Object World (51 - 100)


The apartment consists of one long narrow room that stretches for  the whole width of the building. There are four windows with flowery curtains down one side - and through the windows can be seen the apartment building on the other side of the street. It is a hot summer night - and so the windows are open - the sound of traffic and Mexican music can be heard from the street below. There is no new furniture in the apartment - with all of the furniture being bought from either the Good Will - second-hand stores -  retrieved from the street - or donated by friends. To the right of the first window of the room is a book-case that’s stacked with paperbacks and videotapes. On top of the bookcase are plastic boxes with Kodak colour slides. On the wall above the bookcase is a large colour print of the planet Saturn. On the floor next to the bookcase is a cat basket. There is a radiator below the window - and in front of the radiator is an old worn couch with a flower-patterned upholstery that had been found on the street outside the apartment. Sitting on the end of the couch - and propped up against the wall - is a cheap acoustic guitar. Behind the couch is a wooden folding chair that gets used when friends come to visit. In front of the couch is a coffee table with magazines and newspapers - including a copy of yesterday’s New York Times - and last week’s Village Voice. There is also a glass ashtray containing used subway tickets - and a portable cassette player/recorder.  Next to the couch - and propped up against the wall - is a black guitar case covered in stickers. Next to the second window is a small bed-side cabinet - and on top of the cabinet is a Ventolin inhaler - a biography of the jazz musician Art Pepper - a packet of condoms - and a thirties-style art-deco brass lamp with the lampshade replaced with a baseball cap. Next to the cabinet - and under the second window - is a double bed covered with an homemade patchwork quilt - and on the quilt is a cat curled up asleep. And at the foot of the bed is a small carpet on the bare wooden floorboards. Also on the floor by the bed is an orange laundry bag and an electric fan. Next to the bed is a large office desk - with one half of the desk being used for office work - with an electric typewriter - a back metal angle-poise lamp - a collection of plastic and cardboard folders - a stapler and a box of staples - and a set of red plastic filling trays with letters - notebooks - and packets of paper. Under the desk is a wire waste-paper basket - and a large black Samsonite suitcase.  In front of the desk is a wooden folding chair - and over the back of the chair is a man’s black leather jacket. On the desktop next to the bed is a box of Kleenex tissues - a flask of water - an empty glass - a small plastic bottle of eye-drops - a bottle of sleeping pills - a small bottle of aspirin - a packet of ibuprofen - and paperback copies Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert and Pattern Recognition by William Gibson. At right angles to the desk - and jutting out into the room - is a wooden bookcase - with paperbacks and CDs. On top of the bookcase is a collection of objects and ephemera depicting the Empire State Building - with a red baseball cap - a postcard - a silver-coloured plastic statuette - a snow-globe - and a novelty lamp. Next to the lamp is a plastic flowerpot with a plastic cactus.   Next to the bookcase - and under the third window is a drinks trolley with a video player. Sitting on top of the video-player is a small portable TV. Next to the video player are two empty Coors beer cans. Protruding from one of the cans is a pink plastic tulip. On the bottom shelf of the trolley is a collection of video tapes. Next to the trolly is another book-case - and which has art materials including differently-sized sketch books - rolls of paper - a tin of watercolour paints  - a jar with brushes - and boxes of coloured crayons and pencils. On top of the bookcase is a copy of a catalogue - entitled For Publication - by the artist Dan Graham. On the wall above the bookcase is a drawing of a nude woman in green crayon - and next to the drawing is a yellow sticky note with the words ‘panty lies’ written in blue Biro. On the floor next to the bookcase is a Korg MS20 synthesiser covered in a clear plastic sheet. Next to the synthesiser - and in the corner of the room - is a wicker chair that had been painted pink - and on the chair is a flower-patterned cushion that is covered in cat hair.  Also in the corner - and next to the chair - is a flower pot with a large plastic fern.  Attached to the wall above the plastic plant is a yellow sticky note - with the words ‘Where the red fern grows’. 

