TILLY TALKS Chapel renovation, murals and texts featuring phrases spoken by two year old "Tilly" at Ventnor Central Hall on the Isle of Wight / Photos by Chris and Lucy Jones / 2019
Built in 1879 by Edgar James Harvey (better known for Ventnor's Cascade Gardens around the corner) the "Bible Christian Chapel" soon merged with the Methodists, then became the multi-use Victoria Hall. For over 50 years it then served as Ventnor's youth club, until in 2014 Conservative government's ruthless austerity measures shut down this and other key local services.
Update, October 2019 This work, undertaken for the benefit of the community and art in general, paid for and executed by myself alone, remains unfinished since the Town Clerk, David Bartlett, behaving as if I were laying some kind of claim on his previously thoroughly neglected building, threw out our pop-up gallery with no discussion, quoting minor health and safety concerns. Other projects, including "Baby Box" for young families, are permitted to continue, apparently in no danger from falling bricks. I have not lodged an official complaint, but along with many others patiently await regime-change, more human governors, and a chance personally to continue the project dearest to my heart. Before this listed building is bulldozed or falls down by itself. Blah, blah. I am rigid with anger and frustration.
See also photos of the Hall after phase one (installation of exhibition boards and colour matching of lower woodwork).
TWO YEAR OLD TILLY TALKS (Phrases collected between January and Tilly's third birthday in September, 2019)
Auntie Daddies talk girl language. A man called Jimmy made our bathroom. A shop has got no hands. And the dog said, I can smell some honey. All the colours are glue colours. Are you sick? Are you a bit old? I will make you new like me. Aurora is a mammal. Abracadabra, I turned you into a fly. And I will be a jumping elephant. Albatros wine is for children. And the next day... A "salage" is a present in Jupiter language. And I've got colours in my poems. An island on a planet. And suddenly a worm crawled into the worm's ear.
Blood hurts. But why doesn't the tree want them anymore? Boy, can you help me travel things in life? Ballerinas don't need dummies. Bend your head. Big grown-ups and little grown-ups. Blue blue. Breast pads are good for you. No they aren't. Bill can have a surf board when he's older. Black tears. Blood rivers, and they float into the meat pond. Baby and mum set off to work. Buy mango. Babies don't know how to say okey dokey.
Calm down Lorenzo. Clocks move very slowly. Cry over there. Can I have one of those for my yellow birthday? Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch. Finished! Can I have some cement because our house fell down. Cuddle her. Can I love you? Come on guys let's broom away.
Don't put the box on your head. Don't fall again. Daddy, you stand here and I will get on my motorbike. Daddy, cut your beard off! Don't wake the food up. Did you steal the froggy's old rocket? Don't care, Mother. Do you want sunlight? Don't reason to cry. Daddy's head got hot. Don't say that when the baby's sleeping. Don't let me play with me. Don't let the moon bugs bite. Daddy, dance! Do you talk German? Don't stroke Mickey, Daddy. It's mine. "D" begins with duck. Don't be good. Don't close your eyes like mum. Don't break my nest. Darling loves her new toys, Benjamin. Did I like it in your tummy? (Mummy) Don't blow the trumpet Daddy, I need to sleep. Daddy peeled me, Mummy. Don't say "surprise". Doggy and me come from a different place. From Japan. Don't break your skull.
Eat your meat. Egg and dice. Everyone wants to go to hospital. Everyone's being loud this week.
Frieda Kahlo is up in the Sky. (Is she? What's she doing up there?) She's fixing the lights. First you're a baby, then you're a child, then you're a grown-up, then you're a toddler, & then you're a cake lady. Farrow is a special animal who has no tongue and no teeth and no legs and no feet. Forty pounds please.
Granddad painted me blue. Go to sleep if you like. Girls like cars. Got so much to do. Give me more. Go away from my castle. Granny planet is going up the zoom.
