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Posted by on June 27, 2013 in Design, High Cross House |

HXH: Day 3

HXH: Day 3

Two steps forward but definitely one (one and a half?) back.

Today was a busy day in the House. I haven’t been there long enough yet to see whether there is a close relationship between the weather and between the number of visitors, but I suspect it must be the case. Now that are firmly in the ‘summer season’ even if not high summer, the visitor split based purely on anecdotal evidence seems to be running about two thirds away-folk to one third locals. Anyone who is not on holiday counts as a local (are they sleeping in their own bed tonight?). I have no science to back this up, merely personal and overheard conversations.

I continue to hear lots of comments about the house being lovely and marvellous and ‘very modern’ (not bad for an 80-year old) along with the big BUT (but I couldn’t live here, but it’s not very practical is it?, but it’s OK for rich people, but it’s…). Rarely are these comments about aesthetics, which I find fascinating. Does this explain the plethora of ugly housing in the UK? Is an ugly house more practical than a beautiful one? We know from spending time in the Netherlands (which I have) and in Scandinavia (which I have not) that affordable beauty is possible. Dutch cities in particular seem to prize design, and even the most quotidian objects are clean and beautiful.


My own work continues to be frustrated. I eventually took two steps forward yesterday, managing to get working what I had utterly failed to get working thus far. But (as if so often the way with new technologies that have many unknowns) in the process of making one thing work I managed to break another which had been working. In order to get my red telephone working I need both things to work. So on Friday I shall be back to where I was at the beginning, possibly having to build the software install from scratch. This happens and I have to remind myself that it happens. Doesn’t make it any less tedious or any less frustrating. It always feels like other forms of creative practice (surely) don’t have to deal with constant returns to base, but I know it’s not true either. It’s the form of insanity we choose to indulge in.

Met my studio-mate Sue Smith today. I’m a great admirer of Sue’s work and we’ve known one another for years it seems, and yet we’ve barely had a ‘proper’ conversation. I hope we’ll find ways to work together over the coming weeks.