Ever-spinning Wheels

Hurray! Tom has sold a painting! The lovely Martin, of Apple Gallery in Goldaming, phones with the good news. When we’ve finished dancing around the kitchen, Tom looks slightly crestfallen, ‘I like that painting,’ he says, before cheering up at the thought that he can now buy himself a new a bit of framing kit. I’m thrilled; I always think Tom deserves wider recognition so I love it when someone else acknowledges his talent, though it is an odd feeling when paintings disappear. I always hope they’ve gone to a good home where they’ll be cherished... and admired by the new owners’ friends who will rush out and buy more.

The next day we set off in Lester-the Fiesta to rescue The Red Car, our Berlingo, which has been slowly nursed back to health by Dai-the-Garage. Dai can’t bring himself to say the words out loud when we ask how much it’s all cost, he just pushes the bill across the desk at us with a muttered apology. Sheesh! That wipes out the sale of Tom’s painting and another one besides. Ah, well, it was nice to enjoy the feeling of having some spare cash in the system while it lasted.

Tom’s brother and family stayed with us for half term and on Thursday we walked up to the lake at Craig Cau at Cadair Idris where we stopped and had a picnic. Tom and I have walked up here lots of times and there’s always something special about being in the mountains, but on Thursday I felt particularly connected to the landscape. I’m not especially strong on describing the beauties of nature, as I’m more of a ‘people’ rather than ‘place’ person, but I just felt very peaceful that day.

When we got home there was a message from my cousin to ring him, and when I did he told me, very gently, that my Uncle Sid, had died. It seemed Uncle Sid just couldn’t bear being alive without my Auntie Joanie. Tom and I had visited him in the residential home he’d moved to shortly after Auntie Joanie died. It was a good home, he was well-cared for, but you didn’t need to be a genius to see that his heart was broken. I have lots of memories of Uncle Sid, but I’ll always remember him at family parties (of which there were many) looking round the room with pride and appreciation saying, ‘We’ve got bloody good-looking women in our family!’
Goodbye, Uncle Sid, give my love to Auntie Joanie and Dad when you see them.

And finally...
I finished my poetry TMA, hurray! A few of us met up in Cardiff last Saturday (thanks, Alex, for organising it) and it really helped to read some work out loud to each other. I’ve really enjoyed this course and learned so much through it, but there’s only ten weeks left. Where’s the time gone?

Blink and you’ll miss it. None of us can say what lies ahead, but I am very grateful for what I have here and now. On St David’s Day, Tom and I celebrate ten years of marriage. Thank you, Tom. Always.

The painting, now sold, is ‘Late Light – Preseli’ by Tom Tomos.


pinkfairygran said…
I imagine the selling of a painting to be rather like selling an article to a magazine, or how it felt for me. You always think you are quite good at writing, or whatever is your forte, but then to have someone PAY for it, to know that it is going to be read by THOUSANDS of people, is a real boost, and I imagine it's the same with paintings, except there is more work gone into a painting and it must be sad in a way, to part with it, so much more of you, your soul and so on, has gone into it, if that doesn't sound too airy-fairy.. well I am the pink fairy gran after all!! Lovely blog to read as usual...
Flowerpot said…
Wonderful painting and I'm so glad he sold it - good for the confidence if not the bank balance. I'm so sorry about your uncle but it sounds like he's gone where he wants to be, with his lovely wife, which can only be good, but it's hard for those left behind. So glad you're enjoying the course - I felt like that when I did my course - oh no type of feeling! Take care Chris.xxx
Preseli Mags said…
That was a real roller coaster of a post. Well done to Tom on selling the painting, bad Berlingo for needing the money, lovely to hear about your lakeside walk, but sorry to hear about Uncle Sid (I used to have an Uncle Sid too. Everyone should have one.) Finally two more ups! Hurray for the poetry and congratulations on your tenth anniversary. xx
Cait O'Connor said…
So pleased about the painting. M is a Godalming man and I have lived and worked there in the past. Met M there actually.
I love Berlingos, would you recommend them?
Great about the poem and the course (I am so envious!).
Sorry to hear of the passing of your uncle but he is happily reunited with his 'other half'.
LittleBrownDog said…
Happy wedding anniversary, Chris & Tom - hope you're doing something special. (Ten years - you must have got married the same year as us, although ours isn't until October.) Excellent news about the painting, but can imagine Tom's mixed feelings about saying goodbye. I'm sure it will be bringing much pleasure to someone. Shame the proceeds had to be eaten up by the cars, but just imagine the situation if you hadn't sold the painting.

