Can’t get no peace this morning.
I try to go to the cafe to work with the sun that has broken through the Haar, but then I hear the grounds keeper playing his music super loud while also taking advantage of the sun to work in the garden. Then I hear a super loud banging, thinking it is the grounds keeper doing work on the other side of the wall, or opening the greenhouse windows, but I still see him out in the garden. Not sure what is going on, so I look up to see what seems at first like the rungs of a ladder being lifted against the building. But then I realize what I see through the cafe’s greenhouse roof are the back ends of two pigeons fighting for space on the ledge, or maybe it is a male trying to pounce a female, either way they are making a loud ruckus up there on the aluminum girders that hold the glassed in cafe. Oh my. Scotland is waking up to the sun. I maybe need to wake up even earlier, to really have that peace. 7AM is not early enough.
So today (next day) Lili asked me to wake up with her to go up the observatory tower so she could film the sunrise. So without an alarm, I woke up at 5, made a pot of tea and we hiked up the Western tower, which has an observatory roof where Patrick the last owner used to keep a telescope. The telescope is still here with lots of other objects from the house like Elizabeth’s spinning wheel, a musket, a traditional Scottish sword and many many paintings by past students of the art school. Alas the sky was not as clear as yesterday’s, but we did manage to get a little bit of pink around the remains of the Abbey in the distance.
I have decided to move to the cafe for my morning writing. It is a bit colder than the Heritage Dining room, but so much lighter and brighter to walk into. Much more inviting. It was a pleasure having the sun back out yesterday after 3 days of hazy clouds and rain. Today is back to cloud cover. We hope Friday will be clear again for a final bonfire together. We are nearing the end, and feeling it. Trying to finish all the projects we started in the studios. I plan to finally put the Thistle fibers I have been preparing into the food processor for blending into pulp. Still hashing out ideas for these Travelogues. I started an application to the Center for Book Arts. Still would like any ideas for an agent, editor or publisher to send a proposal to…
Emma and I are both working with Kombu collected from the beach. She was cleaning out the claws of the seaweed, which seem like decaying body parts with an inner structure that looks almost flesh-like where the skin has peeled away. While I am stretching the leaves over a framework of branches I have collected. They dry like translucent leather. Learned about this from Felicia and Earth Celebrations. I am also working on writing a recipe for mitigating monarch migration by processing milkweed into handmade paper for a new book EcoArtspace is publishing.
Yesterday we took a walk to the Mortuary Chapel that Patrick Allan Fraser built for his wife Elizabeth after she died. He even dug up the remains of Elizabeth’s parents who were buried back in England to re-inture them in this great tomb of a structure. It took 7 years to build, with all the same stone carvers that he hired for the house. Lili found it really creepy that he would create almost an exact replica in miniature of Hospitalfield House to memorialize his love and appreciation for Elizabeth. But it made perfect sense for a rich white man of the Victorian Era to immortalize his love for his wife, art and architecture in this bastion of carved red sandstone in the middle of a country estate graveyard.