I used to work for a chap up in Hull, or to give its proper name Kingston upon Hull. It was once one of our nations premier fishing ports. If you have ever been there then you’ll know that when you get to Goole ( put that name in spellchecker and you’ll get google ) you are still quite a way off. So we can perhaps agree that Hull is a little bit way off. Way out even.
The man I worked for designed posters for nearby Scarborough’s famous playwright Alan Ayckbourn, who wrote, and perhaps still does, some wonderfully witty dramas. They always opened in his home town and no doubt featured in Hull too. My involvement was to do the odd drawing here and there for the posters. My client always rang me, there was no internet or email then, so it was always the personal touch.
One gets the impression from talking on the phone of the place someone is talking from. In his case he was what seemed to be a nervous character with what appeared to be little confidence. To add to the mix I could hear a budgerigar in the background, chirruping away. It did not speak, so it never really interrupted our conversations but how good might it be if it did?
“Tell him he can stick his drawing up his a**e! “ might have been better than the incessant “chirrup, chirrup”.
“Is that a budgie?” I asked my client one day in the middle of a conversation on the possible solutions to his poster briefing. “That’s right, it’s me mums” he responded in his unique Hull accent.
Blimey, thought I, he lives with his mum and her budgie!
I had a picture of the room in my head. Cage in the corner complete with mirror and wheel for necessary budgie exercise, in the cage,three piece suite with antimacassars in place in the room around the coal fire place, perhaps a Tretchikoff Green Lady print on the wall, and three plaster ducks flying up the other wall on a fine ridged patterned wallpaper. One of those wooden clocks on the mantelpiece that looks like a small bridge. A small collection of glass bambies on small shelf, and at the table by the window, my client with the phone ( landline of course ) next to him and in front of him his drawing board, an A2 piece of ply with his designs clipped to it with big clips or some spare pegs from Mum’s washing line.
In other words, I was making all these assumptions of him and his working environment all because of a budgie soundtrack background.
He was a very pleasant person to deal with, an enthusiast for his work, always paid, a delight to work for. He’s probably now retired to a slightly bigger 3 bed semi in a posh part of Hull. The green lady might even be staring down at him but the budgie, who’s name escapes me, probably escaped too, but would not have survived long in the wilds of Kingston upon Hull.
Does a budgie impact creativity? Well it certainly gets you thinking.
Random unrelated picture below. Did you know that Hull used to have the only private telephone company in the UK in those far off days?