Candy Dead

August 25, 2012

So, an interesting few minutes just now. 

I had asked Mr Sokha, my saintly landlord, if he could put a picture hook up for me. I thought this would be politic, as it’s his wall, and he’s always running about with a tool belt on, leading me to think he built this place all by himself. And, I hoped, it might help him to ignore the terrible gouges I’ve made at ankle level throughout the flat with my unrestrained wheelchairing. 

So, I asked him if he could do this about two weeks ago. He finally turned up to do it today, and, sadly, his DIY skills had been somewhat overestimated, by me, at least.

Now, I can do a bit of DIY. Putting in a picture hook would take, oh, I dunno, about three seconds. But today’s performance took about an hour. We had a hammer drill, rawlplugs, lots of bits of bent wire, extension cords, tape measures, carpenters’ pencils, you name it. 

The picture I wanted to put up is, I think, the single most expensive thing I’ve ever bought in my life, a Craigie Aitchison print of sumptuous beauty. It had taken me a lot of effort to get it out here to Cambodia, and it represented, to me, my commitment to this country, and to being here and not somewhere else. 

But, obviously, Mr Sokha knew nothing of that. It looks, to be honest, like a crayon drawing of a dead dog, done by a five-year-old. So he, not unreasonably, kept tucking it under his arm, or gripping it in his teeth, as he flailed away at the wall, while I looked on nervously.

So I told Lyta, his neice and my right-hand woman, that, just in passing, the picture cost me somewhere in the region of a year’s rent. Mr Sokha, on hearing this, removed it from under his arm and looked at it, then looked at me. 

I don’t think there could have been a clearer or more precise moment of clarification of the madness of the value of art. We both laughed, long and hard. 

So the picture is up. I wonder how long it’ll stay there; you have to be optimistic. I am. I told him, via Lyta, that next week I want him to remove a wall sconce, so I can put up a vast photograph of a Phnom Penh street scene I’ve fallen in love with. He nodded enthusiastically at the news. He, almost certainly, thinks I’m mad. 

Isn’t it great, the cultural melange?

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4 Responses to “Candy Dead”

  1. Susan winchester said

    That was hilarious, still laughing now. Rupert, I will never tire of reading your brilliant blog. Keep the positive ones coming!

  2. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful blog… Thanks Rupert!!! 🙂

  3. Catherine Klingel said

    Oh my Lord, that is hysterical! I laughed so hard. Rupert good going on the swimming! Keep it up and love the bunny! Bunny

  4. Craigie would be very proud, and extremely amused. If Mr Sokha wishes to relocate tell him he has a job waiting at Advanced Graphics! Good to read your news.

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