Sunday, July 20

Clearing the decks

20th July
Going a bit further afield to check out locations now, photographing the life I find there. This weekend I’ve been heading up into the mountains and the cool watery places looking for good dragonfly habitats. There are beautiful places, areas where riverside flowers are crammed with numerous sorts of wasps and beetles, lilac bushes being visited by hummingbird hawkmoths, but not really finding dragonflies.

I’ve also been sorting out the Lovely House. The windows have all been open since I got here, I’ve put the mattresses out in the sun and heavy old bed linen is getting laundered. Strange and unmentionable things are discovered. I dismantle a mattress mountain, interleaved with the linen I find paintings, clothing, jewellery, tools. I open the cupboards and turf out incontinence pads and douche bags, old medicines. Every flat surface in the main room is crammed with knick knacks, which I pack into boxes. Strange and curious artworks have evolved like the brass bedwarmer hung on the wall with spare light bulbs stuck in it. There’s a big long bit of metal with a hook on one end which I think is a weighing device, it’s hung horizontally, I like this kind of stuff so leave it up. There are curious things in bulk, boxes of penknives, corkscrews made of vine stumps, bundles of ticking fabric and quite a lot of hunting-related curios; stiff uncured skins, implements for hanging carcasses and a furry handled carving set made out of the limbs of little deer.

The Lovely House seems enormous but only a quarter of the building is house the rest is animal housing, granaries, barns and storage spaces. Perfect for making places to keep insects and for filming. There’s a huge long attic-type space full of bits of bathroom fittings, rusty birdcages, old ploughing harnesses, clothing, books and lots of unidentifiable broken stuff. The debris I've cleared from the living spaces seems to belong here.

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