Fait acompli

As I get older I realise I can’t go back in time. Entropy, the movement of things from order to disorder. Things break down. Chaos increases. Things burn down. Look at the dinosaurs, they dissappeared. The Burslem Leopard Hotel is now extinct. My time there is lost.

Stop feeling sorry for myself.

Accept its happened.

Have time to mourn.

Try and recover.

It’s only a building,

Sadness,

X

In despair

In 2006 to 2007 I painted a series of twelve murals at the Leopard Hotel in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent. Recently the pub has been closed down after the previous owner left.

I was asked by the owners Neil Crisp and Neil Cox to do a series of Murals based on the history of Burslem. I painted the Burslem riot scene whose characters included local residents and pub staff, a murder scene of a woman said to have been killed there, a pottery worker at the end or start of her shift. I also painted ‘the Leopardess’ one of the original owners, a picture of Molly Leigh, the Burslem witch, pottery owner Josiah Wedgwood, and three of his friends discussing the building of the Trent and Mersey canal. Also Arthur Berry, famous artist and my tutor at college. Walter a pub regular who had drunk there since his youth. A Clarice Cliff design called Umbrellas, and a painting of the Burslem Angel that stands in top of the old town Hall. I also designed and painted a design for a coat of arms for the hotel.

I always wanted some decent photos of the murals but only have a few pictures. The lighting was not very good in the Arnold Bennett suite. They at least are some memories I have.

The pub was renowned for being haunted and regular ghost tours of the empty hotel rooms attracted a lot of attention. It was even featured in ‘Britains most haunted’ a TV show.

It was a couple of years ago that it closed. Covid didn’t help. I was sad to see it shut but it sounded like they had someone interested in getting it going again.

Over the last few days a report came out that it had been broken into and someone had been arrested ror growing cannabis in there.

Now? Who knows. Apparently three people have been arrested for setting fire to it? Whatever happens its so sad. I guess it will be unrecoverable, destroyed. Part of my life has gone with it.

What shall I say?

Who shall I speak to? Will they listen to me? So many questions to ask.

She stood in front of the microphone and wished she had written the thoughts down. She had known she would have to speak at the funeral, but had shied away from her obligation. The death of her friend had been a shock. He was only 60 when he passed away. She remembered an old boss of hers telling her off. They don’t pass away or pass on, they die said the woman.

No, she would say pass on. She would say sadly missed. She would say that his passing had left a hole in many lives. She had not seen much of him recently. Things had been bleak, people were not going out as much as they had. A cough could be enough to panic friends into staying away.

The funeral was only sparsely attended. The few people that were there were well separated. Women wore veils over dark coloured masks, the men wore cravats and masks. Good old fashion design getting involved in the workings of life and death. Things had to be chic.

So many questions to ask and then try and answer. She would struggle for words. But she would manage it.

Bandstand restored, and my opinion.

For years the bandstand in the park had been a sad sight. Money was short and it wasn’t being spent on places like this. Then the politics changed. Our city voted with the ruling government and suddenly money was available. Since then, in the last few years, children’s centres and libraries have closed. Council offices are closed and were eventually knocked down. Police stations throughout the city closed. Now there are only one or two left. Even the Magistrates Court was closed. The argument had been that we didn’t need, or couldn’t afford these things. Although the council changed allegiance the city wasn’t rewarded with much, perhaps a few newly built office buildings in the city centre (some still unoccupied years later). Certainly not much to make up for the losses. Oh the town hall got a makeover with expensive wallpaper, but what of the rest of the city…. Well we got a lovely new bandstand! And I’m not being a grouch, it is lovely, but where is the regeneration we keep getting promised? Stoke-on-Trent was once a centre of industry, steel, coal, and pottery. Now, a city of warehouses. Sad.

Fridge Freezer

We’ve had a bad couple of months. I’m expecting the fridge freezer to break soon, it keeps filling up with water in the chiller compartment and the freezer gets too cold. Then the bearings in it make loud rattling and creaking noises….

Other things have happened. The cat going missing and being injured, and me pulling my calf muscle. Family and friends have had problems too. The pandemic has hit their incomes. They are working hard against almost impossible conditions. I don’t know what will happen, I just want things to be better for everyone, not just those closest to me.

I would help many people if I could. Love to you all…

Walking like a crab

Still sore😢 after pulling a muscle in my calf. I can’t climb steps so I slept in an armchair. I found it easier to walk sideways like a crab! When I overstretch it really hurts so I’m shuffling like an old lady!

Does anyone know how long this will hurt for? I have so much to do. It is extremely frustrating! I keep having to stretch my leg a bit to stop me seizing up but then it hurts again. I’m really tired.

Leaflets

I decided o do some leaflets about my cat, which was fine till the printer ran out of ink! I went in the computer shop only to find out they don’t stock that ink anymore. Grr

So I diligently delivered over thirty leaflets. I had to fill in gaps in the ettering where it had not printed properly.

I’ve removed his name and my phone number as this is being shared in public. You have to be so cautious about sharing information. I just want my cat back.

X

Life’s a maze

You can’t always navigate life in a straight line. Sometimes we search for treasure and cannot find it. There are side roads and cul de sacs that hold us up or block our paths. Sometimes that is our fault, sometimes it can be others. I think somehow you have to accept things and then carry on. It’s been a sad week and I’m not over it yet, but I’m coming to terms with it. I won’t go on about things, you just have to realise that there are people who are far worse off than you. Try and help them if you can x

Gone, not gone?

My heart hurts

I miss you so much

I stroke your shadow

In my imagination

The way you purred

And pranced

Jumped high

Balanced like a gymnast

My podgy puddy cat

Leaned back and looked up

Paw high

Reaching

Waiting to nuzzle my hand

My memories

My dreams

You are still there.

Like Schrodinger’s Cat

Gone, not gone?

Lingering