• Alan Smith ACA

I have just realised its Wednesday.

Updated: Jul 16

Today I’m going to write like life; with no idea of what will come next or what it's all about.


This land is my land and not your land (Woody would be turning in his grave). Through the glory of Brexit I am beginning to understand sovereignty and in order to identify with it I am realising the importance of recognising and categorising the differences between me and others so as to maintain geographic ownership of a place and revel in my superiority. Just like gardens need hedges and fences to denote territory and keep the neighbours out so does a sovereign nation.

At the schoolhouse this week we have installed a flimsy and physically ineffective fence in the front garden, it is made of rope and with fairy lights that don’t work. This border control separates us from our newly permitted paying guests in the West end of the building and marks their designated COVID -19 safe outside area. We still have the ‘DO NOT ENTER AND LEAVE MAIL IN THE BOX’ signs on the front gate and to get to Camp Covid (our vegetable garden and my studio) we now have to walk Southeast to the gate, North up the hill, turn West, walk behind the Schoolhouse and finally Southwest into Camp Covid.

It must seem a trivial difference from our usual direct west from Schoolhouse to Camp Covid but for me it feels like another imposition, and control through my continued shielding.


I still walk the dog, still film nothing and make drawings. I continue to do stuff in Camp Covid, make occasional circular journeys on my motorcycle and frequently ask myself, do I think too much? there isn’t much else to do, I don’t go to the reopened pubs, don’t go shopping (never did) – I am here, see no one and have few opportunities to talk bollocks.

What time is it? Helen’s phone just went ping and Nicky Morgan is on the telly reassuring us that the conservatives have done nothing wrong. Ping! It’s all the fault of China and Huawei, nothing to do with the USA and Trump. Anyhow, what was I talking about… the price of custard? I digress.

Testing and tracing, tracking and testing. Listening to PM’s questions makes thinking clear and straight impossible, it’s like playing name that tune while listening to Punch and Judy, but on the plus side It’s enlightening to look into the homes of politicians through the world of Zoom to see such awful and questionable 'artwork' on the walls behind them. Do they have no taste, knowledge or vision? Oops I digress again.

Our home-grown potatoes are delicious, our never ending salads delightful, the garlic wonderful and radish enchanting, but I crave a Chinese chicken curry with rice and chips, spam and a slice of Battenberg cake with a cup of tea. Sorry I keep digressing.


Today the weather isn’t so good, grey damp and yes a bit dreary, I will probably go out for another walk this afternoon, I will head South down the hill and then turn left and West up to the fell top. I’m not sure where I will go from there. North and then South a bit, I think.

© 2018 Allenheads Contemporary Arts, Allenheads, Hexham, Northumberland NE47 9HR

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