Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tuesday and Wharram Percy

Well as we left home to go shopping in Pickering, the first thing we meet in the narrow country lanes was one of those enormous long lorries trying to turn around, he succeeded, the reason became obvious further on the lane had been shut and a diversion put in place.  Enormous lorries roaming the countryside in a lost state is not something those tiny (packhorse) bridges need.
Pickering is almost shut down with gas works going on the main road, making the traffic one way go through the high street, still the town is getting gas...  It made us take a different route out of town, heading for Kirby Misperton and the fun site called Flamingo Land, the large wheel can be seen in the flat plain for miles around.  We turned off and passed the 'No Fracking'  camp,  LS says we should go and offer our help, they stand at the side of the lane asking people to sound their horn. so we will see.
Isn't it wonderful the whole world seems in a state of disarray over Trump and his foolish signing of edicts, the latest banning Muslims from entering America.  The emperor will have no clothes soon. Our government petition to stop T from getting a State visit here has well over a million signatures, and the paper this morning has a cartoon of the Queen and Trump in a golden carriage, with the poor Queen scrabbling to get out.
One of the things I learnt about Kirkbymoorside, is that they have a small factory somewhere in the village which make those lovely round submersibles that go deep under the sea.  This fact was revealed by a neighbour who came round for some eggs.  J always tells his stories with a grin on his face and if the story is very funny dissolves into laughter.  Eggs have been flying out the door this week, wonder if people are worried about the 'bird flu' scare.  My three hens have kept up their laying all through the winter.  I give the money to the church, sort of rent for when the hens forage in the church yard.  No foraging at the moment though sadly.

And now to sun and summer a couple of years ago and a visit to the Deserted Medieval Village, (DMV for short) Wharram Percy.  Wharram Percy is the most famous DMV in this country excavated by Beresford, an earlier blog pays homage to it.

A mile long walk through the fields to the remains of the place, no road serves it, definitely a place where you rode on horseback or trundled along in a cart, but the ruined church tells of a certain amount of remodelling over time.  LS sat in the sun on a gravestone, sitting in the sun is his favourite occupation! The model farmhouse, tastefully restored, no electricity, no one living there either but a quiet sanctuary in the bustle and hustle of modern life.

Lives marked out in the landscape;


Sunday, January 29, 2017


Sunday morning, no rain by the sound of it,  Lucy has her bandage and head collar taken off yesterday and although she licks her paw seems happier for her freedom.  For me, no dog to walk still as she must heal the wound from the operation.
Books arrived yesterday delivered by our smiling postman, did take a photo of the books but my computer refuses to upload them, four of them are Ann Cleese 'Shetland' books and a Rickman one called 'The Magus of Hay' who I believe was the self styled 'king' of Hay-on-Wye - Richard Booth, it is a bit of a stunt really.
My mind is always planning to do something I want to go to the Rudston Monolith at some stage, think it is only about 30 miles down the road, I just love the juxtaposition of the largest monolith in England (28 feet) with a church, a wiki photo coming up..

"The place-name 'Rudston' is first attested in the Domesday Book of 1086, and means 'rood' or 'cross' stone, referring to the monolith. However, the name 'rud' derives from Old Norse ruð, meaning a clearing or pasture. So the place name could be stone in the clearing, Ruðstane. Nearby Howes of Duggleby and Ba'l (In Ugaritic mythology Baal is the lord of the storm; he bears a mace where Thor will grasp a hammer) also indicate Norse Viking place names rather than Anglo-Saxon origins."

We had a friend from the village come for coffee on Friday and to discuss her recent visit to Cyprus with her daughter over Xmas.  She had had a good time but mentioned that whilst wandering around a town, a car had pulled up beside her daughter and the man inside started a chat up line, 'hey I am looking for wife, etc, etc'  daughter after a couple of sharp words marched off, but it was unnerving for them.  Now I don't normally talk feminism and misogyny, they are those things the papers are better at.  But with Trump in office, that which is always been there has never really gone away.  Foolishly in the 60s when I asked as a  21st birthday present for a holiday in Greece, little did I know about leering men ;) but stoically, and by myself, because my friends could not afford the trip I visited the sites and ignored unwanted attention but it was pretty scary at the time..

