40 PIED WAGTAILS

June 11, 2022

Friday the 10th of June 2022

Dear Reader,

A family of four Pied Wagtails have made the crumbling brutalist architecture surrounding the Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby, their home. 

Each morning, over these past forty days, as I have crossed the cracked concrete and past the smashed windows, before entering the now desolate Rooftop Arts Centre, to tend to the needs of The 25 Paintings, and prepare the interior layout of their nearly opened Tea Rooms, I have been welcomed by members of this family of Pied Wagtails. They have done this in the ways that only Pied Wagtails can and do.

No bird before them has embraced the now shunned 1970s new town landscape like the Pied Wagtail.

To celebrate this… 

And the soon to be published book by Tenzing Scott Brown, that perchance has the title THE PIED WAGTAIL… 

I have negotiated a promotional deal with The Travelling Salesman. The deal is that he gives me 40 copies of THE PIED WAGTAIL, as of today, as of some weeks before its’ commercial publication.   

And…

The first 40 folk visiting The 25 Paintings’ Tea Rooms, that are able to take a photograph of one or more of this family of four Pied Wagtails, and they share the photograph with me, will be given one of these pre-publication numbered 40 copies of THE PIED WAGTAIL.

I very much look forward to seeing those 40 photographs.

Yours Sincerely,

The Elderly Gentleman

PENKILN BURN LIBRARY

June 10, 2022
Strictly 4 Books
Strictly 4 Books

Thursday the 9th of June 2022

Dear Reader,

Following the stipulation set out yesterday by The 25 Paintings… 

The Penkiln Burn Library can only display copies of Penkiln Burn Books that are yet to be published.

And for clarifications this stipulation being STRICTLY – NO TALKING ABOUT THE PAST.

We understand this stipulation only applies within the vicinity of The 25 Paintings Tea Rooms.

The consequence of this means that the only books on display within The Penkiln Burn Library at The 25 Paintings’ Tea Rooms in The Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby, are the four final books written by Tenzing Scott Brown before he fell under a bus in the early days of January 2022. 

The four books in question being THE PIED WAGTAIL, PAINT, SEMAPHORE SIGNALS and UNDER THE JUNCTION.

As to when these four books are to be published for the book buying public, we are as yet ill-informed. What we do know is they will be published in editions of 400 and that The Travelling Salesman is keen to get out there on the road to do what he does best.

Yours Sincerely,

The Elderly Gentleman

THE DEAL

June 9, 2022
Head Paint on Wall

Wednesday the 8th of June 2022

Dear Reader,

The 25 Paintings are getting difficult.

Today…

As in the final day of doing the interior decoration for The 25 Paintings’ Tea Rooms, they…

As in The 25 Paintings started to make further demands.

Firstly…

They did not want any of the Forty Posters there. They stated it was their Tea Rooms and they did not need or want to have any of those posters there trying to explain anything, as in attempting to undermine the power contained with them as pure paintings.

I threatened to go on strike as their Nippy.

We came to an agreement… 

The Forty Posters could be exhibited as long as I put two strips of yellow and black barricade tape across each of the Forty Posters, thus alerting the public to the redundancy of these Forty Posters. And they must not be hung properly on the walls. As in just left leaning against the wall, on the understanding that no one would mistake them as an attempt at being a serious body of art.

But then no sooner was that agreement agreed than The 25 Paintings made a further demand…

It was…

That none of my Dear Reader Paintings should be hung in the same space as they and their Tea Rooms were to be. I tried to explain to them that without my Dear Reader Paintings, the would-be tea drinking revolutionaries would have no context for what was going on. The 25 Paintings responded with “Context can go fuck itself”. 

But… 

With a bit more toing and froing they did agree to allowing me to hang my Dear Reader Paintings in another part of the Rooftop Arts Centre, but not in their Tea Rooms.

And the following words had to be painted crudely across all of them using Drummond’s International Grey…

WE ARE THE 25 PAINTINGS
WE ARE NOT THE VOICE OF
THE EGO OF AN AGING MALE
IN WHATEVER LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
HE IS PATRONISING THIS YEAR
WE HAVE OUR OWN VOICE
FOR WE ARE THE 25 PAINTINGS

MMXXII

At this point in the negotiations, I threatened to do everything in my powers to destroy The 25 Paintings attempt at launching themselves into the world of Tea Rooms.  

Another compromise was reached. 

I agreed to paint this statement not across them but on the back wall of the space.

And just as I thought everything had been agreed and everything was being positioned and I was about to do a Corby charity shop run to get enough cups & saucers, side plates etc for their Tea Shop, they made what I now hope is the last of their demands…

This demand being that all the other stuff as in the Big Drum, the Traffic Cone, The Loneliest Bed, The Shoe Shinning stuff, Gibson 330, Leather Coat, The Twa Pairs O’ Brogues… All of it… Out. As far as The 25 Paintings were concerned none of it had any place in their Tea Rooms. 

