Had fun last night discovering the pleasures of the local free gym with Harold, looks like a park facing the riverfront but much more fun with brightly colored rowing machines and back massages and even an ad hoc running machine.
Yesterday was a good day with brill progress from the dry food stall seller (Li Gui E) and characterful peanut oil guy (Gern) I have been working with. I have met with them several times, in terms of Li Gui together with her niece and neighbour we have been thinking up different designs and ways in which she can use her basic crochet skills to fashion her dried produce into a much more personalised, informative and attractive manner for tourists and also locals alike. We are considering the branding name of her product and have settled on Ling Nan Ling (the introversion of Nanling followed by her surname, ingenious- it's a starting point at least and also good to get her thinking about how to make her food produce less homogenous in comparison to the five other stalls that sit next to hers). Her more experienced neighbour friend (who might be up for performing the horizantle harp gujun on the 17th) I think it should go down a treat and would be great to have on the honesty stall back at Grizedale perhaps. We are thinking about different designs and also how they may cater for the different products and buyers. Already theirs a sparkle in her eyes- she says she intends to develop and try to pursue this, making use of the quiet times at the stall and thinking it will help make her produce special.
Li Gui E also has taken up the packaging task with lots of enthusiasm and careful consideration. I visited his factory stall before tea to find him sat with a plastic bottle half filled with cold water and a hairdryer, trying to fashion a peanut shape out of the bottle. He had clearly been thinking hard about the night of previous discussion with the caligrapher, Mao (who might be able to help us with our posters and banners) and Maggie, the English teacher. I prompted suggestions and also suggested we collect a variety of bottles, then took them on a hunt round the shop attached to his small factory on the look out for different materials that might initiate ideas and textures for a suitable bottle other than his usual non-descript white plastic fare which come in three sizes. We are thinking about a very initial stage protocol for a peanut oil bottle for Nanling of the future.... its great to see him so engaged and an injection of energy into looking at what he has been producing day in and out for over a decade.
At some point I will go along with Mao and find a stone to see if a stamp can be made...I knew the dried up river would come in handy.