The email of doom. 'We're doing our fundraising auction and looking for prizes. I wondered if you might offer to do a sketch for someone.'
I refuse, pointing out that no one would bid and my humiliation would be total.
My virtual arm is then wrenched out of its virtual socket, so I end up at a charity do in Inner Temple Hall. The architect of my doom is Joanna Kennedy, chief executive of Z2K which campaigns for vulnerable debtors. Z2K is sharing the event with the Bar Pro Bono Unit.
Someone I know is sitting next to me. She asks, 'How's your life going?'
'It's going very well,' I say.
'What, your life?'
Joanna rocks up, beaming: 'You've had a bid for £X.'
I visualise some blotto Rumpole who's just done well at the bookies.
Then the quiz. I'm mostly rubbish but am the only person in the room to attribute a quotation to Kipling: 'And a woman is only a woman, but a good Cigar is a Smoke.' Look, he's being ironic.
Afterwards, my top bidder gets in touch. Rebecca Stubbs QC of Maitland Chambers. How will this work out? I hope she wants me to draw a cat or a house or something. I don't want the full beam of a sitter's attention.
I meet her in chambers. It's not one of the mouse-ridden sort. She has a lovely airy room with a good light. She is self-aware but not self-conscious. And she has solved my problem. Being a multi-tasker, she has decided to get on with her yoga.
Her style of yoga demonstrates how to be very successful in a brutally competitive field. She is driven. Gutsy. Powerful. She has stamina and total concentration.
I can just pursue my private struggle, chewing off my lipstick with the stress of it all. She tolerates my ink-spills (hastily mopped up) and my swearing. I leave wet drawings to dry all over her room until the next day. She doesn't mind.
If the QC market collapses she would do well as an artist's model. It's all about core strength and focus.
There will be two digital reproductions from this set of drawings in a small solo exhibition at Senate House (London) starting in June, held under the auspices of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and the School of Advanced Study.