We make up a die using words we’ve collected in past few days. The die is inspired by StoryCubes by Proboscis with whom we’ve worked before.
With the die we head off into the centre to talk to people we meet. We ask to roll the die and tell us a place that comes to mind in and around Peterborough. Responses vary enormously and range from parking issues to erasure of Britishness…
Some people answer very briefly whilst other want to throw the die again and again or just go through each word in turn.
RESIDENT – ‘I’m not’ – we meet the same person again later and after asking us how we’re getting on, tell us about The Dice Man – a novel published in 1971 by Luke Rhinehart and tells the story of a psychiatrist who begins making life decisions based on the casting of dice.
Someone else says ‘too many eastern residents…they spend money but also send it home. The elderly are the more racist ones…they feel forgotten about…’
GREEN – ‘There is nowhere near where we live. Have to go a long way to find open green spaces.’ ‘Not much of it here (in Cathedral square) thought its a beautiful place… that’s why we sat here. We came for the day on mission to find Catherine of Aragon…’
CONNECTION – ‘Makes me think of EE, Thomas Cook, Central Library, and the fact that there are lots more languages here recently…’
LINES – ‘Double yellow. Lots more of these now. You have to really be careful where you park.’
‘Walton, where the trains go past. Perkins engines used to use the lines there for their diesel engines, now there is a big Morrison’s supermarket.’
NEW – ‘thats us. We just moved here three months ago.’ ‘The first day of the rest of your life’
We’ve been invited to a dinner Party at METAL. We drove through the fens on a blustery night to attend Delaine le Bas’ To Gypsyland project dinner.
White walls that Delaine will adorn during the week to come, surround the dinner table which seats Delaine’s many guests. We each say who we are and recall a place we’ve been refused entry to. There are also some pertinent questions under our dinner plates: “what are you most afraid of?” or “where is the edge?” – some people post them on FB to get responses, others swap questions amongst themselves, some write their answers on the table cloth and others keep them to themselves.
After food and a communal fortune telling, some poetry is read.
When all is said and done we collect more ‘six words about Peterborough’ (see our previous post for some of them) and are delighted to be presented with three striking short poems by Damian le Bas (yes there is a family connection – we leave you to work it out) – here they are
We ask people we meet for six (the number of sides/ facia of a die ) words that best describe Peterborough. Here are some of them (keeping the repeats when they occur)
eclectic / river / cathedral / new / green / shopping / trains / resident / stone / roundabouts / wind / new / old / resident / lines / border / traffic / home / local / active / green / artistic / friendly / young / diverse / historic / apprehensive / friendly / young / diverse / historic / changing / apprehensive / borderlands / engines / flat / native / queensgate / march / fens / posh / cathedral / lido / shopping / town hall / ancient / potential / roots / magical / unsung / village / diverse / flat / underrated / history / roundabouts / east / penny / caramel / flat / deep / green / round / tory / housing / grey / car parks / rebels / old fashioned / cathedral / italy / john clare / great north road / connection / renaissance / squares / birds/ dead / baby / cobbles / cathedral/ Notre Dame of the East / Stamford rampart / antibiotic / fictive / fun / ring / road / family / fen / flattening / future / stand ground / show ground / sunset / static / solarizes / similarities
We will carry on adding words on our next visit.