Quote of the Day: Gratitude

Even if you hate a gift, it’s not hard to say, “Thanks for thinking of me.” It is the presumed thought that counts. Even if paranoia leads you to suspect dark, secret motives on the part of the giver, all anyone ever has to do is acknowledge the most basic assumption. Somebody thought enough of you to buy you a present. So thank ’em for their thoughtfulness. Full stop. Nothing else required.

“Veb”, from this discussion.


Louise receives her painting

For Louise, painting by M.K. Hajdin

For Louise, painting by M.K. Hajdin

I sent Louise’s painting the week before last and it has finally arrived at her house. I quote:

Hello, my painting has arrived and it is so, so beautiful. Thank you so very much 🙂

You’re very welcome, Louise.  I enjoyed painting it for you.

Here’s a photo of the painting after it arrived at her house.  It looks so different photographed by a different camera. Her cat is admiring it.

Louise's cat admires her painting.

Louise’s cat admires her painting.

Eric Joyce trolls me by proxy

Out of courtesy, I sent a link to my blog post about Eric Joyce’s expense claims to Eric Joyce’s email.   I just received this charming response:

Hello M.K Hadjin, it’s Eric’s partner here. My name is India Knight. I read your Twitter account with increasing alarm. Obviously you’re both not well and horribly lonely. You’re also boring. I have more than once suggested that Eric take out a restraining order, but he seems to pity you.

I’d hate to write about you, but I’m longing to, quoting your 18 months’ worth of texts and your odd, stalkery painting of a man you’ve never met. Would that be ok? Is that what you need – attention? Do let me know. Or don’t. You are very much lolzy, whatever happens. But you knew that, right?
Get better!
India Knight
She was kind enough to send a postscript:
BTW, planning to post the cut & pasted below on my public timeline. See also my column in the Sunday Times. Such an interesting topic, insane women getting crushes online.
Sadly for India Knight, whoever she may be, I don’t read the Sunday Times.
What’s interesting about this letter is that my name is misspelled exactly in the same way Eric misspells it.
Such drama about a painting.  Honestly, he couldn’t just say thank you and put an end to the matter?  Maybe I’m just unimaginative, but I can’t find anything odd or stalkerish about sending a gift to someone who was interested in my art and wanted the gift.  I do have the emails from him to prove that he wanted it.  He told me what colors to use and what size to make it.    If he changed his mind, why didn’t he tell me?  He had plenty of opportunity.
It’s a pity he couldn’t simply give a polite response.  It’s all I wanted him to do.
I’ll leave it to my readers to decide whether that makes me “not well,” “horribly lonely”,  “boring” or  “insane”.  To me these accusations seem way over the top.  It sounds like what a very self-absorbed person does when criticized :  refuse to admit any wrong,  attack and devalue the person doing the criticizing.
Seems to me that it takes a lot more energy to conscript one’s girlfriend into writing vicious emails than it does to just say thank you.
Update: After I wrote this post, I got the following response:
Wow. Instant blogpost, like a letter through the door. Maybe back to the hospital? Meanwhile, we’re making a harassment complaint, plus you’ve slandered me, so there’s that. ENJOY YOUR REALLY GREAT, UNLONELY LIFE! XXXXXXXX from Not Eric : (
I’m unclear as to who thinks they’re being slandered here or why.   Also the talk of a harassment complaint is odd, since Eric never asked me not to contact him.
So I send a polite reply making these points, and get this response:

Please stop contacting me. It’s very aggressive. You’ve encouraged people on Twitter to contact me online.  I have no concerns at all about what you blog about.  If you contact me again, even by this means, my only recourse is to contact the police.  This is my final communication with you.

best wishes
eric joyce
 All my friends did was ask him why he didn’t say thank you after receiving a nice painting.   I’m just not seeing aggression there.    Aggression would be insults and threats, right?  Insults like “not well”, “horribly lonely”, “boring”, “insane”, “odd and stalkery” and threats like “I’ll write nasty things about you in my column” and “we’re making a harassment complaint, even though you’re not really harassing us.” But fair enough.  He made a formal request for me to stop emailing him and I’ll respect it.  I just don’t see why he had to troll me first.
But since he doesn’t care what I blog about, I can freely write about it.
Sadly, he never revealed what he had done to the painting.   I worked for five months on that painting, which is the longest time I’ve ever worked on a single painting.  I thought it would be representing me in Joyce’s office in the House of Commons so I agonized over it quite a lot.  It was a big investment of time, energy and love.    I wonder what he’s done with it.  I guess I’ll never know.
Update #2:
People are telling me Eric Joyce has deleted his twitter.
Update #3:
Apparently he’s back.  That was a short flounce.
Update #4:
Both Knight and the papers have apparently misunderstood which artwork I sent to Joyce.  It was not the portrait sketch I made of him.  That was just something I did for fun one evening.
The painting I sent was this abstract landscape, using the colors he specified (red, purple, and green):
Red, Purple, Green, mixed media, 70 x 100 cm, by M.K. Hajdin

Red, Purple, Green, mixed media, 70 x 100 cm, by M.K. Hajdin

The reason it took five months to finish is because it went through many stages.  Halfway through, Joyce said it wasn’t red enough, so I had to add a lot more red and adjust all of the other colors.  It’s got more red in it than I’d use, normally, but that’s what he wanted.