The Hotel du Poste

I grew up in Luxembourg, an ex-pat childhood. It was a time I associate with pain. Until recently I could never paint any scenes from the country. But in recent weeks, the mist has cleared and I have produced a series of smaller works set in the Grand Duchy. This work, available as the original, and in a few weeks as a print, depicts the Hotel du Poste. This hotel sits under the shadow of a rock, hence the name Larochette, the village in which it is located, a town surrounded by thick forests of succulent pine. Each Sunday, my parents, with me as a tiny, powerless hostage in the back seat, drove out to the surrounding areas for a traditional Luxembourgish lunch. This marked the delineation between weekend time, a time of freedom from school, and with it escape from the shame of bullying and failure, and the end of weekend time. I always remember the weather as hot, the sky as blue. Inside the hotel’s restaurant was a hum of conversation, of cigarette smoke and coffee, a boozy smell that mingled with roast potatoes and sizzling poultry. Tables were set with crisp pink table clothes, almost brittle with starch, and there was a fish tank with miserable, condemned trout, eyes clouded and pleading. Waitresses in black skirts and white blouses brought enormous terrines of silver metal, filled with consomme. My parents drank from glasses with green stems, Moselle wines, and then we ate from metal platters surrounded with fluffy piped potato. The speciality was duck in orange sauce, and this was followed by a sundae glass filled with unctuous vanilla ice cream, strawberry sauce and fresh fruit and topped with whipped cream. I began to get restless, after sitting for so long. I imagined setting off on walks, alone, and free, to the forests. One day I will return and I will stay here, perhaps in the hotel du Poste. The original work is for sale at for £45.


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