Thursday is blog day, so I used to try not to schedule anything else for that day – even though it would extend far in to the night and then the early morning, no matter how long I had to write.  Did I start immediately after breakfast?  No, of course not.  After lunch?  Well, eventually.  After dinner?  Of course, because when it comes to the bit, needs must.

Once a prevaricator….oops, better check the trusty Chambers; ah, no, not quite, it has to be procrastinator, deferring action, putting off what has to be done immediately.  Prevaricating is a bit different:  to avoid stating the truth or coming directly to the point; to quibble; to deviate (obs); to shift about from side to side (obs)….And it used to be, at Cambridge University, that a prevaricator was “a satirical orator at the ceremony of Commencement”.

Is that another way of saying smart Alick/Aleck/Alec/alec?  Just asking;  as a smart Alick etc manque (still haven’t mastered the acute accent, so not so smart after all).

Anyway, it turns out that lots of good things happen on a Thursday and who can bring themselves to turn down a good thing?  Carpe diem and all that.

It’s all going on at the MAC

Last week it was Crufts and this week it was Grayson’s Art Club:  The Exhibition, at the Midlands Arts Centre (MAC).  In all the years I’ve lived in and around Birmingham, I’ve never been to the wonderful venue that is the MAC, pretty well in Cannon Hill Park and just across the road from Edgbaston, one of cricket’s most famous grounds.  Wow, what a place.

MAC is now 61 years old and Deborah Kermode, the CEO and artistic director, explained its raison d’être in the foreword to the exhibition catalogue:  “Our job is to provide arts for all, with the mission to make art an important part of people’s lives…We specialise in contemporary work, offering a busy programme of theatre, dance, independent cinema, art exhibitions and special events.  What characterises our work is the wealth of practical classes and workshops we offer in all aspects of creativity.  We are part arts centre and part arts school and we want people to get involved!

“MAC has specialist arts studios set up for ceramics, textiles, silversmithing, dance, painting and drawing, for the public to use from 9am to 10pm daily…we do it all, with the aspiration that creativity is at the heart of learning, bringing people together to make friends and learn new skills to support their health and wellbeing…”

Just in case you don’t know what Grayson and Philippa look like…although Grayson does have an alter ego called Claire, so he may be in a dress next time you see him.

It’s the perfect spot to display the wide variety of works sent in to the art club devised by Grayson Perry and his wife Philippa (and Channel 4) to get us through the pandemic and lockdown.  It was quite brilliant and showed how amazingly imaginative and creative people are.  As a woman of limited imagination and creativity, I am in awe.

Margaret Seaman’s “Knitted Sandringham”  is at the MAC and it’s awesome.  It took two years to make and as someone whose own mother begged her to put down her knitting needles at the age of seven, I find it beyond mind boggling, jaw dropping…The skill, the patience, the imagination.

One view of the Sandringham spectacular, all knitted or crocheted.

It really is huge.

Beyond imagining for somebody who could only manage a holey dishcloth on chunky needles.

I couldn’t choose a favourite piece but here’s a selection of things that caught my eye.

Stuart Hutcheon’s Manchester Women, inspired by photos of Manchester and Salford in the 1960s and 1970s, created for a Mothers’ Day window display.

The sainted Alice, who has just made her first visit to a children’s hospice to help cheer everybody up, didn’t come to the exhibition but Pugsley, Janene Elise Pike’s assistance dog, was there, on the wall, in all his glory (digital mixed media on canvas).  Janene, who has cerebal palsy, called the piece, “My Canine Hero, Pugsley”.

Pugsley is from the charity Canine Partners and helps Janene with lots of different tasks.

And because I get teased mercilessly for being a rather ineffective eco warrior, railer against plastic and rinser of the recycling, how could I resist Alice Rhubarb’s “The Face of Waste”?  It’s made up of all sorts of junk that won’t degrade and usually gets chucked into landfill not turned in to art.

Alice says: “I think the human race needs to wake up about this sort of thing.”

For those of you who need a fix of golf, albeit a little below the elite level, here’s the Friday Frolic for today:  “THE MULTIPILIER”.  I feel we should have Arnold Schwarzenegger (correct spelling first go, incredible!) and The Terminator on hand because, weather permitting (who’s praying for sleet and snow?), this could be carnage.

Brace yourselves, here we go – and I quote verbatim:  “Best two Stableford scores [out of three] used in multiplier….lowest score is first number, second best score is used as second number…eg.  Team’s individual gross on hole one are 5, 4, 7.  4/5 used making 45 pts.  (if having to use 0 that goes as second number)  eg your team score 3, 0, 0, your score is 30 points.  Pair with highest pts score wins…”

My immediate reaction was “Aaaaagh” but I was reassured by our esteemed organiser:  “Stay in a darkened room overnight Patricia, you’ll be fine.”

My darkened room awaits but I’m not convinced.

Happy St Patrick’s Day everybody and here’s to Ireland’s Grand Slam (fingers crossed).

A cherished card from a friend in America who never forgets the occasion.