It’s an ill wind…

…that blows nobody any good.

I have discovered an unexpected and (hopefully) one-time artistic opportunity! This is my sketch for the plaque that is being carved in stone to go on the wall of my house. I wanted a face, and Medusa seemed rather appropriate. An attractive Medusa, of course, one who looks alive, not an awful beheaded version of the more traditional kind:

My sketch for the Medusa plaque
My sketch for the Medusa plaque

I am not carving it myself… obviously… having no skills whatsoever in the line of stone-carving. More on the local stone carver who’s doing it for me when I have checked he is ok with a mention here!

How did this come to pass? I may have mentioned the wall of my house fell off. Strictly speaking, it did not all fall off, but quite a lot of it did, because, as it happens, it was largely made of mud. And you may have noticed it has not stopped raining since about April, and so the water got through small cracks in the rendering (cracks we would have had fixed as a matter of urgency, had we known it was made of mud, and not stone like most of the house), and so all of a sudden… whump. Or some such noise. Nobody heard it or saw it. Shame really as it was probably weird and spectacular in an appalling kind of way.

Two days later and we had even less wall left, as the builders carefully pulled off the rest of the mud stuff, and the bricks at the top of the house that were actually supported by more mud, and the chimney stack too, which was kind of teetering on top of it all. The ‘mud’ I am told, is called ‘cob’… kind of. Cob should have straw in it and be made of something quite particular, and a lot of this looked just like Somerset clay. Maybe the straw had rotted. Or maybe it was only ever just mud! The builders say the dry stuff is like concrete. Unfortunately there was a lot that was not dry when it fell off…

And so, a few photos of the house so far, and updates to come in due course:

The wall, when it all fell off
The wall, when it all fell off
Bricks, supported by, er, mud...
Bricks, supported by, er, mud…
The bakc of my wardrobe, from the wrong side...
The back of my wardrobe, from the wrong side…
Building up the wall again.
Building up the wall again. Don’t be fooled by the patch of ‘brickwork’ in the top right corner. This is nothing of the sort, it is the plaster where the bricks have been taken off. Some of the wall there is the thickness of an inch of rendering on the inside. In other places it is the thickness of a sheet of wallpaper!
Mock-up of Medusa on the wall
Mock-up of Medusa on the wall

For the photos of the finished Medusa, see this post:


  1. It’s a bit of a reversal isn’t it – turning Medusa to stone?!

    1. well yes, I only thought of that yesterday…

  2. Valerie Evans


    1. thanks Val ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. ….of course it won’t be me doing the hard work on this one!

  3. A fine example of positive thinking, Nancy. “My wall just fell off! Oh, that reminds me, the Medusa plaque would look really good up there when it’s fixed.”

    1. Ha Ha!… yes it does rather sound like that! I must admit that I always try to find something good in disasters and unfortunate happenings, and when there is not good to be found I find such things particularly worrying. Fortunately this is not the case this time ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Fantastic design. I saw many cob houses in Suffolk and they seemed to have lasted 600 years and more. But the British weather will defeat evrything in the end I reckon

  5. Thanks Rosie ๐Ÿ™‚ I think what did for the cob was that the rendering was slightly cracked and water got in… but then we didn’t know it was cob under there, we thought it was stone, or we would have got the rendering fixed urgently! Also, I’m not sure it was proper cob – seemed just to be plain Somerset clay…

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