It's a foul night tonight and it was just such a night more than a year ago when my relaxation was briefly shattered by a crashing of something immediately outside. Investigation revealed it to be a print of a painting, the frame (which followed a short while after the print) narrowly missed knocking me out cold. Strange that they came separately to the same place - my place - deposited by a huge puff of wind.
Up until that moment I'd never heard of Tony Klitz. This soaking wet, smoke encrusted, print of London (known in some parts as 'the smoke'), and Eros in particular, was also signed in biro which raised my interest ten-fold. Googling gave me quite a bit of information and I eventually made contact with the family who very kindly gave me some more, including why the print might be in this area but not how it might have left the smoke-filled room from whence it came.
One of my brothers loves London and I decided to clean the print up a bit and give it to him. I don't know what possessed me to put the print in the bath liberally filled with Vanish and water. Vanish it did, completely, apart from the paper it was printed on and part of the smoke.
Though the print was gone, not all was lost, Mr Klitz's relative with whom I'd been communicating knew this area as a young girl and remembered the bathing pool especially. She sent me a postcard that she'd kept all that time, another one for my collection.
The bathing pool has long gone - filled in with the rubble of the changing rooms and diving boards, a lone pillar and a slab of concrete sit like a headstone - here lie the remains of the pool. The persons responsible didn't need Vanish to achieve its effect. More recently the chalets have been demolished too, replaced by sheds masquerading as beach huts. These lack any mystery or grandeur and look daft lined up ronsealed in uniform rows.
I've immersed myself in many things over the years, this bathing pool only once. Smoking was one - but like the Tony Klitz print, I'm cleaning myself up, occasionally inhaling nicotine through a plastic tube that looks a bit like a cigarette holder, my carbon monoxide reading reduced from 35mg to 6 in a week. Much to my surprise I'm nearly a bona-fide non-smoker (a reading of 5 or below denotes this). The feeling of mortality has weighed heavily lately and the idea of having to redecorate the exceedingly tall rooms hung around me worse than the smoke that was promising to cling to the walls.