Art Exhibition Review from Mrs B

MrsB wrote this about … well read it and you will see what it is about. I just thought it was wonderful and  moving review of what is obviously a wonderful and moving exhibition 
I had read about an art exhibition at the Royal Academy put on by Kids Co, with all the work produced by children who had suffered trauma, and decided to visit last weekend. 

As I entered the gallery my attention was immediately taken by a wall of shoe boxes, each one depicting a room that had meaning to the children. Picking up a catalogue I read the description of each and I was captivated.

I walked slowly through the exhibition over one and a half hours, absorbing the meanings and enjoying the skill that had been used to help the children express their stories. 

As I walked through the exhibition I was transported to dark places and then to places of love and light, to broken and shattered dreams and then to hope and potential.

Children who had lived on the streets hiding out in the tumble drier of the local launderette or making a mattress of a damp sand pit in the park rather than be at home with their abusive, addicted or ill carrers.  Children who had attended the funeral of a brother murdered in a stabbing and for whom gangs were still the family they felt safest with.

There was so much to take in and so many inspiring ideas to use in my work that I noted down every exhibit

– shoe box living – jack in the box, praising putting down – monsters under the bed – dreams

– nightmares – protectors – threats – life noise – I like – I don’t like – running track – roller coaster – whirlpool – metaphors – urban coliseum – wearing my emotions – dresses for anger – love – excitement – dream catchers – wish clouds – personal landscapes – brain maps- shelters and safe places – talismen – rizla packet park bench – self portraits – super heroes – personal hurdles – success stories – walk a mile in my shoes – memory and attachment – moving on letting go – potential – sabotage – unfinished business….

I thought she was leaving but then arrived in a small room, in the middle stood a pink bed with a princess duvet cover, lying on it a mannequin of a small girl in a pink nighty, above her head hung a mobile of men’s shoes.  

I stopped and caught my breath.

For every child who had had their innocence and right to safety stolen this was a haunting and powerful testament.

I held that thought and stood very still feeling utterly humbled.

Leaving the building I cut down through a Victorian arcade, its opulence jarring, the red carpet, the shop windows displaying perfumes, jewellry, rich people’s accoutrements seeming so out of synch with the darker, harsher and often hidden away realities of life  I had just witnessed.

Upgrade fun

Aye Aye,
We had taken the overnight from Caen to Portsmouth and Mrs B was a bit bristley with me in the morning.
Due to the unusual nature of our 6 week on and off life we go through a phase near to the end of my leave where, although we don’t want to be apart for a second, we are already adjusting ourselves for the next few weeks apart.