Lovely to catch up again, as ever (and, yes - I've always thought of the Sagittarius/Gemini axis as the axis of scepticism, so am totally not surprised you're not into astrobabble ;) )

Crystal Jigsaw said…
Hi Chris, firstly, I was sorry to hear about Uncle Sid, you were obviously extremely fond of him and I'm sure will have many lovely memories. I don't think it's uncommon for the other half to pass away quietly of a broken heart, particularly elderly folk who have been together for such a lot of years. God bless.

Excellent news on the painting, a huge pat on the back and well done on finishing your poetry.

CJ xx
Milla said…
that was a lovely thing, ChrisH, although I'm sorry about your uncle.
Congrats to Tom. and to you, for enjoying your poetry.
Pondside said…
Great news about the sale.......and then the swoop and dip of a return to the everyday. Your 'everyday' was certainly an up and down sort of one. I'm sorry to read about your uncle, but it sounds as though his life was lonely without your aunt.
Congrats on the poem!
ChrisH said…
Pfg, Tom's always a bit ambivalent about seeing his paintings go. On one hand he's pleased that someone likes them enough to pay for them and on the other he's sometimes sorry that he'll never see them again.
Fp, you know that feeling, too - yes it does do wonders for the confidence! Thanks for the condolences.
Mags, thank you.. maybe we should walk instead of drink coffee next time? But let's pick a nice day!
Cait, small world eh? Yes, despite this post I would recommend the Berlingo which has been a good old workhorse, has lugged many a child's stuff to and from university, shifted a dishwasher and washing machine in one load and goes like a bomb.
LBD, shudder to think of situation without a sale! Sorry to be a sceptic but you know how much I enjoy your writing so would probably read a shopping list if you wrote it!
CJ, thank you for everything, no, I don't think Uncle Sid could go on by himself.
Milla, thanks dear heart.
Pondside, it really is strange the way life gives and then takes away again. It has been a very up and down time.
Frances said…
Hello Chris,

So much can happen in a week.

I am delighted that a lucky person with a very good eye will now own Tom's painting. How wonderful to know that the beauty of that painting will be available to many more eyes.

The way that you have described the various events or even revelations of the week remind me a bit of watching a tide approach a shore, again and again. The shore is affected a bit with each approach, and the sea is encouraged by its own energy to return over and over.

My image may be a bit rough, but that is how I often view my own personal history.

Suffolkmum said…
Lovely painting, congratulations to Tom. Sorry to hear about your Uncle,but how lovely that you had that peaceful, mellow feeling - it must have helped to absorb the shock and distress a little.
bradan said…
I'm sorry to hear about your uncle, Chris, but I guess he is now where he wants to be.
Congratulations to Tom on selling a painting, I think you know that I love them, if only I could afford one, it would go to a good home! Love the one on your previous blog.
Well done on your poetry and all good wishes for your tenth anniversary. xx
Happy anniversary - have a good one! he's not treating you to a day out on Titanic is he? Great news about the picture and so sorry about Uncle Sid - so sad. As for that poetry - still struggling here - fingernails down to the knuckles and all that jazz!!
JJ said…
I read this on my feeds yesterday but Blogger was playing up and I couldn't get to the site proper. Now I've forgotten what I was going to say.