And is it not marvellous in the clamour in the world Trump has started to meet solid opposition on many sides, the word RESIST is starting to work.  Full marks to Laura Kuenssberg questioning at the press conference, and clever Theresa for probably putting her up to it, I mean who invited Laura to ask the embarassing questions in the first place?

Laura Kuenssberg. There is steel in those eyes
What I have forgotten to state is that Laura Kuenssberg is the political editor of the BBC, which sadly does not always cover international news as it actually comes out.

 My favourite photo yesterday was Trump holding Theresa May's hand, the wolf leading the damsel to a fate unknown? don't think so..


Thursday, January 26, 2017


Fog, fog and more fog, we have stayed at home these last few days.  Lucy has been hobbling around taking her medicine, why do they hand out horse sized pills for dogs?  She hates the cold weather and will only go out to do what needs to be done and then comes galloping in skidding across the kitchen floor.

Look at those nails

Actually the sun came out yesterday afternoon, so I decided to start emptying the compost, we have a mole in the garden and the large flower bed has suddenly started to look very 'dug', little holes appearing in it.  There are moles everywhere on the green, in the fields, and I am hoping they don't eat all the expensive bulbs I have planted.  The thought of the coming gardening year always excites me, starting plants, should I get a greenhouse, or will plugs of tomato plants do?  My mind always dances around flowers and the buzz of bees, now sadly in danger.  Will we in the end have little oasis's of gardens in which the protected honey and bumble bee survive?
Finished my last Phil Rickman's book yesterday late afternoon, sat in my armchair opposite the church window and a frisson of fear went down my spine as I looked at the church and thought of the 'undead', a subject that Rickman had been writing about.  Thoughts of the last burial there, an extra large coffin apparently so the grave digger said.

Which reminds me of another grave digger I read about the other day.  He had found several beautiful Saxon brooches in 1977 but had not thought much of them, and so had put them in his lunch box with his address and name on them and they lay undiscovered in the vestry chest until 1980 when the new vicar realised what they were.  The story ends happily with the grave digger being paid a handsome sum of money for the treasure trove he had unearthed.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Granite Tors

My mind has been reminding me of our Cornwall visits, think it is all about nostalgia, but the other day I stumbled across the drawing below of Rillaton Barrow on Bodmin Moor.  Sadly I did not capture the name of the person who had drawn it, but you can see that this large barrow was found and excavated by miners, around 1835.  A dagger and the famous gold Rillaton cup lie on the slab, there were other finds but now lost in time, probably faience beads and some bone or ivory fragments.  The barrow was very large, pockmarked by other diggings, stone robbing.  This area is of course famous for the copper mined in the 19th century, and on top of the barrow there was a small pool of water in a hollow.
Bodmin Moor is a geographical surface of mine workings, water ways and quarries.  This barrow stands but five hundred metres from the famous Cheesewring Tor,   the Cheesewring stones piled haphazardly on top of each other a reminder of glacial happenings from the past.  If you climb this tor, half quarried now you come on the Stowe Pound settlement at the top (Early Bronze Age or Neolithic the settlement has not been excavated), something I haven't explored.  What drew to me this area was the three stone circles called 'The Hurlers' looking towards the Cheesewring Tor, I found the circles rather magical, and peaceful, set amongst the gorse bushes and stones, ponies and cows wandered around in this semi-wild place.

Rillaton Barrow upon its discovery

Three stone circles acknowledging Cheesewring Tor and in between the Tor and circles would have been the burial at Rillaton Barrow of someone important. 
The Hurlers are like so many standing stone circles missing some stones, pushed over by time  or cattle, some stones have little ponds around them, where cattle have used them as rubbing stones and there are reeds all over the moor.

Rillaton Barrow as it is today, Chief's tail and sometimes his whole body appears in most of my photographs.

Cheesewring Tor close up, see how the copper miners have quarried nearly half the hill away, at one time it was one of the biggest copper quarries in Europe.

Nowadays we can explain everything away with science, and commonsense, the Cheeswring is just a natural formation of rocks created by a glacier but in the Stone Age it would have acquired a significance as something special, stones built by a god perhaps?

