Mantlepiece
Mantlepiece

I am beginning to settle into Nanling and village way of life and time suddenly seems to be slipping away. The people are the real charm of this village and it’s impossible not to warm to the generosity and openness of the folk here.

I am meeting many locals who are helping me to get to know Nanling and how to best make use of myself here, getting amongst it you could say is a real pleasure. Their stories are making a clearing for this initially seemingly impenetrable diverse and disparate new town jigsaw. They will help me weave my video footage into a history that could sit in the larger scheme of destination museum in the future; for locals to connect with a certain identity of Nanling and for visitors to consume something of the heart of the locality other than largest waterfall. An interchange on both parts is necessary if tourism is to work here and Nanling is to begin to recognise moves needed to offer a little more than unvocalised aspirations. An updated powerpoint is necessary.

My mid term thinking is to develop relationships with a few people I think I may be able to work along side and introduce one villager to the other, today I brought a farmer and peanut oil worker together in discussion and they both took time to consider the ideas being raised. I am relating my thoughts about packaging and personalising their produce to add value and try to go beyond the level of pure need to thinking further about teaming with others skills and crafts that may help their sales (wish no 1; more money) and also impart quite literally themselves through the exterior ostentation/subtlety of product packaging for something quite other than plastic fantastic. Despite being devoid of any traditional craft in these parts due to pre-fab short history, I am beginning to see scope and connections possible between certain people and trades I am encountering. I also intend to follow a more personal path with one or two perhaps who could really help me and me them.

Long term I am testing the water with what I would consider as quite an all encompassing reciprocal chess move for someone who has never left the province for a parallel Grizedale on the other side of the world. What a chance that could offer! Soundings out are necessary in terms of pragmatics and cultural cold feet.

Yesterday I could not find my savant/'hello welcome!' dotty man but instead spent an afternoon with his neighbour- a 73 year old female ex-logger who following tangerines and tea proceeded to accompany me and introduce at slipper pace to five of her friends. One was a doubled over 86 year old who had a stalwart memory and fiery voice, showing me her leg which had suffered from an explosion in the 60’s during her past as a miner here(a lot of gesturing going on). She was unhappy with how she had not received any medical attention for a while despite her services and loyalty. After, she chaperoned me to the other half of the abode opposite (kitchen/lounge) where mah jong regulars appeared to chew the fat over daily meanderings. I then enjoyed some sticky rice Buddhist style with her pensioner friends who sat fixated watching a karaoke style Buddhist song on VCD. Between singing each word they tell me that there are seven of them in Nanling who are vegan and adhere to the way. I am looking at the central wall play of a Mao poster as the son of the near amputee explains how I am not to show footage of him showing me a red identity cover with a photo of his father who passed away recently after working may years in the steel industry. It’s not difficult to want to call everyone your family here despite their different jobs and physical corners of the village, it’s the way your embraced with open arms and you try and munch on the preserved dry fruit tucked into your hand.
Your rooted though quite quickly by co-ordination hieroglyphics of Scottish dancing practice on the grounds of the Orange hotel and a fond farewell to Adam as he faces his travels back to Blighty. I better get my body clock in sync soon though, it’s 3am and I am still getting used to late meals and a lots of irresistible food.

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