Nuns With Hoops

 

I had a house in Todmorden for a decade. I used to drive there from the office on Fridays and to vary the journey Id sometimes go through Rawtenstall or Bacup. Occasionally Id go via Burnley and call at the huge ASDA store. Sometimes thered be groups of Muslim men congregating there in the car park. The dome of the mosque is nearby so I thought they were waiting to attend prayers. It tickled me when I found out they were waiting for a certain time when the prices of bread, cakes and pastries were massively reduced and theyd rush in to buy them.

 

Teatime traffic was usually thick but once I was got passed the busy crossroad near the football ground (Turf Moor) things eased off. Once while in a queue waiting for the traffic lights I spotted some nuns playing with hoola hoops down the side of a church on some grass. There's a nunnery and then a church and the bit of grass separates them. I've never seen a nun spinning a hula hoop around her waist before (I saw a vicar with a cigarette and greyhound once.) Seconds out - the lights went green and unfortunately I had to move off. I thought I would commit this fleeting memory onto canvas and here's a small oil painting.

 

There's not much detail in this one so it didn't take long. I wasn't sure where to start - how do you draw a couple of nuns from a fifteen-year-old memory? I daubed in a bit of grass and a church in the mid-distance and put in a nun close up and one behind her. I cant recall if bits of hair protruded from their veils as they bent down to pick up the hoops. I thought nuns were shaven bald as billiard balls for some reason but Julie Andrews dispelled this thought. I've just noticed I haven't shown any hair in the painting.

 

I wonder if the nuns are still alive. I've wandered around Burnley Cemetery and once came across a copse of headstones over nuns so I guess most of them end up there. You don't get many nuns in paintings do you? What an odd scene. When Im drooling in a Parker Knoll armchair in a Scarborough nursing home I'm sure I'll remember those sisters. You could buy this painting for that alcove in your bedroom. Shall we say 10,000 per nun so that'd be 20,000 and I'd post if off for free via TNT.

 

Just down the road from the convent is Burnley's football stadium, Turf Moor. Along the outside wall are photographs of past Burnley legends. One is of my dad's dad George Halley who was a professional footballer for a bit. He's sat with his legs crossed but I still looked at his nut bag and thought, "I came from your nuts."

 

This woman knows how to spin a hoop...

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nr6MJZP3poU

 

 

 

 

Who's a good boy...

 

 

 

 

 

I saw the nuns on the patch of grass between the nunnery and church...

 

Just here...

 

 

 

 

Looking good granddad...