Hush little mummy don't you cry, Baby's gonna buy you a mocking bird. Hello, nothing-soup. Hallo forever. He made a caterpillar poo out of his bum on your knee. Have you finished, because we go to London this week. Hi, Egypt penguins. Here I am again. He's got food bones inside. Here you go, mother. He will open his present and there will be a toy sock and a toy lady. He used to drink books. How do we pull up trousers? He wanted to eat the see-saw. He's sleeping in paper. How do cows make poo? Has that window got rain? He's got an iron bum and he's doing an iron wee. Hi, postman bird. He quacked upstairs. How do we make water? How do we make chairs? How do we make onions? How do we make people? He paints brushes. Have you got a hobby?
I'm eating dance food. I don't like dog quiche. I'm not a boy. I'm not a girl. I found the caterpillar's push chair. I like the pier. Not really. Actually it's horrible. I'm Baby Maya's mummy and my name is Nanna Ruth. I'm 24. Now I go to school! I need to bounce. I sound cool in my sunglasses. It's a strange animal called Funk Funk. I chucked the armadillo away. I broke Granddad. I can fly! I'm a brilliant doctor. It's all about the weather. I like pretending. I got a box on my head. I sneezed my yoghurt out of my mouth. I'm bored. It takes a long minute to catch a fish. I don't mind hedgehogs. I'm a lady, running! I'm just checking my e-mails. I'm a big boy now. I went to China yesterday. I smell worm poo. I put butter in the onion. I am cooking! I don't know what I'm building. I don't like cake. I just broke myself. It's night time. Three days long. I'm watching. It's nice to watch. I've got a sticky tongue. I can see something secret hiding in the bush. It was Saturday on Thursday. It's all about the weather. I can't hop so much because I am still a baby kangaroo. I don't like John, I like poo. I love you Mummy eyes. I'm somebody else. I'm the baby crumpet creature and you are the daddy crumpet creature. I'm the yoyo monster. I can't feel the paint. It's not a window. I said expialidocious quietly. I always laugh when crying is not funny. I found a frog in the flower pot. I made a footprint in my duvet. It's not a monster, it's a bag. I've got butterfly feet. I'm not a real baby. I need a job, Daddy. I'm not listening. I am gravelling. I don't want this playground to be closed. I don't like the food in your belly. I'm not naughty. I'm looking through the mirror. I can't talk. See. I'm a picture. I called Nanna's roast dinner dog poo last week. I'm a heart maker. I'm a rainbow maker. I'm gonna use that later. I'm all in pieces now. I just catch a little bit of cold. I'm a one year old fart. I called Nanna's roast dinner dog poo. I'm going to see the red moon now. I like bread crumbs in bread. I'm upset. It's raining bananas now. I'm just jumping for a little while. I don't want to calm down. I don't want to build a volcano. It's girl cake. I'm a one year old fart. I don't want to dream. I keep drinking the bath water. I made a poo in my drink yesterday. I got naked hair. I'm very clever. I need oars. It's called a Lemmy. I'm not gonna ask for ice cream. I live where Holly lives as well. It looks like red but it's green. I was passing by. I made the dog little hands like us. And little feet. I made you an iron dinner. I'm ready to go to a restaurant. I like to walk on puzzles. I like it up here all the time. I turned myself off. Funny! I don't know which one I know. I didn't scream and cry and hit her, I didn't. Not this time. I won't cry and moan and kick her. I'm reading something boring. I spleened you. I like to eat the wind. I'm in a hole! I'm a grown-up little girl. I like your pepper. It's an ice-cream for my toes. I don't know where these things are. They are in another country called Paris. I'm in a nest. Tweet tweet. I made a bird! I look far away, mummy. I got a bad leg as well. I won't be heavy when I sit on there. I need my spare donkey. I shared Aurora's boots. I've got a hitting stick. I got squirrels in my toes. I'm wearing the horse. I'm a lady farmer. I gonna make you your own aeroplane. I'm stroking your eye. I was looking when my eyes where closed. I'm talking rubbish. I work in Tesco's. I gonna buy you some new socks. I got a wobbly face. I got three flats. I live here. I can see a candy-floss cloud. For you. I was high, now I'm low. I love to go in the cold. I got three chairs and four people to not wiggle their feet. I like eating clothes. I'm a moth. I'm a grown-up. I drink very hot tea. I just wanted to ask you something. I don't believe you. I'm gonna error something. I threw something down the stairs. I don't know all these people. I like limpets. What are limpets? It was too comfortable down on the street. I do fire and rubbish as well. I didn't want to take the bread out. I saw one plant crying. I'm drinking my own booby. I helped him to find him. I'm making her a ladder to climb up to her poo. I waved at the man with my