I spent a happy year living in my Exbury Egg on the Beaulieu River in 2015. At the time I was aware of a few other artistic and literary connections to the same place, notably Nevil Shute’s wartime experience, which he later wove into his book, ‘Requiem for a Wren’. But, I only just discovered John Betjeman’s poem.

Architect James Law’s plans to build the impressive Mumbai Cybertecture Egg office block would seem to owe a little to the more modest live/ work space of the Exbury Egg. My approximate 10 sq metres of floor space (including mezzanine for sleeping) is a bit dwarfed by Mumbai’s fourteen floors (three below ground) with around 10,000 sq metres per floor and extending to a height of 62 metres. Like the Exbury Egg though, it’s is designed to be ‘lean and green’ and plans include solar photovoltaic panels, rooftop wind turbines, an elevated garden and a grey water filtration system—while the tilt of the structure is calculated to increase its solar energy gain. Importantly, both The Exbury Egg and the Cybertercture Egg embody the source of all life in the implicit meaning of their form. Perhaps the Exbury Egg will pay a visit when they are ready for their launch….

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Here there is no water but only rock / rocks and no water and the sand road (detail) c. 1973 © National Museums Wales
I found Graham Sutherland's egg when visiting the superb exhibition'Journeys with The Wasteland' at Turner Contemporary in Margate. His drawing illustrates the words from Eliot's poem of its title. Sutherland's fractured symbol of new life and nurture shows the head of a bird peeking out onto an arid, spiritual wasteland. It's a petrified rock of an egg.

Our undeclared war on nature, symbolised by plastic waste across every continent and sea, is our own particular legacy for the future. Egglet (PP)  V, is one of a series made from polypropylene rope, found discarded on Hastings Stade during a residency @JerwoodGallery for the exhibition @everythingcomesfromtheegg last year.

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Net lofts and some boats along the Stade offer a reminder that timber was traditionally preserved using pine tar. Nowadays it is often substituted by paints and varnishes cheaper to produce than the £20 a litre of the genuine Stockholm pine tar product.

Hastings Hue No. 11