Our grapevine on Friday the 13th.
Photo by EP

A reprise of an excerpt from a little diary I kept in the first weeks of Spring 2009, just as I was finishing work on the portrait of my brother Bill outside the Bradford Alhambra.

It is only Tuesday, 17 March, but already the year, or at least the week, is shaping up very nicely. Global warming and the recession continue to dominate the airwaves, of course, but yesterday I noticed that the grapevine, which last year found, or rather forced, its way into our little conservatory through a hole it enhanced in the roof, creating a charming indoor canopy, has already sprung into bud, nay even leaf, one or two of the biggest leaves having a span of an inch and a half. Outside the plant still appears comatose; only this adventurous, now domesticated extremity is the advance harbinger of Dionysus; no wonder it has twirled its way around the supports we improvised last year and made itself at home. I wonder what the rest of the plant from the root to the hole in our roof thinks?
        I have thought that sometime I must clear up last year’s vine leaves off the floor, though some of them cling decadently to the vine. The truth is that I have cluttered the conservatory ‘studio’ to do two paintings and between them they have taken from the autumn to the spring. 

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