New from Old

Sanford Walk (3), London, SE14

Last night I watched a documentary called ‘Afterlife: The Strange Science of Decay‘. It followed the processes of decay that occurred when a variety of foodstuffs were left out in a warm, humid kitchen, over the course of two months. Whilst delightfully disgusting at times, it was also genuinely fascinating and sometimes extremely beautiful.

Moulds, slime moulds, flies, fungi, more flies, beetles, and foul smells all played a vitally important role, transforming sandwiches, uncooked meats, fruits and vegetables from one manifestation of molecules to another.

All old life is reborn into new life. We may find it repulsive to behold, but the processes that decay one organism and recycle its constituents into another are essential to the workings of our planet.

Unfortunately/luckily I currently have no mouldy food at home, so have revived this photograph I took a year or two back, of something extraordinary discovered in a fridge… something that used to be baked beans.

I highly recommend watching the program (it’s on BBC iPlayer until 5th Jan), and I wish everybody a happy manifestation in 2012.

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  1. jeff cooke says:

    amazing the bbc at its best.

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