For The Love Of Books


Here’s a painting in honour of books. This scene of books, something to write in, a fountain pen and slab of cake is worth pints of blood to me. When I sit under the canopy of lamp light and lose myself in another person’s words I’m always surprised how you can enjoy yourself with only your eyes moving. I never thought black shapes on a white page would make my heart face, throw clumps of knowledge into the firebox of my curiosity, make me grimace or even get watery eyes (have you ever read “The Remorseful Day” in which Chief Inspector Morse dies?) With a moat of books, journals, cake and coffee around me I don’t feel I need much else in life. The material goods of this world mean even less.


One single painting prompted me to do this. There’s a Scottish painter called Samuel Peploe who I like. I got a book out of the library about him and kept going back repeatedly to ”Still Life With Pears And Wine Glass.” This painting lifted something in me, made me wonder if I could do one. “Mmmm, I think I’ll have a try,” I thought.


I spread a few things on the snooker table, took a photo and painted it. As there were no tricky faces or fingers to paint it was soon finished. I used just a few colours. On the left is a notebook for writing in. I been filling notebooks and diaries with observations, thoughts and ideas since I was 14 and if I don’t do this for a few days I feel a bit nervy (I’m sure this on-going narrative with myself provides some kind of therapy.) Diaries become interesting when about eight years have passed. I read a line from my diary the other night. “Jud [my dad] was in garden bending over his lettuces, broke wind so loudly that I heard it from my open window. Could tell Karen in garden next door did too.”


Here are the photos. I mind a dog called Alfie sometimes and had to take these photos before he wolfed down that cake.