I’ve mentioned this part of Kinsale before. I walk along it to get home from the town. It really is a stunning place, looking right out over the harbour. You can see the ruins of the two forts, all the pretty sailing boats (which, will, unfortunately, start to disappear in a month or two as the seasons change), and the lovely houses.
Now, I don’t know what it is about Millionaire’s Mile, but, the things you find dropped by the side of the road there are exceedingly cool. I don’t know if that’s because Millionaires have so many cool things, that they don’t mind dropping some by the side of the road, or they forget, or they don’t care about rubbish because they’re certain other people will pick it up for them, or if the place is just full of faeries, but every time I walk there, I find something really cool. Of course, it could also just be that I’m on the look out for cool things that I can make stories about because I need them for my next theatre piece (yes, I’m making another one. I can’t help it. Its a disease. This one is much smaller though, I promise. No big budget, cross-country extravaganzas. Just me, in a room with a whole heap of junk I’ve found by the side of the road. Seriously).
So, anyway. The first day I was walking into Kinsale, I found this:
Which isn’t amazingly cool or gorgeous. Actually, now that I’m looking at it, the back is a much prettier design. In fact, I wish I had photographed that. But, my camera is low on battery and I can’t be arsed right now, at 10pm to change it. So, trust me. The back is really cool. Its this intricate pattern of oak leaves and acorns. You should see it.
Anyway, there is something delightfully whimsical about finding a single playing card in the bushes by the side of the road. It reminds me of Jostein Gaarder’s ‘The Solitaire Mystery,’ which was a favourite book of mine as a kid. It also reminds me of Carrie’s irritating boyfriend Berger (or however you spell it) in ‘Sex in the City’. I try not to focus on that so much.
Anyway, I happened to be walking the same road a day or two ago, and I was thinking about how cool it was to find a playing card in the bushes, and how awesome it would be if I found another and was starting to create a story about a person who walks one road for many weeks until they find all the cards in the pack, when suddenly, I saw this poking out from some leaves:
Which, apart from the fact that its cool simply because I found it several meters from where I found the first one, happens to be the COOLEST playing card I have ever seen. What is it? What does it mean? Is it some sort of visual representation of climate change? Is it a representation of the changing seasons? Of the different hemispheres? Of growing older? Its so cool. I love it. I have no idea what game its from (does anyone know??), but I feel like its trying to send me some kind of mystical message. Is it about 20/20 hindsight? Is it about being 40 years old? Oh, the endless possibilities.
So, today, I was walking the same mile, and I thought, how cool would it be if I found something else. Probably not a playing card this time, as I’ve obviously already found the coolest playing card in the whole wide world, but something else that might be cool. It was about this time that I saw a small square of folded white paper amongst some rocks. I thought, hmm… this is probably some sort of terrible flyer for window cleaning or some such, but I’m going to pick it up, just in case its a personal note that will be whimsical and interesting. I unfolded it and:
There are many things I like about this. I like that there is a sassy Minnie Mouse in the left hand bottom corner of the writing paper. I like that the second ‘Gina’ looks more like ‘Gold’. I like that little girls still insist on writing their names with hearts in them, and looping round things as many times as possible, so that their name and signature isn’t just about the letters, the words, but the feeling, the gesture, its a work of art. This little girl loves her name so much, she’s practiced it 4 times over, added a heart, circled it all and then traced over it again and again ’til its bold and dark. This is my name, she seems to say, this is my name, and I love it so very very much.
I like to think Gina also owned the last thing I found on my walk (and the only thing I feel slightly bad about having kept):
Its a pink, bejewelled, butterfly hairclip! Just the sort of thing a heart-drawing, name-circling, Minnie Mouse-loving girl like Gina would love. I do believe this might be a treasured possession of somebody, some little tot named Gina, to be precise, and so I feel slightly guilty that it is now sitting on the top of my desk as whimsical inspiration. But, in my defense, its actually broken (look at the top right hand corner of the butterfly and you’ll see the flimsy pink gauze is pulling away from the wire). I’m convinced that Gina wouldn’t want it anymore. Or, that she even threw it away in a fit of ‘Imperfect Butterfly Hairclip Passion’. Either way, I’m keeping it and that’s the end of it.
So, how do these things join into a theatre piece? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see. I haven’t quite figured it out myself yet. But, it does involve a little red suitcase, and many more trips down Millionaire’s Mile.