Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A walk on the beach and a Molly maquette

Prompted by this and that around the place, I have almost got around to posting those blog posts I have been meaning to post for almost the whole five-and-a-bit years I have been blogging: about not having children, and about the double-sided Hohner harmonica I inherited from my Bachelor Uncle Jack-the-Only-Musical-Member-of-My-Family (I even took the photos for that one about five years ago).

Almost but not quite, and I wonder if really the urge to talk about, and the conviction of the importance of, these subjects, and others, are no more; if I were going to write about them and post it I'd have done it by now.  There's perhaps too much and too little to be said, and do my reflections and reminiscences, uncooked and unremarkable, really matter?  Perhaps, like Margaret in Howards End (I love my Kindle and all the free out-of-copyright books I am finally reading on it, but I must give a donation to Project Gutenberg...), I am 'passing from words to things'.  Though I rather doubt it. 

So, I went for a walk on the beach with my dear ones instead.

We looked at and across and through the water,

and saw a lot of squiggly things.

It did the heart good.  We have to keep Mol on the extending lead most places these days, because she becomes rather worried if we don't, and comes and asks for it, especially in wide open spaces, where she's always been a little uneasy and agoraphobic.  She doesn't see or hear very well, which makes smelling things even more absorbing and distracting, so she loses us rather easily, and tends to run back towards the car in a panic.  I tend to think of it as being like the invisible link between people and their daemons in the Philip Pullman books, or like a heartstring.


And I made a Molly maquette.  I used black paper to save time colouring it, and just scribbled on it a bit with coloured pencils.  I didn't want them all to be straight profiles, so tried for a kind of three-quarters view.  It won't, I then realised, work for the Three Musicians, as they all have to be facing the same way to stand one on top of each other's backs to look through the farmhouse window, and anyway, the dog in the story is an old working hound or farm dog cast out by his owners, as all the animals are - except the cockerel, whose fate was to be cooked and eaten - so Mol doesn't quite fit the bill for that, but I kept a pattern as a template which I can easily adjust and reverse.  It was small enough to scan. 


That'll suffice for now, there are pansies to plant and grass to cut and teenagers to coach.  I've a lovely new one of these, a 17 year old girl (I think I quite like 17 as an age, at least in others, I don't know if I cared for it when I was 17...) who towers over me with black hair and bright brown eyes who is overflowing with fun and a desire to communicate but desperately short of language to do so, and whose English teacher never invites her to speak.  The pansies are blue and yellow.


Zhoen said...

Squiggly lines and wiggly dogs.

I imagine Mol reads your movements through the lead, after so long.

I think 17 was a lovely age, the pubescence passing off, the adult world not yet too burdensome, just enough independence to feel hopeful.

Anonymous said...

Oh I love your Molly maquette!

Anonymous said...

So, so lovely. The maquette, the walk, the almost-but-not-quite postings, the many "squiggly" things. And this line in particular: "I tend to think of it as being like the invisible link between people and their daemons in the Philip Pullman books, or like a heartstring." Thank you.
- alison

earlybird said...

Lovely, Lucy. I too love the idea of Mol being attached to you in that way.

the polish chick said...

oh please do post on not having children. i'd be very curious what you'd have to say as it's a topic close to my heart.

wish i had a beach close to me - i love all those squiggly things!

Leonard Greco said...

The Molly maquette is quite charming, i have four dogs, I want to make a maquette of one them, the chihuahua, but I keep "chickening" out. You give me courage, you captured doggie joy on scraps and bits bound by brads, very nice.

NT said...

Your maquettes are wonderful!

Fire Bird said...

I love the maquette Mol's ears!

Jean said...

Oh, the Molly maquette,oh, oh :-) and I want to be on a beach, must go and find one very soon.

zephyr said...

i love, love the Molly maquette and this entire post.

Lorenzo da Ponte said...

The Mol, Tom and ripply sand photo is beautifully composed. She looks like Thursday's child, whereas Tom has clearly gone too far.

Given a 17-year-old "overflowing with fun and a desire to communicate" how are you able to restrain yourself from turning into Thurber's psycho-therapist ("You're my meat, Miss Prendergast.") But then perhaps her enthusiasms are soccer and Johnny Hallyday. There are some days when Rilke just doesn't cut it.

herhimnbryn said...

A walk on the beach with loved ones is always good.

Rouchswalwe said...

Lucy! You've made me reach for Mary Barnard's translation of Sappho's snippet:
If you are squeamish
Don't prod the
beach rubble

Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten is one of my favourite stories. I'll have a post soon to tell you more. The Molly maquette is lively and lovely. Love the ears!

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Usually a dog's the shadow...

Clive Hicks-Jenkins said...

Leonard... go make that Chihuahua maquette right away!

Lucy... you can make two-sided maquettes, so they can be reversed if you want to use them both ways, if you leave them in separate pieces, without brads. This is what i did on The Soldier's Tale. If you want to use the maquettes compositionally, as a process toward further drawing or painting, or as I have done, turn them into animations, then it's fine that they're in many pieces. But if you want to display them on a wall or suchlike, or frame them, then you'll obviously have to brad them and make duplicates facing the other way.

The Molly Maquette is a delight. Full of vim and verve. Congratulations. You're in the swing of things now.

Rosie said...

your student's mum is my singing student, and she told me what a wonderful effect your lessons were having!!! O god now I remember why I don't have time to leave comments. Google would like the complete works of shakespeare typed by monkeys to prove I am not a robot. Surely only a robot could read that phrase..

Lucy said...

Thanks all.

Z - yes, in fact looking back, even though I did a few daft things and wasted some time, I think I did feel quite good at 17, I'd slimmed down and was more confident, and life did seem exciting in a lot of ways. All the kids I've known of recent years seems nice at that age.

Re Molly's lead, once we got the extending one when she was quite little, I was quite lazy about training her on the short lead, though she did learn to walk to heel, better without the lead than with, in fact. The extending lead's length always seemed to suit us both well, and as she aged and saw and heard less well, she got very used to being on it.

Leonard - I too long to see the Meso-American chihuahua god!

Lorenzo - in fact she does rather like soccer, but also likes geography and travel, so football teams give useful ways in to discussing places in the UK; she has at least now learned that Everton is not in London...

Rouchswalwe - looking forward to it!

Clive - in fact one could have a double-sided maquette and reassemble it the other way with the brads, only I'm not sure it wouldn't mean a bit too much wear and tear on the paper, this is quite thing paper. I'll probably use the Molly template and adjust it a bit.

Rosie - that's really nice to hear - e-mail sent to thank you!

Lucy said...

...Oh yes, and those captchas really are a pain, aren't they. I'm wondering about taking cv off for a bit and seeing what happens.