And…

That they and their Tea Rooms had to have a starring role in the film Poppies in The Field.

We will see…

But I very much hope to see you there with my freshly baked scones, finely brewed tea, Drummond’s Elderflower Cordial (June 2022) and Drummond’s Strawberry Jam (also June 2022).

Yours Sincerely,

The Elderly Gentleman

Strictly No Talking About The Past

Post Script:

Just as I was leaving the building this evening The 25 Paintings made two further demands. I felt like doing a runner but my days of being able to do a runner are well and truly over. So, I listened, and I reluctantly agreed. The first of these demands was that the posters of my former self “Bill Drummond” painting his head, as in pretending to mimic being one of The 25 Paintings, should not be allowed in the Rooftop Arts Centre building, let alone their Tea Rooms. And the second of their last-minute demand was that I graffiti the entrance to the building with the statement STRICTLY NO TALKING ABOUT THE PAST. I won’t deny I was in agreement with the sentiments of this statement, so did it with no hesitation. 

What they did not know was that I promptly went and had the posters of my former self painting his head, fly-posted on the wall outside of the building. And in the windows of a vacant shop. I love vacant shops. Vacant shops symbolise opportunity.

But…

Strangely, The 25 Paintings seemed to be keen that their tribute versions of themselves that sort of document each year of their progress, are hung in their Tea Rooms. I don’t have an opinion about these tribute versions, so I went along with this.

Head Paint on Window

ITINERARY

June 6, 2022
Sizewell Tea
Tea Rooms of The World Unite

Monday the 6th of June 2022

Dear Reader,

What follows is the itinerary for the coming working week…

I have written it in the third person.

MONDAY
8am – Albion Parade

Gimpo, Flint and Bill meet at Albion Parade and load the following into Gimpo’s van…

Delia Smith cookery book
Dear Reader canvases
Big Soup Pan
Paint brushes
Paint (Golden Red, Blue, Yellow, Black & White)
50 A4 Canvases
Elderly Gentleman Paintings
Two Tribute frames (from Tom the framer if he is open)
Two pairs of shoes?
Other stuff in bedroom?
Bewley’s Tea Caddy
Tea pots
Crocodile case
Leather coat
Paint Brush
17 Stencil

9am – Southgate, Suburban North London

Gimpo, Flint and Bill drive up to Southgate to pick up…

Gibson 330 Guitar 
Jeans (old)
Scales
Two mixing bowls
Wooden spoon 
Electric whisk
Pastry cutters for scones
Three bottles of Drummond’s Elderflower Cordial
Black suit
White shirt
Maroon tie
Blue Stanley shirt
Soup Recipe NOTICE
Elderly Gentleman Paintings
7 A4 Elderly Gentleman credit paintings
Penkiln Burn Travelling Library
White Saviour Complex & White Male Gaze books For Sale
Framed film posters. 
Two teapots
Large Kettle
Knitting & Knitting Needles
Bed Making Toolbox
Walking boots
Work Mate bench
Drill
Screws

Noon – Marlin Spike Hall, Walpole, Suffolk

Gimpo, Flint and Bill drive to Marlin Spike Hall they must be there before noon, or the books get left in the rain. The Captain will not be there, but Jennie will be, but she has to leave by noon.

Picking up all copies of the four new books – PIED WAGTAIL, PAINT, SEMAPHORE SIGNALS, UNDER THE JUNCTION.

1pm – The Dark Industrial Unit, near Sizewell B

Gimpo, Flint and Bill drive to The Dark Industrial Unit and meet Kaavous (with his hired Luton). Bill must not have forgotten the keys to The Dark Industrial Unit. 

They will then load the following into Gimpo’s Transit and Kaavous’s Luton…

39 framed posters
37 easels
7 framed Tribute paintings.
Two Tins of Drummond’s International Grey
Man Making Bed & Man Shining Shoes books For Sale
Two pairs of brogues
Shoe-shining brushes and polish
Old Jeans
Twining sign?
Oven
The Loneliest Bed (in three parts)
Other bits and things

Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby

Gimpo, Flint, Bill & Kaavous drive to Corby in Transit and Luton.

The trade lift that Gimpo, Flint and Bill have used before is broken, thus they must park the Transit and Luton as near to the domestic shoppers lift in the carpark as possible.

They then must take everything up using the domestic shoppers lift and then across to the outside stairs and then across to the front doors of the Rooftop Arts Centre. This will be a fucker. Flint will open the doors. And everything will be taken in.

And that will be the day’s work done.

Gimpo, Flint, Bill & Kaavous will probably be staying in the Holiday Inn, Corby.

TUESDAY
After breakfast at the café Flint & Bill usually go to in Corby, Gimpo, Flint, Bill & Kaavous will head around to the Rooftop Arts Centre and decide where everything should be hung. This has to be done taking into account the four round tables and sixteen chairs of The 25 Paintings’ Tea Rooms that are already in the Rooftop Arts Centre. 

