Notes … ‘I can smell the beck, that scent of water over rock with a hint of earth and leaves. I can smell the bracken, a rich and heavy scent that’s hard to describe in any other way except ‘bracken’ and comes laden with memories of summer walks, naps in the sunshine, children being small enough to hide in it, and a wariness of tics. I can smell the hard dry rocks beside and behind me, a raw neutral odour that seems to hold slowness and history, overlaid with the creeping of moss which gives off its own particular perfume – something between grass and water. I can smell the last of the sun on the breeze, and I can smell sheep, a waft of lanolin and shit that is so characteristic of the Lakeland fells and takes my mind to farmyards and long days gathering in flocks. I cannot smell the moths, the hundreds of moths that seem even more active now. But I am sure they can smell me.’
There’s something really satisfying about this canvas. Maybe it’s the word ‘whole’, which fills your mouth and suggests something complete. Or maybe it’s the timing; we have passed the year’s half-way point and we have a sense that the travelling, changing canvas is gaining its own momentum. It is beginning to carry us somewhere we hadn’t been able to anticipate.
The evening is warm and bright. We struggled to put the canvas up as the wind played in gusts, but for more than an hour the wind dropped completely, and we were able to sit, taking in the changing light across the valley, and thinking about the whole of life. There’ll be a blog at some point, but for now, just pictures.