cleaning broom. It was funny snot. I don't know why I'm orange. I buried it very hard. I am here, nearly, I'm cuddling a pole. I laughed because the sun was touching my hand. And it didn't hurt. I can't eat the llama's ears, no. The llama's ears are bones. I got no Sunday socks on. I like awful drinks. I heard a bat crying. I gave you a present and the present is a smell from my flower. I'm not saying no. I hit you with my kiss. I made a lovely yoghurt patch on my foot. I'm the air. I'm a small grown-up. I can't carry me-self. I won't give the air back to the sky. I done the boob. I don't look like you. I love tv. I was fishing some blood out of my tongue. I don't eat lights. I got no time to tidy up this time. I got no time to put the lid on. I'm clearing the food up with a sock. It was so dirty on the kitchen floor I couldn't wash up. I found the man who you don't know. I ate my bogey. I'm going on a holiday deep down under the sea. I got too much to boob. I did something special. I jumped off the end of the hoover (daddy). I love to go on this loo. I live in the ice. I never saw a bird pooing. I'm following my friend car. I remember it when I was big. I just saw an asteroid crying. I've got sideways skates. Is that boy gone? I want to read a book. I like Marius. I'm the lady who paints the bed. I gonna eat horrible crisps at the play cafe. I'm not a winner. I did a secret wee. I love sugar. I'm waving when I'm eating. I pinched my eye with my knees. It's covered in pompoms. I heard a little sausage crying. I spat on my kite. I'm making a cake shake. I don't know what Ruth had on her beautiful arm. Ah, that was a rhinoceros. I'm colouring the colours so they get more coloury. I can exercise with two heads. I thought I was granddad. I'm still a little bit big. I like to be shy. I'm getting my own keys soon. I'm not a dragon. I am a lucky girl. I like to touch old nappies. I turned around to go and walk to get another biscuit. I am joining in. I can smell a smelly poo in your nappy Mummy. I had my sandwich. It had alcohol in it. I'm a wally. I do funny things. I talk lots of Italy stuff. I'm jumping on my nose. I love you Michael Palin. I scratch my teeth. My up-teeth. I'm after your peppermints. It's not ordinary slime, it's Japan slime. I'm gonna be very kind to Aurora, Daddy. I'm a runner. I can run with moving. I would like to be your neighbour. I'm too busy to eat because I'm dancing. I've got people in my umbrella. I sneezed the hot down. I am trying to go. I'm someone who wants an ice-cream. I farted for you. That's what you can eat. I am happy. I'm busy singing for the sleepy ones upstairs. I like my words. I closed the door so we can talk in peace. I'm busy today. I need phone calls and texting and messages and all that. I wake up with bad legs these days. I'm too tired to listen to that story. I like to be naked. I'm singing a song for the clock to go to sleep. I like a rabbit on a flower. And I like broccoli on a book. I think that horse was laying around in the mud. I ate from my drink I like sandy chicken. I changed my minds. I'm going down the pub, Dad. I nearly cleaned the kitchen floor. I got violet moons. If I was you and you were me, I could give you a grape. I can't sing and eat. I zipped up the table. I need a snail for my gravy. I threw a slug on you. I'm wondering what to do with this boot. It's the knock the pigs over song. I had a very not nice story in my head.
I want to play chess yoga. (What's that?) When you put clocks under the squares. Now you know! I want to learn how to write. I want to learn how to paint. I want to find Aurora in the woods. I want to drink the red and blue paint. I want Twinkle Little Star I'm afraid. I want to paint the fellas. I want black things. I want to chew you. I want my own purse. I want a wet cardigan. I want to eat a birthday flower. I want to live in Iceland. I want bones. I want to help you brush your teeth. I want to watch tv when it's dark, or sunny, or now. I want a brother. I want cat food. I want to eat my face. I want grown-up things. I want to go to Bolivia. I want to see a rabbit laying easter eggs. I want to play with golden things. I want to make notes. I want to buy a keyhole for the shop window. I want a tattoo on with a balcony & a house & steps & a floor made out of wood & that's all for tattoo today. I want to play poo wobble, (but) I haven't got a poo wobble box. I want rainbow soup and rainbow potatoes. I want a toy clarinet. I want a toy plastic volcano with a button. I just knocked myself over. I can touch nearly the sky! I want to be lonely, Mark. I saw a funny fish one day in Nana Grandad's garden. It was square. I'm not a dear anymore. I'm a darling now. I invented that. With my mind in my head. I want to live at home. I'm just warming my foot up. I woke up in Wonderland. I am the fish-maker. I want a kitchen in my bouncy castle and a bed. And a beaky-cup for my baby. I want a submarine for my birthday.
I don't want this playground to be closed. (North Street playground, Ventnor, during dismantling.)
John's foxes gonna be babies in 10 minutes. In 10 minutes! Just bringing the elephant back to the zoo.
Later it was Tuesday. Looking forward to Summer, Daddy. "L" begins with lady. Ladies normally have two boobs. Let's go for dinner. Let me dig. Loads of grown-ups talking. Let's hide behind the 8!
Make it better. Make Lego glue. My friend Glow Buzzer is shining. Mr Onion was fighting with Sleepy Dibalo. Mum, you got spotty poo. I got star poo. Daddy's got nice poo. Meow, woof, meow, woof, meow, woof, meow, woof. My friend said no. Mummy, I want to go to Japan. My yellow surf shoe came off again. My lunch-pack is walking. My bottom singed! Mummy, don't say play with me. Mummy's got loads of money. My name's Doctor Woods. Marlo and Esmeralda's at the door. Maybe she's not there. Maybe she's gone on a long walk and she will come back on Sunday, maybe. Mummy's a woman. Mousosaurus is coming. My feet are having their dinner. My mind is broken. Mummy, I want a better ice cream. And garlic. My trousers are walking. My legs were talking. My knee's having a little rest. My fart said goodnight. My teeth are scissors. My bum is looking at you.
Now its a bit dead. Not fair! My not fair lady! No more police dogs jumping on the bed. No, no, no, no. That's the no song. Now we are at school. Not this week. Nobody's in the kitchen cooking. No, he didn't do a poo upstairs. Noo Noo's got a red bum. Nice goldery. No, he's not a fruit. No people in the castle.
Once upon a time there was no words and no pictures. Oh gosh. Oh look, there's a man! One eye pushed you and one eye hit you. Oh, I just saw something far away in space. Only bird people eat old cheese. Once upon a time there was an old bum. (What happened to the bum?) It broke. Out the window, into the night. One of the farmers was a pig.
Pingu is gonna have a headache in 20 minutes. Poo noise.
Quick, quick, my baby's flown away.
Rabbits don't have teeth. Ragnar is talking to Ragnar's biscuits.
Someone talked in the rain. Some men have blue hair. Six, seven, zero, eight, time to go! Scrambled eggs, scrambles parsnips. Sing it right. She got sad because she got old yesterday. Slow spaghetti. Sick soup we have to eat when we're sick. Snake cake. Slowly he went to bed. Stop calling me a good girl. Sea people live under the sea. So, how do we break this boat? Screamy byes. Share it, mix it and read it. She didn't want me Matilda size, she wanted me Momo size. And then she made me Momo. She was a cute mum.
