Thursday, 26 May 2011

Excavating the cardboard and papier-mâché layers

Readers with insufficient occupation for their waking hours - those who are now following the great grit garage turnout - will surely be delighted to learn that the archaeological excavation of the site has revealed, hidden under the plant and animal residue, evidence of a primitive cardboard enthusiasm c.2006.

Could be ritual artifacts connected with ceremonies of the craft altar, otherwise apprentice pieces, possibly incomplete replicas of Iron Age shields. I may seek a professional opinion from the British Museum.

More exciting, if your heart can bear it, is the discovery, in the next layer down, of the papier-mâché moon surface c.2005.

This is the very one chewed by a rat. The rat, I hope, suffered mortal injury hastened on by a smooth-operating rat killer from the council.

With her softly spoken voice and quiet demeanor, she could have been the sort of middle-aged woman offering you tea at your local village fete. You would have accepted it too, until you saw the contents of her blue, unmarked cloth bag, filled as it was with the chemical agents of death.

After blitzing the cavity under the floorboards where the destroyer of my papier-mâché moon surface project was hopefully cowering, she quickly departed, advising the children not to chew the carpets or skirting boards.

Anyway, because I did not give in to the rat, and was driven in pursuit of a papier-mâché moon surface suitable for five-year olds to use for their Playmobil space rockets (while I covertly taught them astro-physics from a Teach Yourself library book), then here it is, reassembled after the rat, completely finished with multi-sized craters and paint, and proudly displayed for the final time before it is placed in permanent archival storage at the Museum of Rejected Artifacts (the tip).

Rescue archaeology is sad, but it is a necessary part of redevelopment, is it not?

Now, having emptied the space next to the inexplicable metal tank in the garage, I can fill it up again. This time with some home-made shelving*. Storage room, appropriately enough, for the means to make exciting new papier-mâché craft items and paint lovely new cardboard creations.

*Well, not exactly 'home-made shelving'; I merely placed some timber through those metal thingies.

Incidentally, those metal thingies cost me three pounds down the tip two years ago. Unfortunately, they also cost me an additional one thousand pounds against my car insurance, thanks to me reversing at speed into the driver's door of an Audi just after I had loaded my lovely new shelving into my boot, assured of a bargain.

I still maintain he was in the wrong. He was not parked in a designated bay at all, but had pulled in by a plasterboard heap for his own convenience. Stupid prat. He probably deserved to have his driver's door smashed in.

Very useful shelving though. And proving that everything round here comes with a history all of its own.