Happy DaysSize: 97 × 122 cm
The wonderful thing about having been brought up in that little mining village of Springside on the west coast of Scotland was that the people or “Springdingers” as we sometimes refer to ourselves, were jam packed with characters as usually is the case with small town folk. However I think that my kin were a breed apart.
When I was a wee snot covered toe rag I would delight in taking note of all the sights and sounds that surrounded me. I remember stopping and gazing in amazement at things that were firstly very fleeting and usually meant nothing to whoever I was with at the time but in that split second would captivate me for what felt like an eternity, football games, games of tig or tag, Japs and Gerries would all cease as I noticed these funny little events or scenes that would develop in front of my eyes. All the small and insignificant details would become magnified and all encompassing and time stood still.
The two things that were commonplace in the village were bikes, everyone had one, and the other thing that meant the world to me was a balloon strangely enough. Maybe it was because I was an only child and would have to create my own amusement when all my friends went in for the night and because my mum banned kicking a ball inside the house, I would play a safer form using a balloon. The spin off for using a balloon was that I could also play slow motion football in the hallway.
Today the balloon has taken on a different role in my minds eye. It has become a symbol for freedom, hopes and dreams. It is also the symbol for the Bubble foundation at the RVI hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne who care for the needs of children who are born into this world without an immune system and who have to spend the first few years of their fragile life in a form of bubble that keeps them safe from all forms of infection and which I am proud to be a patron.
So to celebrate all the people that helped shape me into the man I am today I have painted “Happy days”. May all your dreams, hopes and aspirations continue to be a part of you own journey through life and may they never leave you.
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