A Day in The Life…February 2010

27 01 2010

Here’s a first, an apology. The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted our failure to turn out for last month’s issue. For this we apologise, but there is a simple reason, one that does not involve the wrong sort of snow, or the dog eating the laptop. No, I had a premonition, a portentous one, in which I foresaw the January cold snap. Consequently, I abandoned the shop and spent the first 3 weeks of 2010 barricaded inside the airing cupboard, wrapped in two electric blankets, hugging several hot-water bottles. I whiled away the time finalising my eight ‘tracks’, for the time, quite soon I hear, when Kirsty hauls me aboard the BBC Radio 4 flagship and allows me to unleash my Desert Island Discs upon the world. I anticipate record listening figures for these little beauties:

Best Dressed Chicken In Town…Dr Alimantado
Marquee Moon…Television
Someone Great…LCD Soundsystem
A Horse With No Name…America
No Fun…The Sex Pistols
Kashmir…Led Zeppelin
EuroTrash Girl…Chicks On Speed
Down By The Water…PJ Harvey

Book….Three Men In A Boat…Jerome K Jerome
Luxury…A 7′ x 5′ Mirror

As it turned out, I did the right thing. Apparently, the only person who visited Olney during the first half of the month was Milton Keynes Council’s intrepid Planning Enforcement Officer, who, it is reported, was out and about, monitoring the icy pavements for ‘A’ boards that might trip up speed-skaters. I didn’t see him myself, but I have spies everywhere, and although they’d been on the barley wine at The Swan to keep warm, I believe them.

Anyway, enough of that, important matters now. I have an announcement. A Gerald Sparrow sign will have been attached to our building by the time you read this, and you will probably see it and ask yourself the question, what’s going on there then? I shall tell you. Gerald is a commercial property agent, a nice chap actually, who, like all commercial property agents, runs his business very successfully by mobile phone from a golf course. I’m kidding Gerald. Anyway, the object of this exercise is relocation, within Olney. We’re not closing. Stop cheering at the back. We’re RELOCATING, all of the bookstore, and the jewellery, and some of the gallery. I’ve had an offer to move the rest of the gallery to London, which makes sense, mainly because it’s outside the remit of the MKC Planning Enforcement Officer, but also I’m told there are hordes of bankers, flush with wheelbarrows of cash, roaming the pavements in the hope they will find piles of contemporary art to purchase for their fourth home in Zurich.

Why am I confiding in you? Well, generally speaking, two plus two erroneously makes five in small places like Olney, so, you now have it from the horse’s mouth’s official spokesperson, me, first, and it’s still four. This means that we shall still be shovelling good stuff under your noses, in the time-honoured ICETWICE way, until Tony Blair holds his hands up and admits the Iraq war was a rotten scheme, which will coincide with hell freezing over.

Now, pay attention, because this is the sales pitch bit, which you knew all along was what I was really leading up to. We’re having a major clear out in February. Regular visitors to ICETWICE will know that there’s an awful lot of original art upstairs, and frankly, because I haven’t made time over the past four years to keep tabs on it all, it would be sheer folly to attempt to pack it and return it to all the individual artists, even if I knew who they were or could track them down. I’m not good at keeping their phone numbers to hand, and they’ve gone awol anyway, presumably because they’re in a love nest with their life models.

The gist of what I’m saying is this, February is THE PERFECT MONTH for you lot to pop in and grab a SERIOUS art bargain. It’s also, fortuitously, a very good time of year for you to do your spring-cleaning, to make room for your purchase. That’s a domino effect isn’t it? We have a clear out, so you have one too, to make room for the stuff you buy from us. Simple really. I like life when it all works out for everyone.

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