Apologies, this is an old post and I’ve mislaid the original pictures of the painting…

I have an arrangement with the Mother. I don’t have to do any washing-up, or drying-up. I don’t have to do any cooking. Instead, what I must do is paint the bathroom in the style of an Ancient Egyptian tomb.

This just goes to show how amazing the Mother is. Of course, most people don’t have the desire to paint walls with ancient tomb designs. Oddly I do, but I wouldn’t have come to that conclusion if it wasn’t that the Mother gave me the space to play.

However, all those trees that you now see on the wall, I didn’t paint them. The Mother did, along with the cooking and the cleaning etc.. I sketched the trees, I’ve sketched all the figures, I’ve worked out how to draw a man chopping down a tree in the same style as a scribe 3500 years ago. I’ve done a lot of work with a ruler and a pencil, but little with an actual paint brush. However, if you look carefully at the edge below the pond you’ll see some narrow black lines. The black paint work – that’s mine.

Between life drawing class on Tuesday, my Zebraphant and the bathroom walls it feels like I’ve barely been without a pencil or paintbrush in my hand. This is definitely an improvement. There’s something magical about being absorbed by a painting. It’s like all the rest of the world is a game and the only things that matter are the lines you’re manipulating there in front of you.

At this point in my writing, the mother ran into the living-room screeching “strawberries”. To set the scene, I’m wearing a tatty old pair of ripped jeans and my faded Credit Suisse t-shirt that I was once given as a freebie as I passed through a corridor on the university campus. I’m sitting on the floor. The sun has suddenly appeared.

Within a minute or two we’re all sitting in the garden sipping champagne and nibbling strawberries.

I do love my family, and all their eccentricities.