On the other side of the room - and opposite the couch - are three different shelving units that have been painted white. On the first of the units is an expensive stereo set-up - with a record player - cassette player - CD player - amplifier - and speakers.  The two other shelving units are much larger - and stretch from the floor to the ceiling. These contain an extensive collection of 12 and 7 inch vinyl records  - plus boxes boxes of cassette tapes and CDs. Next to the shelves of vinyl is a small bookcase with paperbacks and assorted objects. On one of the shelves are framed black and white photos of family members - colour Polaroids of friends - and a pile of dried orange peel. On the top of the bookshelf is a cheap white electric fan - and a black wicker basket with a plastic flower pot and rubber plant. On the floor next to the bookcase are heaps of paperbacks stacked up against the wall. Next to the books is a scratched and rusted dark green metal filing-cabinet. The bottom two drawers contain a man’s clothing - with socks - underwear - t-shirts - and sweatshirts. And the top two drawers contain woman’s clothing - with socks - panties - pantyhose - t-shirts - and blouses. On top of the filling cabinet are two small piles of books - and a plastic fake-wood statuette of the Indian god Krishna playing the flute. On the wall above the filing-cabinet are half a dozen album covers - with Metal Machine Music by Lou Reed - Bad Moon Rising by Sonic Youth - 8-Eyed Spy by Lydia Lunch - Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart - and Raw Power by Iggy pop and the Stooges..  Next to the album cover is a drawing of a square in black crayon with the words ‘Paper Cup’.  Opposite the bed is an old large wooden wardrobe painted white - and which contains coats - jackets - dresses - and jeans.  On one of the doors of the wardrobe is a selection of paintings by Edvard Munch - with a print of The Sick Child - and postcards of Ashes - Vampire - and Separation.  Next to the wardrobe is a small table - with a bathroom mirror on a stand - eyeliner - mascara - a small tin of Nivea face-cream - a pink plastic Alice band - a can of hairspray - a box of Tampax - a pink Braun lady-shave - a tube red lipstick - a man’s electric shaver - a plastic bottle of shampoo for dry hair - a box of differently coloured ‘novelty’ condoms including French ticklers - a broken Casio watch - a plaster head and shoulders of a forties-style woman - a white porcelain vase with plastic roses - a small white porcelain figurine of hands in prayer - a white lamp in the form of a hand holding a flaming torch - and a pair of heart-shaped Lolita-style sunglasses. Sitting on the back of the table  - and leaning against the wall - is a large mirror with a golden ornate plastic frame. There’s a yellow sticky note attached to the side of the mirror - with the words ‘Female mechanic now on duty’. Above the mirror is a print of Pablo Picasso’s painting Femme aux Bras Croisés. In front of the table is a red metal chair - and hanging over the back of the chair is a pair of grey pantyhose and a pair of silver-coloured panties. Next to the table is a chipped and rusty white enamelled sink - and on the sink is a soap-dish with a bar of Palmolive soap. On the floor under the sink is a cardboard box with cleaning materials -  including a bottle of detergent for dishes - Vim scouring power - and a plastic bottle of disinfectant. Next to the sink is a white enamelled bath with a wooden cover that is used as a makeshift kitchen surface. On the floor by the bath is a green plastic tray with cat litter. Also next to the bath is a large table - and on the table is a small refrigerator - and on top of the refrigerator is an opened packet of chocolate biscuits - and two white plastic figurines. One is of human skull with red eyes - and the other is of the ancient Egyptian cat goddess Bastet. On the wall above the refrigerator is a print of Mark Rothko’s painting ‘Untitled (Subway)’. Next to the refrigerator is a portable two-ring electric cooker and oven. On one of the rings is a coffeepot. Next to the cooker are two Mason cars. One with ground coffee -  and the other with brown sugar. On the wall above the cooker is a wooden shelf with a small collection pots an pans. Next to the table is cupboard - with half the shelves with cups - saucers - plates - and bowls - all in different designs and colours - and the rest of the shelves with packets of rice and spaghetti - different types of canned and dried foods - including vegetables - soup - and fruit - jars of pasta sauces. On top of the cupboard is a yellow plastic bowl with apples - oranges - avocado pears - and a packet of peanuts in their shells. Leaning against the side of the food cupboard is an electric guitar with missing strings.
By the wall at the end of the apartmentI is a square wooden table painted white. At the back of the table is a white plastic push-button telephone - and next to the telephone is a copy of Howl by Alan Ginsberg - and Flow My Teas, the Policeman Said by Phillip K. Dick.  There are two plates with the remnants of last night’s dinner - and two aluminium food trays that had contained meals bought from the Chinese restaurant that’s on the ground floor of the building.  Next to one of the aluminium containers is a children’s school exercise book - and written on the cover are the words ‘In Protest’. 


