A Year In Nadada: Week Seventeen- Reflections On A Castle

In recent weeks I have realised how you only see a tiny fraction of Nadada in these blogs. Admittedly there is a lot less admin than I was expecting from The Kandinsky. No need for health and safety information out here, and all the money gets paid into my account for the return to the mainland. If you ask to see the accounts, the payroll staff open a large glass casserole dish, a haddock floating inside, and say that those who wait around long enough can find out anything they want. I’ve no idea if this is a joke or not. 

But I am gigging almost every night, and this allows no time to discuss the floating tea parties, or the women dressed like knights at all hours of the day. There are ice cream vendors who make 99 cones in any animal shape you desire who haven’t had a look in. You can look at an inconsequential cottage, and even the carvings around the door handle are enough for four hundred words.

The castle made the cut.

The outside is a traditional stone structure plucked from Arundel or a picture book. Ivy flosses the stone turrets, and you have to cross a creaking wooden drawbridge across a moat deep with sapphire coloured water. But get through the wide stone doorway at the end, and everything changes.

Rooms the size of boxing rings run from one to the other to the next. Their ceilings are high, and painted on every one is a vibrant mural. These are unintelligible at first, with mops of hair and bald forehead taking up space in a crazy pattern. Only when you look closer do you figure out the mural is a reflection. There was The Butter Mouse and I in perfect oils, looking up and down at ourselves.

Each room contains a similar painting. You never saw the figures move, but glance away for  a second, and the image will change. A couple of faces will now be looking upwards, or to the right, and some will have vanished entirely. Don’t worry, they have only gone though a doorway. 

Everyone panics when they step out the rear exit. How can you not? Your feet moving from solid gothic stone to blue sky decked with fluffy clouds will make you think you are falling, and negates any logic of this impossibility.

After accepting this sky will not swallow you, swivel your eyes upwards. An upside down garden floats in the air, the topiary and freshly cut lawns perfect, koi carp swimming in the pond. The fact the water did not fall out made me queasy.This folly spreads out to over an acre, and by the time of departure your return to a normal cobbled street is the action of a madman.

There is a theory the mural is not a magic picture, but a sentient being, which reacts like a chameleon to anything entering its environment. Hopefully no-one ever goes missing, or gets swallowed up.

No, not in Nadada. A creature here is more likely to paint your face orange, and fill your pockets with seashells.

Off to the mountains next week. Kurt has promised me something special for our departure. Maybe he means we will take the shape of a car, and drive off without any fuss at all.

The view from the top of the castle. Photo by Nicola Guenigault. 

The view from the top of the castle. Photo by Nicola Guenigault.