Today we intended to finish our floor plan of Barry Norris’ house. However, we learned a valuable lesson- when you intend to invade someone’s home with measuring tape, check with the house guests first. Sadly, reality sometimes gets in the way of the folklorist’s mission. So, although we spent the morning falling behind in our assignments, we passed the time quite pleasantly with some residents of Witless Bay.
We first stopped off at Ralph Carey and Dena Wiseman’s house. They showed us a number of fascinating objects- hooked rugs and snowshoes from Labrador, a foot trail spinning wheel, whale vertebrae, and a couple walrus tusks they had lying around.
Later, we checked out the root cellar across from Bonnie’s place, which had been claimed by a hornet’s nest. The owner of the root cellar, Frank, ambled up and chatted with us about his various hornet misadventures. We were supposed to make a floor plan of the root cellar in question, but with the 9 foot hole, unsteady floor, and hornet’s nest besides, it was decided that it wasn’t *quite* worth the risk. Frank told us that the root cellar started out as a dysfunctional well. Apparently, a well diviner of sorts told his ancestors to dig in a spot with no water. They coped with the hole in the ground by repurposing it as a root cellar.
Sharna, Daisy and I began our out building floor plan of a fish store later in the afternoon. It was terribly picturesque. I have always found MUN’s promotional photos of students using their laptops atop cliffs (“Study on the Edge- Literally!”) to be a slightly absurd depiction of MUN, but this was before I found the wonder of folklore.
To measure the outside, Daisy and I had to use several platforms to maneuver ourselves on top of the bog. This was a bit of a challenge, as there were approximately two usable pieces of board for both Daisy and I, and we had to circle around. I was maybe a bit too proud of my method. Daisy slipped into the bog and got a little muddy, but she gamely carried on.
All in all, a pretty off-kilter and wonderful day.