Wednesday 6 July 2011

The Varnish of Impedence

Typical, isn't it - just when you've got three different paintings on the go at once and you really want to work on them, you find you can't because the work table has been dragged outside, sanded down and covered in wet varnish.  Hmph.

I had a rotten sleep (or lack of) last night, and I'm barely awake enough to write a coherent sentence.  (Not sure what possessed me to think I could paint coherently.)  My dreams were profuse and pointless, and among other things they involved a shower room with a kitchen-sink waste shredder in the floor, a moment where I relived a minor event from a few days ago and then realised in-dream that i was reliving a past event in a dream (that was a seriously bent piece of metaphysics), and a failed attempt to navigate a really badly designed Portal-style test chamber.  Then I woke up, forgot all the rest (which there was a lot of) and then wished I was still asleep.

I've got some recently-acquired snail shells sitting on the kitchen windowsill waiting to be cleaned.  So I'll go and clean them and see if any more writable thoughts occur to me while I'm at it.

*Goes and cleans shells*

While cleaning the shells, it occurred to me that I may as well talk about shells for a bit.  The ones I've just been cleaning up are mostly Cepaea nemoralis, alias Grove Snails or Brown-Lipped Snails.  My interest in collecting shells in general, and my soft spot for C nemoralis and the very similar species C hortensis (White-Lipped Snails) in particular, date back to around 1994, when I found an empty snail shell in the back garden and decided to keep it.  It's gone from there.

For a few years I collected more exotic species by buying them, but more recently my collecting habits have gone native again, and among other things I've been gathering shells off the beaches in different parts of the country where we've been on holiday, which has turned up some interesting results.  E.g. the winkle shells were nearly all yellow off Guernsey, nearly all black off Northumberland, and a surprisingly broad range of colours in the Menai Straits; while my clams from the Sussex coast are much more robust than ones from Cornwall.

As an unrelated aside: I came across an interesting word in the King James version of Leviticus this morning: "beeves".  As in, "...whether the offering be of the beeves or of the sheep or of the goats..." - so by cross-referencing it against other translations, and with other words like "beef" and "bovine", it seems to mean "cattle".  So there we go: my random archaic word for the day.

So now I've managed to write a fairly longish post where only the first couple of lines have anything to do with the title.  But I like the current title anyway, and I can't be bothered to change it.

- The Colclough

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