Friday, 19 October 2012

It's never too late to make a date with fate.

I'd like to introduce my Grandfather.

I would also have liked to have met him, but since he was born 30 years before man first flew, it made the timing a little unlikely.

None the less, I have always had a profound sense of connection with him, and the more I discover about his life, the more I recognise the similarities with my own.

He appears to have been a romantic, creative soul, much given to painting moody landscapes and photographing pretty ladies.

He ran his own studio in Kinross in Edwardian times, and I have an album of sepia prints and watercolours that my father put together in celebration of him.

He gave up his artistic ambitions when he married my grandmother (as was considered correct in such times) and pursued an altogether more sensible career but he never lost his love of the aesthetic and continued filling notebooks with sketches of damsels, watercolour views, ideas for inventions and decorative designs.

I owe him a lot.

Last weekend, I visited Kinross to see if the town he knew could still be recognised.

Almost nothing has changed.

I stood in the same places that he had over 100 years ago, and took virtually the same photographs.

I wanted to put together some sort of appreciation of his work, as a tribute to the man who had unwittingly influenced me since I first stopped sticking crayons up my nose and started applying them to paper.

It was then that the coincidences started to happen.

A local pointed me to the old family residence.

I knocked the door, and was shown round by a charming gent who, if I'd turned up 10mins later would have been on his way to America.

I visited the recently opened museum and literally bumped into the Prof of Hist as he was leaving to go to Havana.

Even the owner of the B&B turned out to be custodian of the local archives who had just set up a website about the town's history.

The end result is that my Grandfather will finally have an exhibition of his paintings and photographs in the town that knew him as an artist.

I think he'd be pleased.