Swings and Tangles

I went looking for my Uncle Rupert today. He died sometime in the 1970s and is buried in Mount Jerome. A pal at lunchtime told me how to negotiate the cemetery office so I gave it a go this afternoon. €2 got me a map, a number and a circle showing the general location of the grave.

Uncle Rupert was my mum’s half brother. They shared a father. Rupert was a big man with huge ears and a comb-over. A pioneer in artificial insemination for cattle. A smoker too, he liked to roll his own in a little machine with Turkish tobacco. Sometimes he let me roll one, as a treat. I remember him best in his flat in Bray, his living room adorned with heads of antelope, a tiger skin rug, an elephant’s foot stool and other mementoes of hunting trips in Africa . Him with a cigarette in one hand and a glass of whiskey in the other. Impossibly exotic. A widower, in the early 1970s he found a partner, Breda, and they had a child, Andrew, I think was his name. I have no idea what happened to them.

A cemetery worker saw me wandering around a bit aimlessly and kindly narrowed down the search a bit for me. Unfortunately, there is no headstone. And while there might have been a stone surround at some stage, there’s nothing left now.

This evening I returned to pistachio shells. I didn’t really plan these enough, and it shows. They were done with gouache on an acrylic background.

I abandoned the tree of life I started a few days ago. Although I followed some instructions, the cord, measured at 3.5x the diameter of the hoop was too short to be able to tie the required knots with. Frustrating. So, I’m doing something else with it, using macrame knots. It’s slow, working with such thin cord, and I’m not sure yet how I’ll shape it. It’s distracting though and that’s helpful at the moment.

While in the cemetery, I picked a sprig of lavender and this evening I used it to create an impression on some clay disks. Fancy that.

I also made an experimental pot. I kind of expect it to collapse overnight but I’ll let you know.

This was in the Guardian Review magazine. It’s called Night and Sleep by Evelyn de Morgan and was painted in 1878. Click on it to enlarge it. There’s something about this …

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