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Life, the Universe, and Everything

The Universe

Andrew at school in EnglandGrowing up in England I never really thought that I would be a full-time artist. Is it me or does my head look freakishly large in this picture? I'm the little boy on the right - look at the cool shorts!

This was in my first year of school where I constantly got into fights and yelled at teachers. Parts of Southampton were pretty rough, I lost a tooth when I was kicked in the face during a fight when I was about 8. The tooth pierced a hole through the center of my tongue, I'm lucky I didn't bite my tongue off, I still have the scar.

A fairly traditional upbringing, except for a few things. Dad was an welder at the dry-docks and Mum stayed at home and took care of me, my little brother and sister. My Granddad, on my Dad's side, was a glass cutter who had lost his eye in an accident and now had a glass eye, I think it was made in the same factory, pretty ironic in any case. I didn't know he had a glass eye until I was 16, he always said he slept with one eye open to keep an eye on us. He also said to me once he was a cook on a ship during WWII, I later found out he was a gunner, I found his medals after my Grandma died. The last time I saw him he had come all the way from England to see me graduate from High School, he didn't tell anyone that his prostate had shut down his system a week earlier. He and Grandma flew back home hours after the ceremony, a year later he died from complications of the prostate.

My Grandma, on my Dad's side, was just a little hyper sometimes. She smoked packs of cigarettes a day, always seemed to be eating something, was skinny as a rail and was in constant motion. If you went shopping with her you had to hang on and pay attention or she was gone. When her sister died during WWII she took her neices in and raised them as her daughters, along with her own children, my Dad and my Aunt. I had another uncle, but he was hit by a car when he was 8 and died. She never stopped moving and was always doing something, she died of a brain aneurism while playing cards with my cousin.

My Nanny, grandmother on my mothers side, was the epitomy of warmth. Always hugging everyone, family tea on Sundays, and ever missed an episode of wrestling on television. If she was younger I think she would have wrestled. A true mum she always took care of her family, she had one son and four daughters, including my Mom. This is the breeding side of the family, on my fathers side I have an Aunt, her husband and their daughter, my cousin. On Mum's side I have currently 1 Uncle, 3 Aunts, with their spouses, 2 ex-Aunts, about 10 Cousins, and their spouses, and at least 15 second-Cousins. 7 of those second-Cousins coming from one Cousin alone, and she would have more if she could talk her husband into it.

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