Her father was an engineer. He worshipped Daimler, so there was only one career for him. He had no particular opinion on the Jews; if you would ask him he would not be interested, probably it was an inadequate race but he wasn’t interested. If you are an engineer the only thing you care about is machines. A human being is never going to be as perfect as a machine so it is not interesting to an engineer to think about racial purity.
She was saying things to Nuala so people looking at the paintings would not feel they were under surveillance. It’s always a bit like working in Top Shop or Dorothy Perkins or Wallis, some shop where they have this etiquette of leaving the customer at arm’s
These open days are hard at first, but you get used to them. People come into the studio and sometimes they walk straight out. Or they look at the paintings and they want to see something figurative lurking behind it all when there is no behind. But the paintings are so explosive they don’t know what to do with it. And you’re sitting there with this poxy table with a bowl of cheese doo-
dles and you feel like a complete wally.
This bloke was walking about.
Sometimes this mania for hospitality takes possession of you. She asked if he would like a cheese doodle.
He said I’m fine thanks.
He had an Italian accent. He had one of these haircuts that all the men have these days, where there is hardly any hair, it is like short fur on the skull. His eyes were this light glowing grey, like those little monkeys, those lemurs that you see on TV or at the Zoo, and he had this pulpy, kissy mouth. He was standing by 1.1.4.