I read today that Bath University’s latest findings for insomniacs is that they stay awake all night (obviously) and by so doing eventually the body resets itself. Well it’s 4.41 a.m and I’ve been into the garden; the birds chattering and the rain drops glistening. Eaten a big, fat, juicy strawberry and a handful of raspberries. I’ve inspected the lettuces and fed the cat. I’ve put the oven on to bake two baguettes and I’ve been chatting to my all seeing chum in Los Angeles.

Today I took the 11.09 into Charing Cross. There were more passengers than I had encountered for a year. We all wore masks and several were talking loudly – ear buds in – to invisible friends.

‘Hello Ladies’ said a hairy man to six of his mates who were travelling from Tunbridge Wells to Trafalgar Square to shout at eleven Englishmen in Wembley who were going to run rings round eleven German gentlemen at 4.00 o’clock. The supporters were surprisingly quiet, all playing games on their telephones.
Opposite me was a young man in a waxed jacket reading Kahlil Gibran, another feller was drinking ‘Red Bull’ and giving his absent pal relationship advice whilst the geezer opposite me, in his track suit trousers and immaculate silver grey barnet answered one of his constantly dinging phones; ‘I’m just closing a deal.’ he said. Why did that not surprise me?

The rain threatened but it stayed hovering in dark grey clouds. By the time we reached London Bridge the carriage had emptied. At Waterloo East three of us remained. We alighted at Charing Cross and went our separate ways. I walked to Leicester Square which was shut. A handful of tourists milled around M&M’S the world’s largest ‘candy’ store, 35,000 square feet of sugar coated crap, the enticing smell of additives filled the air. A brisk walk to Eros, a hop and a skip down Piccadilly and into the Royal Academy. Women of a certain age, with greying hair and vegan shoes, talked artily over one shot lattés. I was one of those women in my pink trouser suit. I ordered an oat milk cappuccino and a regular coffee with sugar for my companion, as well as a huge pecan cookie to suck on before it was time to enter the art gallery.

David Hockney is a genius, an octogenarian of such wit and joy that were I to meet him in real life I would throw myself at his beautiful Bradford body, buy him a packet of fags, and offer to clean his brushes. His latest exhibition was created on an i-pad. It’s all trees and flowers, lily ponds and different perspectives of the house in Normandy where he was holed up cos of Covid. My artist girl-friend-guide told me how to look at the pictures. We sat and I marvelled at a tree with three yellow markings and a strip of yellow leaves. It looked, for all the world, like a bold ray of sunshine had broken through the ornate ceiling in Burlington House W1.
I am no art critic, or art historian, and certainly no artist, but good old Hockney made me want to pick up a paintbrush – or stylus – and paint magnificent versions of my poppies and lupins under the mahonia.

We went into the gallery shop and I managed to resist everything that had a Hockney tag. In the end I bought a walnut shaped eraser, a bottle of matches for the dawter and a wooden kaleidoscope for the old git – another piece of nonsense to put in his drawer.

We walked round the back of the building to Tracy Emin’s exhibition. Her and Munch baring their souls. I’d taken a virtual tour on my lap top the night before – moody and gut wrenching. In real life, however, it didn’t have the same effect on me. A lot of dripping red paint with Emin’s faceless body bowed and Munch’s depressed women. We left and walked out into the rain.

Burlington arcade is a collection of shoe shops and watch emporiums, scent boutiques and cashmere sweaters, a shopping mall for the few wealthy tourists who had braved the plague. We ended up next to Sir Christopher Wren’s St. James’s Church, on Piccadilly. Rain lashed the red brick and Portland stone, as we sat under dripping parasols munching on toasted cheese sarnies. After my second coffee I felt the euphoria that only caffeine can bring so I merrily dodged the raindrops as I power walked to Charing Cross.

