M says m and N says n…March malarkey and new nests


March malarkey and nice nests! 
Its only two and a half months since Glasgow Botanics looked like this,we were storm blown and muffled to within an inch of claustrophobia. The trees had been ravaged by roof lifting winds, the park was empty; even the squirrels had rethought the whole hibernation thing and shifted out to the relative safety of Hamilton park drive it would seem when the trees starting groaning and plummeting downwards. We made our way through the altered landscape watching and marveling no longer ‘roots down branches up’ as the child remarked.
Now its the tail end of March…it really was in like a lion and out like a lamb, and if these are the three days that March has borrowed from April as the old tale tells, then we’re in for a sundrenched Spring. We’re back in the botanics, Glasgow is in full blown Summer mode, semi naked gadjies, the green is heaving, the child is ill…..off school again, dragged out from a duvet nest, to alleviate my rapidly encroaching sense of ‘stir crazy’….I need to move, movement is so vital, it feels like stagnation does to our bodies and minds what it does to ponds but our drains and ditches are well initially well hidden! I make some nettle, liquorice and peppermint tea and cajole and bribe my reluctant child into the park and we find a quiet spot to eat some lunch and soak up some cholecalciferol before our sun deprived Scottish Winter levels make us any  vulnerable to any more lurgies! (ref for vit D research: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/140123.php ). We sit between within sight 
of two trees that fell vistim to the storms, now age revealed, we count the rings and imagine the fashions its seen promenade through the park, after my workshops last week with P.5 pupils stories of Victorian children’s working lives are still on my mind and we imagine the park as their new built Elysian fields.
Creating pictures with natural objects has always been a pastime in my family, my maternal grandfather was sculptor Richard Ross Robertson, I spent my mornings in his workshop insisting he sharpened chisels and set off sparks, as he carved figures from stories in dense sweet smelling wood, my father was a toymaker his first wooden box was created after a story I wrote age five about a girl floating down a river, my Mum has built marvellous mini garden structures with my child since she was old enough to hold a twig, I’m writing a new project plan for Glasgow’s Hidden gardens I want to create natural temporary art to illustrate stories with the parent and child group this time. Holding sticks appeals to toddlers it is their instinctive stance….I write in the park, we gather sticks, we  start building, blending species, weaving withies, my reluctant co conspirator eases into it, then enamoured as a nest takes shape she forms chicks from dandelion heads….those mini March lions yet to turn 
lamb like with drefts of time telling seeds. A bird is formed from beech 
leaves, the last to disperse like a letter from Autumn lost in the post, we 
wonder if the retreating squirrels forgot their stashes of beech mast and
 lure the pointy nut like store for prickly beaks and sleekit eyes .
School has not fully gone into retreat…we finish with nest written in sticks    and imagine how long our picture will stay when the wind is tempted to redistribute our bounty like a castle thieving tide, ‘its like art for squirrels and pigeons’ the child remarks, and she threatens to start constructing a coffee shop to complement or exhibits, but the daffodils are calling, and we are waning, so we find our way maze like through the daffodils questioning the hot summers day confusingly accompanied by leaveless trees.

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