All the framed Penkiln Burn Posters must be hung in order of their numbering.

Kaavous & Flint will start the hanging.

Gimpo and Bill will drive to local builders’ yard to get timbre and hinges to make three new easels, wallpaper glue, grey paint and black and yellow tape and anything else that might be needed from a builders’ yard. Then go to the printers to pick up The Poppies in The Field prints. Take a photo on Bill’s phone of The Coby Oak. Then they will drive back to the Rooftop Arts Centre.

Then…

Gimpo will start making the three easels.

And…

Bill will then…
Write The Unbaked Cake play on the back of the BAKE CAKE canvas.
Write the four Penkiln Burn Newsletters to go out this week and email them to Gavin Bush. The four newsletters are: DAISY & THE DANDY LIONS, BLOCK CHAIN OF SILENCE, BEFORE DURING AFTER, and THE CORBY OAK
Paint the Dear Reader paintings on canvases that must be hung in the show.
Paint the WE ARE THE 25 PAINTINGS text of the 25 canvases and on the 2022 tribute A4 canvases using grey paint.
Touch up the top of The 25 Paintings.
Using the wallpaper paste, paste The Poppies in The Field prints on the back of the four black and white canvases.
Using the black & yellow tape, tape crosses over all the framed Penkiln Burn Posters.

Flint will catch a train to Saint Pancras.
Gimpo, Bill & Kaavous might be staying in the Holiday Inn, Corby.

WEDNESDAY
The Wednesday will be spent doing what was not completed on the Tuesday. Then everything else in The 25 Paintings Tea Rooms will be laid out.

Bill will visit the Corby charity shops to find 20 cups and saucers, twenty side plates, twenty side knives, four sugar bowls, tea pots and whatever else.

Gimpo might have to drive back down to Albion Parade to pick up the two remaining frames for the tributes if it was not possible to pick them up first thing on Monday.

Other things to get done:
STRICTLY notice
Order TWINNED WITH BEYOND signposts
Order TWINNED WITH THE EDGE OF THE WORLD signpost
Send the four Penkiln Burn Newsletters
Get rope to hang The 25 Paintings from The Corby Oak
Get ladder to get up The Corby Oak.
Get very small paintbrushes to paint words on back of The 25 Paintings. 
Sort out the screening of IMAGINE WAKING UP TOMORROW…


When it is all done Kaavous will drive back to Great Yarmouth. And Gimpo, Flint and Bill will drive back to London. 

THURSDAY
Bill will get the train up to Corby…
The Elderly Gentleman will carry on getting his Dear Reader paintings done including RUMOURS, THE DEAL and HELP.
Bill will get the train back to London.

FRIDAY
Bill will make enough strawberry jam for The 25 Paintings’ Tea Rooms to last the month. He will also get the ingredients to make forty scones and bake the first batch of forty scones in Southgate in case the portable oven is not working.

Plans will be made with Cally@Antar for the publication of PIED WAGTAIL, PAINT, SEMAPHORE SIGNALS and UNDER THE JUNCTION – These being the final four books written by Tenzing Scott Brown before he was killed in early January 2022.

SATURDAY
Bill will catch the train from Saint Pancras up to Corby…
With him will be the strawberry jam, and the Forty Scones, Darjeeling Tea (loose), butter, vegan spread.
Be at the Rooftop Arts Centre by 11:30.
Bill Drummond will dress up as The Elderly Gentleman.
The show opens at noon.
The 25 Paintings’ Tea Rooms opens at 2pm…
And closes at 4pm.
The Elderly Gentleman will wash the dishes…
Then get changed back into being Bill Drummond…
Then Bill Drummond will then catch the train back to Saint Pancras.

There may be other things to be added to this Itinerary.

Yours Sincerely,

The Elderly Gentleman

NEGOTIATIONS

May 27, 2022
The Tea Pots lining up for work

Friday the 27th of May 2022

Dear Reader,

The 25 Paintings have been in negotiations with me.

They are being difficult…

Almost threatening to take strike action…

I told them I had supported the miners back in ’84, but they didn’t know what I was talking about.

They are insisting that I do nothing else other than wait tables, wash dishes and bake scones for their Tea Room while I am in Corby…

We came to some sort of compromise…

But…

They are insisting there will be no me shining shoes, banging drums, building a bed, sweeping street, baking cakes, blowing my horn and all that sort of stuff. They tell me that is just me trying to get people to look at me, instead of looking at them. They have had enough of been described as merely signposts, markers, advertisements to what it is that I was doing. They want to be studied front and back, inside and out – all their layers contemplated. They wanted to be touched and tasted, stroked and fondled. They want to feel part of your life. Like a pussycat demanding your attention. And most importantly, I have to agree that they will never be sold. They tell me all the greatest paintings are NOT FOR SALE.

The compromise on their part is that they will allow me to do the Latvian Līgosvētki and Jāņi (midsummer) celebrations on the 23rd through to the 24th of June. Further details on that in a separate letter to you.

