Watt’s Gallery

SO, I said I would never do it but I am. Yup, I am writing a blog. Some things I said I would never do, and I didn’t. For example, i said I would never have children and I did not and it is too late now as I am 73. But here I am writing a blog. I guess the devil made me do it.

My original intent was to title the blog London Lamentations and write about all of the awful things about London where I live at the moment and have been living  since September 11, 2014. I will. But I absolutely hate being negative. Once in awhile I love being negative (when it is deserved) but not all the time and not to start out with. So this is positive and therefore not about London.

This blog is about going to Guildford, which I did in the last three days. I loved, loved, loved Guildford and they loved, loved me. For example, this is what Rokes at the Guildford Harbor Hotel said (and signed) about me. “You are the most charming person I have ever met.” Well, here is the disclaimer, he is only 20 or 22 and he has not met that many people perhaps. But nonetheless, there is his signature, with a heart, drawn by him and it is dated 24/1/17. Those words are contained in a book. The book is entitled: Watt’s Gallery: A Personal View by Richard Jefferies. The book was a gift from an utter stranger by the name of Barbara Parks. I met she and her husband at Watt’s Gallery parking lot and we talked and I told her why I was there. I was walking around later (after my chat with them) not minding my own business, and she came running up to me with the book in her hands. Here, she said, it tells you everything about the gallery. Is that not the sweetest thing in the whole world? She did not know me, well, if she did she would probably not have given the book to me, come to think of it. So I had the book at the hotel and that is what Rokes wrote in.

Now some who read this blog do not know me. But, in the words of Matthew at the Dolphin Square Bar and Grill: “You are the most honest person I have ever met, : To be utterly truthful, his name is not Matthew but Paul but I do not call any Paul by their name because that is the name of my third husband. (but we are not going there). All of the Pauls in my recent acquaintance like being called another name, which is usually their middle name. But I am flexible and so are they.

But back to the heart of the story, which is the Watt’s Gallery. You should go and google it right now. You have no excuse, you must be computer literate enough. After all you are reading this blog on the internet. I am passionate about the Watt’s Gallery and I had the most amazing experiences of my entire life there yesterday. Here is the main one and here we go to the main meat of the story.  All of the staff and volunteers know what I am doing with my life because I have a big mouth. They keep telling me that there is a staff member from Canada and she went home for Christmas. The very last day, at almost the last minute of my second visit to the gallery, a volunteer says. “Oh the Canadian, from Saskatchewan was just here!” I say: “What?” “Where did go?”  “What does she look like?” The woman says: “She is pretty” “But there has to be some other distinguishing characteristics!” “Well, she has red shoes on” “OK, I am going to look for red shoes and then say to the person, please tell me about Saskatchewan!” I leave the gallery and start down the path and what do I see? Red shoes. So I say: “Tell me about Saskatchewan”. Needless to say the woman laughs (incidentally she is pretty). She is from Saskatchewan, she did go there for Christmas. I use my big mouth and tell her about the book. She says: “Do you have a publisher?” “No” “Get in touch with Stephanie at Thistledown Press in Saskatoon. She will love it. Saskatchewan sports writer, what could be better” But now, dear reader, I will tell you about my book. It is a biography of my uncle. Its present title is: Dave Dryburgh: A Relative Found. A Family Unearthed. The reason I said the present title is that it is the third title so far.

Well obviously I will get in touch with Thistledown Press, but first I have to finish the book But is that not absolutely amazing to make that connection.

By the way on the grounds of the gallery there is a cemetery. I see something on a tomb stone that I love. it says How High Is The Sky. That is what I want except I am not going to have a tomb stone. is not that quite wonderful. Not the stupid stuff about good wife, good mother, good grandmother. Well, I am none of those instead: How High Is the Sky. It is meaningful to me.

I would be remiss if I did not, on my first post, thank Chris Thomas for making all of this possible. He is an incredible man, my computer expert. He formatted Jessica and my book on the art in the Tate Britain which you will hear about later. He will help me with my book on Uncle Dave and he set up my blog. Where would I be without him? Well here at Dolphin Square, about to be evicted, more about that later as well.

I have no idea where I am going with this. But this I promise. It is going to be fun. It is also going to be serious. As I am prone to say: “How can you know joy if you do not know sorrow?” Alexis


  1. We like the blog Alexis. My husband and I exchanged a few words with you at the end of that first day and agreed with you that London can be a very difficult place to live. We are glad that you enjoyed the Watts Gallery and hope you don’t get evicted. Good luck with all your ventures. Chris Murphy

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