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The Art of Neighbourly Love: How It All Started with a Chicken Coop

Life is full of strange signs that appear in the most unexpected places. Sometimes, it's a friendly neighbour offering you their chicken coop to keep foxes at bay. Other times, it's a random painting that triggers an avalanche of creative ideas.

For me, it all started with that chicken coop. When my neighbours found out that I wanted to keep chickens, they came to my rescue with their coop. It was a classic case of neighbourly love and friendship. We started to share more than just eggs and honey, we shared our love for theatre and art.

My dear neighbours were passionate about theatre. There wasn't a play they hadn't seen or a theatre they hadn't visited and I am pleased to say I was dragged into it. Whenever we returned from a play, we would come back home brimming with ideas and inspiration. Like for instance a theatre play 'The Collaborations' which was about the joint forces of Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat and how it had a huge effect on my view of art. It was a mesmerizing portrayal of two iconic artists from different generations who came together to create something truly unique.

Or sometimes simple things like a theatre decor ornament or an unusual colour combinations would spark my creative juices.

It was just last week when Sharon, my neighbour, gifted me a book by Winston Churchill called "Painting as a Pastime".

The cover of the book reminded me of a painting I had done a couple of years ago. It was a painting of Britain's first playhouse, 'The Theatre', which was built in Finsbury Fields, London in 1576. I had to imagine how the theatre would have looked, tucked away between greenery and illuminated by sunlight.

I still have the photo of the painting, but I can't seem to locate the painting itself. Bear in mind, I've moved house five times in the last three years. It has to be somewhere, right?

Often life is just a series of strange signs that keep popping up in the most unexpected ways. It feels like a tapestry, where every strand is essential to the pattern woven by fate. First, it was the chicken coop that led to a love for theatre, which enhanced my passion for art. And now, it's a missing painting that reminds me the cover of a great statesman’s book, which was gifted by a neighbour, who gifted me the chicken coop…

In conclusion, as I come to the end of this article, it seems fitting to close with a quote from Winston Churchills book "Painting as a Pastime": "Happy are the painters, for they shall not be lonely."

So dear reader if you are feeling lonely and looking for a way to add some color and joy to your life, perhaps it's time to take up painting. Painters are fortunate because they are never alone.

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