Thursday 25 April 2013

Tech Age Sculptures

After seeing the Ice Age sculptures in the British Museum, we took a long ride up to Yorkshire on Monday to visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Lots of good stuff there, but a lot of suspect stuff too. I found a wacking great fairground type whirligig with toilets on the end of poles a bit too tacky for my taste. It may be art but I don't have to like it. Also I do wonder why most modern sculptors feel they have have to always do abstract works these days. In the whole park of many many sculptures there were only a handful of works that represented something you instantly recognised. There was a statue by Gormley that I pointed to and said to Annette, 'Hey, that's a bloke, isn't it!' The artist I did like, a lot, was Yinka Shonibare. The picture above is entitled 'Alien Man on a Flying Machine'. Now aliens are right down my artistic alley. He had a gallery of figures in bright colourful patchwork costumes - soldiers firing canons, dancers, aliens, headless strollers - I think the set was called 'Fabric-ation' - and they made you smile as well as saying something important about love, life and the universe. Now I'm not against artists like Henry Moore, who is a wonderful sculptor. I just love stroking and touching his beautifully polished lumps of granite and marble, always so smooth and receptive to my tactile nature. But do applaud any new sculptor like Yinka who produces something that makes my day glitter and glint a bit more, especially after I've lost or had stolen my bank card and have developed a Yorkshire head cold (I haven't been back to the county of my birth for a long time, but this one waited patiently all through the years and pounced on me as soon as I crossed the border).

Sunday 21 April 2013

The picture is of Tuscany, near Sienna, where we visited some friends we made in Hong Kong. They had a house nestling in the hollow behind that brown field you see in the foreground. Peaceful, beautiful, spiritual in a historic sense. I could have written 'Far From the Madding Crowd' there, but unfortunately someone else beat me to it.

Some funny things (I mean peculiar) have been happening to me lately. One thing is I have discovered that I seem to have invisible hands. When I use toilets that have laser beams to automatically turn on the water and dry your hands, nothing happens. I stick my hands under the tap. Nothing comes out. I wriggle them about thinking there needs to be movement. Not a drop. Another man comes and sticks his hands under the same tap and water gushes out like Angel Falls. Same thing happens with the hand dryer. Jetstream? Forget it. I don't even get a gentle zephyr. Maybe they don't work after you reach a certain age (and I have reached a certain age). Certainly other things happen when you break through the age barrier and find yourself at Mach Zero on the the other side. The other day Annette and I were in the car going over the Orwell Bridge and she was talking in her usual soft voice, so without thinking I reached over to the radio volume (the radio was off) and turned it up. To my surprise her voice did not get any louder. Then I realised what I'd done, what I had expected to happen, and was mortified. Annette, of course, simply laughed her socks off.

By the by, following Keith Brooke's kind publication of my memoirs 'On My Way To Samarkand' I decided to have a go myself at publishing my account of my 12 day motorcycle ride through the Queensland outback in 2008, a grueling, tough event for an effete writer, I can tell you. If you're at all interested you can find it on Amazon under the title 'Rookie Biker in the Outback'. It's more about the mystique and spirit of the Australian wilderness than it is about biking, since I am not really a genuine biker having only passed my test six weeks before leaving for Oz. It was a wonderful experience though, especially at a certain age.

Thursday 18 April 2013

Day 2 - Annette's Day

Well, this is fun, isn't it. Getting an immediate response to something written the day before. Actually, when you analyse it, writers do not live the most exciting of lives. They get up, groan, perhaps have a plate of corn flakes, make a cup of coffee, sit down at a computer - and hit keys all morning. Now my wife Annette has a much more exciting day. Annette is a volunteer for many organisations including Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon burial mounds and the formidable Alton Water workers (they make willow fences and coppice trees around our beautiful nature reserve reservoir). She is particularly fond of the grass snakes that abound around the lake and yesterday found one that had crept out of hibernation, half-starved, only to find it was still winter outside. 'Bloody hell,' it said, mentally of course, 'where's the ruddy sun when you need it?' The poor thin beast appeared to be gasping its last. So Annette went and caught a frog for it, but the other volunteers were horror struck and said she should let nature take its course and didn't the frog deserve to live too? So she let the frog go, but crept back later with a huge slug and left it for the snake, wondering if it would indeed enjoy a black slimy creature that was as static as a rock and without even eyes to blink with. However . . . however, later still she crept again and found both serpent and slug gone. She regarded this as a success.

Me? I got up, groaned, had some corn flakes, made a coffee, sat down at my computer and hit the keys. Yawn. Actually it's a new science fiction novel with the working title Ring-a-Ring o' Roses and I'm going to stun the sf world with its brilliance, so there.

Wednesday 17 April 2013

An Introduction

This is an attempt to start my first blog. I've called it Wild Hares simply because I love the creatures that race across the fields at the back of my house. They don't cower inside holes, nor hide behind trees or rocks, they stand out in the open and challenge the carnivores to catch them on the run. They race like wildfire over ploughed fields and meadows. They are sinewy, muscled, hell-for-leather dare-devils who punch holes in the wind with their heads. In March they have their boxing matches, one eye open for foxes. They care nothing for me or my kind and that's how it should be. I thank them for it. They live and love in the free fresh air.

My name is Garry (Douglas) Kilworth and I'm a writer with 80 published novels and books of short stories in print. I am also at odd times of the day Kim Hunter, the author who wrote The Red Pavilions trilogy. Kim and Garry get on very well together, most of the time, but occasionally professional jealousy creeps in when one book does better than another. Zamerkand is the city in The Red Pavilions where the main character a soldier lost in time and reality, makes his home and reaches for a higher station and for a great love. The novels are in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, young adult, historical war novels, mainstream literary novels and one or two non-fiction works. I'm not well known, though I've obviously been writing a long time and earning a good living at it. If the main character in a Hollywood movie is a writer, he or she either writes as best seller or is a failure and never writes again. Wrong. There are many of us out there who can make a living writing novels that never get into the best seller lists, yet sell enough thousands to make themselves and their publisher a reasonable living. I'm one of them. Several of my friends are others. Hollywood be damned.