And… 

I can lead a performance of Tenzing Scott Browns’ play BEFORE DURING AFTER on Saturday the 25th of June, but only if I have been doing a good job at the waiting tables and washing dishes etc. They have also agreed that I can make soup for the forty-folk attending this performance. And again, further details on this to follow.  

Also…

They didn’t understand the Block Chain of Silence thing that I was planning on doing, they sort of said, as long as it did not get in the way of me working in their Tea Rooms, they thought it would be okay. And yes, I will do yet another separate letter to you explaining about all that.

And…

I didn’t tell them about the Intercontinental Twinning Association twining Corby with Beyond. I guess I can get away with doing that on the day after I have carted all them back to my dark lock up on the light industrial estate near Sizewell B.

But…

What I have agreed to is that I mustn’t attempt to dress up as Bill Drummond with his blue Stanley shirt and his Levi Straus , 501, shrink-to-fit, red tab, button fly turned up jeans and his walking boots. And that I have to dress up in my new made to measure black three-piece suit at all times with an apron of their choice. It’s like I am to be a Nippy at Lyons Corner House.

The Tea Caddy that has stayed faithful to Drummond since their early morning tryst in Dublin back in the Spring of 1981

But…

My first job of actually working in their Tea Rooms is looking after the bookings.

I doubt it actually needs looking after.

I mean it is only a tea room not a Michelin Star restaurant.

But…

These are the logistics…

There are four tables.

Each table has four chairs.

You can book a chair or chairs at a table for one hour, or two hours.

Either from 2 to 3 o’clock or from 3 to 4 o’clock.

Or all the way from 2 o’clock to 4 o’clock.

As in the Tea Room is only open from 2 ’til 4pm.

Of course you can spend as much time in the gallery itself between 11am when it opens and 4pm when it closes. I mean The 25 Paintings want your appreciation. I guess like most paintings – they feel misunderstood.

The Tea Room is open on the following dates…

11th, 15th, 16, 17th, 18th, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 29th & 30th.

Thus, note not the 25th when the performance of Tenzing Scott Browns’ play BEFORE DURING AFTER will be happening in the afternoon.

And… 

They, as in The 25 Paintings, told me to tell you that if you are more than ten minutes late for your booking your chair might go to someone else. I tried to tell them that by being this harsh on the would-be customers, things might backfire on their chances at evolving in the Tea Room world.

And of course…

I have to eavesdrop on your conversations to make sure you are debating and discussing. As in plotting revolutions, founding new movements and overthrowing tired visons and corrupt ways. Which if you ask me is a bit much but still, if it is what The 25 Paintings want, who am I to…

Anyway…

Email me at admin@penkilnburn.com with your precise numbers, and preferred times and dates and I will confirm with you that your table has been booked, or if there is nothing available at your preferred times, what alternatives there might be. I tried to tell them that they should maybe use Eventbrite or something, but they said they were a Tea Room not a whatever. And it was my job to handle this.

I also had to agree that it will be my job, to make sure that you attempt the knitting or paint the words. And that anybody sitting at the tables not discussing what was laid out in my last letter to you, will be asked to leave the Tea Room. 

Any other queries don’t hesitate to ask.

Yours Sincerely,

The Elderly Gentleman

Post Script:

Almost forgot…

I’m sure that The Travelling Salesman will be hovering about somewhere, I understand he is expecting copies of the four last books written by Tenzing Scott Brown before he was killed in early January. The books are currently being printed somewhere in Eastern Europe, so sod knows how long they will take to get here with Brexit and everything.

The Mixing Bowls discussing whether the scones of Late Period Drummond will be better or worse than Belle Epoque Drummond

FUCK LIVERPOOL – THIS IS CORBY

May 27, 2022
Where the sun always shines
And the Dog Daisies are in bloom all year ’round

The 25 Paintings’ Tea Rooms

May 26, 2022
This Is The Kettle
This is The Kettle that boils the water that brews the tea that fuels the urge to make things happen

Monday the 23rd of May 2022

Dear Reader,

After no deliberation at all…

The 25 Paintings have decided to spend their retirement years hosting a Tea Room.

The 25 Paintings’ retirement years officially begin on Friday the 1st of January 2027. When the retirement ends is when The 25 Paintings are either flung over board to lighten the ballast of a sinking vessel or smashed to bits to be used as kindling on a fire to keep the winter of someone’s discontent at bay.

The 25 Paintings’ Tea Rooms will be of no fixed abode.

They may be here.

They may be there.

And for how long? – no one is that sure…

Least of all The 25 Paintings.

But wherever it is and for however long, it must be a place, with enough space to house The 25 Paintings, on their lumpen easels, across the floor, with a scattering of tables and chairs in-between.

The 25 Paintings’ Tea Rooms will open every afternoon at two o’clock and close each evening at six o’clock. Their Away Days excluded.