Tuesday is morning and time. The rabbit's too high. The squirrel didn't want to say sorry. Too loud. There's a man in my poo. The moon fell out of the sky and he said 'bonk'. The mouse is painting the alien. There are little dinosaurs in the light. There is a little goat in your booby. This is the forrest where lives the foxes, the owls, the bats and the balloons. The railing was cleaning its own eye. The cat made my face all dirty. The grown-up Daddy says hallo to the baby Daddy. The fork is running. Thank you and please. This is the wrong way round. The tiger is giving the turkey and the two turtles a ride on the train. Teacher, open the door. Time to go to Venus. The poo walked. They were three and I gave them three hammers. The dinosaur wanted to break the crocodile's mouth. This is gone now because it needs to go. The cloud wants to be a train. The spider wants to be a telephone. The baby can work on computer. This is the light with the green and the red man. The little volcano had little hot rocks and little fingers. The game is talking because it's got a lady on. The chair is sick. Poor chair. They have onion unicorns. Teddy likes ducks swimming away from their mummy. The bush and the sky are my friends. The dinosaur wants to watch tv. The two babies are thinking. They are drumming the drums loud and they are waking up the babies. Tomorrow I want to go to London. The tower of remotes. The sun reached all the way down to the bottom of the sea. This is the fixed stuff shop. And I work in the fixed stuff shop. That's a heavy owl. Together we are going together. This is a different country and I'm talking another language. The little jam wants mummy jam. They saw the flashing light from the doctor's van. The baby Japan frog is sliding on it's legs. The cat and the doctor went the wrong way round. The dinosaur was in my bum. The rabbit hopped off, said the rabbit. Too much smoking is not good for me. There's a sign that says "no houses here". The rain rained the water out of the swimming pool and it's lovely weather now. That makes me happy. This is some very bad medicine. Tell me the rest of the story. TV is good for little children. The back of the sun is the moon. There goes Mark.
"Ventnor" - funny name for Ventna. Ventnor is not far away, it's just on the planet Earth.
Well done Daddy. We are passengers. What a lovely garden this is. What's wrong with everybody? We don't fish pirates in our boat. Where's our bath? Where do biscuits come from? Words are coming out of my eyes. We went on an interesting walk. We are animals as well. What is sea water? We've been to heaven yesterday. Who's that? Michael Palin? When I was a grown-up. Walking on the moon steps. When I was an artist I painted that white and I had a palette. Who fits in this car? What are moons? We had a little chat. What are you thinking about? We got three flats, one upstairs, one in the roof and one down there. We went through the bush gate. Where have all the roses gone, Mr Onion? What's that smell in my nose? What's that smell coming tomorrow? What does number seven make? What colour('s) is black? When I'm bigger you will have three mummies. We are at school and the school-man has a yoga-mat. What are you doing on Sunday / Friday? What's that error noise? What am I doing? What's rock and roll? When I'm playing I talk to my toys and to myself. We are the family of dogs. Where's the North Pole? We don't know how to fix eggs. We're going to doggy century. We ran into our runs. What are buttercups for? When I'm bigger I want to be a baby doctor. When Paddington puts marmalade sandwiches under his hat he will get sticky hair. When I wake up Daddy then I want to wake up you. We got ham and pickle and custard in our sandwich. What are you talking about? Who made your ironing board? When I was a baby I ate rabbit poo and I thought it was something to eat. We look after our bones. When I done a poo the big bits and the little bits go plonk plonk plonk. What a lovely day. When I'm bigger I'm gonna swim all the way to Egypt. Worms with broken tv. Where is the party?
Where is Daddy? (He's in the Hall working on his masterpiece.) (Pause) That's for him to get piece / peace(?)
Who did make the roof of the hall? (A man called Edgar, I think.) Where does he live? (He used to live in Ventnor.) Where does he live now? (I think he died.) He lives again.
Why do you keep throwing all our rubbish away? Why do we cry all the time? Why am I chewing a bone? Why don't you put your hat on. Why am I walking on the wall? Why did I slap Ryan? Why can't the kittens have any pie when they lost their mittens? Why were you born in Paddington? Why don't you need a bibby, John? Why are you busy, dad? Why can't we eat fire? Why does rain stop fire? Why is Mummy moaning and whining? Why is it Lego?
X P O box.
You are my child. You are my ghost friend. You be quiet forever. You are my dog. You need a real plaster. You are the children. Your teeth are yellow. You are my sister. You need to go to the loo again. You don't tell me, I tell you: we're going to Jupiter A. You've got a funny haircut. Your cushion is sunny, daddy You naughty person. Yellowy, brownish, yellowish, whitish. Your medicine is by his friend clock. Your belt is counting the stairs. You look like a cow. Yesterday Tora was busy with his slime. I like slime. I want slime. You are the best thing to eat in the world. You are a fridge. You are my smell. Your surprise is ready Benjamin. You're the customer and I'm the winner. Your outside of your eyes looks like cream and your inside of your eyes looks like jelly. You are not really skinny but big and fat.