Friday, 17 July 2009


In June I received an email from Sue Jones suggesting that we meet in a café in London to discuss my possible involvement in next year’s Whitstable biennale. I was very excited at the prospect and immediately agreed to meet her in a few weeks time.

As is usual I arrived far too early for our meeting, but not early enough to go somewhere else or do anything useful. Luckily the Pensammon is a delightful Italian run establishment, so undeterred, I filled my time drinking coffee and checking my emails until I realised that most London cafés don't seem to have toilets. After that I moved on to tea. I had texted Sue and, although we had met before, I thought it best to use the blind date technique of telling her I would be wearing a red jumper. The cafe we had arranged our rendezvous was blisteringly hot and by the time she arrived I was sheeting sweat and attracting worried glances from the waiters. I was now suffering from imminent bladder failure coupled with severe dehydration but I don't believe she noticed. My biggest fear (apart from an embarrassing accident) was that Sue would ask me to develop some sort of performance for Whitstable happily she didn't. Our meeting went well and beyond writing an account of my experiences she had no preconceived ideas of what I should do.

Later in the new Whitechapel café I saw Sue again talking to two friends. Feeling embarrassed and not wanting to create a social faux pas, I sidled around the tables pretending not to see her.

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