Late last year I began a couple of lampshade restoration projects, one of which is yet to be finished. It has taken me many hours to get to the final stage of the other lampshade I’ve been working on due to the unusual art deco shape of the frame, so the purpose of this project was to see if it was possible to restore one of these things in only a few evenings.
This one was originally a tatty old shade that I bought on eBay for a couple of quid. I ripped off all of the old disintegrating fabric, lined it with silk, then vintage kimono fabric was sewn into the binding around the frame. I attached gimp braid down each arm, a pom-pom trim and finally a kimono fabric cord at the neck. In total this lampshade took around 10-12 hours, whilst sitting in front of back-to-back episodes of Boardwalk Empire, so time-wise it wasn’t that bad.
My first close encounter with a hedgehog that hadn’t been run over was when I was 15 and stoned in a local cemetery late one apparitionally misty night with a group of friends.
Whilst sitting by a privet on the cemetery border we noticed a hedgehog appear from beneath it. All of a sudden it made sense, “so that’s why they’re called hedge hogs” I thought.
It scuttled towards us and I was overcome with uncontrollable laughter brought on by the peculiar realisation that the hedgehog had a snout with a nose on the end of it. It was the same sense of bizarre you get when you keep re-reading a word until it doesn’t make sense, but on a more hysterical level which lasted for at least 10 minutes and involved lots of rejoiceful “It has a nose! It has a nose!” and crying.
I recall the night in the cemetery concluding around the time we noticed a hooded man and an unmuzzled Dangerous Dogs Act dog with glowing red eyes approaching.
It was at this point that my friends, who found the thing about the hedgehog’s nose funny but not as funny as I did, decided to get out of there.
The only way to get out of the cemetery yet avoid the psycho with the dog was by clambering over a wall.
Being weak with laughter and fear, what resulted was a clumsy pile of panicked teenagers unsuccessfully attempting to scale a wall which was probably only about five foot high.
Anyhow, we all avoided being mauled to death and either the night thereafter was uneventful or I was too off my face to remember what happened next.
Then the Sunday before last while I was at Mum and Dad’s a hedgehog fell through the railings at the front of the house, rolled down the steep little patch of earth no one could call a front garden and dropped onto the paving, a sort of pygmy patio, outside the lower-ground front doors.
We saw it running around trying to find its way out, but the only way out was up a wall or by means of Dad who, wearing thick garden gloves, scooped the tiny hog up and placed its spiky little ball of a body in the back garden.
Babels, one of our cats, intrigued by the tiny breathing prickly sphere that had suddenly appeared in the grass went over to investigate and once realising that the ball wasn’t as easy to attack as an earthworm, her usual prey, she stood back and watched him un-ball himself and scurry off into one of the bushes.
I dropped my phone into the bush with the voice memo recording. The following clip isn’t very interesting and it really is the ‘best bits’ edited down to two minutes, as though you could ever have a ‘best bits of a hedgehog chewing beetles and making rustling sounds in a bush’, but I’ve uploaded it all the same.
Hedgehogs: Brown Pokemons that live in gardens.
Suggested listening: The Incredible String Band – The Hedgehog’s Song.