"E by Gum; It's Reet Good.

"After good news about nether regions; bit of a curved ball thrown when Matron told me I had a touch of the diabolics and thus had to cut back on the Tate and Lyle and change from Captain Morgan to Earl Grey. Bit of body blow, as only sweeteners I use, concern planning applications.

But moving on, have instructed Baxter to take stock of the cellar and once completed auction off the best lots.

With the money raised, consider investing in original art.

With that in mind, asked Baxter to drive me to London to The Royal Academy to view the new David Hockney exhibition: " A Bigger Picture. "

Being a member of the Royal Academy able to walk into members' room and obtain entry tickets, without the need for queuing in the bitterly cold weather. Good show.

Hockney's recent work, concerned landscapes from East Yorkshire and in particular the Woldgate Woods. The brightly coloured canvasses, often pieced together to form " A Bigger Picture " showed the trees through the seasons. I thought how well they would hang in The Manse, bringing much needed light to our ancient walls.

I was, however disappointed with the complete lack of wildfowl in the scenes depicted; not a rising pheasant to be seen anywhere, poor sport indeed.

David Hockney

Baxter was taken with the large video wall, using eight different cameras to mark the seasons of the trees. He also mentioned some presumably Irish drawings ( Ipaddy ) of which Baxter thought very highly indeed.

So there we are. Perhaps in the future, Hockney investments may be made, time will tell.

To finish on another tale of personal woe; one of my front teeth became loose and had to extracted by my dentist, who then replaced the tooth with a temporary bridge. A permanent one made of porcelain will be fitted later.

Well I've got to say, I've often pointed at the porcelain, but never thought I'd be wearing some in my mouth!"


Editor's note: Photos. 1 In front of the RA

 2. Ice on the lake in St. James's Park London.
                       Duncan  Baxter.


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