Please welcome back Tom F with his last minute entry in to this month’s competition. Although we share a surname and the story is set in Glasgow, which is where my husband is from, I do not think that we are related……. although you never know.. – as we hear all the time, ‘it’s a small world’! 🙂 Anyway, thanks again to Tom for sharing his work.
We had flown over to the UK for our anniversary. Ten days in Blighty, visiting kids, grandkids and an ‘aged parent ‘, before Christmas. I had arranged the surprise for her. A day trip on the train to Glasgow, breakfast in the city, a ride on the ‘clockwork orange’, first stop the Kelvingrove Art Gallery. Her favourite artist, Jack Vettriano, was having a retrospective display of over one hundred of his paintings. A once in a lifetime event.
We had spent a couple of hours enjoying the works. I looked at them all, while she studied every brush-stroke. I waited for her at the end of each section, she ooo’d and aaah’d at every different piece. It was her day though, and the delight in her eyes was a joy to see. She had taken up painting when we retired, there was no time before then, always busy. Life, as they say, got in the way. Now there is lots of time.
My aching back was sending urgent messages, I needed to sit down.
“I’ll make my way to the souvenir shop. See you there.”
“OK, won’t be long “, she muttered as she studied a painting of a young girl stretched out on the beach. “ This is his later work. I’ll do this one when we get back home.”
“Good for you “, I replied.
She joined me within five minutes.
“Have you picked anything?” she asked as she walked past, her eyes darting round the shelves.
“I’ve only been sat down …”
“Wow, look at this stuff! “ Then she was off, scooping up post cards and calendars and trinkets ‘for the girls at the art circle‘.
I joined her at the till, her hands full, including one large framed painting.
“What have you got there?” I asked
It’s your birthday today, not just our day “
She turned the painting around, it was a framed copy of the Bluebird at Bonneville , prior to the world land speed record attempt in 1935. I was pleased, and felt guilty for all the negative thoughts I‘d had regarding the waiting.
She kissed me on the cheek, and we stepped outside of the exhibition. She let me know that he was coming for an interview within the next five minutes, and that I should go to the cafe and have a coffee.
“Won’t be long “, she called back as she hurriedly re-entered.
I sat for twenty minutes, just me, my back and my Americano. Then, there she was, flushed, tearful and bubbling with excitement.
She was waving her entrance ticket triumphantly, duly signed on the reverse by the great man.
“I’m so glad I waited “she gasped looking at her prize.
I took the last drops from my cup and smiled.
© Tom Frattaroli. 21/02/2014