Pronoia and positivity work! Since this post great things have happened, especially today!
1) I received a cheque in the post (for some transcription work).
2) I received a positive email from a potential commissioner, pleased with the sample work I sent yesterday and wanting to take things further. This is a spin-off of the pronoia post, and is a very exciting project. More will be revealed in a couple of months, j’en suis sûr, but for the time being I must keep schtum. [UPDATE: now you can read all about it here!]
3) After depositing my cheque, I went into a well-known High Street store to use up the last of a Christmas voucher in buying wine for a party I shall be attending in Glasgow this evening (a send-off for a friend who is away to India for two years to do development-related work).
I chose a bottle of sparkling wine (French), then a bottle of red wine (South African). My eyes alighted on some pesto, which I love and couldn’t resist, and then some baguettes. I grabbed one of the latter. (I wrote much of this book when living in Paris and usually made myself a baguette sandwich for lunch, which I munched while listening to radio FIP, a wonderfully eclectic station famous for ses voix féminines complices. You can get good baguettes here in the UK, but they are not quite as croustillant as those purchased fresh from a boulangerie in Paris! Anyway, with things French on my mind, I thought nostalgically of those days and treated myself to a baguette. These days, incidentally, I bake most of my bread myself, using wholemeal flour, oats, linseed and sunflower seed. Mon dieu, what a digression this is turning out to be!)
I also wanted to get my friend a suitable goodbye card so went to look at what was on offer in the store. There were some OK ones but then it occurred to me that it would be much nicer to give her one directly relevant to travel, and made by an artist. I had exhausted my supply of cards made by artists I know, purchased at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall event pictured in this post, and the next one isn’t until 7 March:
Then I went to the till, thinking that as there were only a few pounds left on my gift voucher (electronic format) I might have to chip in an extra five or ten quid. Guess what! I had to pay only an additional penny. Yes, that’s all. With no calculation on my part, just doing what felt right, I somehow matched my purchases to what was left on the voucher.
4) Leaving the shop, I headed back to Stockbridge (where I live), thinking that I would find a suitable card in one of the several little art shops there. Outside Pizza Express a strange vehicle was stationed (L’atelier-roulant or the mobile studio), with its back open and an array of paintings and cards on display. On the side of it was a work in progress, and manning it was a young artist by the name of Vincent. He sells his cards for “£2 or anything from that”. He laughed and added something like, “It could be less than £2 if you’re going down from it, rather than up!”
One of his cards is perfect for my soon-to-be travelling friend. It features his scooter-van (as pictured at the top of this post). Written around the edge are these words, amongst others: “THIS NOMAD WAY OF LIFE CONFRONTS HIM TO BASICS IDEARS LIKE: HOME SWEET HOME, THE LEAVING, THE STRANGER, OR SURVIVE” [sic]. It goes on, poignant, charming, and perfect for my friend.
I gave Vincent a fiver for this card and another one, and asked him, in French, to sign them, which led to the discovery that amongst the little knot of art-lovers clustered around him was another French-speaker. There are many in Edimbourg!
5) I go home and construct a baguette sandwich, using grated carrot, cabbage, onion, radish, cheese, salad cream and pesto. Délicieux!