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  • It was 96 degrees in the shade... or so it felt. Third World's song always comes to mind. It was so hot that you could see everything shimmering in the heat.

    We were in the shade and still cooking slowly. The lady with the baby was in the shade with us, chatting quietly. The running girl and the topless man were in the blazing African sun but did not seem to mind. After all, for them, it was just another day.

    We couldn't do anything. No sightseeing, no looksee. So we did what other locals seemed to do all day; we drank La Grima De Leao. The label of the beer depicted the face of a lion in outline, black and white, with a seriously oversized teardrop coming out of one eye.

    You see photos of African lions in the savannah yawning in the mid-afternoon heat while tucked under a thornbush tree, we did that and it wasn't by choice.

    By the time the welcome cool evening arrived, I understood why the leao cried. And then we danced.

    The painting is based on a photograph that my then partner (and now very good friend) Jo Scott took. I must confess that I did not ask her permission to create the painting using her photograph but I felt compelled to channel it through my mind and out through my hand and it worked, as therapy, when I had to dig my way out of my house in 2-mitre deep snow in the Jura range of mountains between France and Switzerland in order to get to the firewood. Thank you Jo.
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