What photos never capture is the weather of course, the wind that blows constantly, the rain that falls and soaks you.  The difficulty of walking on stony ground, uneven and boggy in places, sheep startling you as you round some stones, their empty stares as they contemplate your presence strange. Then of course darling little foals grazing near the mares, banded white cattle and you realise that life is lived to the full on this great open moor, it is definitely not empty, and that is not counting the people either who walk to see the sites.  You come across people who are part of the myth of the stone circles, flowers in their hair, strange clothes a whole artifice has erupted around megaliths, a pagan way of life.  Don't criticise, this is how magic is maintained through the centuries, an awareness of  'otherness', can be called religiousness, it topples down through the decades, the small posy of flowers laid beneath a stone, a crystal or a coin, we look for 'luck' everywhere for that which has no name, and for a brief time become one with something greater than ourselves.

Two stones deliberately placed on Stowe Pound, a reminder from the stone age past, look as if they are about to fall into the more recent quarry, watching over a changing landscape.  You can almost see why our early ancestors saw there own ancestors trapped in the spirit of the stones.

Sunday, January 22, 2017


Well as the potter, Carla Pownall, had used Western methods for Raku, I had to investigate, and the explanation is down below.  As someone who has used oxygen reduction in dyeing with indigo, one of the most exciting things is that when you draw the wool from the dyepot, it's ability to turn dark blue as you draw it very slowly from the pot into the air.

"After making the pots for Raku, they are bisque fired to 1000 deg.C. I then put various glazes onto them, all of which I have made. These glazes are designed to crackle. The pots are then re-fired outside in the garden in a kiln using a gas burner. When the kiln reaches the required temperature to mature the glazes, usually at approximately 1000 deg.C. I remove them, red hot and glowing, and drop them into bins containing sawdust. The sawdust immediately ignites and a lid is placed over the bin to exclude the entry of air. The pots, still burning and needing oxygen to do so, use all the oxygen they can take from the atmosphere in the bin and from the glazes themselves. For example, a glaze made with copper oxide (normally green) will burn away some of the oxygen which is present in it, thus becoming copper coloured. Areas of the pot left unglazed become black due to the dense smoke generated in the bin. This smoke is drawn into the body of the pot and into the crackles of the glaze."

In  Japanese methods the pottery was used for the tea-making ceremony historically,

Well Pat LS says, " just use the water that you get from washing rice (before it’s cooked) to seal the clay (it’s just rice starch after all). It takes a few months at least for the protective layer to build up. I can’t see any reason though why other natural sealants can’t be used. Such as fat, thinking of prehistoric pots here which of course thousands of years later still hold traces of their contents.  On the whole I think I shall not use water in the vases though.....
This photo taken from Carla Pownall site, the little pots remind me of those pots you would find in a Victorian dump.

But Bil and Ryes website has some other photos..

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Saturday - post-world

In the end one can only see the funny side of it as one chews on the horror of it all.  Narcissism and Nationalism trumps the day.

Friday, January 20, 2017


The noisy invalid, perfectly able to jump on the sofa or walk upstairs but she practically moans all the time!  Back to the vet tomorrow for bandage change - joy!  God knows what it all will cost.

Went to the gallery yesterday and I bought these two vases, I had seen them months ago, or similar, and fancied single roses in them, one problem is the inside  which is porous, so water penetrates through, LS says rice water should seal them.  Anything I fancied, yes but too pricey, small jewel like painting of birds and flowers, just love the use of gold in paintings....

Changeable weather;  Today, the day of America's fate;)  LS said this morning it may not be so bad after all (think he was trying to cheer me up) it will be a bit like the 1960's, things will be upended something might come out of it............

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wednesday 18th (two days to go ;(

Well due to a large area of depression I have been quiet, the weather is the dullest grey imaginable.  But things do happen, yesterday we went to Helmsley for a cup of coffee at the Walled Garden cafe by the castle, unfortunately it was closed, but found a lovely little cafe in the town centre, dog friendly, and good coffee, somewhere we shall be going back to.  A few tourists mooched around Helmsley and I bought some gruyere cheese from the delicattessen but no emmenthal cheese for fondue.  There are things missing from this part of Yorkshire and also aubergine is one of them.

We had been to the vets, Lucy has been limping around with her old war wound, on the pads of her foot.  The vet said it was a common occurence in cocker spaniels, so tomorrow she goes for a small operation on her foot and to have her teeth cleaned.  LS said 'wow, we have a whole day off from her' our mad as a box of frogs silly dog, but we will both be worried ;)  And what a commotion there will be after the operation and having to keep a dressing and sock on her!

