Day 3 :: Fee :: we are cyborg

I want to start this post saying “It’s day three in the Big Brother House…” but truth be told, we can’t agree if it’s sometime Tuesday, sometime Wednesday or possibly still Sunday afternoon.There has been one nap and two proper nights of sleep – of unknown length.  All we know for sure is that hearing the soft boom of fireworks ‘yesterday’* was the first time we knew night from day (tho we still have no idea which night, or what the fireworks were celebrating).

It’s been pretty a chilled ride so far, to be honest. Once I got used to the extreme low-light levels and the lack of gadgets/internet access it’s really been a process of living in the now, which suits me fine. There are way more tests than I expected; the interruptions are frequent and sometimes frustrating when you’re in creative flow. We all keep getting told off for spending too much time talking to each other (which is a shame but I suppose not too surprising really). And there’s a lot of use of the word “consistency”, which I have decided is the new “no”. “No, you can’t drink peppermint tea… for consistency”, “No, you can’t personalise your desktop pattern… for consistency”, “No, you can’t use a different chair… for consistency”.

Going back to light-levels, I brought in my DSLR hoping to get better at using it (it’s a pretty sweet piece of kit and totally intimidates me!). They have to take it off me & reset the time when I use it, but I’m really happy I brought it with me – especially since I also remembered the tripod. It was only when I started trying to take shots that I realised quite how low-level the light in here really is. There’s no point even trying to take any shots without a tripod, but I’m pretty happy with the ones I’ve been taking so far; in fact even the motion blur creates some appropriate affects. Here are Jen and Thom being wired up for the second night of sleep:

And here are a few other shots, to go with the ‘untweets’ series from my last post, that help give a flavour of our time here:

One of the highlights of ‘yesterday’* for me was Kelsey (one of the scientists, pictured above ‘plugging Jen in’) reading out a poem that Jen had written. The poem is a mashup of the instructions we’ve been given before each test. No matter how many times we repeat the test (and should therefore know what to do) the instructions are repeated verbatim. Hearing the mashup read in the same voice as that delivers the instructions felt to me like an intervention. Jen’s creativity took control and subverted those now painfully familiar words, reframing the repetition in a refreshing act of quiet rebellion. I’m hoping to record both the instructions and poem at some point so you can see what I mean.

I didn’t submit anything to the blog ‘yesterday’* because I have been doing two things that are taking a while. I’m writing a story about the dreaded PVT (which is helping, actually) and… knitting my bus! The very lovely Sayraphim Lothian gave me a knitting design to make my logo into a 3D soft toy (see I promised seven of my crowdfunding campaign supporters that I would make the, only they’re quite complicated little things so it’s taken me a while to have the focus and time to dedicate. Here seemed like the ideal. I’m doing OK; I now have a base, sides and half the roof. Although I had to stop last night when I realised I’d been purling instead of knitting in the wrong place… perhaps I’d better leave the clever, detailed stuff to a time when I’m not hallucinating, eh?

Today (you know what I mean) I’ve had a whole other creative explosion. Stuart Baulk asked a question ‘from the outside’ which resonated with me. He said:

“Downstairs it’s just like any normal day here, but I doubt it’s very normal for you.
My question is, have you thought about trying to escape yet? Or if not escaping, trying to cheat lockdown by finding out what time it is?”

My answer:
Funnily enough one of the first things I did when I got here was make a bolt for the door. Fortunately, it was caught on camera:

Groan. Sorry, DREADFUL pun, I know, but I couldn’t help myself. I inherited an awful Grandad humour and had quite honestly scribbled a bad bolt sketch down in my first ideas list. This question from Stuart made me chuckle and, being an ex-prop maker I decided ‘why not?!’  Admittedly it was a few hours of frivolousness, but thanks to a Corn Flakes packet, a pair of scissors from my knitting kit and some paints/brushes/tape from Thom’s magic box of tricks I literally made a bolt, for the door. Teehee. (The funniest bit was having to explain to our gatekeepers why I needed to close my bedroom door for a few minutes – had they rushed in my little cardboard security quip would have been ruined!).

Right, time for another test. Maybe I’ll have photos of a knitted bus to show you next time (no promises).

* ‘yesterday’ here is used in the sense of ‘before the last time we slept’

Fee Plumley

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