Anne and Terry visited the Egg to bring the gift of a delicious banana and walnut cake which was most welcomely received. They spend a lot of their time living on their boat ‘Teal’ moored upriver of the Egg and have followed the Beadle’s progress all year and this was their third attempt to reach me. ‘The first time I brought a cake’ said Anne ‘a couple of months ago, but there was no one at home. The second time, there was insufficient water to get the dory up the creek, we got stuck in the mud and did a bit of ‘quanting’ to get off. Terry got to enjoy lots of cake!’
Anne photographed the Egg’s arrival last summer and her images recall the moment.
‘Arrival of the Egg’ photo Anne Chivers
‘Arrival of the Egg’ Photo Anne Chivers
‘Arrival of the Egg’ Photo Anne Chivers
One of the smallest working tug boats brings visitors to the worlds largest Egg.
The Egg is embedded in the fabric of Sue Carley’s blue skirt which formed part of her final degree show at Solent University. On May 5th she came to photograph that part of her 2014 collection inspired by our collaboration to devise ‘Egg Wear’. For more information about Sue’s work please go to www.Conscientiously-fashioned.co.uk
Photo © Hayley Savage Photography
The swallows were a welcome sight last night as a trio of new arrivals dipped and darted low across the pasture of my neighbouring field looking for food. I yelled the news up the hill to my neighbour Nick, who later saw around twenty five in the field about his house. They were hard to photograph in the dull cloudy light, but I made some studies in ink.
Lucy and Mike, my temporary neighbours from across the river, visited the Egg this afternoon when the tide was in. Apparently, from over the way, the Egg glints like silver in the spring sunshine.
I took another gander at the local community of Canada geese today as they flew by the Egg and came to rest in the river nearby. A particular pair (and another threesome) fly right over the Egg every morning and evening but I have yet get them on film. Their feathers provide the drawing tools I can use to depict them.
Whilst living alone for just over two years in a woodland cabin beside Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts in the 1840s, HD Thoreau always had three chairs ready for visiting friends. Callers to the Egg can’t be encouraged quite so much, since my own wilderness is a relatively small, protected wildlife sanctuary. However, it has felt right to welcome the occasional voyageur such as my long time supporter, the naturalist Ralfe Whistler. Inheriting his father’s box of dodo bones and shell led to a life long passion for this extinct creature* and I was greatly pleased when Ralfe, in turn, gifted me some small shell fragments as a reminder of his visit.
If the Exbury Egg symbolises fertility, birth and renewal, it is equally a reminder of our difficult relationship with nature and of the heavy footprints marking our path as we bestride the planet. Now hanging beside my bed, the dodo shell is an important reminder of human ignorance and indifference to the rest of existence except as some ‘thing’ to be made use of. After being first recorded on Mautitius in 1598, the dodo was extinct by 1681. Fiona Harvey’s story published in the Guardian last Summer raises questions about the threats to our own wild bird populations today…
Fiona Harvey, Environmental Correspondent, Page 14, The Guardian, Friday 23 August 2013.
- * Ralfe Whistler http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-24525693
During the build up to the invasion of Normandy in 1944, Nevil Shute spent a lot of time on and around the Beaulieu River at Exbury and the opening chapters of his book ‘Requiem for a Wren’ are based on this experience. Janet Prentice in Requiem is credited with shooting down a Junkers Ju 188 E-1 that in reality was brought down by gunners firing from the bofors gun position which still stands beside the Egg. The aircraft came down in the grounds of Exbury House (HMS Mastadon) and Shute was one of the first people on the scene. Many details of his experience of the house and its gardens as well as this Beadle’s watery parish are woven into the soul of the book.
‘Time is like a river of passing events, and its current is strong; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away’ Marcus Aurelius