Culture

Week Thirty-six – One Day At A Time

By Bernie Bell

Pics by McB

September the Third……………The Return of the Fungii..….Shaggy Inkcap in the grass……..

September the Fourth…………..Mackerel from a neighbour who went fishing……….With tatties and broccoli from our veg patch – ‘shop’ carrots – but it won’t be long……

A simple meal of tatties from the veg patch and mackerel from the sea has been feeding folk for a very long time.

September the Fifth…………..Along the burn flowing into Sand Wick Bay, South Ronaldsay…….Banks of Woody Nightshade…….Beautiful – but……..BEWARE!

September the Sixth…………..The Inkcap unfurls…….And becomes a perfect little seat for a Pixie!

September the Seventh………..Yesnaby……Introducing this year’s students to Orkney – and Stromatolites……Young people….. Learning….A GOOD THING….   

September the Eighth……………”If you’re troubled send your mind out on vacation – let it wander like the wild geese in the West…”  from ‘Mighty Re-arranger’ by Robert Plant…..

September the Ninth………. Our new rug arrived, ordered from the Amnesty International catalogue  https://www.amnestyshop.org.uk/. It’s made in India from cotton and jute and is very, very cheery – would brighten up any day…..

Our Living-room carpet is wearing through in places and rather than replace the whole carpet which would be costly and bothersome we buy hard-wearing rugs as needed to cover the worn bits, which has a very cosy effect.   We usually buy them locally – the Quernstone in Stromness has good rugs – but as I’m not going into shops these days, we ordered on-line.             

Re. our rug strategy – a few years ago Dr Antonia Thomas of the UHI Archaeology Institute gave a talk which included the idea of ‘reverse archaeology’, and I emailed Antonia the next day……

“A good talk last night.  I’m now wandering around the house being very much aware of the imprints I’m leaving.  For example…….we had to get a rug to cover a bit of carpet which had become very worn.  This bit of carpet had got more worn than the rest because it’s just in front of the sofa, where our feet are.  But…..take away the sofa and the rug, and the question would be, why is that bit of floor more worn than the rest?  And why are some parts of the walls more scuffed than others?  It’s like archaeology in reverse!  Looking at what we leave and how that could be interpreted, instead of looking at what’s been left, and trying to interpret that.  Same difference, though, in a way.

The way we move around inside each room and the traces that leaves linked with moving around inside the old houses to see how they worked and how they would be lived in.  Sink to cooker, cooker to chopping board, sink to chopping board, cupboard to sink, fridge to cooker etc etc.  (Not that I’m obsessed with food!).

Interesting line of thought to follow.”

We are tomorrow’s archaeology!

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