Monday, August 24, 2009

Millport, Bicycles and Art at the Garrison

Just back from a weekend spent at Millport, on the Isle of Cumbrae where Alan was demonstrating painting in the newly refurbished Garrison. We were staying with our old friends the Mapes - of bicycle rental fame. Over the years, it seemed impossible to visit this lovely little Clyde island without hiring a bike and cycling round - always from Mapes of Millport. They had the toy and joke shop too - and it was always a favourite with the kids who visited - still is, I'm sure. The business is now run by Frank and Anne's son. When our son was little, we generally found ourselves doing this on the last day of the summer holidays - ice creams, fish and chips, the crocodile rock and a long but mercifully flat cycle ride ten miles round the perimeter of the island. It was a special treat and now, visits to the island are imbued with a kind of nostalgia that has, I'm sure, a lot to do with those long, lost and lovely summers. I was never glad to see the end of the summer holidays - they always came much too soon for me! And I can never hear Abba's wonderful 'Slipping Through My Fingers'
What happened to those wonderful adventures
The places I had planned for us to go
Well some of that we did but most we didn't
And why, I just don't know
without thinking of Cumbrae - which was, at least, one of the things we did.

Alan had a good weekend too - considering that on sunday the weather was as appalling as a wild day in December - and consequently visitors were few and far between - the people who did make it to the Garrison were certainly appreciative of his slightly strange, vividly naive works of art - lots of praise, which is certainly welcome, especially when the reception from the art establishment is sometimes less than congratulatory.

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