Intimidated By Acceptance

 It’s 11.30am.  I have researched the company and trust they will do the job efficiently.  I tell this to myself as the dentist’s chair chugs into recline.  The dentist’s name is Gaber.  I ask if it is Hungarian for Gabriel.  He smiles and seems pleasantly surprised “ Gaber. Yes” he replies “ it is as popular in Hungary  as Peter in England”.  We end our salutations.

He frowns sympathetically at my clumsy attempt to hide nerves  “So we take out two of
your teeth. If you feel pain hold your left hand up. You will feel the needle,  a little scratch”. He nods when he talks but the hungarian accent is soothing.  In moments my  mouth feels like a rubber attachment. athetically at my And thirty minutes later both back teeth are out.

A little spaced out  I race to the southbank centre, there’s a deadline and a last minute matter that needs to be sorted out.  While hurtling through Trafalgar square a cyclist turns left at the junction . I pull my breaks hard. The break snaps  and  I crash headlong into him.  He was on the outside lane turning left with no indication.  I hear the collective shock of
the crowd the cars screech.  I gashed my femur or is it tibia – the bottom part of my leg.  We were both relatively okay. Shock is a mental anteseptic though.  Shaken and stirred  I continued on to the southbank realising that my stress levels were  high. My phone battery has gone and there is some urgent business to attend.  I entered the office to speak to Rachel Holmes who  held her hand up in a manner to stop traffic  “busy lemn. On deadline.”

It was the dynamic Holmes that I had come to meet,  the sole  reason I had come in today. My leg was bleeding beneath my jeans and the pain was starting to arrive as the  umbness wore off.  But it wasn’t scheduled, our meeting. And I couldn’t call because my phone was on the blink.     Thankfully we resolved the outstanding and pressing  issue .  “you should be at home” says sarah a worker. She always gives good advice.  I stayed at the southbank centre for an hour to catch breath and then cycled home. I shouldn’t have been in at all today. My leg is cut my mouth is numb. My phone’s battery had gone.  I get home for 4pm and attend to matters in a daze.

At 5.30pm I cycle over  to David Akinsanya’s  barge on the river near where I live. And by 6.30pm we are at Flowers East in  Hackney, a gorgeous Gallery where AS Byatt was launching her book to which we have invites.  It’s a gorgeous bike ride and just what I
need towards the end of what has been a hectic and unnerving day.  AS Byatt is witty and warm and  regales the story (see Monday) to her friends which makes me feel proud. I am intimidated by acceptance.  Turns out I know a whole lot of people here. And I love the art too.  Daniel Hahn is here,  last time we met was about a week or so ago, in new York on Seventh avenue,  and so too Lucy Macnab from The Southbank Centre and so too Ra
Page of Comma Press

This is turning out to be a really nice early summers eve.  I have an enjoyable conversation with Antonia Byatt (AS Byatt’s daughter) and leave at 8pm in time to meet the journalist at home to watch David’s TV programme Find Me A Family.  It is the final one of a trilogy broadcast on channel four this week. The Journalist and I curl up on the sofa to watch the extrodianry television experience.  I text David congratulations and sleep. It’s a tiring week this but highly enjoyable.

1 thought on “Intimidated By Acceptance

  1. What a day! Hope your leg heals ok and glad the accident was not worse, take care out there!
    So the book launch was at Flowers East, I love that gallery, my favorite commercial gallery actually…set up by Angela Flowers over thirty years ago, she has some great artists on board. If you have time before the 23rd of May please, please do try and make it to 'Flowers' in Cork Street, behind Royal Academy and off the Strand.
    You're in for a real treat if you go! You'll smile from ear to ear. It's a real uplift, humorous, innocent and just so original, you have to be there to experience it as the whole gallery has become the artwork and after a few moments of being there you are changed.
    That wonderful subtle tickle of art getting under your skin and whispering magic into you, I kept doing a head spin, glancing all around, outside and in the gallery and realizing he'd really altered my perception of what was reality. That's rare and damn exciting.
    It's described as a painted installation, you're steeped in Jiro's take on a London cafe, floor to ceiling and incorporating every part of the gallery, from the reception desk, to the open-plan office at rear, (stick your head round that corner and check out how he's altered that region also) I felt so lucky and the guy working there said it's been a real joy to be amongst it everyday. The thing is it's not art on a wall, the wall has become the art, he's transformed the place. The artist is Jiro Osuga a wonderful one in a million artist who has retained his child-like wonder and quirky sensitivity. There's pathos and humor in his work, it delights.
    I saw his first exhibition some seven years ago I think (christ is it that long)! He's gone from strength to strength and what he's done this time is so delightful, I reckon lots of kids should get to see it, and as should as many adults as pos. I also think it'd be a shame if it's bought to be installed in a private space as I feel it should be out and about in public to be encountered again and again, to surprise and delight, refresh and uplift.
    If you go you'll see what I mean.
    All the best Lemn x

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