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My Friend Bill

Blimey 2 blogs posts in a week!!  I really must have some time on my hands, but I wanted to share something uplifting that started last July when I exhibited at the Exeter Craft Festival.

A gentleman really liked my coasters and introduced himself as Bill.  He had noticed I was from Cornwall and we got chatting.  He was a retired postman, but his passion had always been painting.

He spoke about painting with a friend in Cornwall in the 70s and one of their favourite places was The Crowns at Botallack.  It turned out his friend was the artist Bob Vigg whose work I love.  I was quite in awe.

They would paint back to back, Bill with his easel set up and Bob kneeling, resting against a rock or grass, two very different styles and methods and from the way Bill spoke, I could feel how special those days were for him.

Bill came back to see me on the last day of the Festival and gave me some photos including the one of him with Bob and he also a leaflet from one of Bob’s exhibitions.  I was so touched by this and we swapped addresses.

Then the usual Kate thing happened.  All consuming work.  Time flew by, months that felt like weeks passed and every time I came across the photos I would get a pang of guilt, think I must send him my Botallack card and then forget and round and round it went.

I knew Bob had passed in 2001 but a friend told me that his widow owned Tregeseal Gallery and still sold his work.  We planned a trip down there as apparently there is a small piece of ace graffiti to see, but again it never seemed to happen.

Finally, in February, I managed to go to the gallery.  I specifically wanted to get one of Bob’s prints of The Crowns to send to Bill.  I purchased a small framed print and I couldn’t resist one of Pendeen Cliffs for me to remind me of somewhere I spent a lot of time.

Then it sat in a pile of STUFF in my room….

Then IT happened, I knew Bill lived on his own so thought it was a perfect time to send him something that I hoped would bring him a smile.

It sure did, first I received a lovely thank you note with a special *doodle* on it and then yesterday I received one of Bill’s paintings, of Beer and some photos of his studio.  Dust in my eyes…I love it.

We spoke on the phone today.  He is coping well in isolation and has a wonderful friend who does his shopping and ensures he is ok, he facetimes with his sister, in his words, she talks, he listens.  I think we both ended the call with a laugh and a smile.

I checked he was ok with me writing about this and I know we will stay in touch.

P.S.  I will also be going to check out that graffiti with my friend when it’s safe to do so.


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  • What a lovely story x

  • Oh brilliant! I’m so glad it all happened. Looking forward to our trip out west. X

  • Lovely story…it’s amazing how just doing a little thing for someone else can give an enormous amount of pleasure. XX


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