The beetle strutting across the dead stag’s shoulder was a Dor Beetle, a type of dung beetle. I look it up when I get back to London. It is of the scarab beetle family and looks very much like the ancient Egyptian symbol. I decide to draw it on hand made paper, a drawing of its back and a drawing of its blue belly. I will make a scroll, though it is taking a long time to draw!
London seems very flat in comparison to the woods. I struggle making conversation with people, there doesn’t seem to be much to say. On the Tuesday I visit the garden a friend has donated to me (sort of). I dig up lots of stinging nettles. It seems like a waste to just throw them out so I decide to make nettle soup that evening. My hands get stung to bits in the process of making it, but it tastes alright.
There is some left over so I have it again the following night and now it tastes delicious. It also seems to have the effect of making me ludicrously happy. Rude Mechanicals are having a band meeting round Jowe’s and I just can’t help praising the effects of nettle soup and the wonder of the scarab beetle. I’m also hallucinating quite a bit, the guitarist Cos turns into ex member Phil, “Man from Uranus”, at one point and everything is decorated by exotic spiders. The wine soon calms that though.
Thursday night I volunteer at Treadwell’s bookshop and learn about magic stones in the medieval period.
Today, Friday, I feel like I have a cold. I can’t walk properly because I dropped a spade on my foot whilst gardening, it wasn’t painful at the time but now hurts a lot. I spend the day drawing the beetle and poplar tree branches which is very enjoyable. Why do I find drawing by hand so much more enjoyable than drawing on the computer?
On a stroll about Newington Green I smell a very strong smell like burning rubber. I look for somewhere to hide but all I can find in a hurry is a doorway. I curl up in a ball on the pavement and look intently at the ground for the pavement is doing amazing things. It has become something like out of space and is covered in very intricate colourful patterns, but the patterns are also people I know, not sure who, and then they are no longer people but gods. Only gods is the word I use for them now, at the time they were all powerful things that knew everything. And there was a snake like creature that swam in between them laughing. It is a different dimension, the rules that apply normally don’t apply there.
Anyway, I come round to several very worried looking faces starring at me. The pharmacist from the chemist takes me into the shop and gives me some water, when I have my words back I explain to him that it was just epilepsy and it has passed.
And that was my week. I’m teaching tomorrow so better go to bed now.
A picture of nettles and some variegated plant.