Friday, 25 January 2008

Silent Shelters, Victoria Park

It was strange at first, keeping quiet. What happens when you meet someone and don’t ask how they are? We waited for Claudia, awkwardly, motioning that we were cold or hungry, and eventually that maybe it was time to start. Picking up sticks through the park we walked to the spot I had found yesterday and put down our bags.
At first we laid the orange cloth down and looked at each-other. Then Margit decided on a different space between three small trees, and we began to tie the corners of the orange cloth to them with string. 
Pegging and tying the other pieces of material to the roof of our tent, we battled with the wind and cheap clothes pegs that invariably popped open and sent the fabric flapping about. We cut lengths of string for each-other and took turns taking photographs. We became completely absorbed in our task, and so silent that I only spoke when a park warden came over and asked if we were taking it down: “yes” I nodded.
Sheltering in the tent we poured coffee and shared some food, and just relaxed looking at other people jogging by, the wind blowing all the dry leaves about. It was cold, but peaceful. More photos, coffee and cake. I took films of the floating walls, catching the moment when the blue blanket burst open like a sail.
When it was over, and our fingers were cold enough, we began to dismantle the tent, cutting the string and collecting the broken pegs, shaking out the cloths. I tried to catch the perfect picture of Margit as she folded them up, and failed each time. We walked to the park gates in silence, and gradually the thought of talking began to enter my head. The gates were our limit: “Shall we go to the pub?” I asked.

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