Johnny Kidd and the Pirates.


Blue sky and warm sun as I walk along Meridian Street, the very start of my line. On the corner is ‘The Anchor’ pub and I thought it might be interesting to go in and have a chat. I try the doors but its shut, and I try again just in case but no it is shut. ( The pubs in Leith, by the docks were always open really early in the morning. Not in Montrose.) A man watches me from his white van and I think he must be thinking how desperate is she, and I hurry on, red faced, embarrassed.

Into Panmure Place and the museum. I ask Linda and Sue the curators what is their favourite piece in the collection and why. Linda takes me to the smallest Roman gold ring found in a ploughed field not far from here and Sue chooses a fire insurance sign from a building in the town. As she says, from the sublime to the ridiculous. I visit Flo in the toilets and she plays me some of her country and western music saying the customers love a wee dance. In the cafe I meet Hazel and Millie. Millies son was named Johnny after the band Johnny Kidd and the Pirates. She says.. ‘its funny how life’, and then pauses searching for the word before continuing ….’diversifies’, and she laughs ‘that’ll be the egg roll !’, and we talk about how life never turns out how you might imagine.

I visit Kim at the ‘Ropey’ and we walk over the exhibition space, its going to be great as long as I get all the work made. She tells me about following a man who was walking backwards down the street. She followed him for as long as she could and he carried on going in reverse. she said I would have loved it. We wondered why he would be doing this but couldn’t come up with an answer and decided maybe he just wanted to. I think that is reason enough.

On the way back to the car I think about trying the pub again but decide to leave it this week. Probably best….

Bring me sunshine.

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Finished painting of the flowers in the Ladies loo, Baltic Street, Montrose. The title refers to a picture of Morecambe and Wise who appear in the paper and are visible in the painting.

A perfectly ordinary Friday.

Goose grey sky. Wind in the East. Someone is drumming in an upstairs flat. In the museum I take a picture of a bicorne hat, reputedly worn by Napoleon. Chat to a woman about the coming of the daffies. Off the High Street, I pop into the tattoo parlour down the New wynd and am shown around by Damian, the owner. He says mostly the clients are older and return again and again. He speaks of them as a family. Looking around at the framed photos and skateboards on the walls he tells me that he has tried to make the surroundings comfy, like your own home. I ask how he got into the tattoo business and he tells me that he is a screenprinter, oh, and a cook, and a joiner and a builder … At the barbers I give Derek a print of the painting ‘The barbers chair’. He says, ‘The last woman before you to come in here read my palm, for ¬£20.’ I said that wasn’t one of my skills, but said it sounded an interesting idea as part of my practice. I should maybe give it some thought…… Further along the walk I visit ‘Trendy dogs’, the pet grooming parlour and meet Christine and a spaniel in for a trim. There is dog wallpaper on the walls and the smell of wet fur. We talk about grooming newfoundlands, now theres a job, and what its like having your grown up children move back home. She gently combs the spaniels ears. It looks happy. Up at the Hoosie catering portakabin Steve and Kenny a driving instructor chat about driving lessons. Kenny says that often pupils will come to a junction on the right hand side of the road after passing a line of parked cars on the left. He says ‘I turn to them and say bonjour..?!..’ ¬†Four hours later as I walk back down by the docks, round the corner from ‘Chips an’ things’ (what things ? ), the person in the upstairs flat is still drumming. I like the circularity of this and the dedication to their craft. Still, I’m glad I don’t live in the flat below and next door along theres a sign in the window , ‘Quiet please, hangover in progress’. What a shame.