my shit slides down over the warm rock.buried it with the paper under a couple of heavy stones. Yes orange, orange deep. Early in the day, that colour, since my cholecystectomy four years ago that colour, a perfect healthy evacuation. I was in full view of passing cars on heir way north and south. They didn’t notice me or care. Pack up and on back to Dals Langred to see my nephew Sandy, no rush, we arranged to meet at five o’clock.
We met, both of us a little late but perfect timing nonetheless, introduced to his Dutch friend Yoshi and jumped in her rickety 1977 Opel Kadett. Up the road to eat at a converted disused factory, unusually made from bricks and quite advanced and grand in its heyday. Special once a month on Fridays the pizza ovens cook artisan bread and we settle down outside with two more of Sandy’s friends. We eat. The midges eat us and the evening drifts by. The factory buildings now fully occupied as small business premises, workshops and art spaces. Yoshi takes the wheel of the Opel, chugging down a gravel back Road, past the Vattenfall hydro dam over a treacherous wooden bridge to declining paper factory. Sandy gets out to press a button so that the manual traffic light was in our favour. The paper works are to close in two months, the owners moving the operation to applaud and the 500 or so workers unemployed, little hope of new work in this little Twin Peaks town. On up to Yoshi’s commission she is working on; a lock keepers workshop to be converted into an art gallery space. The floor, littered with machine parts for the lock, a table with rusty crude tools, all wood and no windows, floor grimy but brushed carefully. Racks of shelving, each delicately labelled in fountain pen ink from long ago. Outside, hanging on the wall, tiny wooden window boxes with flowers planted made by Yoshi the day before. Outside, along the canal a thick carpet of grass with countless yellow orchids. A red setter perched at the bow of a little boat scudding across the lake to the far side. Yoshi tells us she swims twice a day, it was her cabin I stayed in on the way up.
Back at the house, the neighbours were outside chatting. Annie, a tall graceful girl with her boyfriend Fillip ith mutton chop whiskers. Annie plays in a three girl band called Growth and she tell us she played at a festival not far from Dals Langred this weekend, I should go. We drink home made limoncello (vodka, lemon rind sugar and lemon juice) three months soaking, we drank the weak beers I bought at the Coop and Sandy provided some whisky.
Th festival is called “Wrong Direction Home” and about sixty miles west, on the coast. Norwegian flashy cars in and out of the nearby town, off to look for the place. First call, to, a nearby Global Heritage site to ask the way. He three helpful women shows me on the map roughly where it was but had no idea exactly where it was. Further on, I pull over in a car park, two smartly dressed guys in their twenties helpfully look it up on their new phones. Gps map reference, entered into my sat nav, sorted. By the way, the slightly older one with the black narrow tie, lulls out a pamphlet from his leather satchel… Please if you can, go to this website, js.org…. Have a nice festival! They were Jehova’s Witnesses.
Tiny sign “Wrong Direction Home”, points ahead beyond a small level crossing. Train passes by. Then a dirt road, stones, wobbling four miles inside a forest track,I’m here.
The huge building once housed a boys borstal 100 years ago, complete with isolation prison and bars in the attic Now converted into an artist work space, renovated to a tidy standard leaving most of it in its original state. Huge Warren of rooms both large and small. A short walk away, I find myself in an abandoned water park.
The grimy plastic structures still standing forgotten in a field above,a lake below. The space in front of the main stage is covered in rugs in turn covered with delightful Swedish girls. Two of the three women from the museum turn up and I greet them. Fillip, Sandy’s neighbour turns up as well… I have lots of chats with many people, lovely evening.