Saturday, 6 April 2013

The Private Asylum Detainee Arrives - And Wishes She Hadn't! And Your Chance to Meet me For a Beer in Camden

Hi folks!  Not often you hear from me on a Saturday, but I have a few minutes spare - and I am dying to share with you my latest comic book frame.  I'm rather proud of this one.  There is another picture which fits between this image and the one I posted last time, but it is this one I am really pleased with.  And as I said before; it is not my intention to publish every frame from this series here.  Once again it is based on one of those 3D computer art images Angela Fox created for me inspired by INSTITUTIONALISED Volume 3.  This one actually only uses the centre portion of one of those images, perhaps 25 - 30% of the whole.  The idea is that it is the view through a sort of bulkhead-style (think bulkhead lamps or wall lights) porthole set in a steel door and guarded behind an out-curving cage of rusting steel bars. To the basic Angela Fox image I have added the bars of course (actually three sets superimposed), a hexagonal mosaic patterning effect to represent wire-reinforced glass, a lighting effect to help reinforce that 'glassy impression', an orangy colouring to the bars to give the impression of rust and age and no less than three layers of a fish-eye lens effect; all using the photo manipulation programme 'The Gimp'.  As always; click on the pic to enlarge it.  I hope you like it - let me know!  

By the way:  I shall be in Camden Town this coming Wednesday if anyone fancies a pint or ten - I'll be in the 'Hawely Arms' in Hawley Crescent lunchtime around 1 PM and in the Camden Wetherspoons (strictly speaking a LLoyds No 1 Bar) 'The Ice Wharf' on the canal side before that... Cheers!

To set the scene:  Long, rambling and rarely-trod corridors, twisting and turning - gaunt, forbidding and uninviting – have been negotiated.  All have been of the same severe institutional flaking cream and green paint and lime wash, the same inky stencilled slogans repeated over and over on stark stone ceiling beams extolling the virtues of obedience, discipline and compliance; patients warned against talking, staff against laxity and complacency.  The place is like a tangled interwoven tissue of locked and barred security grilles, blind, blocked-off passages and doors leading nowhere yet kept jealously locked anyway.  On arrival the girl had been delivered to the very centre of this maze secured in a wheelchair with her eyes and ears covered - a self-contained spider web demiworld with no apparent way in or out.  She is none the wiser now.

The Victorians built establishments such as this - ‘places of wholesome restraint’ as someone once said - incorporating these deliberately convoluted passageways to bamboozle would be absconders.  She has just been informed there is such a multiplicity of possibilities that it is doubtful she has ever been taken by the same route twice.  She has also just been informed how the place has been made even more cosy and snug since those Victorians abandoned  ship so to speak, how the original stairwell had been discovered bricked up and filled in and how the establishment’s research foundation trust paid to install an elevator in a newly-dug service shaft in the 1960s to provide access – an elevator now sporting one of those numerically encoded keypads; very, VERY secure!  As they arrive at their destination the nurse's last words are still ringing in her ears:  “And talking of 'trusts' and trust funds...  I seem to remember the doctor saying something about having received a document of some kind  from your guardian.  I believe it requires a signature – perhaps we can deal with that once we've ascertained the whereabouts of this 'diary' of yours.”


Joseph Atura said...

Excellent job, Garth! I love the Institutionalized series and can't wait for future volumes! I live in the States, so it wasn't practical to meet you for a pint, but I would have loved to have done so!

Toyntanen said...

Hi Joseph! (and others) I'm glad you liked them. I wasn't going to write any more along those lines, but I have just received a delightful little email pointing out (amongst other things) that I never did explore one of the possible directions the tale could have taken after the close of INSTITUTIONALISED Vol 2. While I don't think I would want to follow those particular character's paths per se, I do have a part-written thing sketched out set in the early 1960s within which many of those heady imaginings which spring to life upon re-reading the ending of that second book of the trilogy would work much better.

As for that pint; you never know. One day you might visit the UK - and I'm always up for a pint or two.

Talking of which: It is tomorrow that I'll be in Camden, 1 pm in the 'Hawley Arms', made famous as Amy Winehouse's local pub; never mind that I drank in there for decades (when it was a good pub! Before they turned it in to a glorified wine bar; it's much better now though, closer to its roots!. Before that I expect to be in the 'Ice Wharf' and after, I'll be in 'The Friendly Mixer' (like The Hawley used to be - almost)or 'The Spread Eagle' in Parkway. Finally I'll be pitching up in 'The Tollgate', Turnpike Lane, North London - but by then I expect to be dangerously inebriated!

Thursday will be spent more seriously exploring the Wetherspoons multi-branch beer festival, on safari taking in as many branches not previously explored as possible. Having said that, I’ll probably start out with a fortifying pint or two in the Tollgate in Turnpike lane or the Crouch End branch – can’t remember the name – and then ‘The Metropolitan’ in Baker Street, just outside Baker Street tube station entrance, before branching out – pardon the pun – to lands unknown, possibly even straying south of the Thames!!!

Follow me on Twitter to see if I’m in a pub near you! I’ll be tweeting as I go (possibly Facebooking too). Ditto Friday – but on Friday I have to see an orthopaedic surgeon first way up north in Enfield at Chase Farm Hospital which is on the 313 bus route to Potters Bar and so, although I have sampled the Wetherspoons there before, I’ll probably be starting off with a couple in ‘The Admiral Bing’ before again venturing onward into unmapped territory, possibly by train heading north, although there is a quick rail link into Kings Cross from where I might strike out west, stopping of at the Wetherspoons in Paddington Station. Once again: keep watching Twitter and / or Facebook for details.

I haven’t had a drink for over 45 days , so I reckon my head’ll explode! BANG! Oh Damn…

Anonymous said...

Hi again, Garth. The email you referred to was from me (writing from my Yahoo account).

Glad you might further explore the plot thread left open at the end of Volume II!

While we're on the subject, two more topics you have touched on that might bear further examination: 1) the person who hires the governess herself coming under the control of the governess and 2) the former residents of the laundry having been smuggled into Africa. There's always something delicious about someone who was supposedly at the top of the pecking order (a white woman) now being the slave of an African or Asian owner. When you consider the potential for humiliation, female circumcision and ritual scarification scenarios, why, I'll bet you have three more books right there!

Keep up the great work!


Toyntanen said...

Hi Joe! Well in the real world both hefore and just after the 2nd world war there was a fashion within the Jewish comunity to employ German girls as servants

Anonymous said...

Hi Garth, I have no doubt that in your capable hands, such a scenario would be great!