Saturday, May 31, 2008

turning textbooks into butterflies...

(Photos thanks to Hector Durham; box folded by Sara Adams)

Today I caught a butterfly with my bare hands. Searching for it among scraps of paper, I came across a veritable jungle of origami: lions, roses, dragons, elephants and scorpions tumbled out of Sara Adams’ cardboard box, to crouch on the grass of Wadham gardens. It is the act of creation, of playing God with mini paper creatures, which makes origami so attractive.

Folding paper is a natural instinct in people; think of children making paper boats and hats and students rolling cigarettes and sweet papers.
It proves difficult for me, however: ‘Do people swear when they’re doing origami?’ I ask, frustrated. It’s not looking pretty. Soon my paper has become a heap of quivering shapes. It does not, by any stretch of the imagination, look like a butterfly. I think I’ll stick to writing; folding paper is too much like hard work.


This is a weird town, the buildings are stumpy and painted with candyfloss colours. In the night we hear bangings, yelling and creaking.Yet it is beautiful: thick green sheen on the river, towering green mountainside, pretty coloured houses and minaret- spires on the churches. The castle is very German, with big sculpted lions and unicorns and a giant barrel for storing wine. Our apartment is painted yellow. Sometimes it feels like we've walked into the gingerbread house in Hansel and Gretel, but I think that’s just paranoia.