The studio flat is on the top - fourth - floor of a small block of flats - and through the windows is an unrestricted view of the city - with nearby houses - the city centre - the docks beyond - and on the horizon can be seen the lights of an oil refinery.  In the West of the cloudless night sky is the Grand Conjunction between the planets Jupiter and Saturn - and in the East is a slowly rising crescent  moon.  In the centre - almost due south - and high in the sky - is the planet Mars. The music coming from the speakers of the stereo is Morton Feldman’s Piano and String Quartet. Even though it is a cold night - the windows are open - and the sound of distant traffic can be heard.


On the table is a glass of water - a small white plate with orange peel - a pack of playing cards - and a large-format hard-back book of the Russian artist Olga Rozanova. The book is lying open - and is showing the painting Green Stripe - which Rozanova painted in 1917.  Rozanova died in 1918 from diphtheria.  Another open book is also on the table - a paperback - and shows a photograph by Alexander Rodchenko of Rozanova lying in state after her death.  She is wearing a long white dress - and her coffin is surrounded by white flowers.


On the bathroom sink is an orange-coloured bar of Wrights antiseptic soap - a plastic plunger bottle with lavender scented liquid hand-wash - and another plastic bottle that has been refilled with Dettol disinfectant. The different fragrances and smells - of flowers and chemicals - fill the room. 


It is night-time - and there is a heavy downpour of rain - the water droplets being light up by the streetlights outside the apartment.  The radio on the sideboard in the living room is tuned to the BBC Third Programme - and the music being heard is Elisabeth Lutyens’ The Tears of Night - which is being broadcast live from the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. Next to the radio is a bottle of gin - a bottle of tonic water - two glasses - and a plastic squeeze-bottle of Jiff lemon juice that is in the shape of a lemon. 


A young child is sitting at the kitchen table.  She is shaking a box of cornflakes - and listening to the noise that the cornflakes are making. She accidentally knocks over a bottle of milk that is standing on the table - and the spilt milk is now slowly trickling from the table onto the kitchen floor. 


All the ingredients for making Victory Pie are lying on the kitchen table - and include - potatoes - carrots - parsnips - turnips - onions - salt - and a bag of wholemeal flour. There is also a mixing bowl - a jug of water - a vegetable knife - a pie dish - and a wooden spoon.  The vegetables have come from a nearby allotment - have been scrubbed clean - and are waiting to be cut and sliced to go into the pie.  The gas oven has just been lit - and is slowly warming. 


Inside the piano stool is a collection of yellowing sheet music of nineteen-thirties’ and nineteen-forties’ popular songs and ballads.  There is also a hardback edition of Bach’s Forty-eight Preludes and Fugues - and a hardback copy of the Goldberg Variations. The stool is in front of an upright piano - and on the piano’s music stand is Arnold Schoenberg’s Zwei Klavierstücke Op. 33. On the top of the piano is a small pile of books - including Orchestration by Walter Piston - Thomas Mann’s Doctor Faustus - Elisabeth Lutyens’ autobiography A Goldfish Bowl - and Essays before a Sonata by Charles Ives. Next to the books is a metronome - a bottle of porter - a half-pint glass - and a freshly made cheese and pickle sandwich. Sitting on the far right of the keyboard is a scallop shell being used as an ashtray - and which is full of cigarette ends. 


One of the bookcases in the room is entirely dedicated to books on music and studyå scores - including contemporary compositions by Arnold Schoenberg - Anton Webern - Alban Berg - Bella Bartok - Paul Hindemith - and Igor Stravinsky. On top of the bookcase are the complete orchestral parts for Alban Berg’s opera ‘Lulu’ - and next to the orchestral parts is a signed dedicated first-edition copy of Arnold Schoenberg’s Harmonielehre. On top of another bookcase - which contains contemporary literature - including work by Virginia Woolf - Katherine Mansfield - James Joyce - Franz Kafka - and T.S. Eliot.  On top of the bookcase is a Russian constructivist cup and saucer by the Russian artist Kasimir Malevich. On the surface of the writing desk is a postcard from Arnold Schoenberg - and a letter from Anton Webern. Next to the correspondence is a German-to- English dictionary - and on top of the dictionary is a ration book. Scattered around the room are wine bottles being used used as candle holders - with one top of the music bookcase - one on top of the writing desk - and one on the dining table. Also on the dining table is a manuscript copy of Elisabeth Lutyens’ Chamber Concerto No. 1. On one of the walls is a poster promoting a concert of contemporary music in Moscow. And on another wall is a framed drawing of the English conductor and BBC music producer Edward Clark by the French composer Erik Satie.  


