Over the weekend I was back for the first time in many months at a venue where I have worked regularly since before the year began with a 20. There are reasons apart from the pandemic which were at the core of my extended absence, but the situation has changed and it felt as though the time was right to be back, so I drove up in the morning and back in the afternoon, tucking in my work in between, and I have to admit that it was a delight to be there once more.

I think that I have become less sentimental as I have grown older, but as far as attachments go it is people rather than places that do it for me. I have no real nostalgia for school or university, for example, and I specifically remember resolving at the time that I would never look back on those years with fondness, never forget how much I was unhappy, but the people who were with me at those places are those I remember.

I am not the greatest at staying in touch with people, and in many ways I think that I stay at the back of my cave and only poke my head out from time to time, but it was good to emerge fully from my own particular Wookey Hole on Sunday morning and to see folks I have not met for some time, not least because everybody seemed very happy to see each other. It was a long drive and a long day but it was well worth it, and I hope that it has set up a more regular return once things get back to some sort of normal.

I have been tapping away on a new piece over the past few days which, if all goes well, might be ready by the end of the month. It is for a competition and I think that I might have left it just a little late for it to be the best product it could possibly be, but if nothing else it will provide me with a pile of material for other projects, so I am using it as a little bit of a compositional petri dish, trying things out.

I was amused to find out that a sketch for this piece from several months back traversed almost exactly the same outline as my more recent doodlings, just with a significant temporal gap in between. Clearly the subject triggers some rather specific ideas…or is it instead that I forge my material from a very limited pool? In any case, it seems as though ideas and possibly people as well take a long time to fade away, even when I have have not encountered them for a while.