On Friday I did a very unusual thing. After applying myself properly to some work (you know, the kind where they give you money in exchange for doing stuff), I read a book. During the day.
In fact, I read the whole book in one day. I haven't done that in years! It helps of course that it was a fast read and extremely enjoyable.
The Smalls were playing in the garden and I took myself out there too, found a sunny nook and read. I often intend to do this but rarely manage more than a few pages before I get sucked into weeding or mediating or nursing a graze, but on Friday none of those things happened. It was lovely!
So, the book? Hercules and the Farmer's Wife by Chris Wadsworth...
Well it says on the cover that it is about a woman who opened an art gallery in the Lake District, and it sort of is, or rather, more accurately, it is BY a woman who opened an art gallery in the Lake District. It is really about the colourful cast of characters she met along the way. It is about the artists she wooed, the egos she smoothed and the friends she gathered.
She almost glosses over the big events in her own life, losing her husband to cancer and finding a new relationship, but instead, enthrals us with details of the lives of a reclusive, transvestite ex-postman, and the Cumbrian beauty befriended by LS Lowry.
I know nothing about cutting edge contemporary art or the world of galleries and art dealers, but Chris Wadworth's descriptions are so engaging that she draws you in and makes you feel like you are joining her at the kitchen table along with the friends and colleagues that frequent her gallery.
I know that next time I am in the Lake District I am going to seek out the Castlegate House Gallery and have a look for myself.