At the foot the bed is a leg brace for a polio invalid - and hanging over the back of the bed is a newly pressed floral patterned cotton dress. On the bedside table is a reading lamp - a framed black and white photograph of a teenage girl holding a golden retriever in her arms - a silver chain with a crucifix - a glass of apple juice - and a hardback copy of Emily Dickinson’s collected poems. On top of the book is a picture postcard of the ballerina Margot Fonteyn that is being used as a bookmark.


The dinning room of the bed and breakfast house is filled with the scent of furniture polish and from the vases of daffodils that are on each of the six small tables in the room - all in preparation for the hotel’s guests.  There is a white cotton tablecloth on all of the tables - and each table has two chairs. On one of the tables is a brown teapot with freshly brewed tea - a white jug with milk - and a glass bowl with sugar cubes. There are also two white dinner plates - each with a kipper - and there is a toast rack with toast - and a small white dish with butter.  There is a third chair by the table - and on the seat is an Ordinance Survey map of Eastbourne and the South Downs. 


A record of the first movement of Arnold Schoenberg’s Five Pieces for Orchestra was playing on the gramophone - but was interrupted by an air-raid siren. Twenty minutes later - and while the last record of Schoenberg’s composition was playing - there was the noise of German bombers flying overhead - followed by the sound of falling bombs. There was an explosion nearby - which blew in the windows  of the room - leaving broken glass and debris on the floor.


On the writing desk in the study is a copy of this week’s Radio Times - two spiral-bound reporters’ notebooks - a small box with pens and pencils - a wooden ruler - a rubber - and a quarto-size music notebook with staves.  The notebook is open - and a diagram of the different permutations of the tone-row from Anton Webern’s Variations Op.27 can be seen. The diagram shows the basic row with its eleven pitch transpositions - also the inversion - retrograde - and retrograde inversion - with eleven pitch transpositions for each - making a twelve-by-twelve grid of the forty-eight possibilities of the row. On top of the book-shelve nearby is a radio which is turned to the BBC third programme - and the music being broadcast is Elisabeth Lutyens’ Wing Quintet Op. 45. Coming from the kitchen are the smells and sounds of a roast dinner in preparation. 


Inside the faded tan canvas rucksack are two Marmite and cucumber sandwiches wrapped in greaseproof paper - a buttered bun in a brown paper bag - two apples - also in a paper bag - a bottle of ginger beer - and an enamel mug. In one of the outside packets is an Ordinance Survey map of Canterbury and the Pilgrim’s Way - a harmonica - and a box of Swan matches. In another outside pocket is an old army aluminium water bottle. Attached to the outside of the rucksack is a compass hanging from a short cord - and a St.Christopher medallion for good luck.  


The dining table in the living room needed to be cleared for super - and so the typewriter - box of typing paper - notebooks - and pencils were put onto a small side-table by the fireplace that already had a reading lamp. A sheaf of notes - which were the beginnings of a new novel - had accidentally fallen onto the floor under the dining table - and are waiting to be retrieved.


A gale-force wind is blowing - and is so strong that the caravan is rocking from side-to-side. The movement of the caravan is shaking the cups and glasses in the kitchen cabinet - and a bottle of milk has just fallen over into the kitchen sink. The fold-down table has been laid out for tea - with two bottles of ginger beer - a plate of cheese and tomato sandwiches made with white bread - and another plate with slices of fruitcake and two buttered currant buns. The wind has blown down the power line to the caravan site - and so candles have been lit. 


It is a cold and dark afternoon with the window blowing the rain against the windows of the studio.  There is a coal fire burning in the fire-place - and at times the wind blows smoke from the fire in the the room. On the mantlepiece is a collection of old medicine bottles - a framed photograph of the artist Paul Cézanne - an unglazed clay pot - a bottle of red wine - three unpaid bills - a pile of letters - a piece of green glass that had been eroded by the sea - and two black and white picture postcards - one of Cézanne’s painting ‘Les Pommes’ -  and the other is of the Elgin Marbles. There are no bookcases in the studio - and so books are stacked in piles on the floor. A number of framed and unframed canvas are lying against two of the walls. There are two easels in the middle of the studio.  On one is a nearly finished portrait of the writer Virginia Woolf - and on the other is a canvas with the beginning of a still-life.  In front of the second easel is a small table - and on the table-top is a loaf of bread.  Half of the bread had been eaten for breakfast and lunch - and the rest is being used as the subject for a still life - along with two apples - a lemon - and a glass of water. In between the two easels is another table with a frying pan that had been used for this morning’s breakfast - a white dinner plate with the remains of lunch - with bits of lettuce and beetroot - a bread knife - a saucer with butter - and another dinner plate that is being used as a palate - and which is covered with dried paint of different colours. Not only is there the sound of the rain - but also the rumble of the tube which runs underneath the house - and which causes ripples in the glass of water that is part of the still-life. 


