The Improbable Blog

No.20: The Valentine Collection

This week was a ‘bottle episode’.

For those that don’t know, this is the episode in a tv series where it all takes place in one room – normally because they blew half of the budget on an epic series premiere!


So off I went to Rugby to catch up with my old art teacher and great friend Martin Valentine.

Martin is an accomplished artist who bases himself from a beautiful victorian house in Rugby, complete with a fully functioning art studio and concert venue – his studio is an Aladdins cave of wonderful items and artefacts that are fascinating enough to distract away from anything that might be going on outside.


We did venture out briefly for a bite to eat (fish finger sandwich at The Merchant) and some tasty Gelato from the main street – stopping along the way to see the recently added head stone for Rupert Brooke that commemorates the great poet – once dubbed the most handsome man in England!!


Back at the studio we carried on talking, catching up on the last two years, before we headed towards this trips ‘big reveal’.


But first, some context!

3 years ago I pulled up outside Martins house in my Daihatsu Sirion (technically a car), taming this 0.9 litre beast to a standstill, I headed into Martins studio to take up my place in the guest arm chair. On this occasion the tea pot was nowhere to be seen as we sank a couple of bottles of wine before heading out for a bite to eat (fish finger sandwich at the merchant).

After swaying back to the studio, we tucked into a bottle of limoncello and wound up an old polyphonic music box, before turning our attention to a bag of Modroc strips and creating (drum roll please)…


My bust!!!

After the ‘big reveal’ and a day that passed all too fast, we headed to a good friends house close by which doubles up as a gallery for the ‘Valentine Collection’. Here they display a number of amazing pieces throughout their rooms, including the courtyard of a Sardinian villa and an incredible perspex cupboard displaying a large painting by the man himself.


<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<BIG NEWS>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I’m doing a charity fundraising challenge in August to raise money for CALM – Campaign Against Living Miserably – a charity that is dedicated to providing support for men with mental health issues. To find out more, please visit: and donate where possible.

Robin xx

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  1. Elizabeth Varley May 23, 2018

    Hey, I still miss that Daihatsu Sirion! It was bigger inside than out and took me to some amazing places before it passed on to your disrespectful, er, care.

  2. Dan Q May 27, 2018

    Wait… a bottle neck episode? I always thought it was just a “bottle episiode”, because everybody was “bottled-up” together? Have I been saying it wrong my entire life?

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