I blame both my father and fellow HTV West presenter Alison Holloway for my obsession with Mickey Mouse.
Dad was in the Merchant Navy and l remember him producing a Mickey Mouse car from inside his bag when home on leave from running the Great Lakes of North America on board the Bristol City. The mouse car for me and stockings and instant coffee for mum!
Many years later, after an amazing career and, shall we say, a few marriages, Alison – now happily settled into home life – was living in Los Angeles and sent me a bigger and statuesque version of MM which l have to this day.
He’s also a constant reminder of time passing as the image on the face of my Apple watch. Touch him and he says the time and wishes you a good morning!
All this is leading up to bumping into my hero on Malaga sea front and then later running into him at a exhibition being held in the city’s Cultural Centre.
It features the work of contemporary artist Javier Calleja who – like the late and great Pablo Picasso – was born (and still lives) in Malaga.
His exhibition entitled Mr Gunter. The Cat Show ( at the Cultural Centre of Malaga) features large-scale sculptures, unpublished works on canvas, large-format drawings, engravings and a dozen new paintings created ad hoc for the appointment.
In an article in Spanish Vogue it says it’s a “universe reminiscent of pop, comics or kawaii[the Japanese culture of exalting tenderness], in which its childish characters with huge glassy eyes convey a suspicious sensation of innocuousness.
They look like they haven’t broken a plate, but if you’re not careful for a second, they could blow up the entire tableware section of a large shopping center.
On their t-shirts you can read short phrases such as Open your eyes or Save yourself who can , which adds a layer of irony and uneasiness to the proposal.”
All very different from the Picasso exhibition we had seen earlier – but what fun!