The house was built in the 1830’s - and is situated on Greenwich South Street in south-east London. Nearby is the Roan School for Girls - and by the front of the house is a bus-stop with a queue of schoolgirls in their green uniforms. Also standing in the queue is Grace Wilson - who teaches at the school and is the partner of the writer John Wyndham. There are three storeys to the house - with the second storey on street level.  On the left side of the house is a long room which runs the whole length of the house - with a front window overlooking the street - and the back window overlooking a large garden. By the garden window is a small single-size metal-framed bed with chipped white paint - and on the bed are sheets - blankets - and dark green eiderdown. Under the bed is a case for an alto saxophone - and hanging over the end of the bed is a Norfolk-style jacket in black leather. On the bedside table is a bottle of Ribena blackcurrant cordial - a glass jug of water - a drinking glass - and a copy of My Life with Picasso by Françoise Gilot. Further along the same wall as the bed is an upright piano - and on the piano’s music stand is a copy of John Cage’s A Room - and behind this on the stand is Music of Changes - also by Cage. In the corner of the room opposite the bed is a small table with a four-inch Newtonian reflector telescope. In the middle of the room is a large wooden Victorian table. On the tabletop - and in a prominent position - is a ticket for a concert at the Royal Festival Hall of music conduced by Igor Stravinsky and Robert Craft. Near the ticket is a copy of the Melody Maker - a pair of scissors - and a clipping from the paper which includes a photo of the musician and composer Eric Dolphy and his obituary. Next to the clipping are sheets of music paper on which is written a work in progress. Above the musical notation is the title Sextet: In Memoriam Eric Dolphy. Next to the music paper is a black Rotring architects’ pen. Also on the tabletop is a Philips planisphere for latitude 51.5 north. Next to the planisphere is a portable typewriter - a packet of quarto paper - and the Hogarth Press hardback edition of Jacob’s Room by Virginia Woolf. Typed on a sheet of paper is the following extract from the novel: ‘Jacob’s room had a round table and two low chairs. There were yellow flags in a jar on the mantelpiece; a photograph of his mother; cards from societies with little raised crescents, coats of arms, and initials; notes and pipes; on the table lay paper ruled with a red margin—an essay, no doubt—’Does History consist of the Biographies of Great Men?’* There were books enough; very few French books, but then anyone who’s worth anything reads just what he likes, as the mood takes him, with extravagant enthusiasm. Lives of the Duke of Wellington, for example; Spinoza; the works of Dickens; the Faery Queen; a Greek dictionary with the petals of poppies pressed to silk between the pages; all the Elizabethans.* His slippers were incredibly shabby, like boats burnt to the water’s rim. Then there were photographs from the Greeks, and a mezzotint from Sir Joshua—all very English. The works of Jane Austen, too, in deference, perhaps, to someone else’s standard. Carlyle was a prize. There were books upon the Italian painters of the Renaissance, a Manual of the Diseases of the Horse* and all the usual textbooks. Listless is the air in an empty room, just swelling the curtain; the flowers in the jar shift. One fibre in the wicker armchair creaks, though no one sits there.’ Leaning against one of the legs of the table is a brown leather music case with the name of the owner embossed in gold letters. Near the table is an instrument stand with an alto saxophone and a flute - and in front of the stand is a music stand with sheet music of compositions for solo flute - including; Density 21.5 by Edgard Varèse - Syrinx by Claude Debussy - Sequenza I  by Luciano Berio - and Partita in A-minor’ by J.S. Bach. By the left-side wall is a 1930’s bamboo and wicker bookcase. On top of the bookcase is the Wesleyan University Press first edition of Silence by John Cage - a large format monograph of Robert Rauschenberg - a large format monograph of Barbara Hepworth - the score for Thomas Tallis’ forty-part motet Spem in alium - and a small pile of study scores - including: Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring - Agon - Symphony In Three Movements - and The Firebird; Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire - Chamber Symphony No. 2 - and String Quartet 2 in F# minor; Anton Webern’s Five Pieces for OrchestraF - Variations for Orchestra - Symphony - and Concerto for Nine Instruments. On the shelves below is a collection of Penguin paperbacks - including; Frank Kafka’s The Trial - The Castle and his collected short stories; Jean-Paul Sartre’s Nausea; Albert Camus’ The Outsider; George Orwell’s 1984; John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids and The Midwich Cuckoos; and six volumes of Virginia Woolf’s diaries. On the bottom shelve is a small selection of books on astronomy - a map of the moon - and a Philips map of stars of the northern hemisphere. Taped on the wall above the bookcase is the cover for a double LP album of Ornette Coleman’s Free Jazz which has a reproduction of the painting White Light by Jackson Pollack. Nearby on the wall is a print of Piet Mondrian’s painting Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red. On the wall above the mantlepiece is a framed print of Sir Christopher Wren’s plan for the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire. On the mantlepiece itself is a selection of postcards -  including postcards of the moon and the M32 Andromeda Galaxy bought from Greenwich Observatory - a postcard of Sir Christopher Wren’s seaman’s hospital at Greenwich - a postcard of the Cutty Sark - also at Greenwich - and three black and white polaroids of a teenage girl playing the cello. On the right side of the room is an old wooden bookcase with a collection of LPs - including; John Cage’s Indeterminacy and Sonatas and Interludes - an album of keyboard music by Thomas Tallis and William Byrd; Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring - Petrushka - and Agon; Eric Dolphy’s Out to Lunch; Charles Mingus’ Blue’n’Roots; Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire; Johannes Brahms Symphony No. 1; and box sets of; the John Cage 25-Year Retrospective Concert; J.S. Bach’s cello suites: Arnold Schoenberg’s complete string quartets; and Ludwig van Beethoven’s late string quartets. Next to the bookcase is a table with an electric kettle - a Japanese teapot - a cup and saucer - a glass jar with green tea - and a record player. The music playing at the moment is Anton Webern’s Symphony op. 21 - with the pointillistic sounds of the music filling the room. To keep the room warm there is a two-bar electric fire sitting in the fireplace.  


