15th February, 2016 – 2nd March, 2016
After obtaining our guitars and setting up our own home in which to exercise, play music and engage in our hobbies and home habits, we began to settle into something of a routine in Southampton. One part of this was my weekly visit to the University of Southampton, Lloyd’s workplace, on a Monday when the farmers market comes to visit. On our first lunchtime meeting in this market we bought a goose egg to try, curious about the differences between it and a hens egg. The result was somewhat anti-climactic, as the only difference we agreed, was the gigantic size.
Lloyd began almost immediately to compose a myriad of new chord patterns and riffs on guitar, some of which can be heard in snatches in the video diary, and I got to work on lyrics for these. I also wrote a song of my own about the odd experience of Valentine’s Day in England.
Around this time we also experienced our first real frosty English mornings. I visited the Common on a couple of these mornings with temperatures in the negative to capture how it looked. Parts of the lake and all the puddles had a layer of ice on and the grass was covered in frozen dew crystals that lit up in a rainbow in the sunlight. These mornings had a feeling of new beginnings about them and a smell of cleanness.
I searched in vain for reasonably-priced loose leaf tea, including from online stores, which was a great disappointment of coming to what I expected to be a land of seasoned tea-drinkers and connoisseurs. I also learnt two methods of making fudge, neither of which I was entirely happy with. Meanwhile Lloyd was able to join the university health and fitness centre and finally return to regular archery. I began work on tea-themed letter set designs and went op-shopping for second hand paper sources.
Towards the end of February, despite continued frosty mornings, signs of Spring began to appear. Daffodils and crocuses flowered on the sides of the road and in any grassed area, and the sun once up contained some warmth. Our first snail mail began to appear, and this set us thinking about how we would contribute to friends’ birthdays from afar, with our good friend Emily’s birthday fast approaching in early March.
On February 27th we traveled to another history-rich part of England, the nearby town of Salisbury. There we saw Stonehenge, the coldest place we have been so far in this country but one of the loveliest as well. We also visited Salisbury Cathedral and an iron-age hill fort known as Old Sarem.
Emily had planned a special day of nature-art creation as part of her birthday celebrations, so we were able to do our own nature-inspired artworks to contribute. Lloyd wrote an air on the whistle entitled Amhran Foraoise (‘Forest Song’) which I put to some film of the Common, and then added a poem entitled ‘The Little World’, which can be heard in the film and read on my soon-to-be-added poetry page on this blog. On Emily’s birthday we joined in via Google Hangouts with singing Happy Birthday and cutting cake, and I followed her birthday exploits on her blog. I will leave this entry with the video we created for her, and a few pictures from my nature-ramblings.