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The Del Boys from Darley Dale

Blog Posted on 28 Feb 2011

 Oh my gosh where has this week gone?

How did it get to Sunday again so quick and what have I been doing all this time? I have no painting to show for it that’s for sure. The hares from Wardlow,  in last weeks teaser, are still sitting on my easel , hare- less. I haven’t picked a paintbrush up all week (only the decorating kind – the new Gallery at Rowsley is coming along nicely)


Had a customer in yesterday who I thought MUST have read last week’s Blog about my hangover. I was trying to paint the Wardlow hares, for the umpteenth time before getting interrupted again, when he said “So you weren’t on the Shiraz last night then?” I blushed and said “Oh have you been reading my blogs?” He raised his eyebrows and said “You just look a bit bleary eyed is all”. I felt a right Nana.

It’s been a busy time at Caudwell’s craft centre as the February half term often is. Lots of bored holiday makers trying to find somewhere indoors to get in from the rain. Why does it always seem to rain on school holidays and Sundays?

February half term is always a strange one. We get the broadest group of people you could ever image. A lot of visitors from overseas mainly, but the majority can be split into distinct groups.




1: The P,P,P’s  : The Pick up, Put Down, Pee Off’s  *. These people do exactly what it says on the can.

2: The Jolly Hollies: The customers who are obviously on their holidays. They should be happy so why are they so flipping miserable? I’m the one who’s at work but I’m happier than they are?

3: The Artle Fartles: These types begin their sentences with “I dabble in a little painting myself” and then begin to question me, Gestapo style, what type of paint do I use, what size paintbrush, where do I buy my canvas etc.

4: The Foreign Legions: These customers come from all over the world and most don’t speak much English. I have to try soooooo hard, whilst trying in vain to have a conversation with them, not to shout and treat them like they’re deaf. I don’t know why I think shouting at someone from a different country makes them understand you better? 

5: The Browsers: These customers are one of my favourites. They peep through the door and squeak “Mind if I browse?” like they’re afraid I’ll MAKE them buy something.....Moi? As if I would.  I say “Not at all, come on in”, all the while thinking “Step into my lair “(said the spider to the fly). I usually manage to have the most fascinating conversations as they’ve never been in my Gallery before and they always leave with something – even if it’s just a couple of cards. (so beware, if you come into y Gallery and announce you’re a Browser won’t you? Fair do’s – you’ve been warned)



6: The Flipping Fibsters: These people don’t half make me snigger to myself. I bide my time until I can oust them for the fibbers that they are. They’ve usually brought friends with them who haven’t been at the Gallery at Rowsley before, and wax lyrical about how they’ve known Helen for ages and admire her work tremendously.” She trained with my daughter at the Slade school of fine art you know” What? I’m self taught mate and proud of it. They walk round and then get to the counter and can see me painting. Their eyes open wide with horror and I catch their eye, raise one eyebrow at them to say “I’m onto you Matey” and they scarper – pronto. (I’m far too nice to embarrass them out loud)

7: The Del Boys:  These people choose the most expensive original painting in the shop and then offer me a third of the price. I decline delicately, all the while seething inside. Do they go into supermarkets and haggle at the checkout? I think not, so you’re not doing it in ‘ere sunshine.

8: The Dirty Ramblers: They’ve been on a huge muddy walk, have only stopped at the centre to go to the loo. They trail mud and sometimes cow poo, all over the floor, knock everything flying with their HUGE backpacks (what DO they have in there – the kitchen sink?) and walk out again, leaving a vile smell.

9: The Grey Eds: OAP’S on a bus tour from Bakewell, Matlock, Haddon Hall and Chatsworth who have stopped at our lovely Country Parlour Cafe, as Chatsworth is too expensive (their words not mine). These are usually lovely old dears who appear in gaggles, chatting about their grandchildren, the weather, do you remember the war etc. They look at nothing, chat in a corner for ages, look at their watches and do a runner (it’s remarkable how fast an old person can go if they think the bus is leaving without them.)

10: The Delectable Collectables:  My absolute favourites. They have come to see me specifically. They love my work. They love animals. They want to buy something. They DO buy something. They come back regularly and buy something more. They have 3 or 4 pieces and then they buy a 5th. They are my collectors and they are most welcome.

Sigh (in satisfaction).

It’s so worth putting up with all the others!

The paintings this week are to make up for the promised hares that haven’t materialised yet from last week’s blog.

Here’s some I made earlier..........
 (* thanks to my funny framer for that nickname),

Blog brought to you by Helen Clark, The Gallery, Rowsley

Type Of Art: Painting
Location: Caudwells Mill, Rowsley

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