Dear Santa

While I was writing my responses to the seven questions posed by Victoria, Tales from the Reading Room, for the Liebster award and prompted by Question number 5, I got to thinking seriously about Christmas, the fact that it’s only 43 days away and no one has asked me what I want. This is not an odd thing. Mr Carmichael tends to inquire on Christmas Eve when I’m fist deep in turkey, everything I might have liked has gone, the sales begin in 36 hours and I just want peace for me as well as the world. Perhaps this is more intentional than I had thought.

Note to self: save the negative essence of this realisation for next marital spat.

Some of my progeny are getting better at the present for mother scenario and some are even spending their own money to deliver it. This is what I’ve waited all these years for. But, on the flip side, their requests are flowing in already – dress for friend’s twenty first (needed now because of party date); ankle boots (needed now because of cold feet); money (needed yesterday because of unsustainably meagre student grant) and my youngest craves anything from Jack Wills (not needed at all but requested for Christmas Day).

Note to self: keep her more isolated from older siblings while the holly and ivy spirit remains strong.

While I, as previously mentioned, am not asked at all. So #empowered (in twittery parlance), I’m going to tell.

Describing my ideal office in my previous blog I mentioned that I wanted a painting or print of Eileen Cooper’s for the feature wall. What I meant by that is another print or painting because I have two already. You’ve seen the first one -Safe Landing- in The Liebster Award (It’s Great to be Tagged). I have Swimmers too.

Mr C and me in our glory days (mrscarmichael)

But I want more and the reason why is greater than the art itself. There’s a back story.

I met Eileen Cooper after buying Safe Landing at the Royal Academy in 2007. She was having the print framed for me and because I felt the need to escape from home at the time I agreed to collect it from her house which I thought was in the south westerly postals of our metropolis, near Wandsworth Bridge or perhaps Parsons Green.

It wasn’t. Because of my frenzied state over the big reveal of a daughter’s surprisingly poor AS level results the day before I misread the address. She in fact, lives south east in an area I do not know.

Terrified but undaunted, if that makes sense, I set off on my great adventure armed only with an A to Z, hand written directions, sun glasses, reading glasses and the will to do something for myself.

What a lovely person. Not me, Silly. The artist. My lithograph was framed beautifully, the studio was bulging with opportunity (Swimmers, the result) and my hostess made me laugh for the first time in twenty four hours. During a coffee and chat (really a monologue where I poured my woes out about said daughter’s results) Eileen managed to put it all into perspective by saying, “She must have been really dedicated to get those marks”. Absolutely right. I hadn’t thought about it from a dedication perspective up to that point. But I’ve always remembered that world settling comment and her prescience makes me like the work she does even more. I hope you get what I mean.

Each year, about this time, I get to thinking about another purchase.

loving the abandon  (Eileen Cooper website)
loving the abandon (Eileen Cooper website)

l want it. and I also want this

Windswept (Eileen Cooper website)

and this too

Refuge (Eileen Cooper website)

Note to self: don’t be too greedy

but, this would go with Safe Landing

Hero (Eileen Cooper website)
Contemplation (Eileen Cooper website)

And this with Refuge.

Note to self: calm down, you’re off on one again.

I do love this as well

Blueboy (Eileen Cooper website)
‘welcome to the madhouse’ (Eileen Cooper website)

What’s a girl to do? Snap out of it I guess and get back to shopping and preparing tonight’s dinner. Oh, but this IS our house at Christmas. You MUST have been here, Eileen. Maybe this is the one that’s meant for me.

Note to family: Girls, I know that they’re a bit out of your anticipated price/ appreciation ratio but I AM your only mother. At least  have the yule-tide kindness to point Mr Carmichael in the right direction.

I do so wish there was a Santa Claus. Then I’d really, truly be onto a festive winner.

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5 thoughts on “Dear Santa

  1. Oh you make me laugh SO much. Your comment about saving the thought for the next marital spat was priceless. And Eileen Cooper is wonderful. Love the boldness of those lines. How extra lovely to find out she is such a nice person. But I have to say, my experience of artists (writers and painters) is that the ones whose work I like tend to be immensely sympathetic. And now I’ve written that I think how much I would hate for it to be disproved! Love the art, love the person, oh surely if there’s justice in the world, that would be a law of physics! 🙂 And I really do hope you get another picture for Christmas.

    1. I agree, litlove. I have another painting I love by a Scottish woman who didn’t start painting until her 70’s when her husband left her!
      She decided to make the most of the situation, took herself off to Cuba and produced brilliant work. Again, the back story makes my delight in her work greater.

      Now if you want another laugh look at my weekly photo entry. I debated weather I should put him in but the colour of his costume made it an utter fait accompli.

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