Laura Knight

The Twelve Dames of Christmas, part five.

Christmas Celebrations, a charcoal sketch by Laura Knight, was sold by Christies in February 2013 for £1000. Somebody got themselves a bargain. It’s a really nice drawing.

I was going to use this paragraph to describe the sketch but if you wanted to know what it looks like you would have clicked the link in the last paragraph and if you don’t, well, me saying, ‘the economy in the zig zag that marks the shape of the skirt is exquisite,’ or, ‘I’m fascinated by the hat,’ is just going to bore you, isn’t it?

So let’s skip straight to what the sketch is saying, which is, “this is one aspect of a Christmas celebration and shall we look at it and think about it,” or something similar. The fact that it is a drawing of a single figure, but the title is in the plural is interesting. The marked contrast between a hand raised mid-toast and the look on the woman’s face is interesting. The seeming frivolity of the hat, and the collar, compared to the simple seriousness of the dress is interesting. The arms are interesting. In conclusion, it’s an interesting picture. There is stuff going on. Off and on the page. I love it. If I had had £1001 in February of 2013, I would have bought it.

I did not have £1000 in February of 2013.

In February 2013, I was walking from Oldham hospital to Asda Living in the pouring rain to buy baby clothes. Somebody, I won’t say who, decided they wanted to be born nose first, and got wedged in their mother, and their removal had required a caesarean. They spent a few days in hospital, angry and bruised, a face as red as a santa outfit, getting through babygrows faster than we had imagined was possible. So I walked to Asda. In the rain. I got so wet that I had to buy myself a change of clothes as well. An Asda Living special: a pair of jeans of denim a shade of blue lighter than ideally I would have liked and a Homer Simpson T-Shirt. Crap socks. Proper dad shit.

The rain had melted most of the snow that had fallen over the days before. I ate a Big Mac, dripping slush on the floor tiles in McDonalds. I was colder and wetter than I have ever been while not actually swimming. It was fine though, because I was being useful. An angry little person needed new clothes. I could do that. Not a problem little dude.

One of the disadvantages of not writing much recently is that my ability to tie the paragraphs about Christmas Celebrations to the paragraphs about my daughter’s first few days on earth is rusty/gone. I’m out of practice. Errrm. The things are linked by a date. People eat dates at Christmas. Err, yeah, that’ll do.