I don't understand.
No really, I haven't got a clue.
Not even a geriatric glow worms arse of an idea to light the moles-pocket darkness of my total and utter incomprehension.
Throughout the passage of my disorganised, rudderless, futtering existence there has been one comforting precept that I have come to rely on; that if I repeat any activity to which I bear some small aptitude a sufficient number of times, then I become tolerably proficient at it.
It's a strategy that has served me well in many areas:
Riding a bicycle, brushing my teeth without poking my eye out, avoiding IKEA, impersonating a stoat, getting fired from proper jobs, making tiny mice out of apple pips, buying shoes that don't fit.
All these, and more, are areas where I feel completely capable because I have done them so many times that I no longer have to think about them. They just sort of happen automatically.
I rely on them.
Soooo.... why in the name of God's underpants do I periodically lose the ability to make anything even vaguely convincing appear on the evil, taunting piece of overstarched bedlinen propped up on the easel in front of me?
I mean, what if I suddenly forgot how to drive a car half way round Oxford circus, or had a momentary lapse of cognisance whilst doing something crucial involving a step ladder, a bucket of angry gerbils and an unusually large Swiss army knife?
I live in the cosy reassurance that such things are unlikely to happen, so why does the one ability I've devoted more time and attention to than any other suddenly decide to pack it's Speedo's and buzz off on its holidays without leaving a forwarding address?!
By now you may have gathered that the current bid for artistic gold has not gone according to plan.
It's like turning up at the Olympics only to find you've forgotten your PE kit.
It should be so simple: Paint the chairman's portrait as a present for his birthday.
I've worked with him for years, he's a perfect sitter, and I get a pretty fair likeness of his more reflective, personal side in a couple of takes.
Bung in his favourite winebar and a few memento's and the job's all but done.
All but for the foreground figure which steadfastly refuses to resemble a woman in a sleeveless dress and persists in looking like a haddock that's swallowed a hunchback.
Some days you just feel like sitting at the bottom of the garden eating worms.
At least I know how to do that....