The new chaux-chanvre (hemp straw lime render) walls on the staircase will take months to fully dry. They are no longer disconcertingly damp to the touch, but they are still soft enough to damage. This makes life a bit difficult when you need to install light fittings and stand on a ladder.
Stéphane decided that padding the top of the ladder would spread the load and prevent any gouging or denting of the render when he fitted the lights. He more or less got away with it.
The padding is an old pinafore of mine, made from a limited edition pure wool cloth woven in Geelong and given to me by my mother. It is one of many of my clothes from the 80s that have ended up in the ragbag because I am now a completely different size and shape. I can't help feeling sad when I see them because I put a lot of creative time and energy into those garments. For more than a decade from my mid-twenties onwards these clothes were a large part of my identity, a signature style unique to me. I sometimes wonder if I should have given in to sentiment and kept them as a sort of archive. Realistically though, they are not museum quality costumes and there is no one after me who will know anything about them or care. And yet... and yet... I am sad to treat them so disrespectfully. I feel they represent someone who no longer exists, but I'm not sure how important that is. Why should they not be put to use in this new life and be valued for that random little nostalgic frisson that comes with suddenly seeing them and remembering their story? Perhaps it is the memories and not the objects that matter in this case, as they are so personal to me.