MAKING A LIVING as an artist can often be a trudge down a rocky and pot-holed street .. so today I will tell you a tale of a pair of tinkers who travel from town to town selling their wares on Britain's streets and managing to gather pennies enough for life for a while by selling their artwork directly to the people who pass them by.
Their wagon is home and warm and they love best of all to wake parked in a forested byway with their mistbreaths curling out into the bright crisp morning air, and a cup of tea in hand, and the little woodfire crackling and a new town to visit that day full of new as yet un-met people to buy their pictures.
Some towns welcome them and watch with fascination as they carry piles of pictures and sacks and haul wonkywheeled trolleys up the high street and then set their work against an empty wall and the people talk to them friendly and happy to meet.
And some towns do not understand them and walk by with noses skyward and tuts on their tongues or offer unimaginative taunts, official badges and clipboards.
They display their pictures side by side like a fleeting street-gallery; she, small prints of her paintings and he, his photographic works, all framed with fine wooden frames stained by hand in Ikea carparks en-route. And folk are drawn across the street by the occasional tune from her accordion and the tantalising sight of their image-menagerie propped against the wall.
Encounters with a hatful of the town's drunks and wanderers, madmen and eccentrics pepper their days and are interspersed with interesting conversations and sales of pictures and cups of coffee.
As the days get shorter, their fingers are bitten by winter and folk hurry past on blustery days. If a drop of rain should fall, the two must hurry to gather their wares and dash to the nearest doorway, and pack away their Only-There-Sometimes-Shop until the next sunny day and the next town.
So back they trundle to their home-on-wheels to drive off and away for dinner and a fire and a chocolate bar and a rest by the side of a road somewhere while they count their pennies (and sometimes pounds) glad that people liked their artwork.
Perhaps you'll catch a glimpse of them one day peeping out of their porthole or holding hands as they walk down a street before they scuttle back to their home in the hills to make more beautiful things.