Updated: Sep 6, 2020
Some people have said they were amused my story of being arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act while sketching for my Spaghetti Junction series. I've now added in four more little stories of things that have happened to me with a loose connection to my art. The five are:
- Family & Friends: Wedding Faux Pas
- Moseley Life: Shot of Salad Dressing
- Rural: Night Intruder
- Spaghetti Junction: Arrested Under the Prevention of Terrorism Act
- Travels: Dinner at MIPIM with a Russian Oligarch
They're below as well.
Arrested Under the Prevention of Terrorism Act
While sketching for these prints at night beneath Spaghetti Junction I was arrested by the police under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. They questioned me for several hours at the local police station and finally released me when I took them home and showed them my prints. I invited the detective inspector to my show but he didn't come.
Wedding Faux Pas
I was invited to a university friend’s weddings. It was a big gathering. I was not familiar with protocol. At the end of the breakfast space was cleared for dancing. I was up for this and asked others if they wanted to join me. I was slightly puzzled no one immediately agreed. Not deterred I went out. The only other people to come were the bride and groom. The three of us danced the first dance with me jigging around. It was only months later I realised my mistake. We’re still in touch and hopefully they forgave me.
Dinner at MIPIM with a Russian Oligarch
I led a team designing new towns on the edge of Moscow for a Russian oligarch. He asked us to present at MIPIM, Europe’s annual property fair in Cannes and the evening before took us to a French sea food restaurant. He thought he ordered a dozen oysters as his starter. A while later the staff brought out 12 dozen oysters for him and more oysters for others, totally almost 200. Only around eight people liked oysters. We gamely ate them up and went on to the main course. The next morning I thanked our client for the meal. He replied quietly, in a strong Russian accent, a pause between each word, “I hate French waiters”.
Over the last 30 years I have been walking the South West Coast Path. On one of my early trips I camped in a field near Seaton. My rucksack was at the front of the tent. During the night I heard rustling which then went quiet. I wondered if someone had been rifling through my things. I couldn’t immediately find my torch and so reached inside my rucksack to check. Amongst items I felt my hairbrush. Reassured I lay down again but then realised I didn’t have a hairbrush with me. This time I got my torch and saw a hedgehog had crawled in.
Shot of Salad Dressing
One of the trendy places to eat in Birmingham in the 1990s was Café des Artists at the Custard Factory. I invited a young lady there for dinner. There was a long line of different types of salad dressing in bottles at the bar. I went to choose one and gave it a gentle shake as I walked back across the restaurant. Next I knew the top exploded and a jet of dressing shot across the room, hitting the wall behind our table. In the low light it took the staff a while to work out what had happened before apologising and clearing up. I’m not sure what my date made of me or the evening.
Hope you enjoy them.