Thursday, July 21, 2011

Artist, babies all round and found toys.

1. Grayson Perry came round to talk with my NCT group about middle class taste -- class taste is the subject of his next series of tapestries; and his creative process is the subject of a documentary. So we had a Turner Prize winning artist sitting at the kitchen table, all the NCT mothers and the babies, and a camera man and a sound man, while the director sat on the stairs chuckling at the footage as it came in (Nick told me that -- I was too busy pouring fizzy wine). Grayson Perry himself was charming, but he asked challenging questions, and he watched and watched and watched us -- that I found disconcerting, like when Alec has a good look at me doing something mundane. But that's creative people on a mission for you -- and I'd have been disappointed if I'd thought he wasn't observing us. To look at, he reminded me of the sandstone that my parents' barn is built from because he's blondy-red-gold, and he's rough but weathered smooth at the same time.

2. At one point everyone round the table had a baby -- including GP, who was holding the sleeping Alec (I was entertaining one of the twins). I think that everyone should be dandled by a celebrity so they can drop it into conversation at dinner parties.

3. It's been a day of improvised toys -- Alec entertained himself for quarter of an hour before lunch with a cabbage leaf (it's OK, it was organic). And once the film crew had gone, he, Henry and Freddie Two got hold of the Financial Timeses (it's OK, it's a broadsheet) we keep for putting under the high chair. They had a good look at the share prices, and then ragged the lot into shreds and gummed pulp.