A daily walk
I know I have a bit of a tendency to see mosaics or connections to mosaics even when there aren’t any, and you might be forgiven for thinking that I am pushing things a bit to try and claim a link between mosaics and my daily walk in the park but believe you me, there is one.
Just read this article by Damon Young in the Guardian and you will see why: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/02/if-exercise-was-good-for-charles-darwin-its-good-for-all-of-us
Walking is when inspiration strikes
Walking, it seems, is the ideal, mindless, uncomplicated activity for letting your brain have a break. It facilitates a kind of mental blankness in which ideas can swirl about and inspiration (including mosaic inspiration) can strike. Apparently, many great minds from Darwin to Kant have been keen regular walkers and while I cant claim to have much in common in other respects, I do feel a certain kindred spirit when it comes to my partiality to walking.
I’m an early riser and when the light permits it, I tip toe down the stairs, bundle the dog into the car and head for the park leaving a house of sleeping boys. The best months are when I can arrive at the park just before dawn, have a whole blissful 45 minutes of watching the sun rise, the sky change colour and the silhouettes of the trees take form and clarity, before getting home to put breakfast on the table and wake the boys for school.
The finest of parks
I do believe that this park, my park (for habitual park walkers feel proprietorial), is simply the best park there is. There has been no other park in my life and I am quite sure there never will be. It was once a private estate on the northern fringes of Athens and is now used as an agricultural school and is surrounded by conurbation. It has the best of everything. It’s large enough to get lost in, there’s a hill you can climb up to see Athens steaming in the distance, wild bits with narrow trodden paths wriggling off in unexpected directions, as well as glorious prolific flowering trees and leafy tracks to shelter you from the summer sun.
So I tramp along every morning thinking about mosaics and what to cook for supper and the things I have to do and having little conversations with myself in Greek (since no one else will have them with me!) and marvelling at how lovely the park is. Sometimes I think about nothing at all. Quite often I have ideas about things I want to do (not all of which I do do) and ways to solve practical mosaic difficulties and even, very occasionally indeed, I have strokes of (mild) inspiration.
A mosaic to finish
And because I cant leave you without a mosaic or two, here’s a little thing that might have been inspired by a park – designed by my friend Alison Scourti and made by me:
And another on a plant theme that I have just finished and haven’t even had a chance to grout yet: