My wife, Pat, isn't one for letting the grass grow under her feet.
During this current reincarnation of me, as 'artist', we'd talked casually not only about launching the pictures on the internet, but also into the terrestrial world - and we haven't done the latter for years. Further more, we had never sold pictures up here in the north either.
Whereas I was simply trying to make up my mind if it were all worthwhile ... she went off and did her thing!
"OK", she said, "I've got you booked into a 'function' or two each month for all of the summer."
"You've ... booked - ....?"
"Yes, so we are going to need scenes that are local to Yorkshire. York is popular with everyone - so you can put them on the net as well."
Now York was built by the Romans in about 200AD, about 2000 years ago, so it's got a bit of history. The Vikings rampaged and many settled there - and they had an influence on the Yorkshire accent. Even now they pronounce 'flour' as 'floooaa', which is straight Vikingspeak... according to the course my granddaughter and I are studying.
As you may know, Britain is made up of many accents. The Romans played a part here, they pushed us native Celts out into Wales to become the Welsh - the Welsh language is an ancient tongue. They built Offa's Dyke to keep the Welsh in Wales, and Hadrian's Wall to keep the Scots in Scotland.
To complete this accent thing: the Romans didn't do all the fighting themselves, they hired mercenaries. They hired the North Germany tribes of Angles and Saxons ... who decided to stay (Anglo-Saxon ring a bell?). Now the Mercian Saxon accent, and the Normans from France, were perhaps the biggest influence of all. When the 'posh' English accent is detected - it's the direct result of the Mercian Saxons.
So, York it is! I shall start with a drawing of York Minster.
The 'present' Minster was built in the 14th Century, it's predecessor was built on the foundations of the original Saxon church, it was wooden and burnt down.
The city was surrounded by a wall, with entrance through four bars. Not pubs, but gates, bar being the Yorkshire word for gate. So my next move will be to draw the four bars: Bootham Bar, Monk Bar, Walmgate Bar, and Micklegate Bar. I suppose having people barred from an entering, plays a part here, don't you?
I also want some street scenes, like, 'the Shambles.' Although this street is medieval, it has, as you can see
|The Shambles, York|
been modernised to the point of identity destruction. Fortunately I have a 1909 photograph, which shows the street as it was, warts and all - needing a coat of paint and repairs. It could be a lot of fun.
Having written all that, I've started with the Shambles!