Friday, 5 March 2021

Cali's response upon reading 'Albert's Little Vice' intro....

From: Cali Norton 
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 2021 at 10:24
Subject: Re: 'Albert's Little Vice'
To: Grenville Allen <>

I really enjoyed reading this, Grenville! I can see it as one of those illustrated adult comic books, a bit like Posy Simmonds, Thomas Hardy's heroine!
Well done indeed!
C x 

On 5 Mar 2021, at 10:17, Grenville Allen <> wrote:

'Morning Cali and Roz

Here you are, as promised, the opening to my novel. The paper aeroplanes were being thrown over the Tottenham Court Road from our ad agency in the adjoining Percy St was all invented in reality by me. The silly nonsense I came up with was called the Across The Road Club. This is how we spent our time in a top London ad agency. I've swapped it all round in Albert's Little Vice to occurring in a downtrodden agency up north. This is where our hero is endeavouring to escape from to get into a swish metropolitan agency.

Again ~ in real life ~ one of the copywriters throwing those paper 'planes went on to TBWA in Kings Cross, another top ad agency, where he began another club of his own, throwing fishing lines out of the office window in an effort to catch a fish from the canal below. That copywriter is Trevor Beattie who came up with FCUK, etc, became a creative director and ultimately a joint creative director/chairman at his own agency, Beattie McGuiness Bungay. (According to Wikipedia he is a founding partner, chairman and creative director of Beattie McGuinness Bungay (BMB), and was formerly the chairman and creative director of TBWA London. Considered one of the leading figures in advertising in Britain, Beattie has been responsible for a number of high-profile and sometimes controversial advertising campaigns, most notably the "fcuk" campaign for French Connection and the 1994 Playtex Wonderbra campaign featuring Eva Herzigová.)

Anyway, that's how we spent our time in advertising, fuelled by plenteous amounts of drink. On the downside, the chap who gave me my big break in London, Terry Howard (famous for "Were you truly wafted in from paradise? Nah, Luton Airport"), ended up on a Zimmer frame in a care home and his art director came to me years later looking for a job! Both of them have now passed away; the one who came to me for a job, Cyril Vickers, followed me on Facebook and died recently at 84.

Just click on this to see the intro to Albert's Little Vice. Don't worry. It's quite brief.

Cheers! 👍🎨
    f i n e   a r t i s t 

On Thu, 4 Mar 2021 at 15:17, Grenville Allen <> wrote:
No probs. It was my way of softening Hazel's blunter, slightly more confrontational approach. 

Don't ever worry about my altering what I've written to suit. Spent over twenty-five years doing precisely this in the advertising business. I'll send you a link to the 1st chapter of my novel 'Albert's Little Vice', satirising that world. A literary agent said he'd love to see the next 75,000 words on the strength of reading my intro. Then he chickened out on receiving the conclusion. Aargh! 😲

Anyway, just drop that para. As the literary agent wrote back to me: humour is an uphill struggle to find a publisher!



        Grenville Allen

On Thu, 4 Mar 2021 14:55 Cali Norton wrote:
Thank you Grenville, for your swift answer re Peter. That's 7/9 so far in approval for him to come onto the Committee!

Just one little thing in discussion with Roz. Would you mind editing some of this last para in your email re Cleaning? Could you edit out:
Reggie Perrin's Grot Shop springs to mind. Or Sunshine Desserts ~ where another one of the letters on their sign would fall off in each new episode. As in S_shin_ D_ss_rts!

So it reads:

Hello everyone
Now we have a date for reopening our wonderful gallery this is just a reminder about cleaning duties. You may remember that at the end of last year I put in a request for Cygnet members to take on a task to save our employing a professional cleaning company. This is for a trial period of two months to see if we can all make it work.
A list of tasks to be filled is pinned up in the kitchen. These are the results so far.... 

Task/Name of Artist(s) taking responsibility
Vacuuming (including cobwebs on the ceilings and walls!) = Greg
Steam cleaning the floor
Cleaning the common areas eg the staff seating areas & screens
Cleaning the glass in all the entrance doors = Victoria
Cleaning the kitchen = Lisa
Tea towel washing and replacement = Peter
Paper towels replenished in dispenser = Hazel
Tea, coffee and powdered milk monitor
Credit card rolls (make sure we don't run out)
Pens, sticky tape and miscellaneous stationery
Ordering packaging (bags, bubble wrap) = Rachel
Emptying bins = Lisa
Hand sanitiser monitor 

Now then. Any more of you willing and able to go on the list? After all, the tasks aren't onerous and it would keep our lovely gallery looking tip-top and inviting. It's all about enhancing the customer experience. You may greet them with a smile but it's not a good look if there are cobwebs dangling all around you. So please, please come forward and light your own name up blue ~ as above. You know it makes sense.

And leave out:
Reggie Perrin's Grot Shop springs to mind. Or Sunshine Desserts ~ where another one of the letters on their sign would fall off in each new episode. As in S_shin_ D_ss_rts!

Roz is a bit worried that some of the artists just don't 'get' this kind of humour… and that a more transactional approach might be better.
Thanks, Grenville. You're doing a great job!

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