Also just finished Carr's A month in the Country,  the jist of the story is about a young man just back from that terrible first World War, he is paid to restore an 500 year old painting in a church.  He sleeps in the belfry of the church and has a friend Moon who is an archaeologist and is digging for the grave, in an adjoining field, of a knight killed about the same time as the painting.  Our narrator uncovers one of the most common paintings of the time, The Day of judgement, those ascending and those descending, and amongst the people is a prominent person with a scar on his face.  He is villified at the time by the villagers, and is a bit of a mystery.  Of course as the book ends the person in the grave that Moon uncovers turns out to be him, they find a Muslim crescent on his chest - our knight is a heretic, sold his soul to save his skin.

St.George and the slaying of the dragon on the left and St.Christopher on the right

It reminded me of Pickering church with all its vast walls of paintings, the stories of what happens to the wicked writ large in paint, I have written about these paintings in a earlier blog, they remind me of the picture books you read to young children.  The tones of morality of course are not for children but naive people who could not read.  It struck me that Banksy is the street artist of our lifetime, his morality shines out like a beacon on street walls, we are reminded in vivid terms what really makes the world turn around....
Too many Banksy's to choose from. Ironic.

Saturday, January 14, 2017


Could we see your passport sir. This is the United Fields of Donkey Land (UFDL) and although we allow the free movement of animals (including humans) throughout the UFDL, a small contribution to our carrot coffers would be appreciated.

LS sent it me last night, the donkeys live in the village of Minions in Cornwall by the way, not too far away from our friend Sanctuary, and sadly we did not have any carrots....

Just a video against fracking from my favourite singers, who are definitely getting older but still bounce to a veritable anti-fracking song in Sussex.... If you want more go to 'Seize the Day'
but for 'Frakka Hakka try....


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wednesday 11th January

the river bank slightly disintergrating
The wind is blowing dried leaves round the garden, it is not gale force at the moment, maybe later.
Yesterday we went out to coffee with friends in the village, J had ordered sale books from Folio and they arrived in two boxes whilst we were there.  He has this collection, not sure he reads them all, though he says he does.  LS collects as well, pretty as they are, I have the fairy tale books, books are for me something to read, their outward appearance is not a matter of vanity, perhaps that sounds snobby when it was not meant to be.
Today, there is a funeral in the church yard, the grave is near the house, the grave digger came yesterday to dig the hole, the heap of soil looms large near the wall, must admit that this is the first time a chill went down my spine,  expect it was the nearness; as it is only local people that end up in the church there are hardly any burials each year.
The events committee met on Monday evening, LS is a member we are to have the quiz night on Valentine's day, and the barbecue in June.  LS wants more events in the church but it seems you have to belong to a different committee for that.  Funnily enough on Saturday the person who mows the church yard came down  to cut the branches of the great yew that overhangs our pathway and it is under this yew that the burial will take place.... 
Saturday we had gone to the pub and fell in talking with a couple, Shawn the youngish man lived in a static near to the pub, and it turned out that once his family had owned it, but due to a family debt it had been sold to a cousin and then of course sold on.  My mind immediately springs to the fact that the young cannot afford to live in their ancestral places because of the ridiculous cost of houses, there are about two dozen houses in the village, 3 bungalows are for the elderly (presumably what in the olden days we would call council) a pair of semi-detached next door to the bungalows again look like council, and then the rest of the village. Cottages (which of course are always highly priced) the big properties and our three new houses, all built with profit in mind.  There is something not right in this country allowing the price of houses to get out of hand, but there we all  rush eager to fund our old age, perhaps decent social pensions would not go amiss.......
The government are talking about 'garden cities' once more, and are probably casting their eye to prime development spots in our protected countryside, here I am talking about virgin unbuilt land such as the moors, but of course the reason why is because certain people in small towns and villages do not want 'attachments' of modern developments in their pretty villages, sometimes we get very territorial and we need a way to get round all this.

So I have one book on loan from J, looks interesting, set in Yorkshire in a church.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sunday memories

Capturing a moment in time a few years ago, maybe I will probably never see this walk again out on the racecourse at Lansdown in Bath, but for a moment the world was heavily crystallised into cold white frost and it became a wonderland.  There are moments of perfect beauty that nature will unfold for us and we occasionally have the privilege of participating in - but it was very cold that day.

