question. The steeple she answered nervously. I left thinking there must be more, and I walked and found interesting street names, dark, narrow closes off the High Street, the abandoned warehouses of a global trading port and a wonderful Victorian museum. These are some of their finds –
An ear bone of a Greenland whale, and Russian birch bark shoes. A man o’war ship made of bone, from French prisoners of war. A message in a bottle -‘We ate the dog, three men left alive, have mercy on our souls, Amen’.
Treasures. I shall return, to draw .
Acrylic on paper.
Had my first accordion lesson last night, hmmm… its harder than it looks. The teacher is a man called Billy Anderson and he wears a waistcoat and tweed jacket and looks and sounds like Ken Stott, the actor. Very patient and jolly with me. The rest of the group were very encouraging, so I will practice my scales, and my first tune, thankful for it not being ‘twinkle twinkle little star’, and I’ll be Jimmy Shand-ing before you can shout ‘Auchtermuchty’.
watercolour on paper. 23 x 10 cm.
Charcoal, ink and gesso on brown paper.
Porcelain sky, a brittle cold. Fat waddled dogs, seagulls arc. Fishermen mending, all quiet by the sea.
Bright winter sun in the woods. Pencil drawing.
I sat in the Central Library Dundee today looking for things Montrose, to start my research into the town. I came across some year books from the early 1970’s. This is a snapshot –
Decimalisation means camp site fees are now 40p per tent. The Locarno Ballroom reinvents itself as The Four Seasons a la Sunset Strip. The tobacconists advert runs with the line – “The man who smokes thinks like a Sage and acts like a Samaritan”. ‘In style’ fashions for your jeans, cords and cheesecloths, and you might like to saunter down to the Corner House Hotel and the Zanzi-bar lounge with its distinctive African decor. Mrs. McAlpine runs a tape recording and hi-fi club. Miss Joan Butter is Montrose Rose Queen. Stereograms and Grundig tellies all available on the H.P. and Arbuthnotts for your lifeboat if all else fails.
Tannadice football ground , Dundee.
Mixed media on film poster ‘Insomnia’. 74 x 63 cm
In 1981 Dundee United played Monaco in a European cup match at Tannadice. According to Michael Marra, bard of Dundee, …. ‘Grace Kelly came to Tannadice with her man. She was wearing a white turban and that’s unusual in Dundee……Unfortunately she was sitting behind an advertising hoarding for Taylor Bros. Coal. It was what we called incongruous’.