A Year In Nadada: Week Forty Nine- Painting The Town

The Kandinsky is peeling. Whole crops of plants have turned to dried reed, and scaly patches of rust spot the dying meta. Uderneath, like the shell of a new egg, was a fresh sheet of steel. We are back to the beginning. The ship will be a cruise ship by lunchtime tomorrow. We still have time to enjoy Hulsenbeck.

The town is the usual car crash of Nadadian architecture, with cosy mountain cottages sharing space with Moorish luxury. Camels rub shoulders with couples in ski jackets, and the place is heaving. We sat in a cosy pub drinking something they called peppermint chocolate. This is nothing like peppermint hot chocolate. You drink comes in a container shaped like a candy cane, and changes constantly in flavour from strawberry to mint. You then eat the receptacle, which tastes of chocolate. They serve a plate of couscous on the side.

For many this the first stop of their tour of Nadada. For others, like us, this is the completion of their trip. So you have two kinds of creation going onhere. Those who are discovering the power of imagination for the first time, and those who are making something physical to take back.

The first group are still learning. They grow flowers that are too small, or a table with a wonky leg. They still beam with happiness, and order the novelty of another upside down cup of tea.

Those on the way home use physical materials, even if those physical materials arose from the imagination. Most could create this work in seconds, but they sit and around us, and work, the snow pelting down outside the windows. The air smelt of paint and modelling clay.

We recognised some of the creations. There was the sculpture of the metronome lady. Nearby an old lady painted the confetti tunnel painted on the side of a vase. On the walls hangs a abstract portrait of the uniformed pig man.

‘We could paint something you know,’ said the Butter Mouse. ‘You could paint me.’

‘But we don’t know how to paint,’ I said. ‘And besides, you are right next to me.’

‘Not for much longer,’ she said.

The put me right off my peppermint chocolate.

Hulsenbeck is a place of departure. Boats depart for the surface on the hour. We will take The Kandinsky of course. After one more gig.

A view of Hulsenbeck.

A view of Hulsenbeck.

Camels wait in the snow outside the pub.

Camels wait in the snow outside the pub.