This was  my daily walk with Moss I would follow the line of trees, sometimes my old buzzard would be there, and I would brood that what lay below the racecourse were  Bronze Age barrows, lives lived thousands of years ago.  It was here at the beginning of the 20th century the Lansdown gold 'sun disc' was found, nothing terribly spectacular, some speculated that it was the base of a drinking cup, perhaps a bit like the Rillaton gold cup in Cornwall.  

The racecourse was on high ground, and the 'edge' of the Cotswolds ended here just outside Bath, so the barrows looked over the valley to the Severn Estuary and Wales.  Yes you could even see the two bridges that crossed the estuary and if the day was clear enough you could look in the opposite direction to Avebury a mere 30 odd miles away.  You would not see the stones of course but that ugly Lansdown monument to a lord who had pretensions to 'owning' the land as far as you could see - as if!

The racecourse was also the place for a fair in the 19th Century, I can just imagine the people of Bath hauling themselves up the steep Weston Lane to partake in the festivities.  Moss who you see in the last photo, was my companion, though until Suki got too old, she would also accompany us.  Suki was scared of the hot air balloons that lifted into the air, often on early on a Sunday morning.  I had seen them rising from the city and they would head for the racecourse occasionally coming down. The basket would hit the ground several times, and then would tumble over, people hanging on, no one seemed to get hurt and you could almost feel the palpable feeling of excitement and possible relief to be on terra firma, the recovery jeep would have been following to transport them back.

Sometimes we would wander  up to Kelston Round Hill to me a mystical place, a rounded 'tump' in the middle of the landscape, the fifth photo down.  Deer would be in the fields and the little muntjacs that haunted this part of the Bath landscape.  I suspect that one day the Bath racecourse will be built over, its last traces of prehistory obliterated by more modern needs, but what I will remember of that place is finding the 'wild' remnants of the landscape. the place where the deer slept and old walls tracing a past history, and even old megaliths.

Also of course, the ghost stories someone told me of the 'Roundhead' soldier that marched down the path one evening, a Civil War escapee from the battle  at Langridge.  I have traced the 17th century banks and ditches of this war, stopped in solomn silence to read  on the notice board of one Royalist friend fighting and seeing his old friend a Roundhead killed.  My ghost, I kid you not, was he real? was spied early one foggy Sunday morning a Scottish man complete with kilt and hat walking along the path, Moss went berseck as first the hat appeared and then the kilted man strode into view through the fog and he strolled by with a pleasant 'good morning'!  Maybe he was just out for an early stroll I will never know...

Kelston Round Hill

Moss and co

Saturday, January 7, 2017


Yes the wheelbarrow did arrive, always look forward to spring after Xmas ;) Also apart from some wool arriving, this for my grand daughter, she wants a gray blanket knitted with large needles, apparently you can knit with your arms according to her.  The third thing to arrive was a box of tea, we have both given up on teabags but unfortunately the supermarkets have given up on loose tea.  So nowadays I send off to Twinings in Belfast for a dozen packets of 'English Breakfast' and half a dozen 'Bergamot'.
My tea makes a remarkable journey which I can view online via the tracking.  Leaves Belfast friday night, arrives at the West Midland airport, trucked to the depot there, makes the long drive down to Teesside dept, where it then arrived at our house lunchtime.  And that of course is not even calculating the time it has been picked in India? processed and then sent to Ireland for packing, what would we do if the world suddenly stopped and yet of course that is exactly what is happening to people in Syria, so I should be very grateful to the commercial world I rely on but can do little for those people caught up in war....except nag for better conditions for them.
Well in my small humdrum world, I have finished the third Rickman  - The Remains of an Altar, rather bloody murders, Watkins (author of The Long Straight Track) John Mitchell (dabbles in esoteric things) and Elgar, made their appearance in one form or another.  Rickman is so clever blending history, and just possible, might be true, fiction together that one hardly knows what is truth and what isn't..
A neighbour turned up yesterday afternoon, going to Tennants the auctioneers today to bid on something, not sure if I could stand around in auction rooms for hours waiting for something to come up.  He did say that they have in their foyer, a whole series of the original paintings for the saucy postcards we all used to read with such delight, but without the funny quips underneath, which are place alongside though.
Poor old chickens are in till 28th February, more or less guessed as much, the strictures are more strict now by Defra
"We have taken several actions to reduce the risks - to help protect poultry and captive birds from avian flu. If you keep poultry – whether on a commercial scale or simply a small backyard flock – you are now required by law to keep them “housed” (under cover and kept separate from wild birds).
This requirement (the Prevention Zone) will now be extended until 28 February 2017. We have banned gatherings of poultry across the UK."
It seems that the spread of the Avian flu in France is resulting in the whole culling of wild ducks in some districts, and various cases are starting to appear in this country.  Though I notice that the Chief Vet has said you can let them out for cleaning for a short time....

