When I became a peripatetic teacher around the village schools I couldn’t drive. Herts County Council lent me the money to buy a car. I spent the summer holidays learning (no pressure there then!) On the day of the test (in Luton) I went to the chemist and asked for a pill to calm my nerves, they gave me a pack with a huge orange pill. I passed. I wish I knew what that pill was I could have done with it on several occasions since!
The day came when I could take delivery of my brand new car…it was a Ford Popular price £314. The smell of it was delicious. It was the first time I had ever had a cheque for such a large amount of money. I handed it over proudly…then the bombshell. The garage owner said ‘Now there are all the extra charges,’ I can’t remember what they were for except that one of them was delivery. I had no money and was crestfallen. The dear garage man said ‘Don’t worry duckie, I’ll give you a loan, no interest, you just pay me back when you can’ I did and I’ve never forgotten him.
Now the ‘art’ part of the story. I drove that little car and later an A40, (Robin couldn’t drive at that time) all over Europe visiting all the great southern European art galleries. We camped everywhere in our tiny tent, the one on the left with the two square holes. When I drew this in my sketch book we were in Rome just about to get out of our shorts and into posh clothes to go to the opera in the Baths of Caracalla. It was so hot.