The 25 Paintings’ Tea Rooms will be a place for debate and discussion. Where revolutions are plotted, new movements founded, and tired visions and corrupt ways overthrown. Friendships will be formed – but there will be falling outs as well.  There will be those that never speak to others. There will be others that only ever speak to those. 

Pots of tea will be brewed and made to last all afternoon. 

Depending on the season there will be hot cross buns, scones (both fruit and plain), toasted tea cakes, and of course, as the year nears its end, mince pies. All freshly baked on the day of consumption. 

These Are The Scales
These are The Scales that weighs the flour to make the scones to feed your thoughts that pushes the boat out into the unknown waters

There will be butter and whipped cream.

And yes, vegan alternatives.

There will be strawberry or damson jam, again depending on the season. 

The jam and the mincemeat and all of the freshly baked will be made to recipes honed in my kitchen over the decades.

But…

There will be no coffee – this is a tea room.

An afternoon tea room.

Coffee is for the mornings in a coffee shop of your choice.

But…

There might be Drummond’s Elderflower Cordial, for when a hot drink is not required. 

The Drummond’s Elderflower Cordial will have been made using urban elderflowers. Served sparkling or still.

But…

The 25 Paintings have decided their apprenticeship at hosting their Tea Rooms will begin now. As in this year. As in between the 11th and the 30th of June 2022, in the Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby.

But the Corby opening hours will be limited to between 2pm and 4pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The price of a pot of tea will be either you attempting to knit a square for The Million Stitch Blanket. Needles and wool provided.

Or…

You painting forty pre-scripted words on the back of a designated canvas . These being words from a Tenzing Scott Brown play. Brushes and paint provided.

For further information or to attempt to book a table email admin@penkilnburn.com

WARNING: Supply chains break.

Hope to see you there.

Yours Sincerely,

The Elderly Gentleman

Post Script:

The Elderflower Cordial served in Corby will be made from feral Corby Elderflowers. There may also be Nettle Tea also made from freshly pulled Corby Nettles.

This Is The Elderflower
These are The Feral Elderflowers waiting to be harvested to make the cordial that oils the hinges on the attic door to your mind
This Is The Nettle
This is the Corby Nettle that will sting the hand that pulls it to make the herbal tea of someone’s choice
This Is The Poster
And this is The Poster that makes no mention of the Tea Rooms because it was printed before The 25 Paintings had signed up for their apprenticeship

Further information regarding the Latvian Līgosvētki and Jāņi (midsummer) celebrations to follow. 

To read WHAT IS BEYOND? the Forty Minute Interview with Bettina Heick scroll down.


WHAT IS BEYOND?

May 26, 2022

From: Bettina Heick
Date: 20 January 2022 at 18:25:51 GMT
To: Penkiln Burn
Subject: request for an interview


Dear Penkiln Burn

I’d like to ask Mr. Drummond if he can imagine doing an interview with me.
I am no journalist but only a private person who got that idea in my head of having an interview with him. I know that he usually gives no interviews but sometimes interviews people. If he likes, that would work for me as well.

Kind regards,

Bettina Heick

From: Bill Drummond
Date: 21 January 2022 at 09:06:29 GMT
To: Bettina Heick
Subject: Re: request for an interview

Morning Bettina,

Thank you for your email.

What line of work do you do?
What are your main interests?
What city do you live in?
If you could ask me one question what would it be?

Once I have your response to these four questions I will set four questions for you and that will be the beginning of one of my Forty Minute Interviews.

Yours,

Bill Drummond

Sent from my iPhone

From: Bettina Heick 
Date: 23 January 2022 at 12:11:20 GMT
To: Bill Drummond 
Subject: Aw: Re: request for an interview

Hello Mr. Drummond,

Thank you very much for your positive reply, makes me really happy.

To answer your questions:

I’m working for an engineering office which does environmental surveys and since some years now I am mainly working on bat monitorings in context of planned or already running wind turbines. These monitorings work with detection of the ultrasound calls of the bats, so you could say, I am listening to what the bats say.

I am now for 14 years in the same company.

I started my professional life with something completely different (did a commercial education and worked at a jewellery shop). Got bored of it and went back to school and later university when I was 25 years old.

I always was interested in language. 

And I say language not languages. 

I took English and French at school and later a bit of Italian language, because my first boyfriend was Italian. I soon noticed that every language has some words you can never find proper translation. In English one of these words for me was the word “beyond”. I am fascinated by this word. 

There are many other aspects of language very interesting, I think. 

I want to mention one other thing, I am no good writer but sometimes I do write some short text and then I prefer writing in a foreign language, manly English.

I also like to invent stories. Alone or in co-work with my sister. Unfortunately, we are both no good in writing, so these stories exist only in our heads but is okay for us. We enjoy them ourselves.

Other interests of mine are philosophy, sports, hiking.

I live in a village very close to Hamburg in northern Germany, but I work about 200 km west near the border to the Netherlands. I commute every Monday and Friday.

