Monday 22 December 2008

Artist’s Treat, Chinese Food and Turkish Delight

I do claim that privilege for having a birthday so near Christmas. I will not work on that day – other than perhaps some writing. And I do claim it as a day when I can do what I want to do.

So, I took a day long Artist’s Treat.

It started off with getting up slowly and reading in bed. I’m still on Singing for Mrs Pettigrew and it just gets better and better.

Then Martin and I went to the Lowry on the tram. We looked at the exhibition of his paintings. I now know many of the places which he painted and plenty of his scenes were very familiar. I now teach at the “Technical College” from where he painted many of his scenes. These days it’s called the University of Salford.

We did a little shopping at the Lowry Outlet Centre – saving at least 30% on some M & S goods. We found the gorgeous costermonger I found the other day after the Five Gold Rings workshop. I bought a selection of olives and pickled garlic from him, that day. They weren’t cheap, but they were gorgeous. He’s almost out of the olives now, but still has plenty of the Turkish Delight which was the other attraction.

We found a restaurant doing a Chinese buffet. It was good enough.

Then, back into town on the tram. We wandered around what was left of the Christmas markets and it was still cheery enough. We found some bargain cake and Lebkuchen – the Nuremberg sort – because they all go home tomorrow.

I also managed to take a photo of where I fell the other day. The pavement was indeed very uneven. But can I be bothered to pursue a claim?

Last stop was Druckers. Fantastic cake and drinks Sadly, I daren’t drink coffee so late in the day. But if you don’t know Druckers, you should get to know it. And it might help if you also know that it all started as a family business, started by Albert Drucker who was a Viennese Jew who came over to avoid the Nazis. We knew him when he was starting out. His first shop was in a suburb of Birmingham, the second in the middle of town and the third in out own West Bromwich. It now feels disloyal to go anywhere else.

A nice day. A day that left thinking space. A lot of the time I was reflecting on how I want to live my life. Mort of my time does have to go to writing. Hence writing now. But that is partly what Artist’s Treats are about. It’s a time of doing nothing, a time of just being. And the ideas creep in while you’re not looking.

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