Wednesday, 9 October 2013


This is probably even more off-topic than usual (although that appears to be pretty normal with me - staying ON topic - whatever that is - would be fairly ground-breaking!). 

However, tonight I was attempting a self-portrait for the first time in decades.  I was facetiously challenged by my mother to do so, and, inspired by posing for a drawing class over the summer, out came the pencils and, squinting and smudging, I had a bash.

It's not particularly good.  Fair enough; that wasn't the point.  I can try again, and fail better, as it were.  That which I have stuck up here is not even half way to where I eventually decided I should abandon this particular Gorgon Medusa incarnation.  

What gave me pause, just before this point, was the ghostly appearance, in my mind, of my long-lost auntie Jackie.  I haven't seen her in decades; none of the family has (to my knowledge).  In studying my own face in order to try and transfer it to paper, however, hers came vividly to life in my imagination.  She was puffing away on a roll-up and her voice was tired and cynical whilst explaining marvels and she had an illicit dog under her arm and it occurred to me with a physical shock that she would have been of a similar age to me when I last saw her.  

I couldn't tell you precisely what it was that conjured that particular ghost.  Probably a line, an angle, a shading, rather than a definite feature; but, goodness, it had quite the effect of Proust's madeleines upon me.  I'm used to spotting transformed bits of me in the next generation, but for an older relative to come visiting through the medium of a bit of scribbling - well, it quite sent shivers down my spine.

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