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I spent some time today reverse engineering little boxes of raisins ( I took the raisins out first). Before that, I’d also spent quite a while examining matchboxes in our massive new Home Bargains, and measuring them with my tape-measure, before rejecting them. I was quite careful about spreading infection, and I also needed some other things for the house, but I still felt a bit guilty about the global pandemic, and wondered how essential the work was. Many people were in each shop. I saw no-one else doing as I was doing, although many people were dithering, and looking like they were having a good day out. [And one woman was walking up and down holding a tablecloth in a packet and having a lengthy video call about it. Actually she reminded me of two women I once saw at the National Museum and Gallery for Wales in Cardiff. I had travelled 100 miles to see a painting of a cathedral by Constable that was on loan to the gallery, and which was indeed very impressive. They had also borrowed a few others, including a beautiful painting by Van Gogh. I was standing and looking and thinking about paintings, when two women came by with a stroller, saying something about ‘that would look nice in the living room on the wall behind the sofa’, which was a bit strange because Constable made very big paintings. So I was wondering about what kind of house they lived in, and I listened more as they walked across the room and out the other side, and I realised that they were actually talking about the wall-paper, and did not glance at any painting in the room. This was a very interesting and very grounding experience for me. I’m not exactly sure why the woman in the shop reminded me of the encounter, something about the intensity.]

The decision is a difficult one. Matchboxes are in many ways nicer. But raisin boxes are easier to make and have a certain charm…

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