March 13, 2016 by petrujviljoen

Some may remember the Claudia McGill Museum to which I’ve been very lucky to have artefacts included. Herewith another from Petru Viljoen, ad hoc finder of objects. The full text which I rather shyly did not want included, having lost my marbles because I’m grown-up, follows:
I was clearing garden debris (decorative sweet pea plants) and went
across the little dirt track that runs in front of my house to throw
it amongst the creepers growing in the bushes. There may have been
some seeds left on the plants and the hope is that next season some
will sprout and the whole area in front of my house will be covered
with a plethora of colours hardly ever seen before. I also tried to
smother the blackjack plants growing there at present. But I may have

On the way back, crossing the little dirt track again, I noticed
something gleaming in the ground. Being who one is and what one is
about I took a closer look. It was obviously some manufactured object,
i.e. not produced by nature. It was clearly glass and due to the
sun’s position the illusion of an unfathomable depth was created. I
marked the spot as I have learnt to do so I could easily locate it
again, I went to wash my hands, managed to not get distracted by the
household chores and found my camera to take investigative process
photographs of the find.

I was interested in capturing the depth perception but due to the
slant of the sun, it being 12 noon exactly, no matter at what angle I
stood, the shadow cast by my person obscured the light. I decided not
to wait until later in the day to see if I could get a better
photograph because the earth turning on its axis, creating the
illusion of the sun moving across the sky, would not allow the same
misperception of the size and shape of the object. I hope this makes

Digging up the glass object with a sharp pointed gardening tool (a
daisy grubber it’s called), expecting to have to dig fairly deep
around this object to prize it lose from the packed soil, it proved to
be a perfectly round glass thing, somewhat grazed and scratched on the
surface that showed above ground. There has been a bit more traffic
lately along this track due it being The Season and therefore more
people being around, escaping the chaos in the city centres, creating
it minimally here by their mere presence, but I digress. Some top soil
got loosened by this traffic of people in their vehicles, which
allowed this glass object to emerge.

Once dug up, still with soil caked around it, I noticed some evidence
of paint through the dirt, but it may have turned out to be another
illusion. An interim investigative photograph did not clear the matter
up and after having washed it in the bathroom basin with soap and
water, a little figure with writing appeared clearly, hardly the worse
for wear for spending about six years in the ground.

It then became clear as an object called a marble, something mostly
little boys play with in a game called Marbles. If this game go under
a different name in other countries I’d be delighted to hear about it.
I recalled many happy hours playing at this game myself and had some
prize marbles in my collection at the time but I must’ve misplaced it
in the meantime because I’m certain I no longer have any. Grown ups
often lose their marbles at some point, purely because they have to in
order to cope with the adult world. It’s a great pity. Only some get
away with not having to.

The people that lived here before me must’ve had a little boy or two,
in fact I know it must’ve been boys because I found other toys in the
garden, little soldiers and pellets from a plastic gun while digging
up grass to make more garden space so I don’t have to mow so much

The painted figure indicated it is an object children receive when
their parents fill the family vehicle with petrol, or fuel as it is
called in other countries, at the petrol or fuel station. What the
figure and the writing advertise is unclear and at this point gave up
on any other possible illusions.

2 thoughts on “Uncovered

  1. You are such a good writer and your view on life is wonderful. I look forward to including your latest correspondence and discovery in the Museum’s public work very shortly – Claudia McGill, Museum Curator and fan.

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