I awoke to the weather forecast, 25 degrees Celsius was being promised for central London, that’s 77 degrees Fahrenheit! Did a bit of study on my part in Coco (one of this season’s Lost Musicals at Sadler’s Wells) under a sunshade in the garden, then, after a light lunch, carrying six signed copies of my book, each weighing a kilo, I took the Jubilee line direct to Green Park. I wheeled the books in one of those compact trundle cases and walked from the Tube to the Royal Academy to meet Hilary King of Antibes so that she could take my literary consignment back to our disappointed book-launch customers.
|A revised version of the drawing you first glimpsed at the end of my Antibes film. |
One of several executed on the 'Brushes' app on my iPhone.
To tell the truth, I sat on a step in the shade of the forecourt and did the signing. We had planned to see the Watteau drawings, but a hitch – the size of the wheelie case exceeded cloakroom rules. A uniformed concierge took pity on my age and plight and looked at the nearby door with the gilt letters spelling ‘Academicians’. Well I do have a white beard and was sporting an artistic-looking straw hat. Yes, he was actually suggesting the case could be stored inside that august door as a special favour and against regulations. I fear it was on the strength of the fact that he thought I had a resemblance to Rolf Harris (another artist/entertainer who wouldn’t mind being elected as an RA), though the concierge had the grace to say I was better looking.
|Watteau, ‘Two Dancers’, ca. 1716-17.|
Black, red and white chalks on cream paper.
A great bonus when we walked into the dimly lit rooms of exquisite drawings was that they were wonderfully cool. I felt as if I had landed in the most privileged place in London, but to tell the truth once more it was my second visit – the first being last week with Kathleen Riley who yesterday, sadly, went back to Australia, from whence she will continue to edit my short films and blogs, but not wield the camera as she did at Burgh House and in Antibes. The wonders of cyberspace mean she will still be at my elbow!