Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Granny-sitting Chronicles: Week 8.
In June 2013 I moved to countryside with my elderly aunt to run a "Grannysitting Expedition". During this time I have been taken pictures more or less constantly. I'll be posting these picture chronicles one week at the time. Previous week is in this post.
The following moments are from August 10 - 16.
When another rain wave came, it felt as if the summer was done for for good. Soon it turned out there were plenty of warm days ahead. Still, it seemed that some regular summer works were drying up. The berries still left on bushes were past their edible state, there wasn't much overgrown grass to scythe down any more, and all the firewood and scraps were mostly stacked and tidied. I was beginning to worry what would provide that activating nudge, the "work that needs doing", for going outside each day. Then the leaves started falling and the worry was no more. Meanwhile I channelled some of that exploratory spirit indoors, setting up photo-sessions for household curiosities from Soviet era and before.
This was also the week we built the fire pit. Our family was already quite aware that the aunt had made it a habit to burn her unwanted clothes. For one, the neighbours reported what they'd seen when she was alone out there; mostly she just kept bragging about it. During our stay she had also repeatedly expressed her disdain towards certain garments and declared they should be burned (she already has a "place up there" just for that). I had managed to redirect those urges so far. Until one particular red shirt came around. (She has a thing for red clothes in general - on at least three separate occasions she has "found" some new red shirts from unattended laundry piles.)
Taking a trip to town, I'd brought back some stuff I figured could serve well out here. She liked the shirt and put it on right away. A little later I noticed she was tugging at it, visibly bothered, soon after bundled it up and stuck into the rainwater tub (in an act of - I am almost convinced of it now - pre-meditated drowning). I still hadn't figured out what was going on and arranged the soap'n'bowl for some laundry action of our own. When I saw the scorn on her face as she kept tugging the shirt on the clothesline, though, I knew - she was holding grudge against that shirt.
The next day everything seemed calmed down. There was a moment where she seemed to take a little too long for her regular garden patch patrol round - but she reported back with some berries and my initial visual inspection of the area revealed nothing suspicious. Later on when my dad came over for some electrical works, she happily blurted it all out to him: there was this "bad shirt" she didn't want anymore and she'd taken it "up there", she has a patch over there for that where she takes all bad clothes, and she took great care to burn it down, and she had to start over a few times, and she can even give my dad his own box of matches for she has plenty. Double checking the garden area revealed a faint path freshly mowed in the weeds and the neat little charred patch where the path ended.
Realizing that sometimes she just wants to see the world burn (and my best efforts won't be enough to completely deter that), I decided to create a containment area where she could do that safely. Scouring the hidden treasures at the wondrous behind-the-shed area yielded a pile of used bricks and a sheet of scrap metal that aligned up in perfect harmony; the discarded cauldron bringing the whole ensemble to almost heavenly perfection. Since then, when the world just has to burn, I'm being consulted first and invited along to the ride.