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Hockney, dialysis etc.

I must get a ticket to the Hockney exhibition. This week's cover of the TLS was one of his paintings created on the iPad. My sister, an art history graduate, doesn't like Hockney. I've no real opinion either way. He's always been one of those cultural figures you take for granted. He's just always been there. But, to be in your mid-seventies - having moved back to native Yorkshire (the house where his mother died, no less) from LA - and to have an exhibition that's causing excitement, that's something. It's because it's mostly new material. This is no mere retrospective. And then there's the engagement with technology. The iPad paintings. Anyway, I intend to see it.
I've also got to try and get my phd novel 'out there'. It needs to find a home. I have a preferred publisher reading it, but it's always such a long shot. Having a previously published book makes it no easier. I had some very uplifting comments in the examiners reports of it though. My external examiner, the writer Francis Spufford, said it was a work of considerable emotional and imaginative power. Is this enough to keep me pitching? I would carry on regardless. Running, though, is another matter. I went for a lovely run this evening - the cold night air was just perfect. I was faster. But I didn't run for as long. Apparently this is normal. I always get to a point where I think, I'm going backwards! But then, running is not linear. It's a strange process. All processes are. We live forwards, but we learn backwards. It makes me value my health, at least. Last October I could barely run a minute! Poor old Hugo Williams isn't having a great time of it. In the current TLS he described his dialysis process. He described a scene, to a certain extent, of defamiliarisation. Cultural defamiliarisation. It had its moments, helped along by an extrovert dandy type fellow patient. My Dad had to have dialysis because the Crohns' Disease caused kidney failure. It's a shocking disease, Crohns. It attacks all the organs. It killed my Dad in the end - two weeks after his 59th birthday. I also read this week that it was the very condition that Prince Albert, Victoria's husband/consort, died from - plunging her into her decades long grief.
Anyway. Onwards.


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