2nd October 2010
New Forest, Hampshire, UK.
If there’s someone qualified to talk about family, – the potential horrors and possibility it’s Rachael, who is a brilliant social worker for abused young people. Instead of that she’s using her own child (within) and we’re playing conkers (and apples). We’re in the new forest, and it started raining as we mounted the battle branch. I thought to play conkers with an old school friend – one I played conkers with 25 years ago, but he was up to his eyeballs with work and Rachel seemed like the perfect replacement, what with her ‘juvenile’ spirit, and the new forest a fitting location, not because it’s rammed with conker trees, (because it’s not – we had a hard time finding some), but because it’s a famous old wild wood I grew up near to. (does anyone know new forest history – or conkers history). The new forest isn’t particularly new at all. It’s a proper English forest with knarly (gnarly) old oaks and dark boggy corners. There are ponies hanging around too – mostly in the open heath-lands and fern and bracken expanses. So it’s raining and the sun is going down. For these reasons it feels a bit rushed and we’re sticking to the task of seed and fruit warfare, rather than chucking in a bit of family matter.
I shouldn’t say this but in a way we’re ramming wool through tree eggs, or embryos. Nah … they’re seeds. Incidentally – this wool has been taken from a basket of the stuff that will be tied into a rug. A skill my Norwegian grandmother passed on to my mum. There had to be a family connection somewhere. When my grandmother died at age 94, she’d only recently stopped making these things. I got the family to photograph the rugs gifted to them by her. The photos have been sat on my computer and it was doing this conker challenge, and needing string (all that I found was the coloured wool) that’s prompting me to put the photo’s together. She was a kind of matriarch who held the family together in some ways, so here’s a picture of her rugs scattered throughout the family. (I’ll add the montage here when it’s done). It’s a pity wool doesn’t grow on trees for an extra dimension bringing it all – should I say tying it all together.
I ought to mention the apples were maggotty (maggoty correct spelling) or stunted so no real waste of food was performed. I’m sounding so green pious. So apart from stealing a trees children this was jolly good wholesome fun. Smashing the apples was specially satisfying. Recommended. Maybe tomatoes – or watermelons next time. But I promise to eat the exploded pieces off the floor. Get Geoff Capes or a circus strong man involved … or my big cousin …. but maybe not use wool for that. (thanks to Paul ____ for being photographer).