The leave itself has been one of initial frustration of not achieving much building, because I felt I had reached the end of my knowledge and was stuck with a situation with the electrics, and also plumbing, and also some major decisions that we needed to make and take. That was interspersed with MrsB having to commute for the first 4 weeks and me then pressing on with decisions that she felt left out of the loop with (but actually never was) and a slight discord arose. 
Before we had a chance to talk it all though, and compare notes, and make sure we were both on the same page and singing the same tune as far as the renovation went we had friends arrive, and then shortly after that our son with his girlfriend and young child, fresh back form the forests of Chile.
With a camp full “our” time alone is gone and it is hard to remain in the absolute skin tight embrace that we normally operate under when alone.
The next thing you know we are heading for the ferry, me to pick up hire car pop in and say hello and cheerio to MiL and mother and daughter,  and then off to Heathrow, and Mrs B to prepare for the next 5 weeks of work and training she has all planned out. So an element of unfinished business, with no time to do it face to face, was in the air. It is not new and we are adept at using e mail and instant messenger when I am away to talk through and soothe out any wrinkles that occur so that when I do get home we can just relax and “be” with each other without any gremlins lurking. 
As we were coming into Portsmouth and have to drive past Southampton airport on the way to Dorset I had    booked my hire car for a 7.30 pick up from there, and a 7.30 drop off in the morning at Heathrow.
I normally do what has to be done in MrsB’s UK base and then pop around and see everyone and then drive up in the evening to Heathrow ready for the morning flight to Singapore or wherever.  
We were a bit early arriving at Soton airport so I asked if MrsB wanted me to put her down as named driver and she take the hire car back (just a standard 2.0 auto) or did she just want to drop me off and head back to Bridport.
She said that she would just get on rather than having to wait around so I jumped out and MrsB headed off in the pick up truck.
I wandered into the hire place and the chap said as it was an internet booking I had to wait till half past so I replied that it was no problem and I would grab a coffee and bide my time. 
Before I left the office I said “If it is an internet  booking can I pay now for an upgrade to something decent like an Audi or Merc (which is what I normally do).
He asked if I was travelling alone or with passengers and I said I was alone.
He said “Well in that case I can offer whats outside for an extra 10 quid as we need it taken back to Heathrow.” 
I looked outside and the only car there was a black convertable Porche Boxter. 
The black Porche? I tentatively asked .
Yes that’s the one sir.
With what can only be described as a shit-kicking grin I said “I am your man for that job matey.”
Question, would I go and buy a new 2.9 liter, seven speed auto (and manual paddle thing) Porche Boxter if I had 38 grand to spare, and the answer is, probably no.
Question, would I have an absolute right fucking laugh and pose unashamedly, keep the roof down at all times and drive it like it should be driven (ie like I stole it)  if I managed to get to “own” one for 24 hours? 
The answer is a resounding, Oh Yes. 
In 1989 I owned a Porch 928 (4.7 V8) and was very fond of its awesome performance but this little puppy was amazing as I soon found out in a fast tyre screeching roundabout hurtling, engine roaring, adrenalin boosting, dash to the motorway.
The grin on my face became bigger as I realised how much fun the drive to Bridport was  going to be in this frisky little number. Yeah yeah, I know, boys and toys and fast cars, whoopsy me speed limits etc etc, I hear it all, but to be honest I couldn’t give a flying shite. After selling the range rover and then chopping the jag in for, and driving a ford ranger pick up for the last 18 months this was going to be fun with a capital fucking “F”. If I was caught speeding that was my own look out, and I am old enough and experienced enough as a driver not to be “reckless” and risk other peoples lives, but I was going to have some fun. (A little aside for all the “tut tutters”:- driving fast doesn’t have to mean driving dangerously or stupidly or outside of the capabilities of the car) 
And fun it was, the wonderful acceleration meant that nothing slow stayed in the way for long and in what seemed like no time at all I was pulling into the cul de sac where I could see Mrs B unloading the pick up.
Her face was an absolute picture when she realised that the ridiculous sun-glasses wearing, widely grinning twat in the posh-boy toy, asking her if “you fancy a ride sweet thing?” was in fact her own husband.
At first there was an element of resistance from MrsB while we finished unloading the truck, but my sense of fun and mischief must have been infectious because soon we were in our groovy sleek black drop top, pootling through town (twice being the poser that I am), and out to lunch, and then for a trip down by the bay. 
All too soon it was nearly time for me to be hitting the road to Somerset to see my mum and then up to heathrow for the night. I borrowed one of my sons woolly hats and a warm over shirt, strapped on the shades and was gone into the late afternoon. 
It was a great laugh all the way, first through the lanes of Dorset and Somerset and then up the A303 with the roof down all the way roaring along and occasionally “unleashing the hounds” to see what it would do.
Even if you have to pay for the full upgrade or the full hire cost for a day or two I would highly recommend the experience to anyone who has had great cars in the past but because of changing circumstances or priorities no longer does but would enjoy the sheer fun that it can be.

Go on!! Treat yourself.        


Love and Peace 
Bentley  
   

Back at Sea Again

Ahoy! There m’hearties. Just back on board and realising I have been rather slack on the Blog front lately.
I will put that right in the next few days with some tales of the last leave.
I arrived after a 9 hour boat trip at 2230 last night and was on watch at 2330 so I am a bit sleepy and somewhat discombobulated just now. Once I have been on board a couple of days I will get my arse in gear and get some blogging done as there are plenty of things to talk about just now.
Cheers
 Bentley