David: Today on the towpath one of the little boys from the boats was collecting earth and water and making these little kingdoms of mud and ooze. Mini-landscapes he was shaping into hills and valleys, lakes and streams, before acting as an angry God and obliterating his creations in a cycle of floods. Most people seem to shy away from ooze and here was someone taking absolute joy from it. When he was done playing, he gathered all the ooze into a bucket and announced he was going to: “Feed the mud to the plants.” The present took me back into my past, when I was that child. Some part of me still loves to shape and make out of mess. Find the order of story in the ooze of life all around me.

Jo: my memory is more of dust than ooze, but used in a similar manner. I vividly recall using sticks to brush the earth in the playground into little walls to make rooms with doorways that lead onto other rooms. I did this on many occasions. It was beneath a huge beech tree, and in the autumn, the beech nuts would be included. Really, as an artist, I’m still brushing the earth with a stick. I think it’s really important to stay connected to that inner child; she is the one that produces the best work, when I’m playing. It sounds as if you are doing the same. the ooze of life all around me. .