Sunday, June 6

The Overhauling Of Me

That's a portrait of me*, made 20 years ago by one of the residents of the Leonard Cheshire residential home where my father worked. 'Sir Cecil' had serious physical disabilities and needed help to wash, dress and feed himself. Cecil made copious images of life at the Home and I've just come across a booklet of his drawings that my father made, they agreed to sell the book to raise funds for an ambulance. I will be putting some more of his work up over the next few posts.

The caption reads 'Bath time For Sir Cecil with Lucinda Proir Palmer and MALE NURSE Prince Andrew'. Lucinda Prior Palmer was a champion show jumper at the time - I'm not sure if either she or Prince Andrew were actually moonlighting at the Cheshire Home.

My Father is now 82 years old and after a recent visit to my parent's house I have somehow agreed to accompany him on the Last Tanners Marathon - a 30-mile romp around the hills of Surrey on the 4th July. Some people do run the challenge but we will be walking - it is expected that the walkers will complete the journey in ten hours.

I have no worries about my father's abilities to rise to the challenge - he is as fit as a butcher’s dog. I, on the other hand need to shape up, and to this end I have embarked on Operation Body As Temple, the rules involve an early daily walk and No (ok Less) Bad Things

Day 1: Bounced out of bed at 6am
2-hour walk
discovered an abandoned cathedral that I didn’t know existed and found five quid in a car park
gardened all afternoon
How old do I feel? 20

Day 2: Grudgingly left house at 6.30 it is raining and gets steadily heavier over the 1.5 hours that I endure this madness
my back is creaking and I can’t bend any more
How old do I feel? 70

Day 3: Another bouncer out the front door by 6am for a 2.5 hour walk
discovered a whole wood and meadows that I didn’t know existed
How old do I feel? 25

Day 4: 1.5 hour walk
I have many pairs of shoes that should be 'walkable' and have tried a different pair every day - they all seem a little too small. Today I tried some walking boots that I have never worn because they were too big – they now fit perfectly. When did my feet grow?
How old do I feel? 30

Day 5: only out for an hour because my feet are sore – I Google ‘Fallen Arches’ then do wet foot test
How old do I feel? 90
spend the evening drinking lots of Bad Things including rum

Day 6: very very hungover, I manage a 55-minute walk before I crawl home to be very very ill, a fried breakfast usually cures this condition so I get some bacon sizzling and crack an egg in the pan – it is green and putrid.
How old do I feel? 120

Day 7: I’m up early but bleary-eyed and don’t take my glasses, I’m out walking for 2 hours, mainly because I’m blind and get lost.
How old do I feel? 50

Body State after 1 week: still more Temple Meads than Temple.

*The portrait is titled 'Ken's daughter' My dad's called Ken and Leighen Buzzard is, sort of, where he lives. All Sir Cecil's pictures are signed off with Sir Cecil H Clark, KNIGHT ARTIST (later ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE) and his subjects are often also given grand titles.


  1. I think I would have to put days 5 and 6 on repeat ;0)

  2. How lovely to go out and make new discoveries.

    For some reason this post has filled me with a craving for toast and jam.

  3. Love Sir Cecil's drawings. Can't wait to see more. They would make a wonderful book, you should think about it.

  4. So, if Sir Cecil is to be believed you actually look a lot like Dame Edna Everedge? :)

    Good luck with the early walks. I bow down to your astonishing will power at walking at such an ungodly hour in the rain.

  5. In the column on the right it says you can run 65mph and have no toes so all of this walking pallaver should be a cinch. However I do wish I was a bit closer. To accompany said walkies.

  6. 30 miles? Holy crap!

    Even though you don't seem to have any toes, please be mindful of your feet and footwear!

  7. Ms Distracted - I am trying to arrange for no more rain for a while - it is such a mood dampener

    Eryl - I love the new discoveries bit. Sorry if I've prompted Bad Things Thoughts

    Hi Nedine - I Love Sir Cecil's drawings, unfortunately the reproductions I have are not great quality - they would be a great book.

    Veggie I really do look a lot like Dame Edna Everedge?

    JoeyJoJo - yup that me running before I can walk. I'd love a bit of walking company

    xl - thank you for your concern, I am trying to make friends with my feet before the big one.

  8. Walking in the rain at night is cool, during the day it's dead miserable. I think it's because you can't run film noir fantasies through your head when you can see the next damp bus stop a mile ahead.

    I love "KNIGHT ARTIST" - so emphatic!

  9. Love Sir Cecil's renderings. Do you really look a bit like Dudley Do Right? And the 30 mile walk sounds wonderful. I am very impressed with your father, and with you.

  10. I read this, looked out of the window, suggested early walk to dog and was rewarded with a look of deep contempt from the basket.
    So I'm on my own....

  11. I hope you gain success all the time!

    warm greeting 0_0

  12. Oh, I'm laughing WITH you, not AT you! How much better shape do you need to be in? After all, you're the comely lass at the top of the page with the fireman's helmet and jello mold, right ;)

  13. I don't think I would trust Prince Andrew to bathe me, especially if his ex wife was painting her toenails in the next room

  14. Kevin - I love "KNIGHT ARTIST" too, and all his annotations

    K - I'll have to Google Dudley Do Right - sounds like I probably do look like him though.

    Fly - Dogs have so much more sense don't they?

    BMX- me too

    StefRobrts - I'm a bit more like the jello than the skinny lass at the moment - it'll take a little work.

    Nursey - I'd pay to have the royal family keep their distance - have you seen how they carry on?

  15. I hope I can still stand up when I'm 82, let alone walk.
    Anyhow, I'm wishing you all the luck in the world and lots more bouncey mornings.

  16. I'm trying to think of some bribe I can dangle in front of you to give you the impetus to do this bloody walk. What can I send you from France to bring you cheer. Name your poison

  17. Great drawings. Impressed by your training regime. We're going on a two week walking holiday in August and I suspect that I shall have to follow your example. Tragically.

  18. Cecil's drawings are a treat - looking forward to seeing more of them. As for your walks - good for you, I'm almost inspired to go for one now. . . almost.

  19. I do love Wales really; I've holidayed in cottages in capel Curig, Aberforeshore, Betwys y coed, and a couple of others.

  20. Scarlet - I think a fridge full of bubbly is the secret to continued mobility xxx

    Frenchie - any cheering me on will help, I don't need a bribe, the thought of my dad giving me a piggyback the last few miles is humiliating enough to make me get my walking legs sorted.

    Madame Def - glad you like the art, funny how one needs to practise walking isn't it?

    Synchy - More Cecil coming right on up ...

  21. England just seems more interesting than stupid old Tennessee. If I went walking for two hours I would be chased by dogs and most certainly would be blown up for wandering into a "guarded" pot field.

  22. Love the drawings and your running commentary on how old you feel. I totally get that...funny stuff Lulu.

  23. Sorry for my bad english. Thank you so much for your good post. Your post helped me in my college assignment, If you can provide me more details please email me.


Related Posts with Thumbnails