Steam is rising from the teacup - and butter is melting on the slices of hot toast. On the floor next to the table is a rucksack that has been packed for a day’s hike - and on the table next to the breakfast things is a map of the South Downs.  There is also a copy of Barbara Hepworth: A life of Forms’ by Sally Festing - which will be read during the train journey to Eastbourne.  


A 1933 edition of Art Now by Herbert Read is lying open on the desk - its yellowed pages showing a black and white image of a sculpture by Barbara Hepworth. Also on the desk is last months Flash Art - Meyer Schapiro’s Mondrian: On the Humanity of Abstract Painting - Minimalism: Art and Polemics in the Sixties  by James Meyer - a postcard by Lawrence Weiner - and which has bevelled  corners - three holes - and the text ‘(& so WEITER’) - and a postcard by On Kawara’s Monday Date Painting with the date ‘NOV.13.1978’ in white lettering on a black background. Near the postcards is Joseph Beuys’ multiple-edition sculpture Capri Battery - which consists of a yellow lightbulb plugged into a lemon. The lemon has started to rot - and so needs to be replaced.


A middle-aged woman is walking along Great Russel Street near the British Museum - eating her take-away meal with chopsticks - and dropping bits of food onto the pavement. 


There are arrows painted on the floor of the British Museum to guide visitors though the different galleries. Some of the arrows lead to a gallery that is closed. A green cotton face-mask had been dropped at the foot of the Nereid Monument - and also on the floor is a map of the London underground.  


In the café area of the British Museum are a number of tables with people having a snack or eating their lunch. There are small placards on all of the tables to remind people to social distance and to remain two metres apart from each other. One of the tables is empty. On one end of the table is a paper cup - and empty bottle of ginger beer - and an empty packet of salt and vinegar crisps. At the other end is a wrapper for a cheese and salad sandwich - a half-full bottle of spring water - and a small paper cup that had held an expresso coffee. Under the table is a postcard of the Rosetta Stone that someone has accidentally dropped onto the floor.  


There is the smell of baking bread in the kitchen - and on the kitchen table is a tray of freshly-made jam tarts - which are slowly cooling.  Also on the table is a bottle of aspirin - and a copy of William Wordsworth’s The Prelude. There has been torrential rain all day - the river nearby has burst its banks - and so sandbags have been placed at the doors of the cottage - both inside and out - to prevent it from being flooded.


In the middle of the cluttered and unkept room is a large old wooden paint-splattered table covered with sheets of cardboard which have been used as surfaces for paintings.  Propped up by a small pile of books is a painting in progress - with the beginnings of a seascape.  Also on the table is a collection of paint tins - a glass jar with brushes - a bottle of turpentine - a teapot - a plate with a dry crust of bread - a bag of sugar - and an open bible.


