Date Posted: 8th March 2021

The white cottage; Lorton
Setting sun


A year ago, March 2020, I was busy working my way through a large heap of books in readiness for chairing and speaking at Words by the Water our annual Literature Festival based in Theatre by the Lake in Keswick.  But we’d just heard that the dreaded corona virus had reached the UK. The festival took place and the country locked down at the end of the month. We had no idea then that we would still be in lockdown this spring and for the first time in 20 years the festival would be cancelled. We’ve all had to say goodbye to lots of things since but we are getting there now and good things lie just around the corner.(fingers crossed)

I’ve really missed going to exhibitions and galleries and I expect you have too.  Well you’re about to visit one now. You may have been to this particular exhibition before or you may be new to the artist.  At the end of January – a long, dark, cold month where the rain never stopped -   a film dropped into my computer from a friend. It was 15 minutes of pure joy. It made me laugh and it made me cry and it took me back to 2017 and the Kelly retrospective at Tullie House. My friend had, with permission, wandered round the gallery with his movie camera looking at the paintings and engaging with visitors in the crowded gallery. I recognised so many of you on screen. It cheered me up and lifted my spirits. It is so good I want to share it.  I’ve made an introductory piece at the beginning to give it context. It tells how the retrospective evolved, how the works were selected and what happened afterwards There are lots of stunning Kelly images throughout.

I know some of you are getting impatient to come and claim the Kelly paintings you’ve reserved. It won’t be long now – we’re nearly there. A few more small ones have become available which I will put up on the web site this week. They can be reserved until such time as you are free to collect.

Of course all that depends on us all behaving ourselves (not my finest quality!)  Many of us have now had at least one shot of the vaccine but we must all still be careful and obey the rules to win back our freedom. It will be all the sweeter.

Look forward to it.