Quite a few years ago now my wife Susie and I had a conversation beside the fire in a pub in our village: I told her I was planning to cycle across Canada, and she said, to paraphrase a much longer discussion, ‘Okay’. That exchange went on to become the start of my book about the trip, Crossing Canada: Incidents of Travel on a Bike. At the end of the book I described an imagined future conversation along the same lines, where Susie tells me over a drink that she’s got an adventure of her own planned, and has ‘bought a Harley’.
I may have been wrong about the Harley-Davidson motorbike, but the adventure has certainly happened! She gave up her busy career as a professional violinist, and began a 6-year return to education, starting with a Fine Arts Foundation course and leading to a Fine Arts degree. This August she became Artist in Residence at the Courtyard Arts gallery in Hertford, and part of the deal was to produce a daily blog to describe what might unfold as the residency progressed. So the whole thing has come around in a kind of circle, and Susie’s own blog is now up and running which is the reason I’m writing this post. In fact we’re on Day 12 already. Please do take a minute to click here to visit the blog and to see the amazing collaborative project that has been building up a head of steam during this hot summer, over in Hertfordshire’s county town.
For anyone near enough to actually visit for yourselves, this Friday 12th August there is a Family Workshop she’ll be running, entitled ‘Strange Beings’, where everyone is encouraged to join in and create something of their very own for inclusion in the final exhibition. In case of confusion, her full name is Susanna, and since as a violinist she was always known as ‘Susie’, she decided some time ago to become ‘Anna’ as an Artist!