JH

 

When I was at primary school James Hunt was the big famous racing car driver. He lived a fantastic fast-paced life of wine, wins and women. Better was that we had the same initials. When you're a small kid that means something. As we were both "JH" perhaps I could be a be Formula One driver (I was that naive.) Barry Bridge could have been a Bjorn Borg and David Dunn could have been a Desmond Douglas (the table tennis wizard.)

 

Have you seen the 2013 film Rush about the fiery rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda? It's well worth watching even if you find Formula 1 boring. I watched it on my computer on Saturday night (while my dad was downstairs watching his 14th hour of some boring golf competition.) I'm not one for sitting down and watching a film without doing something else. I got out an A4 board and felt restless. I thought I'd do a weird abstract paintings featuring a "J" and a "H" somewhere. I put myself under a rule: start the painting as the films starts and finish it as the film finishes. Here is the dismal result.

 

It went well but as there're no rules with abstract stuff you can't go wrong. Using only a knife I smeared on colours which complimented one another. The film is 123 minutes long but I was finished and had washed the knife with minutes to spare. I didn't see much of the film so I'll have to watch it again. I like doing these abstract paintings as they massage my insides around and are therapeutic. I know they're not real paintings but try telling that to abstract artist Gerhard Richter who is often considered to be the world's greatest living painter. Oddly this painting looked different in sunlight the next day as the paint had darkened. I don't mind though and paint for pleasure. I've even done a few under another name but they'll never see the light of day.

I couldn't believe it when I heard that James had died of heart attack in bed at home in Wimbledon in 1993. He was only 45 - all those races at 190 mph and he died in bed in his sleep. He'd been married twice but neither marriage were successful (he admitted he'd been to bed with about 5000 women.) He'd proposed on the telephone the day before he died to Helen Dyson a waitress he met in a restaurant in Wimbledon.

 

I wonder what happened to his animals - he had a decent menagerie: a German shepherd called Jackson, a swearing parrot called Humbert and 300 budgerigars in a state-of-the-art aviary in the back garden. In recent years the house was up for sale for 5.75 million. He lived there for eleven years and could often be spotted cycling to the BBC TV Centre (to do commentary on races) He was cremated but I've yet to find out where his ashes are so I can go and salute them.

 

This painting isn't for sale and now hangs in a room with my coveted collection of 684 airplane sick bags.