The gallery had been busy - with a large number of people viewing the sculpture of Barbara Hepworth - then it suddenly became quite - leaving the gallery empty of viewers.  Hepworth’s sculpture Tide 1 is sitting in a glass case. There is also a colour postcard of the artwork in the gallery’s bookshop. The sculpture had been carved from the wood of a holly tree - but the wood had split while Hepworth was in the process of carving. She abandoned the work - threw the sculpture away - only to be retrieved some years later by Ben Nicholson and given to the Tate.


The flat overlooks Cecil Court in central London - and the double-glazing of the windows is effective enough to screen out most of the traffic noise coming from nearby Charing Cross Road and St. Martins Lane. The music room is sparsely furnished - with a bookshelf by one of the walls with books on music and pocket scores.  There is a radio on top of the bookcase - and the music playing at the moment is Mozart’s Symphony Number One in E-flat Major. By the wall opposite is an antique Victorian table with a small sculpture by Barbara Hepworth of three forms in alabaster. There is an old electric fire in the marble surround fireplace - and on the mantlepiece is a framed signed black and white photograph of the actress Joyce Grenfell. Also on the  mantlepiece - and propped up against the wall - is an LP album cover of Joyce Grenfell’s comedy sketches. Lying on the floor in the middle of the room is an open cello case with a cello inside. Near the cello case is black metal folding chair with a small dark red cushion - and opposite the chair is a music stand with the cello part for Anton Webern’s Three Little Pieces for Cello and Piano


By the road in front of the cottage is an old weatherworn trestle table. It is made of plywood - but the wood has warped - with the layers of plywood coming apart - and the table is sagging in the middle. On the table itself is a selection of vegetable plants for sale. The pants are in small black plastic plant pots - and had been grown from seed  in the greenhouse adjacent to the cottage. Written on a small piece of cardboard is a list of the plants and their prices - and include: Cucumber 50p - Tomato 40p - and Spring Onion 20p. Also on the piece of cardboard is a note saying that all proceeds will be given to the local church’s restoration fund. On the table is a used jam jar with change and for people to put the money for their purchases.


In the middle of the studio is a sculpting stand and turn-table - and on the turn-table is a large piece of wood - at least four feet tall - which is a work in progress. There is a shelf under the turn-table with sculpting tools - including chisels of different types and different sized mallets. A large vertical oval has been drawn on the wood in white chalk - and which - when carved out - will eventually become a hole. Around the bottom of the sculpting stand is a small pile shavings and debris from the process of carving. The wood - which is from the African guarea tree - has a distinct and not unpleasant fragrance. Next to the sculpting stand is an old metal serving trolly - and on the top shelf is a working lunch - with a brown tea pot with freshly brewed tea - half a bottle of milk - a bowl of sugar - a white thick porcelain tea mug - a plate with a cheese and pickle sandwich - and another plate with a piece of cherry cake. There is a small table by one be of the studio walls with a record player - and on the record player is an LP album of choral music by Thomas Tallis. In the corner of the studio is a cat basket with a sleeping Siamese.


There are two canvases propped up against the front of a flower-patterned sofa in the living room. One is a still life - and the other is a self-portrait. Also by the front of the sofa is a small side-table with a plate with slices of cheery cake - a bottle of sherry - two glasses - and a Leica camera.


There is the open book on the table  - and which is propped up against a teapot. It is the first hardback edition of Virginia Woolf’s The Years - with the cover designed by her sister Vanesa Bell. Also on the table are the remnants of tea - with empty plates that earlier had cheese sandwiches - cake - and biscuits - but now only crumbs. The Radio on the sideboard is tuned to the BBC Third Programme - and the music playing is the overture to Wagner’s opera Siegfried.


Among the objects on the mantlepiece of the study is a framed black and white signed portrait of Margaret Thatcher. Also on the mantlepiece are two colour photographs - one of a young boy wearing cricket whites and holding a cricket bat - and another with the same boy in school uniform with a young girl in a pink party dress. On the writing desk is an Olivetti portable typewriter. Inserted between the rollers is an A4 sheet of paper on which has been typed today’s date.  On the left of the  typewriter is a hardback copy of Winston Churchill’s speeches - and a white plate with a slice of Dundee cake. On the right of the typewriter is a spiral-bound reporters’ notebook - a black biro - a copy of this week’s Spectator magazine - and a cup of tea.


