|My bike at the Tatsfield Bus Stop, Saturday 13 June 2015|
We had planned to ride to Westerham and Andy, perhaps a little ambitiously, had sent a text earlier suggesting we simply ride there and back, stopping at the Botley to catch the 'Botley on the Road' catering truck that we had been promised would be waiting for us. It seemed like an unnecessarily harsh ride: all that way to Westerham and then, without so much as a cup of tea, a ride back up the hill without rest until we reached Botley Hill. I suggested by text that having tea at Westerham would be miles better than waiting for the van and he agreed. But with the dull weather and the threat of rain looming large, we decided to head for the Tatsfield Bus Stop instead.
A mist rolled in from the West as we rode past the Botley Hill Farmhouse, noting the absence of the aforementioned catering van, and when we reached the bus stop we drank tea and ate chocolate chip BelVita biscuits.
"You know what I think?"
"Would could break into the art world."
"Well, some works of modern art are little more than squares of colour on canvas. We could do that."
"Yeah, it's all about the bullshit, that's how we'd sell them."
"Technically, though, it would be easy: get a few brightly-coloured oil paints, get the canvas and then off we go! In fact, even better, place a bicycle wheel on the canvas, spin the wheel and then throw on the paint. It would create a kind of Catherine wheel effect..."
"Yeah, and then if we come up with something pretentious to say about it..."
"...and a pretentious name for the work..."
"...we'd be quids in."
"How would you convince the art world to visit the gallery?"
"More importantly, how would we be able to afford the gallery in the first place?"
"Perhaps we'd just persuade an existing gallery to exhibit the work."
"It takes years. There are waiting lists apparently."
"Well, we'd have to bullshit them. One of us would be the 'artist', the other the artist's agent and we'd have to develop some kind of pretentious clap trap about the work..."
"Sounds a bit like our plan to open a cycle caff in Westerham."
"You mean doomed to failure?"
"Actually, it wouldn't be a con, would it? I mean the 'art' would be real in a sense so we wouldn't be faking anything."
"Did you watch Chris Evans last night?"
"He did a one-off TGI Friday and, if I'm honest, it was a bit lame, a bit embarassing almost and a bit dated. Roger Daltry singing My Generation with Liam Gallagher."
"There's a certain irony about Roger Daltry singing 'hope I die before I get old'."
"Yeah, he's seventy years old – or thereabouts."
"I don't know why people don't just accept that they've had their day, made their money and that's it."
"But listening to the original recordings is alright, it's just that I don't want to hear them attempting it in their old age."
"Yeah, you're right."
"But with TGI there's something wrong about, I don't know, recreating the past. I mean was it THAT good in the first place? I don't think so. In fact I reckon that whole 'anarchic TV' thing that started with TisWas is now a thing of the past. All that 'boozy' rowdiness and the stars of the time who epitomised it: Sean Ryder, Liam Gallagher..."
"I used to watch The Word when I came in after the pub."
"Yeah, me too. A class piece of television – produced by Paul Ross – but not for today's audience."
"No, you're right. For me, certain broadcasters – Clarkson, Chris Evans – they're good in their own right, they don't have to recreate their past successes."
"Wasn't Clarkson on TGI?"
"Yeah, but don't get me started on that subject, I'm still mourning the passing of Top Gear."
And with that we decided it was time to head home.