I have a very heavy package here, I posted it from Svalbard two months ago. It is full of rocks and fossils and I am very excited about opening it up. I hope everything has arrived in one piece.
I remember packing one piece of some kind of slate which was very thin, it was cracked in half so I could open it up like a butterfly. I think that might have broken.
We shall see…
I am interested in stones and fossils but I don’t know much about them. I love a good hag stone with a hole, a razor sharp shard of flint, or a shiny sea pebble as much as the next person, but they have never exactly thrilled me.
This time it’s different.
I cannot wait to get the box open.
There they are!
I am thrilled.
When I took off that bubble wrap and revealed the treasures packed tightly inside it was like greeting old friends. Possibly a month alone in a hut in the Arctic Circle has effected me more than I’d thought.
The thin slate one didn’t break.
I don’t often remember where I parked my car, or whose birthday is when, or that I need to buy milk, but amazingly I can remember these rocks individually. I can remember how each one feels, where it came from and how I packed it into the box.
Some of them are sharp angular stones, broken up by the frost. They are from the lateral moraine which is at the side of glaciers, where all the loose rocks from the valley walls are being pushed towards the front of the glacier.
I used those angular rocks to draw some pictures with when I was in Svalbard.
Fjortende Julibreen and Nordenskjoldbreen, the glaciers are called. Breen means glacier in Norwegian.
It is strange to be holding the same stones in such a different place. When I packed them up into that box I was in a small wooden room in Longyearbyen. I thought to my future self that it would be weird when I opened them in my studio in Brighton. And now I am. And it is weird, but it is very nice to see them.
Here is the Meteorite from Kapp Belvedere, which turned out to be a sponge fossil.
I’m just checking that all these rocks are alright and then packing them up again because on Friday I’m going to take them to the Natural History Museum.
My knees are weak with excitement.
It is hardly BELIEVABLE that I have actually been on an expedition to the Arctic Circle to find some rocks, and now they are going off to the Natural History Museum. The geologists and palaeontologists will have a look at them and see if we can get some fossils out.
How will we do that?
Maybe we’ll smash them and grind them up, or perhaps the museum has a special fossil extraction machine, or rock lasers.
Maybe we’ll dissolve the rocks in acid to find fossilised worms teeth. (Conodonts)
It is so exciting!
Whatever will happen next?