Someone has just been brushing their teeth - and the smell of Euthymol still lingers in the bathroom.  There’s also a small spot of pink toothpaste on the side of the handbasin.


On the step of  the cottage door is a plastic bag full of freshly picked apples. Attached to the bag with a piece of sticky tape is a hand-written recipe for apple crumble.


A military jet has just flown overhead - quickly followed by the sound of a sonic boom. The noise is so loud that it has rattled the mugs and plates sitting in the little kitchen sink of the caravan.  Breakfast had been eaten half an hour ago - and there is a jar of blackcurrant jam on the table along with half a loaf of bread wrapped in a clear plastic food-saver bag. There is also a copy of William Wordsworth’s A Guide Through the District of the Lakes in the North of England: With a Description of the Scenery, For the Use of Tourists and Residents - and also a Penguin copy of Home at Grasmere  which is a collection of Dorothy Wordsworth’s diaries. The occupants of the caravan - which is parked in a holiday caravan site near Lake Windermere - have gone for a walk - and at the moment are making their way to Scafell Pike with the intention of climbing to the top later today. 


It had started off earlier as a warm summer’s day - but now  black clouds have appeared in the sky and it has started to hail. The hailstones are as  big as golfballs - and are making a racket as they hit the furniture and children’s toys in the garden. There are dents on the roof and bonnet of the car parked at the front of the house - and the rear window has now shattered.  For some reason the car alarm hasn’t gone of - even though the car continues to be battered by the hail.


Inside the faded khaki canvas knapsack is a green woollen pullover - a walkers’ guide to Windermere - and an ex-army aluminium water canteen.  There is also food for two - today’s picnic - with a pound of apples - two sausage rolls - two buttered currant buns - a bar of chocolate - and a bar of Kendal Mint Cake.  


Reflected in the mirror on the dressing table is a young woman sleeping on the bed opposite. On the bedside table is a flask of water - a glass - a small bag of lemon drops - a notebook - a pencil - and a copy of The Outline of History by H.G. Wells. The window is open - and the sound of the wind blowing through the trees and bushes in the garden can be heard. 


Someone has just been brushing their teeth - and the smell of Euthymol still lingers in the bathroom.  There’s also a small spot of pink toothpaste on the side of the handbasin.


Conditions in the lighthouse galley and living space are cramped - and there’s just enough room for the lighthouse keeper and his two assistants to sit around a small square wooden table which is set against the curved wall of the room. On the table is a chess game in play - with the chessmen and chess board. There are also two large empty mugs that had contained tea - a glass storage jar with powdered milk - a bowl with sugar - a teaspoon - a glass - a bottle of orange squash - and a jug of water. Further along the wall from the table is a kitchen counter with a microwave oven - and on top of the oven is a two-ring electric hotplate. Next to the microwave is an electric kettle and a toaster. Next to the counter is a small coal-fuelled oven which is used to cook the Sunday roast and to help to keep the galley warm. Next to the oven is a small kitchen sink - and above the sink is an electric water heater. Opposite the table is a small desk with a ship-to-shore radio - and on top of the radio is a small portable TV that is showing an episode of Star Trek. There is heavy storm blowing outside with gale-force winds - and waves are crashing against the lighthouse which are making it shudder. All the windows are closed - and there is condensation dripping down the walls.


Everything had been prepared by members of the Womens’ Institute - with two large wooden trestle tables covered with white embodied table clothes. On the first table is a stainless steel tea-urn - a pile - in the shape of a pyramid - of about forty white porcelain mugs - two piles of tea plates - a shallow wooden box with forks and tea-spoons - paper serviettes - two bowls of sugar - sugar tongs - and six bottles of milk. One the second table is a large range of freshly-made cakes and biscuits - including carrot cake - ginger cake - Dundee cake - strawberry jam tarts - black-current jam tarts - apple pies - and ginger biscuits.  Next to the cakes are  jars of home-made jams and pickles - including marrow and ginger - strawberry - raspberry - gooseberry - apricot - tomato chutney and piccalilli made with cauliflower. Apart from the sugar and flour - all the cakes and jams have been made from fruit and vegetables grown locally in members’ gardens. Next to the trestle tables is a metal clothes rack - with hand-made knitted garments - including jumpers - socks - scarves - and hats - all in different styles and colours. By the end of the day all the cakes - biscuits jams - and pickles - as well as everything on the clothes rack - would have been sold - except for a canary yellow scarf.

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