Still, I'm glad to hear a painting has been sold. Fantastic.
Pat Posner said…
Sorry to hear about your Uncle Sid (HUGS) but it's good for him and Auntie Joanie to be together again.

Congratulations to Tom. I love the paintings of his you show us.

nimblejacks said…
Sorry about your Uncle, My hubby's grandad went the same after his wife died, they were a lovely couple and he didn't want to live without her. Not many people can say that can they? Half term was a whoosh!! Lots of Gower tourists it seems, sunshine, felting, bag making and beach combing. Hope your shoulder's getting betterxx
Debs said…
Congratulations to Tom on his sale. I'm sure his paintings will be well loved as they're so fab.

Sorry to hear about your Uncle Sid, I'm sure you have wonderful memories of him and your Auntie Joan.

Well done for finishing your TMA, I remember when my sister was doing her degree and I couldn't believe how much work went into these things.
muddyboots said…
great news about the painting sale, a sense of finally arriving in the art world perhaps, and l do like that particular painting! As to local garages and vehicle repairs, fortunately our man always seems to invoice 2 months after t he repair job which does soften the blow somehwat.
Flowerpot said…
PS - it's our 10th anniversary this year as well - yet another coincidence!!
Lane said…
Happy Anniversary! And well done Tom for selling a painting. He should be selling shed loads, he's so good.
Fennie said…
Yes, I guess it must be a wrench to see a painting go. My father was an unsuccessful artist and just when you got used to (and rather liked) one of his pieces he would re-use it, cut up the hardboard or whatever it was painted on. I have a couple of of cutdowns in my office even now of bigger pictures that I remembered from my childhood, which I managed to salvage before they were 'recycled.'
Sorry about the Berlingo story. I used to have my car on contract hire with maintenance. Now I have bought it and so the monthly outgoings are less but I face he same horrendous annual bills again.
ChrisH said…
Frances - Absolutely! They were very discerning buyers, weren't they! And, yes, it is that constant ebb and flow that shapes us.
Suffolkmum, it was strange that I felt so at peace at that time - it did help to ease the sad news.
Bradan, you are most kind and thank you for your support for Tom's work.
SBS, don't even joke about it. Serves me right for being smug about finishing my TMA - my tutor couldn't open it and I had to resubmit at the eleventh hour and nearly blew up the system!
JJ, I hate it when it does that - or I comment and my comment gets lost in space.
Pat, good to hear from you, and thank you.
Nimblejacks, it was lovely to get some sunshine and head for the beach - we went to Mwnt. Still waiting for physio appointment. Sigh.
Debs, will pass on your comment and thanls for supporting Tom's work. And, thanks for your sympathy.
Muddyboots, would be nice if it happened. Tom sells a steady trickle of work - but not enough to live on and certainly not enough to keep the cars on the road!
Fp, are you sure we are not twins separated at birth?? (its the Cadbury comp that always makes me laugh!)
Lane, you are a woman of great taste and wisdomosity.
Fennie, I guard the paintings in my study so that Tom can't sell them! Or, eek!, recycle them!
BT said…
I'm so glad Tom has sold a painting. I love his work and only wish I had the spare cash.... You know how it goes.

So sorry to hear about your Uncle but he and Auntie Joan obviously had a great marriage and her parting was clearly too much for him to take.

It sounds as though you had a good time with your visitors and a lovely walk up the mountain. You must be very fit.

Spring arrived in our garden then has disappeared today, it's cold, wet and windy! Lovely blog as always. Oh and Happy Wedding Anniversary, wonderful to have found such a soul mate.
Expat mum said…
Congrats to Tom on the painting. I feel like that when I make a gift for someone. Whether it's knitted or otherwise crafty, part of me always wants to keep it even tho' I spesifically made it for the recipient.
My sympathies to you on the loss of uncle Sid. He sounds like a grand man!
ChrisH said…
BT, thank you - we're looking at snow again today! Where did Spring go?
Expatmum, beleive me, I never feel like that about anything I've made... although neither would the receiver! You must be much handier than me!

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