One question I would like to ask you is:

On the website of Penkiln Burn you wrote in 2019, and I think it’s on page 5, about a work in Aulus-Les-Bains. There is a list about what this work includes. The last item of content is predicting the past.

Some years ago I wrote a little text about a fictitious award ceremony. There I announced a guest speaker giving a speech on the topic…

Why the past is easier to predict than the future.

Can you explain to me what do you mean with
predicting the past?

Maybe I can than better understand what I meant.

I guess that’s it. 

Did I wrote to much or to less? 

Is my English too bad? 

I don’t know but that’s it. 

I hope my English is not too bad.

I really want to say thank you again. 

I already had much fun in writing this.

Yours,

Bettina Heick

From: Bill Drummond
Date: 23 January 2022 at 18:39:47 GMT
To: Bettina Heick
Subject: Re: request for an interview

Good Evening Bettina,

Thank you very much for your very engaging response. 

On beginning to read your email I thought my four questions for you would be on the subject of bats, but then I got to your part about language. 

I have never learnt to speak another language. And for most of my life I naïvely assumed all languages were just mirrors of all other languages but…

Since my now partner for sixteen years and counting have been in partnership, I have learnt more and more from her that her mother tongue – Bangla, is everything but a mirror of English. And from that have learnt the language we use can so influence the way we see the world. The example you give, amplifies this in my imagination. Thus, the four question I would like you to spend no more than forty minutes in answering are…

What is Beyond?

What is Beyond for?

When did you first become aware of Beyond?

When might Beyond disappear from your life?

I very much look forward to receiving your responses to these four questions. 

Yours,

Bill Drummond

From: Bettina Heick
Date: 26 January 2022 at 17:40:01 GMT
To: Bill Drummond
Subject: Aw: Re: request for an interview

Hello and good evening, Mr. Drummond,

Here are my answers to your four questions.
I must warn you.
The following contains the word Beyond in excess.

What is Beyond?

I indeed tried several times to describe my idea of this word. I always failed. Maybe it was because I tried it in German, which perhaps is not possible. And I always tried to explain it to Germans. The dictionary says the German translation for Beyond is the word Jenseits.

It’s similar but in the end not the same (for me). 

Beyond is more. 

This is my feeling about Beyond. Maybe a native speaker would say, what does she make a fuss about Beyond. I think the word Beyond is, in case of using, picked out with a specific intention, to make something clear. The talking is about something special, far of reach or even unreachable. It’s never used in ordinary content like this:
The supermarket is beyond the bridge.
In German:
Der Supermarkt ist jenseits der Bruecke.
Jenseits has the meaning of behind in this example. You can say that in German. It’s maybe a bit old-fashioned but possible to say.
(Sounds like a German lesson. Sorry, I found no other way to show the difference between these two words.)
But there is a second translation in the dictionary. Beyond can be translated with darueber hinaus.
But darueber hinaus is more to translate with the word furthermore.
For sure, both German translations can have a deeper meaning too. But this comes only out in the content in which the words are used.
When I hear or read the word Beyond, for me it’s like a pointer to something special if not even magic. It points to something you can’t locate here and now.
The expression, it’s beyond imagination, shows it very well: You can’t reach it.
Some years ago I went to the cinema to watch Star Trek Beyond. I looked forward to this. Wasn’t there promised that we will go beyond?
At the end of the film I was quite disappointed. From my point of view, they just forgot Beyond.


What is Beyond for?

It is for widen the world. Beyond stands in opposite, or makes a difference to words like behind, before, after, in front of. These words describe things can be located on maps or in time.

Things Beyond have no coordinates.



When did you first become aware of Beyond?

Wasn’t there a band Brother Beyond?


Yes, I am quite sure there was. I guess that could have been the first time I heard the word. But at that time, I was a child with no, or only few knowledge of English language. I can’t remember what this band was about. It would be interesting to know, why they had chosen the name. Maybe it was only because it sounded good to them.
I wonder when we learned the vocabulary Beyond in school. As much as I remember it meant nothing to me at that time.

I first thought my interest in this word has to do with Alice in Wonderland. But when I looked up the name of the second book, it is Through the Looking-Glass and not Beyond the Looking-Glass, as I thought. I have a wrong memory here.
Or maybe not. There is another book with the name Beyond the Looking-Glass which got to do with Alice in Wonderland. I had to look this up in the internet, so this is besides the 40 minutes, but I dispensed looking up Brother Beyond.

When might Beyond disappear from your life?

When I first read this question my first thought was, maybe it disappears directly after answering question one to three.
After thinking so much about this word it could have loose its magic. Maybe I figured out that there is nothing special in Beyond, or simply find a translation I haven’t seen all the years.
It did not happen. I described Beyond quite good to myself without getting to the very bottom of it.
I’m very curious what I will tell next time I read or hear the word Beyond. I think of using the word whenever something for me is Beyond.


