Many years ago I used the works upstairs toilet as I kept a fluffy towel in there. There was also a shower cubicle in there and for one day I saw it was wet. Also my towel was almost dripping. Weeks passed and one day I went to get some stationary from some shelves in a hollow under the stairs and found a coiled sleeping bag and a pillow. A work chum who I still know now confessed hed spent a few nights sleeping on the floor in his office. I got to know him quite well and his life was in a little turmoil (which he seemed to thrive on.)


He was courting a woman who was married. When the woman's husband found out about the infidelity he said he was going to kill himself. The burnt-out marriage was now only smoking embers and the woman said, "Yeah right, of course you will."


My chum continued to date the woman and one night she returned home to find the house profoundly hushed. From the hall she looked upstairs to see her husband's legs hanging still and silent through the attic door. The ensuing turmoil had rendered my chum unable to return to his bedsit for a few days and he was lying low and sleeping in his office. Thick blankets and a sleeping bag by his desk were his bed for a few nights. He had been using the shower before the first person arrived for work.

Here is a painting associated with the unsettling scene, a woman opening her door and about to have a scene burnt into her brain. I doubt my chum will want to part with 30,000 to buy it and hang it on his chimney breast.

I called it "Neck" after a sharp short story by Roald Dahl dramatised in the Tales Of The Unexpected television series. Joan Collins plays the gamely coquette as well as John Gielgud plays the over-familiar butler. This painting will go in the attic along with the other hopeless efforts. Good job I like doing the painting more than I like the end result.