Saturday, February 18, 2012

I Went To See Bill

I went to see Bill yesterday. With all the rain we have been having lately, he's been a bit like the Scarlet Pimpernel and very hard to find! I had some goodies from my readers to deliver.

Leah sent Bill some beautiful pencils, textas and crayons...

..... and Elaine made Bill a personalised case for his pastels.

Bill was delighted and so touched by your generosity and said to say thank you. 

We sat for ages in the shade of the trees, looking out at the river, discussing life. The birds, that are Bill's friends, were so tame, they sat on my feet. He feeds them well. He has a deal with the local nut supplier...cereal for Bill and seeds for the birds. I said I would try to pop by each week, every Friday if I can. He's going to have a folio of photos for me to look at next week. A local photographer put it together and won first prize for it in something or other. They're all photos of how Bill lives.... with commentary.... a sort of story of his current life. I hope the iPhone captures the photos, as I would like to share the folio with you. I have seen it before. It's very moving.

After Bill, I went and commiserated with the locals that I wasn't a local anymore. Justine's was full of all my favourites. Fridays seem to be the day. I didn't get much work done until they all left. 

The day ended on a happy note... my shed flood insurance payout came through so I can now replace my stock and finish my online facility thingy. I am not into selling things I don't have on hand. Learnt the hard way. This industry is not for the fainted hearted when it comes to supply. My philosophy now is, 'if it's in stock, buy all of it'. Hence the shed.

We're off to explore our new surroundings on our bikes today. There's a bike track starting right at the end of our street. We're going to try to make it to our nearest shopping centre for some sushi. Then we're off to the soccer at Suncorp stadium tonight. Big day.

Happy Saturday!

PS. A big thank you to 'French and English' who saw my post about my tragic sofa yesterday and offered to replace my sofa covers. #greatcustomerservice

PPS. If you have any spare art paper or art materials lying around, that Bill could use, please send it my way. Artists churn through materials and he has pretty much nothing left. When he can't draw, he's sad.


  1. One of those odd moments in the nite, awakened. Thought of your post about moving. What pluck you have. Your courage.

    And the love with your children.

    You described moving but the narrative, to me, is your strength.

    XO T

  2. hi AM , i'm so pleased about your sofa covers. Phew. nothing like the power of a a blog!

  3. What a lucky guy Bill is to have friends like you. I'm sure you think you're lucky to have Bill in your life, too.

  4. French and English are such lovely people. That was so nice of them. Im glad good things are happening for you.Fiona

  5. Bill's story must be fascinating, if not a little sad.
    Does he use charcoal at all? Because I think I have some hidden away somewhere and if he would like it, and i can find it I will send it along.
    His work is wonderful would he be interested in an exhibition? or is it just for him?
    Julienne xxx

  6. Hi A-M,
    French and English are great, aren't they?
    We are moving and I have SO much stuff I could give Bill - just stuff a writer collects over the years; notepads, writing/drawing materials, etc. I'll also find a compact container (hopefully waterproof) that he can store all his new art materials in. (So lovely of Leah and Elaine to send those things.)
    Where should I send it? Would you be kind enough to email me your address at janelle(dot)mcculloch(at)bigpond(com)? I'll pack it up for him. Bill's story was the most moving story I've ever read. And look how he put his good shirt on for your visit! Such a dignified gentleman.
    Janelle xx

  7. This post brought a lump to my throat. What beautiful people you Leah and Elaine are! Bill is such a unique being - it is heartwarming to see that he is looked after. xx

  8. I love that you got to see Bill and that you have a plan for visiting with him on Fridays. And I'm so glad your flood insurance came through and that French and English did as well...congrats!

    Enjoy your weekend!

    Kat :)

  9. Oh Janelle, Yes please. Will email you... my mailing address is; A-M Russell, PO Box 660, Bulimba, 4171. Thank you so much. Bill alway has flowers.. in his pocket, in a water bottle on the picnic table he creates his artwork on or draped over the seat he sits on, down the road in the shade. xx

    Julienne, Bill does use charcoal. He creates with anything he can get his hands on. Bill has been muttering something about a gallery exhibition of his work...... and work that he is doing for it. He has a friend who is helping him I think. I will ask about it next Friday. It sounds like it is way down the track? He sells his work. I have had many readers purchase his artwork and I know he does some commissions for locals.

    Thanks for your support. He never asks for anything... but he so appreciates art materials. A-M xx

  10. Thank you A-M. I am currently wrestling a cute little black, soft-pack esky thingy off my partner to give to Mr Bill so he can keep his drinks cool on a hot day. (Don't worry, my partner's only pretending to be upset that I'm taking it off him. He's happy to help out!) We'll also find a little fishing tackle box or an artist's box for him to keep his materials in. It will have to be compact as I know he has a lot to carry around.
    Please tell Bill I have interviewed many, many people in my life, from prime ministers to royalty and rock stars, but I've never come across such a dignified man as him. Every time I read a post about him, I cry a little tear. He's a very fine man indeed. The only thing is... I worry that he's not wearing sunscreen. Perhaps I'll pack some of that too?

  11. hi A-M, Do you think Bill would like and/or use a plastic plan cylinder- you know the type that architects use (or used to use before computers!) to carry plans? It's waterproof and he could store his drawings safefuly in it. I have one from uni days and I would rather know that Bill was using it rather than my kids using it as a light sabre! If you think he'd use it, let me know and I can arrange to get it to you. Kerry

  12. Hi A.M Sorry so late in posting a thank you to you for giving Bill his gift I am so glad he got it okay & look forward to seeing what paintings he has created with all the lovely goodies from Leah.
    The neighbour hood looks lovely were you have moved to hope you will all be happy there take care xxx


Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave me a comment. I love hearing from you. A-M xx