Additional:

You are the first to read.

I did it this way:
I wanted to give every question about 10 minutes, but the first question took me a bit longer. I wrote the answers by hand first. I wrote in English, except the words I had to look up later. All thinking was done in English (or sometimes kind of fantasy English). I could not prevent thinking of the questions before answering totally, because since I read the questions first on Sunday evening and finally answering them, some time passed away.

I am a synesthete. In my case that means that I see the numbers from 0 to 12 in colours. Every number got it’s own colour. For example, the 2 is red. (This year is a very red year to me) This phenomenon sometimes pops up also with letters or whole words. Beyond is such a word. I see a bright yellow (be), than a colour I can’t even give name (y) and a dark nearly black end (ond).

I am very bad in punctuation. And in English language I simply have no clue in punctuation. For that some sentences, I am sure, are difficult to read. I am sorry for that.

By writing this email I have looked up Brother Beyond, only to make sure they really had exist.

Yours,
Bettina

From: Bill Drummond
Date: 27 January 2022 at 09:36:49 GMT
To: Bettina Heick
Subject: Re: request for an interview

Morning Bettina,

Thank you for your responses. Totally inspiring. Even if the band Brother Beyond were not for me. I was hoping their Wikipedia page would explain why they were called that name. But no luck there. 

But you have given the word for me more value. 

Give my regards to the bats.

Yours,

Bill Drummond 

From: Bettina Heick
Date: 27 January 2022 at 10:49:54 GMT
To: Bill Drummond
Subject: Aw: Re: request for an interview

Hello Mr. Drummond,

Thank you very much for your words and of course for your attention anyway.
You inspired me.
As for the bats, I don’t think they are very much interested in what Humans say, but of course I will send your regards.

Yours,
Bettina

From: Bettina Heick
Date: 27 January 2022 at 12:02:30 GMT
To: Bill Drummond
Subject: Aw: Re: request for an interview

Hi again,

After reading your email again, there is one thing you got me maybe wrong. In relation to Brother Beyond I was only talking of hearing the word for the first time. They played now further role.

Thank you again.

Yours,
Bettina

From: Bill Drummond
Date: 27 January 2022 at 15:39:40 GMT
To: Bettina Heick
Subject: Re: request for an interview

Afternoon Bettina,

Totally understand…

But…

How does this work in German, which I guess it was written in originally:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beyond_Good_and_Evil?wprov=sfti1

?

Yours,

Bill Drummond 

From: Bettina Heick
Date: 28 January 2022 at 08:11:13 GMT
To: Bill Drummond
Subject: Aw: Re: request for an interview

Good Morning Mr. Drummond,

I don’t quite understand what you mean. What do you mean exactly?

Yours,
Bettina

From: Bill Drummond
Date: 29 January 2022 at 09:15:12 GMT
To: Bettina Heick
Subject: Re: request for an interview

Morning Bettina,

Not that I have ever read it, but I grew up being very aware of the book Beyond Good & Evil. Which I knew had originally been written in German. And have just noticed the title in German includes the word Jenseits. What does that word mean?

Yours, 

Bill

From: Bettina Heick 
Date: 31 January 2022 at 17:22:50 GMT
To: Bill Drummond
Subject: Aw: Re: request for an interview

Good evening Bill,

The preposition jenseits means ‘on the other side’ or ‘behind’.
In connection with numbers for example, it can have also the meaning of ‘over’ or ‘more than’.
In a figurative use of the word jenseits, it can have the meaning of ‘outside of’.
That is what every dictionary tells us.
Jenseits can be used to express something in a more poetic way. For example:
Jenseits der Alpen. (On the other side of the Alps.) The intention here is to point out the longing for the Mediterranean Sea for those who come from more northern regions.

To Nietzsche.
As far as I can tell, what he meant is described quite good in the wikipedia article you sent me.
I haven’t read Beyond Good and Evil neither nor any other of his writings. But I have read a book in which he played a significant role.
When you say you have been very aware of the book, was it because the book was somewhere very exposed on a shelf for example? Or was it the content of the book, because the book was quoted or mentioned often?

Yours,

Bettina

From: Bettina Heick
Date: 3 February 2022 at 11:43:41 GMT
To: Bill Drummond
Subject: Aw: Re: request for an interview

Good afternoon Bill,

I hope my answer regarding the word jenseits wasn’t too poor. In fact it was. But even now I can’t think of anymore. Either there isn’t anymore or I don’t like the word.

Yours,

Bettina

From: Bill Drummond 

Date: 3 February 2022 at 12:02:20 GMT
To: Bettina Heick
Subject: Re: request for an interview

Afternoon Bettina,

It is all good. 

Thank you for all your response. 

All very much valued. 

Will put it all together and send you back next week. 

Bill Drummond 

YEAR EIGHT

May 6, 2022

CORBY Twinned With BEYOND

25th of March 2022

Dear Reader,

Corby is being twinned with Beyond.

