All days are special of course but some are ‘diamonds’. This sentiment was expressed by my friend and inspirational artist Ashley Jackson and how true it is. Without doubt yesterday was a ‘diamond’ day for me.
It started innocuously enough with our usual routine of taking Dilly for a walk and breakfast. But about 11 o’clock things changed. I received a singular phone call from another artist friend who lives in Driffield which is about five miles away. He informed me that he was with a lady from South Korea who was trying to find me. Now I’m told that each day is a day full of unlimited possibilities but I have to confess that this startling message was pretty low down on any list I might make of how the day would develop.
So I offered to meet up with her to find out exactly what was going on. On arriving at our meeting place I was greeted by a delightful lady who offered me a polite oriental bow. She is called Kyoungjin Park but happy to be known as ‘Jin’. It transpires that she is an avid David Hockney fan. Apparently he is very big in South Korea and has a huge following there. She had come to the UK specifically to explore the Hockney Trail which meanders its way through the Yorkshire Wolds. Somehow she had obtained my name and knew I was an artist living in Kilham who might be able to help her.
I took her to my house and over a cup of coffee with Merice and my good (!) self she told us about herself and her quest. Fortunately she speaks excellent English and in fact teaches English back in South Korea .Part of the reason for her trip was to assimilate more conversational English that she could take back to her students. She is an artist who is fascinated by the differences between the Western and Oriental approach to art. Her intention is to study for a M.A. degree in art. Conversing together, it was heart-warming to experience the universal language of art but also the universal experience of humanity in general. Despite the cultural divisions she was very similar to us in background and her tales of her childhood and present life were a happy reminder that in reality we are all human beings and that any differences between us are minor and inconsequential. She certainly shares our passion for art and we chatted away freely and enjoyably. Jin wanted to stay the night in Kilham before returning to London the next day for her flight home. We got her settled in at the Blacksmiths Cottage B & B and met up later for a little tour round the village and surrounding area including the famous ‘tunnel’ above. This was followed by an excellent meal at the St Quintins Arms in Harpham. The food was excellent as usual and time just flew by in this excellent and interesting company. Her train was at 6.45 next morning so I gladly volunteered to take her to the station. She has now set off on her long journey back home with our very best wishes and promises of keeping in touch.
She is not going home empty handed. She liked my painting so much that she bought it and a part of the Yorkshire Wolds is now winging its way to South Korea. We also taught her a few ’Yorkshire’ expressions so if you are ever in South Korea and hear “Eee by gum lad” you know where it came from!