Welcome to the Gallery

Imagine is set in the Suffolk village of Long Melford.
This is an attempt to record the daily trials, tribulation and pleasure of running an art gallery.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Night on the Town!

Yesterday, was a strange day for me and has left me with many mixed emotions
 I had to visit London
It was that bad.

Let me explain in a a little more detail.

After spend so many years of my life [since the age of sixteen] working in London
It has become a place I would be happy never to see again, for me it holds none of
the magic and charm that it does for visitors
It is a place where I grew from being an innocent boy to a cynical man.

However it is also the town where I was first introduced to and then taught to appreciate art
Thanks to guidence of one man [who I have mentioned before].
I admit that the places, galleries / museums and shops he intoduced me to still seem magical.
Even last night, walking past the old building where we first worked together had my heart beating faster.
London, I love it hate it.

The reason I had to make a very unexpected trip there yesterday is this.
I have been writing to the incredible American artist
Daniel Merriam.

That is nothing special as I often write and correspond with artists that I admire.
Of course, always in the hope that we might agree upon a partnership of some kind, simply because I would love to one day exhibit their work.
It is like sifting for gold, sometimes you strike it rich.

So it was that Daniel replied to me and we had the early start of a relationship.
A few days ago he asked "do you want to meet up in person"?
He was stopping at London for the weekend before tavelling with his wife to Venice
"for a proper [belated] honeymoon".

Of course I had to give this a great deal of consideration.

"Tell me where and when and I will meet you there"

A few more mails passed between us until I realised that his travel [from San Fransico] was immenent
and I still had no idea where he was staying.
He and his wife were in the depature lounge at the airport when they recieved my "where" question.
"The Ritz".
If I wasn't already nervous enough this information pushed me over the edge.
I wasn't sure what frightened me more
Meeting this world renowned artist or visiting this iconic hotel.
On reflection I think I was more in awe of the hotel.

I was right to be in awe of the hotel.
Daniel could not have been more normal, unassuming and unretensious than I could have hoped for.
He is an artist that only takes his craft seriously, not himself.

I walked into the Ritz and recognised him instantly
Let's just say if his art ever lets him down he could always turn to acting,
Would you believe he makes Bradd Pitt look ugly? 

Both he and his equally beautiful wife instantly took me "under their wing".
[weren't they meant to be the tourists]!
They lead me off to a night club 
It was themed on "Around the World in 80 Days'.
For me the non tourist it spelt "rip you off in 80 seconds", plus it was far to loud
Which is saying something for a partially deaf person.
We decided to move on and find somewhere with less noise so that we could talk.

We did talk, in fact we talked a lot.
We talked of different artists, our gallery, Daniels Gallery, Daniels art.....
in fact we talked of many many things
But none in a private place
We talked as I lead them around the area's of central London and Soho that I could remember,
In fact for me their was a lot of nostalgia involved,
Although enjoying myself I was astounded at how London had changed in ten years
Every "genuine" old pub and restaurant I lead them towards had closed or drastically changed.
What did I expect, this is London.

So, eventually we settled on a pizza.
When you are hungry at least you know your are safe with what you are eating.
A far cry from the 'RITZ'
But I don't think I was being judged, we just enjoyed ourselves.

For me I can't remember such an enjoyable evening/night for a long time
Every now and again I had to remind myself that this was a famous artist who kept asking me
"do you want a slice of my pepporoni"?

The evening was as unusual as Daniels paintings, but with "added toppings".

I hope you both enjoy Venice.


  1. Thank you for your comment Susan.
    I love the fact that you called it a story, because now just few days later it seems like a story to me.
    Did it really happen?
    Did we end up offering each other pieces of pizza, while talking about the artist we admire.
    It doesn't even seem real to me, but perhaps when they arrive home from Venice and contact me then perhaps I will believe it happened.
    My main memory of the evening was when I took them past the famous Liberty shop.
    It is a genuine beautiful timber framed building in the centre of London, but they did not know it existed.
    It was a delight to see their faces as they looked in amazement. As we walked past Daniel had kept stroking the old carved beams, almost as if he didn't think they were real.

    From there we turned into the famous "Carnaby Street",
    and believe me there is nothing left there that is real.
    I remember the day I was in the "Take Six" shop, looking for a pair of new flared trousers, walking backwards to see myself in the mirror I bumped into someone.
    "Sorry mate", he said.
    It was Pete Townsend from the "WHO".

    From Carnaby street we wandered into Soho and I lead them to the office of Paul McCartney, the lights were off and the curtains closed, but I know they were fascinated. I told them of the day that I was walking to work and met him there [and got his autograph] as he came out to get in his car.

    But those days really are a story, sadly one that is long past.
    Yet, here I was years later, a little older, but still rubbing shoulders with a famous artist.
    Isn't life strange?

    Best Wishes