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To the Laing Art Gallery Edit

Dear mother, Given that the mating season has now finished, I think I will be returning home from my expedition. I have notebooks, I have papers and I have electro-magnetic media. Some of them are complete with records, some of them not: nevertheless, the age of my fieldwork is over, and I shall return to repose in the confines of the family home within a month, once my passage on a liner has been assured.

Regarding your question about the state of Auntie George’s estate, I assent to your proposals save the third, which I feel to be somewhat indiscreet, if not disrespectful.

I have not learned an awful lot on my travels, for much of what I have learned has been pleasant. In the main, the white is looked upon here as some kind of otherworldly stranger to the land, but I have taken on board some of the wisdom of those who have deigned to overcome their natural fear of the guns and jeeps of my men, and tried to approach the camp. Dare I say it, (and believe me, the men were punished on every such occasion) but some of them actually came into my presence.

A frame does oh so much more then keep a picture square!!! I have seen rectangular frames on several occasions, and once a round frame (although a swift enough blow ended its heresy in a tangle of splinters and spelks). #1 in my list of maxims was ‘ere the wood has been, the lark will sing’. Even now I look upon this as some kind of comfort, but there is certainly a tomorrow inside all of us that will one day bloom into a looking glass of somewhat questionable intentions.

I was not elected president of the Tavistock Society’s ‘Framing Club’ because I am a man of action. Indeed I was not even elected – the position was entirely self appointed, but in a way I feel this makes what I am saying all the more legitimate.

From what I can tell, you appear to be running an art gallery and this appears to contain – as no doubt it should – some works of art. Of this mother, I hope we can both agree. Now allow me to cut to the chase and in so-doing I shall forthrightly unveil my demands. I have neither the time, nor the inclination to visit the gallery personally (from what I remember of the reviews and clippings you have sent me, only the word ‘disappointment’ remains in my memory) but it will save me a lot of effort if you could complete a rather modest 10,000 words review of the main aspects behind your framing policy and append a list of all the framers used by your institution over the course of the last 153 years.

Please understand this isn’t for my own interest but is merely necessary paperwork which I shall be sure to file away unread and uncared for in father’s archives. It’s just that some of the blasted rotters in the Tavistock Society have been kicking up a hullabaloo (a pretty stink) about my running of the ‘Framing Club’. And if I don’t find some paperwork to put in the files -beyond these credit card applications I have been taking out in our name for the past few months – I daresay they will never shut up.

Obviously the more official you can make the letterheads and other aspects of the stationary, the more useful this will be to me in defending the family name in the midst of this brouhaha / blarney . I remain your loyal son.