Port Eliot still whirring around in my mind, as it will do for weeks to come, and in particular the whole Grayson Perry thing which had passed by on the periphery of my consciousness until now, something happening in London to which I had paid little attention.
We can be a bit cut off from reality down here in the West Country and it would indeed stop the traffic and probably cause a few accidents were Grayson to walk down the street, but somehow not at all unusual at Port Eliot, and there's something intriguing about it all.
Of course transvestites not unknown in Devon, indeed, in the days when health visitors visited across the age spectrum of patients registered at the GP surgery they were attached to, I took a referral from a GP and had the pleasure of visiting a particularly glamorous man who had modelled his look on a 1960's film star whose name he had taken too. His make-up always immaculate but living out his lonely last days in chronically poor health, poverty and isolation in a woodland caravan with just a dog for company.
I got to know him/her really well and even found myself popping into the WI clothing store to pick up clothes on his/her behalf in the days when we did helpful things like that too. We'd made a wish list and I'd been careful to check colour preferences etc and caused quite a stir the day I asked for a salmon pink dressing gown, preferably with some lace frills, to fit someone 6ft 5" tall, and could they possibly help me with a pair of ladies, knee-high winter boots (with extra calf room) in a size 14.
It occurred to me how effectively Grayson Perry blasts away stereotypes and demolishes personal prejudices with his style whilst equally I discover on reading up, elicits fierce responses..
"...recently a man in the street called him a paedophile: “It’s interesting how that is now the nuclear weapon of insults. The soundbite of the venal hater.”
If ever anyone spots a paedophile element it's the health visitor in me and I have to say it was the very last thought that would have come into my head. The whole look is almost like an art form on legs regardless of any personal reasons ceramic artist Grayson Perry may have for adopting his alter ego Claire when he feels so inclined, and the dresses are mind-blowingly clever designs, though interesting to read Grayson's own take on it
"In the past seven years, I have changed from dressing as a woman to being a man in a dress. I am not pretending to be a woman any more. I am a man who is wearing the most ridiculous outfits."
They are utterly gorgeous creations, what better frock to wear to a Flower Show awards ceremony than this one and beautifully made I discovered as I tried to get a good look without invading his personal space. I had to stop myself having a feel of the fabric, but curtain weight I think and it occurred to me that I was probably getting a glimpse of an iconic dress exhibition of the far distant future... when people will queue for hours, much as they have for the Grace Kelly collection from the thirties, to see the wardrobe of a man's frocks from the noughties.