Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Rock’n’roll lifestyle without the Rock’n’roll money

Paint By Numbers Lorry 2012
It can be done. You need someone who is an expert at finding the best travel deals, good friends  dotted around the country who can put you up, generous parents-in-law, an ability to slum it and a bit of luck. I’m sure you can add quite a few other factors of your own. From the Charente to Shetland is over 1500 kms and there are various stretches of water involved as well. It would be no problem for Mick Jagger (sorry SIR Mick!) but for two artists trying to maintain the R’nR stylee in a recession it requires a lot of work-but it’s worth it. 

In France we have a fine old house, a garden for the veg, studios, nice neighbours, good light and a few little wineries who produce a good drop. Back a few years we were happy with that but then my mother-in-law intervened. Her mother was a Shetlander and my mother-in -law, being a generous person,  paid for us to visit the most northerly part of the UK as a gift. Basically we fell in love with Shetland and bought a peerie hoose with the remains of our money.

I think I’ve said it before, but so many people up there are artists, musicians, writers, poets, you name it, they are in Shetland  so there is a good buzzy creative atmosphere. We have just come back from over wintering there where the house is cheaper to heat and the weather was better than down south for a lot of the time. You can still get five seasons and more in one day (as Shetlanders say).  

We were participating in an exhibition as part of the Veer North artists’ group that we are members of. The theme was ‘Numbers’ and it produced a good show. Either or both of us do some teaching when we are there so we don’t travel for the sheer hell of it and as part of maintaining the R’n’R stylee we do let the cottage out when we are not there. 

I suppose some  might think we are being greedy but working in two places does contribute to the creative juice store, so it’s no bad thing..
Yes, it’s all my mother-in-law’s fault. Maybe she wanted a Rock’n’roll son-in-law so I’m doing my best to oblige!

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