THAT’S the proportion of people who start blogs and then abandon them, according to a report out this week. Some two and a half million have written only one post before disappearing into cyberspace. How pathetic is that? But I’m not much better, having penned only two in two months. I must make a more determined effort. It is, after all, the only writing I do, having abandoned the writing class I joined briefly when I first came north. I joined one in Whitley Bay about 30 years ago. There was a retired engineer with a huge portfolio at his side. “How long have you been writing?” I enquired, in a spirit of new-girl friendliness. “Oh, I don’t write,” he said loftily, “I paint.” Well that explained the portfolio if not his presence. There was only one question: what, precisely, did he paint? “Renoirs mostly,” he said, and added with a triumphant smile:”I paint them, sign them, frame them, put them on the wall and do you know what? Nobody knows the difference.” Hmmm – the seaside semi might be a bit of a clue. . .



  1. In my excitement re the Renoir/Rembrandt debate I forgot to say that I do hope you will continue with your blog. It’s so refreshing and entertaining. Without it I might be driven to other reading material eg The Lady or The People’s Friend. Now there’s a challenge.

  2. Are you sure it was Renoir? Only I distinctly remember going into a B&B in Whitley Bay and the walls were covered in DIY Rembrandts. I was filming a programme about plastic surgery, and had found a woman who had spent £25,000 on her face and was addicted to the knife. She adored her surgeon who should have been behind bars because when she opened the door I nearly screamed out loud. She looked like a gargoyle. Sadly, she never made it on the silver screen. a) she was too ugly and b) her husband banned her from making an even bigger fool of herself. She was no oil painting, but he found beauty in his own masterful Rembrandt copies.

    1. Hmmm . . . now you’ve got me thinking. If it was Renoir who painted the woman with the hairbrush, it was definitely him (or he). For this it was that (or which) the man whipped from his portfolio. Doesn’t sound like Rembrandt does it? Perhaps there’s a lot of ’em about in Whitley Bay – frauds, I mean.

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