Thursday, April 08, 2010

More about Hull

I’m continuing with Hull today for I have a very soft spot for it.

At the end of my first year (1986) I moved out of halls of residence to live with some friends in a big old red brick, Victorian house, 409 Spring Bank West. There were seven of us and we drew lots for the rooms. I can’t remember where I drew but I ended up living in the downstairs front room. It was a gorgeous, large room with a lovely fireplace that had been ruined by a modern gas fire.

Opposite us was a graveyard. We called it the Groovy Graveyard… because it was. I remember always wanting to take pictures of it and I can’t believe I never did. I might have to visit this summer just to take some…

After I graduated I left Not Yet Husband in Hull, doing his PhD and I disappeared down to London to find a job. I found the first of several uninspiring jobs in entirely the wrong industry.  This, and missing NYH, (feel free to barf) contributed to the decision six months later to move back to Hull.

I bought a tiny little house; a two up, two down with a bathroom extension on the back that looked as though someone had planned it after a long night at the pub.  We filled it with cats - two of our own, followed by one wedding present and Not Yet Husband brought Pepper the Dog over from the Post Grad house.

One summer we went to the Ferens Art Gallery Summer Exhibition. We saw this picture by Belinda Moores in the exhibition for a princely sum of fifty pounds. It was just like my front room bedroom in Spring Bank West of my second year and we both loved it. We had no money, and it seemed like a fortune and terribly reckless but I went and bought it. They put a red sticker on the picture and I was allowed to pay in instalments! We were getting married that year and it seemed like the right thing to do.

I do believe that if you buy a picture because you love it - I mean really love it - that you will always feel the same way. I still feel as much for this charcoal as I did the day I bought it. It’s moved with us around the UK and now it’s in Thailand hanging outside our bedroom where it reminds us of our younger lives in Hull.

15 comments:

SueG said...

I so agree about buying art. If you really love it, it stays with you no matter where you are in space or in your heart -- you see, just thinking about that makes me wax poetic over my coffee. We bought a lithograph on our honeymoon in Paris called "Le Sultan Galante," and it's always with us.

Debs said...

I love that picture and can see why you had to have it. I've never regretted buying things I simply had to have, because they always remind you of a special time.

Chris Stovell said...

Aw! My sister went to Hull (left just as you started I think) - brought back happy memories of visiting her there.

Fran said...

Funnily enough, we have a picture of a Thai girl - I think it's woven or something - which we got given to us and we love it. When we last moved, one of the removal men said, 'Where do you want the Thai bird?' and so the picture is 'Thai bird' for ever now.

JJ Beattie said...

Sue, it's funny isn't it? I'd never buy this now because it wouldn't mean so much. It was everything to do with loving the visuals, having lived in a house so like it - down to the plants - and because my tastes have changed. BUT, I still love it.

Debs, I think that's key: you have to decide do you want it or can you not live without it?

Chris, did she? All the best people did! As Edmund Blackadder said 'One of the UK's top three universities: Cambridge, Oxford and Hull.'

Fran, 'Thai bird' is brilliant. Isn't that a coincidence?

Flowerpot said...

I can see just why you bought that JJ. I have a Ronald Searle cartoon of a mad cat that I feel just the same way about!

Carol said...

There are some things that you just have to have and no matter how much your taste changes you still love it!! I have a couple of things like that :-)

C x

Talli Roland said...

I've never been to Hull! After reading your post, I might make a voyage there.

Thanks for dropping by my blog!

dhorsup said...

Thanks for unexpected opportunity to reminisce. I remember your little house, our post grad boys pad on Pendrill Street and of course 'Pepper'!. Many great memories and a host of photos that I should dig out some day.
Hope all's going well for all of you. Keep in touch. David - Houston, TX

JJ Beattie said...

Dave, hiya. Do you remember the night we went to photograph the Humber Bridge? I dug those photos out the other day and mine were DREADFUL. I remember the whiskey to warm us up, when we got back...

I love the pics of your little ones on Facebook. Are you in touch with Doug?

Jenx

JJ Beattie said...

Flowerpot, Talli and Carol, oops, sorry. I got so excited by a comment from one of the post grad boys... thank you for coming by.

FP, I love Ronald Searle's work.

Carol, you have decide, don't you, if you love or want?

Talli, thanks for your visit. I have very fond memories of it.

Stefcia said...

What a great story! I remember 409 Spring Bank West, it was a whole lot better than where I lived on Margaret Street. Once we were burgled and they decided to enter through my room and make off with my tape player (no CDs in those days) but the intruder hadn't counted on Tim, 'policeman's son', in the next room, who nabbed him on his way out!

dhorsup said...

In fact I was going to ask you the same thing. No I have not heard anything from him for years even though I have looked for him on-line many times. Say 'hi' to Beast for me.

David

Belinda said...

Hi,came across your blog while randomly googling my name. I am Belinda Moores. The picture is of my front room down Marlborough Ave Hull. I have since moved and married - now a Hazlerigg and living in the Yorkshire Wolds. I teach at Hull College and am course leader for an art and design course there. It is lovely that you still have the picture - it is well travelled.
I must pull my finger out and do more. Regards Belinda

Jenny Beattie said...

Belinda, wow. I'm just stunned. Thank you so much for leaving a message. I've googled your name several times over the years to try to find you. I love the picture so much. We've moved apartments since I blogged this and it now hangs in my office.

Crumbs. It's so lovely to hear from you.