The dress code said “casual”, but I decided this might not mean jeans. I wore linen trousers instead – far more suited to the weather.
It was very hot.
I neglected to take any photographs at the reception, which is why I’ve used a photograph taken near Old Street underground station. The reception was on Charlotte Street in Shoreditch, and Old Street was the nearest tube.
I was seated next to the Chief Executive of Parkinson’s UK , Steve Ford. On my other side was a vacant seat that would have belonged to my guest, had she been able to attend. But the attendees – Parkinson’s UK staff, entrants and guests alike – were a friendly bunch, and I had several lovely conversations. For some reason, I kept coming across chemistry graduates from Southampton University (well, two such people were mentioned to me; a third is the one that I married). I seemed strangely adept at finding things in common with the people I talked to, whether it were science (my own first degree is in a sub-division of chemistry), the broadcast industry (I used to write manuals for a company that made broadcast systems), or writing (I used to write manuals… ).
I suppose the strange thing is that I didn’t seem to find a fellow visual artist to compare paintbrushes with.
“Brush Control” was also featured on the cover of the leaflet (shown below) that was distributed on the tables, along with the other commended images. I was amused to see that it had been turned on its side for the occasion (not I think, deliberately).
My painting was hung the right way up. Well, actually it was velcroed up, but that is a mere technicality. This means that I fared better than one of the photographers, whose lovely flowers were the wrong way round on the wall.
I have blurred the other images because I do not have the copyright holders’ permission to reproduce them. However, all of the shortlisted images are on Flickr in the following sets:
We were also given copies of all the shortlisted poems to take away in a booklet. I shall enjoy reading them.
On the way home, I got slightly lost en route to the tube station, and found some fellow attendees in a similar position (albeit they were going to Liverpool Street). We all referred to my old-fashioned paper A-Z book of maps (an indispensible item for my visits to the capital) and were duly reassured of our routes.
I managed to miss my favoured train by two minutes, but, if I had caught that one, I wouldn’t have met the delightful family who were going to Bournemouth to visit family for the weekend.
And finally… I started a new sketchbook while awaiting my connection at Basingstoke.