I felt it was the moment to break the good news of my mission to Rowena. I told her how, looking back, it was clear my life to date had only been a preparation. But now the time for thinking was over, and the time for action had arrived. I revealed that I had issued a call - via the Ars Longa mailing list - to all in the arts to join me, in however humble a capacity, in the total renovation of the arts in Britain. I was now waiting for the response.
She said: 'Oh, yes. Jean Silbery got one of your notes. She said it was very strange.' I said she may well have. But the message was intended for people of understanding within the arts, which might not necessarily include someone who enamels tortoises.
She replied: 'Don't knock Jean, she's much in demand. And I expect they have all sorts on that list. But I'm glad you've found something to do with yourself.' I told her I had never been so sure of anything in my entire life.
WEDNESDAY Today I received a package from Ars Longa, with a note: 'We think these must be for you. Everyone wondering what's going on.' Literally dozens of letters answering my call.
So many cries. 'The frightening things that have been happening to concert pitch, rising up and up, only dogs can hear most music now, must be stopped . . .' or 'All the Ealing Comedies re-dubbed by the Attlee government, please use your powers to enquire . . .' or 'Artists - 90 per cent of poofter repute, you will agree - bought and sold by the gallery mafia like smiling Siamese harlots . . .' Cries, yes - baffled, helpless, inarticulate cries, seeking guidance.
But, beneath them, I hear so clearly this great ground swell of energy for the change that is already happening. It is only the first wave. How many more out there?
FRIDAY I awoke today feeling - I don't know - as if something had altered. Didn't feel any urgency about opening this morning's package. I felt somehow puzzled. Had another look over some of the previous letters.
One said: 'You are now in communication with the most inventive artist in European History. I have a similar stature to a certain Leonardo - think about it, 310 styles of painting: the record, chuck, the record - so you might be advised to use some of my insight.' Another: 'For the past 20 years I have controlled the mind of Michael Billington (the Guardian). He is now asking to be released. Yes, he will fail, but in freedom. I shall be available to help you soon.'
I rang Rowena and asked her, did she think it remotely likely that some of my correspondents might be a bit disturbed. She said: 'Oh, bound to be. You'll have to weed. But then, they're always the most faithful ones. So be kind.'
And I've now had a look at today's batch. One saying: 'You are too late. The Prince of Wales is already fully aware of me, working in harmony. Architecture is just a smoke- screen] (I had informed the Prince of your activities; he thus dodged the bullet.) This is a warning. Any further interruption may have dangerous consequences. Coded references to our work on Start the Week throughout the last year signal only an inkling of what is about to happen.'
It is dawning on me that it is just possible I have been making the most terrible mistake.Reuse content