This twinning is happening over the Midsummer period of 2022.

There is nothing you or I can do to prevent this twinning. Or the repercussions it may stir.

The decision has been taken by The Intercontinental Twinning Association.

You may have personal theories why you think this twinning is being done.

The more theories the better, I say. 

Three of my theories are…

One: BEYOND THE HORIZON:

To celebrate the Latvian influence on my life and all those living in Corby, where the Latvian blood has run dark and rich for the past 75 years and counting. And in turn to celebrate the influence of the immigrant in all our lives, be we from Scotland, Latvia or any other distant land beyond the horizon. But if you are not Latvian or been exposed to Latvian culture you might not know that over Līgosvētki and into Jāņi (Midsummer) you will be encouraged to run naked through the fields and forests and build fires on the horizon to light whatever is Beyond.

Two: BEYOND THE BACK SHIFT:

To mark my teenage years spent in Corby between the summer of ’64 and the Winter of ’73. These being years when the skies were wide and blue, the rivers were filled with fish, the hedge rows alive with bird song, my bedroom reeling with music and my head bursting with possibilities that were way beyond the possibilities that were being offered to us by the careers’ advice officer at Kingswood School. 

Three: BEYOND RATIONAL THINKING:

Rational Thinking is the trap we are all tempted towards. 

Rational Thinking’s seduction techniques are well honed but must be resisted at all costs.

The Third Coming travelled through the streets of Corby in the very early months of 1967. The Third Coming took the earthly life form of a female Northern Pike. She was caught and killed on the banks of the River Nene close to the town of Oundle. She travelled on the top deck of a bus back to Corby stuffed up my jumper. She rose back to life in the kitchen sink of our house on the Beanfield Estate. And She was released back into the waters of The River Welland close to the village of Rockingham. To celebrate these memories that are way beyond the traps laid by Rational Thinking, I will carry a bucket of water from The River Nene near Oundle and walk the thirteen miles to The River Welland near Rockingham, where I will tip the water from the bucket into the flowing waters of the Welland.

Once this is done, I will attach CORBY TWINNED WITH BEYOND signs to the posts holding up the Welcome to Corby signs around the town. 

As for the running naked through the fields and forests…  

Yours Sincerely,

The Elderly Gentleman

SEE YOU THERE

26th of March 2022

Dear Reader,

Where should you be? 

I mean…

Where would you rather be?

I mean…

I don’t just mean in Corby today, but in life.

If you hadn’t married that man.

And taken that job.

Had the kids.

Got sacked.

Or moved to Corby in the first place.

Or got old?

I’m not saying you look old, but you are older than you were last month. Even if you still feel 26 inside. But you don’t think like a teenager does today. Or maybe you still are a teenager. Then if so, why are you reading this painting?

I used to identify as a middle-aged man called Bill Drummond but… 

A couple of years ago someone offered me their seat on the bus. 

And then later that day I was in a café. 

And the new waitress asked the bloke in the kitchen who the cheese omelette, chips and beans were for. 

And he said, “the elderly gentleman by the window.” 

And I looked around and I couldn’t see any old bloke by the window. 

But I knew I had ordered a cheese omelette, chips and beans. 

And then the waitress brought the plate over to me. 

And that was that, from then on, I was The Elderly Gentleman. 

Or that is what I identified as, when it comes to painting these paintings to you.

As for where I should be, I was supposed to be travelling up the Nile, as in heading south down Africa, like Sammy in that film*, but with The 25 Paintings, as in my 25 paintings. All part of my twelve year world tour. But then I had my first brain seizure, and Covid happened, and I became The Elderly Gentleman, and I saw the world, or at least my place in the world in a different way. The globe was no longer this place for a white heterosexual male like me to stomp around thinking you might be impressed. So here I am back in Corby. And I have got this thing happening up in the Rooftop Arts Centre for most of June. The 25 Paintings will be there. And I will be doing the usual baking of cakes. And sweeping the streets. And building a bed for the Ghost of Gentleman Jim Reeves. And shining shoes. And going for a shave. And making soup. And having knit & natter session, while knitting the Million Stitch Blanket. And maybe even doing a couple of Tenzing Scott Brown’s plays even though I pushed him under a bus. And maybe screening the film BEST BEFORE DEATH. As in all, or at least some of, the stuff that I have been doing on The 25 Paintings world tour since it started in 2014. But this year The 25 Paintings have been repainted into Latvian – did I tell you that I repaint them every year into the language of whatever culture I’m attempting to celebrate that year?

So, if you want to answer the questions I asked you at the beginning of this painting, or just give me some advice about getting old, or being a teenager, or life in general, come up and tell me when my thing opens in the Rooftop place on the 11th of June.

See you there.

Yours Sincerely,

The Elderly Gentleman

*Sammy Going South (1963)

FURTHER INFORMATION TO FOLLOW

FOUR MINI TAGS

March 29, 2022