Last wet May, Leah and I decided to walk upriver to find the source of the burn that flows past the house.
At the head of the valley, in a dip under the ridge, I realised we would not find a point, but instead terrain with pools and trickles. Leah, a geographer, was less surprised.
We looked around, adjusting raingear and snacking, thinking how wind turbines would change the sense of place.
We started back, towards the head of the valley and something caught our eye. Moving closer, we found another visitor to the valley between the tussocks.
Leah again immediately apprehends the situation (Dora the Explorer, an eight year old Mexican, is much loved by her nephew). I learn that in every episode of her adventures, Dora sets out to help someone – dealing calmly with adversity. We pick Dora up and stretch her out, taking her home to consider her. On further sheep-walks, I add to the collection and mention these finds to the farmer. He explained he sometimes finds other characters in his shepherding duties, mistaking them for lambs, possibly in trouble from foxes. I move my collection to the Sculpture Studios and amongst my finds, Dora’s presence is most commanding.
On closer inspection, she is older than her years, becoming grey in her travels. I wonder, perhaps it is timely to consider material remains – there are several directions my enquiry might go.