Winter is settling in and I’m beginning to regret throwing away those excess art supplies.

I always forget how quickly the chill can enter my studio once October truly gets under way.

It’s the folly of youth, I suppose, that only looks to the present predicament; thinking not of the ever approaching future.

winter-norwichAt the age of 34, I suppose I’m still in the throes of my own personal development and prone to make the odd mistake from time to time. The temperature here in Norwich can drop to as cold as 8 degrees Celsius; so the breeze that blows in through the drains of the streets, into my studio, can wake me from my peaceful slumber.

Even after a few pints of Fosters Lager, I can still feel the chill through my tweeds and no amount of furious painting can keep me warm. The amount of oils and pints of water that I’ve wasted on night-time painting, furiously scrabbling the walls, in the dark – is ridiculous. Of course the quality of my work is going to suffer when I’m so tired and yet so cold.

It’s times like these when I regret throwing away all those damned art materials.


So many pieces of cardboard, precious plywood and MDF. By themselves, plain, cheap pieces of wood. But, applied to a handy bit of newspaper kindling, with the strike of a match I have a cosy blaze that can keep me warm the whole winter through.

Last year I had the good sense to stock up before October. Thanks to a local festival leaving a veritable treasure trove of detritus – I had enough wood and cardboard boxes to keep a fire lit the entire year round.

Although, the smoke that drifted up through the drains, and out the back of the tunnel entrance, did cause some people alarm a couple of times – they had no idea a hard working artist was merrily burning a trash-fire for warmth.

phone-boxesOften, when I’m talking to my Mother from the only phone box in Norfolk town centre (such an oversight, these things are integral to our communications systems), she tells me that she is worried that I’m not living in a proper house – or that I might be eating out of bins (utter nonsense, the girls at Greggs always have a Steak Bake for me in the morning times).

She says that she reads my posts and wonders how it’s possible for me to not own a mobile telephone, but still regularly update a blog that quite clearly needs an internet connection. I’ve told her countless times that, although the library’s computers have a strict half an hour time limit on them, I can still easily get around it by moving from computer to computer every half hour.

Most of the the time it’s empty, and there are no problems. From time to time I am forced to use some kind of coercion: whether that’s offering some little scamp a swig on my can of Fosters Lager or simply pushing someone out of their chair.

I’ve only been kicked out of there once and they know not to do that again.

For weeks after, whilst I served my computer ban – a lot of books started to go missing and the smoke rising from the sewers grew stronger than ever.

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