A long, long time ago, well in 1999 actually when I was…….er younger!! I travelled a lot, particularly overland in a truck, I wasn’t driving just a passenger watching the world pass by and change in front of my eyes - quite literally! From the streets of London to European chateaux, from vineyards to forests and streams, to the souks and mosques of the Middle East, to the deserts of Iran and the mountains of Pakistan, to the altitude and markets of north west China………………eventually arriving in one of my favourite places in the world……………..Tibet.
I was having a meal one evening in Lhasa and saw this drawing hanging on the wall. I literally fell in love with it there and then and asked the restaurant if I could buy it. For $60 it was mine – that was a whole lot of money when you’re on the road for many months at a time but there was no way I was leaving her behind. That night I walked home with a smile on my face and her tucked snugly under my arm. My journey however was far from over, I still needed to continue across the Tibetan plateau and descend into and wiggle about Nepal, my second favourite place in the world, before finishing my trip on Kathmandu.
Question for you…………how do you keep a charcoal drawing in one piece when you still have literally hundreds and hundreds of miles to go and mostly on dusty roads that bare no resemblance to any of the roads you and I know? (A truck that I might add didn’t actually have windows, oh no…………it had canvas walls that were rolled up almost every day, which was amazing but as you can imagine let literally all the elements in!!) Answer…………..well you keep it in a large envelope and sellotape it to the underside of the truck roof. Simple! I had to change the sellotape every day as it got so filled with dust and began to peel off in reaction to the shaking of the truck – no roads remember! Well she made it to Kathmandu where I rolled her up nervously for the first time and flew home.
I travelled a lot afterwards and so she went to live at my brothers for a few years where she was framed in beautiful oak and hung on the wall for all to admire. He (reluctantly – and I don’t blame him) gave me back when I decided to stop travelling so much and has lived with me ever since. Though she did take a tumble recently and the glass and frame broke – hence her only just returning to the wall.
It’s her eyes…………..they’re absolutely mesmerising. I love also the fact that the date on the drawing is the same year as the first year of my travels………………but what I love the most is that she’s mine, hanging on my wall and I get to look at her every single day :)