304. Street Art for Beginners…

If it’s true that we are but toys for the Gods, then my sister-in-law is definitely their Etch-a-Sketch.

I guess you could say that it all started with the Golden Giraffe. 

Tasteful, or what?  One of my brother-in-law’s finest creations: essence of plastic giraffe, with an artisanal wooden mount and golden overtones. Such simple beginnings; such magnificent results. 

The Golden Giraffe is the trophy for our family MapMyRun Monthly Giraffe Challenge; said challenge being who can cover the most distance in their exercise in a month. Needless to say, I have never won the challenge and, in fact, never will as my main form of exercise – PDWarrior thrice a week at 8/10 for effort – covers about a metre in distance. So I’m fairly safe from having to host the Golden Giraffe. I am naturally devastated.

Ah, but perhaps you’re not familiar with MapMyRun?  Well, just for you, Ma, it’s an app which you have on your phone and when you start your exercise you press the start button to – well – start. That alerts the angel on call who, with the aid of a good strong pair of glasses,  traces your route onto a map which syncs with the map on your phone. When you’ve finished, you press ‘Stop’; then you – and the others in your group – can see how far you have walked or ran or cycled and what route you took.

Our family group has gradually grown in size – some lured by the siren song of the Golden Giraffe, others joining when lock-down closed the gyms.  Amongst the latter is my sister-in-law who had previously been running three mornings a week on a treadmill at our local leisure centre. 

One explanation for the wonders that follow is that S-in-L has been galvanised by the artistic potential of the MapMyRun. Another, and to my mind much more likely explanation, is that the act of running has opened her to possession by forces from above and the angel on call is having some fun.

The first indication of supernatural influence came in early June when her early morning run gave us:

Bold, promising strokes, I’m sure you’d agree, if a little lacking in shade and side streets. But look how this body of work has grown and matured in just a short month! 

To be honest, I am in awe of anyone running anywhere at six in the morning.  To combine an early morning run with drawing pictures for the gods is even awesomer. I gather this year’s Turner prize has been cancelled.  But if they change their mind…

I write this on Saturday 4th July at eight in the morning. Someone somewhere is sitting down for their first haircut since March, perhaps unaware that their barber has been in the pub since 6 a.m. Someone somewhere is in a freshly opened cafe attempting to manoeuvre a full English past their face mask. And I’m pretty sure that my sister-in-law is just putting the finishing touches to her latest bit of Street Art: Study in Satellite Red with Cul-de-Sacs.

It’s been an odd summer.

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