In 2006 I took a Road Trip from San Francisco to New Mexico and back over the course of a month, writing and taking photos all the way. Two years later I had a show of paintings based on those photographs. This is a series of posts of those paintings accompanied by the relevant diary entries.

Golden Gate, oil on board, 9 x 9 inches (approx.)

3. April 28th 2006

While I was in San Francisco I spent some time with an old college buddy and his new girlfriend (they are married now with a year old son). They were on their own Road Trip and had splashed out on a red Mustang soft top. Though it was a very cool looking car, I’ve never been impressed by soft tops, they’re bloody cold and I’m bloody cranky. After a day in the car I was frozen to the bone. If that sounds ungrateful well my diary for these days is mostly me whingeing, which, though is not far from the normal state of affairs, is because I was obviously still jet lagged as well as very stressed at the thought of driving in the States. I had only just got my Irish licence the year before and I was terrified.

My hearing was troubling me greatly too. I had no hearing aids at the time and I was grumpy because my friends were ‘mumbling’ all the time. Of course they weren’t but add my tiredness into the mix and I couldn’t hear anything.

Writing this now I realise it’s a friendship I am very grateful for, one which is amazingly still in existence after more than thirty years, and mostly not due to me either. I am sometimes not easy to put up with and I think during these few days I may have been a bit of a pain. In fact I know I was. When we got back into the city after a trip to the beautiful John Muir Woods, I had one of those moments that occur sometimes, when one is either briefly enlightened or just shattered, when everything takes on a sharpness and a clarity. It’s still vivid in my mind today as a sort of cranky zen moment. I may have been losing my mind…

Driving through the city today there was a homeless man with a pit bull on a rope, the end dragging on the ground, and I imagined him, being aware of the rope, the road, the dog and I realised there was nothing to choose mentally or psychologically between being in a soft top cruising or being homeless…

Maybe I was just melting into the universe. But at least I still had some grasp on reality…

…though physical comfort be lacking…am rambling, feel like shit physically, still not sleeping, still headf**ked…

006 john muir woods, marin county, CA
In the John Muir Woods (Big Cranky Head), oil on board, 9 x 7 inches




    1. Ah sorry April :)……maybe its not a great thing to have the blogs split up..I tend to change my mind about it from time to time but as they are set up like this I thought I’d leave it. Ta for all the follows and shares 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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