I've mentioned my dad once or twice around here; although I love him dearly, he has the ability to infuriate the hell out of me. But then again, whose dad doesn't? I've also mentioned his nom de plume: my father, Gordon Medd, is Jigsaw Man; as Superheroes go his ability to do a thousand piece jigsaw may be a pretty rubbish super power, but, hey, he's my dad and I won't hear a word said against him (after all, that's my job).
In the past he's done circular jigsaws, double-sided jigsaws, single colour jigsaws; you name it, he's done 'em. Many of them have come by way of Christmas and birthday presents from me; yes, I've long since stopped fretting over what to get dad as December 25th approaches.
But his latest project has turned out to be his toughest assignment yet: Hokusai's The Wave had my dad teetering on the verge of madness. I was getting progress reports, photos, even selfies, of just how tricky this latest puzzle really was. It would appear that every piece, excluding the border, was exactly the same shape.
Each and every piece had to be painstakingly offered into position tens of times, scores often, before finding its rightful place. Dad's texts to me made for harrowing reading.
He told me that he would wake up in the middle of the night troubled by the most recent tricky section; dad would come downstairs in the wee small hours and to try and find a home for a few more pieces. It was only when the final piece was slotted into position that he could could finally breathe a sigh of relief and get his life back.
Tasked with carefully transferring this labour of love from dad's beloved 'jig-roll' into a beautiful dry mount and frame, the finished artwork - which looks amazing - is now on display at Medd Towers (with all the above photos on its flip side). As Rod said, every picture tells a story.
Andy Bell - Love Comes in Waves (2020)