Come with me through our kitchen doorway.
Across the decking, down the steps to the little stone path between the greenhouse and our underhouse door.
Open the white door. Crouch a little. Don't bang your head. Open the mysterious door.
In we go to Yorkshire Pudding's secret grotto. Turn on the light. What a mess!
What has he been doing down here? There on the desk - what is it?
It's a mosaic...
I just finished it yesterday. It's the first mosaic I have made since 1971 when one of my A level courses was Art. That's a gap of nearly forty years. Now you're probably looking at it and wondering what the hell it's all about. Why this design? Well it harks back to my visit to Easter Island. The central, slightly comical figure is "the birdman" and it's closely based on rock carvings that commemorate the island's strange birdman cult. Each spring, young men from different clans would descend the high cliffs of Orongo and swim out to the islets that lie off the south western peninsula in order to retrieve the first sooty tern egg of the season. This prize ensured that the leader of the winner's clan became the overall chief of the island for that year.
Putting the mosaic together was time-consuming but pleasurable. I have listened to several hours of Radio 4 in the process. Ceramic pieces don't bend and every piece had to be nipped into shape. It was like putting together an intricate jigsaw after first making the pieces. I plan to make some more mosaics this year. This is an ancient and painstaking craft but quite therapeutic with, if I might be so bold, satisfying end results.