Friday, January 6, 2017

Friday, the day the wheelbarrow arrives!

Early morning and  the dog is crashing around downstairs, she had a 'freaky' day yesterday and it has left her full of energy.  Not so me, a migraine all yesterday has left me washed out....
Another birthday will turn round on Monday, my choice of meals out has been fish and chips, strange choice I know but I miss the Silver Street chip shop just round from the old cottage in Whitby.  We should be exploring the town whilst the summer visitors are away, but only go in for  shopping days...
Sometimes I think to change my personality with a new batch of clothes,  Gudrun is a possibility but even I could not wander round in brightly ethnic clothes layered one on top of another, and of course for a muddy stroll in the country they are not exactly practical, there again amongst the Goths of Whitby I would hardly strike a different note........
The day before the headache I had been studying Orkney, prodding my consciousness as to whether one could live in such an environment with that windy stormy weather that is so capricious and then in plain little four square houses with no trees, that would break my heart.  The landscape has its own beauty, but the act of living where everything has to be fetched from the mainland and fresh vegetables must be at a premium would be difficult.  A map shows how scattered the islands are, prehistoric burials and probably settlements all perched on the edge of the land next to the sea.

National Geographic map

Yet these faraway flung islands in Scotland are now taking centre stage as the Neolithic centre of Great Britain, the two  circles that encompass the Ness of Brodgar settlement point to a way of life that is maybe not  sophisticated but must have been very well organised.

Wiki @ S Marshall - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Has Stonehenge been shunted off its podium, cannot answer that one but it is later in date and of course somewhat different, and if we must look on competition as the driving force of mankind perhaps they did it better in the far North in the early stone period than they did in the South - now that is a turn around for the books...  Of course diet might explain it, next to  bountiful water plenty of fish and animals to hunt on land, cattle of course.  Not forgetting that there was more land around to move from the continent across those wild running seas.

But no matter how much you look at the map, compared to the great bulk of the rest of our island, it was the very tip of the land mass these people settled.  What pulls my heart is not the archaeology of the place, but the ruggedness of the land itself, the rocks, the stones erected so labouriously.
The exquisite corbelling of the Maes Howe tomb, surely an architectural wonder of the world, though I notice it has been restored, in the 19th century? so many questions.....

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A nostalgic look back

Early 14th century print of mounter

I have been uploading photos to the new external hard drive and came across one called The Studio.  A few years back I had taken photos of LS working on one of Michael's scroll which was in a pretty damaged condition.  Now LS was a conservator before he retired, one of the reasons to retire because of the tediousness of bringing scrolls back to life.  A few days ago LS had bid on a print of a 14th century mounter, which was successful and it made me think of him working.
The lady below is a 'lady of the night,' hence the tissues in her mouth, the scroll is pretty crumpled, and you can see in the second photo down, the strips of thin paper to reinforce the creases, all had to be taken off and new ones applied.  The use of water on scrolls to remove the fine tissue backing papers is usual, and the reverse procedure of putting on new tissue papers damp and tamping them down with a fine brush the next part.  All in all on your knees, typical Japanese style is hard and somehow LS had fallen out of love with conservation!  Michael was a great collector of scrolls and icons, he brought to the house once half a dozen large boxes of icons, mostly Russian, which had been in storage for 30 years, all unpacked and then packed to go back into storage.


removing fly muck

Michael is helping with the tedious job

all silks removed

Finally restoring detail to the scroll
 One of the things I delight in are the boxes of dyes and minerals that he had collected over the years, some of the paint materials used are precious such as pearls and turquoise.