I picked up an ‘Evening Standard’ at the station, a thin edition with a piece about holidaying with your dogs. The front page though, was all about Hancock’s half hour. I couldn’t give a flying fuck about Matt’s misdemeanours but who ever turned the camera round to catch him squeezing his paramour’s buttock, knew what they were doing. It’s not that I don’t care about his behaviour or the behaviour of Boris’s Johnson, it’s not that I don’t care about the lack of opposition, it’s not that I don’t care about the state of our schools, the housing policy, or the unfettered destruction of the green belt. It’s not that I don’t want to scream at the thoughtless felling of ancient woodlands for a fucking railway track; it’s not that I don’t care about Priti Patel’s callousness or the selling off of our NHS; it’s not that I’m unaffected by my dawter’s lost generation or the lack of funding for the arts; it’s not that I don’t give a crap that creativity has been withdrawn from the our state school system; it’s not that I am immune to this arsehole government giving to the rich, favouring their pals, lining each others pockets; it’s not that I don’t want to flay them alive for not giving a fuck for anybody that isn’t from Chipping Norton; it’s just that I’d spent the day bathing in the glorious world of Mr. Hockney and I was damned if my one day of cultural bliss was going to be ruined by a handful of parliamentarians who have about as much compassion for the likes of me as a mangy, maggoty hyena. Of course, I’m angry, but fighting this mob of self entitled pricks has to be done carefully and surreptitiously. Insurrection can only take place when an alternative is ready to be put into place.

I did the crossword on the train, y’know, the easy quick one. One of the clues was ‘Another word for transparency’. The answer was ‘clarity’. I nodded off in Orpington and woke up in Sevenoaks having daydreamed that this government of ours is like a dirty smeared window, we can just about see through it but it’s hard to make out a clear image. They are seedy and greasy, like lard on a mirror, smeared and claggy, empty and arrogant, hypocrites with tainted souls who inhabit the Palace of Westminster

Unlike David Hockney who has designed a stained glass window for Westminster Abbey. You walk over the graves of giants – Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin – to look up at it. It stretches to the sky. It’s blindingly colourful and vibrant, celebratory and up-lifting. The nutcrushers of our British elite wouldn’t know how to share beauty and delight unless it had a table on it. They know the price of everything and the value of nothing, they are destroyers not creators.

The Hockney’s and Emins’, the Arkalas’ and Rashfords’, the Packhams’ and Benedettis’ should be in charge of our future – not creepy conservators of the old order.

The old git picked me up and sped us home in the teeming rain to watch England’s victory. A Jamaican born black man scored the first goal and an Essex born white man scored the second. The crowd went wild as eleven athletic soccer players gave hope to thousands of people who needed a boost after the catastrophic mayhem that this bunch of twats have put us through. Sanjiv Javid has been anointed as our new saviour; he is singlehandedly going to stop this pandemic, grow wings and heal the sick. This man is as unsafe as a haulage truck without a side mirror driving the wrong way up the M25 whilst eating a chicken wrap with one hand and holding his mobile in the other whilst talking shite to Rishi Sunak about ring fencing 24p for our ailing hospitals. To quote Zarah Sultana MP;
“The new Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, earns £150k as an advisor to US bank JP Morgan.
JP Morgan say they “see the opportunities that lie ahead” for private healthcare.
The ultimate “opportunity” for private healthcare is NHS privatisation.”
The bare faced cheek of our besuited leaders who smile whilst they pull out our fingernails.

I spent an evening with a young doctor and her husband an equine vet. He wanted to know why I had not had my dawter MMR’d; he wanted to know what did I really know about the science of vaccines, what had informed my choices? In the past I would have shouted and banged the arm of the chair trying to convince another human being about why they should be making choices like mine, but do you know what, it’s not that I don’t give a damn about the side affects of Astra Zeneca or the politics of Big Pharma, or the declining health of our society; it’s not that I don’t give a fuck about booster jabs and variants, the lack of supplies and funds for care homes; it’s not that I don’t get apoplectic with rage at the thought of ignoramuses’ making decisions based on their myopic visions. It’s just that for three hours Hockney reminded me that a tree sheds its leaves and then grows them back again. That Mother Nature will always win and that the likes of Hancock and his unholy tribe will eventually crumble and, just like the wicked witch of the west, melt into a steaming pile of excrement.

Politics is for the long haul, now is not the time to throw hand grenades at the weak minded for they can only rise to the level of their own incompetence. Now is the time to wait quietly on the allotment scheming, as they systematically destroy themselves after which we pick up our wheelbarrows and dump a steaming pile of horse shit over them and watch the garden grow.

After all let us remember what the divine Mr.Hockney said,

“Only after seeing the winter, do you comprehend the richness of summer.

1 thought on “Portreeture”

  1. My darling Sweetheart – for you on Tuesday it was Hockney for me today it was seeing a young Brit woman fighting through to the third round her first time at Wimbledon with a great smile & another young woman also winning through to the third round, saying three times how much she loved the crowds being at Wimbledon, how much it meant to share being on the court. The Westminster bubble is just that & eventually it will burst …


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