This is the oak trunk as found. It is about 130 cm long excluding the extending root and about 70 cm in diametre. On inspection it was obviously oak and probably part of a trunk which had died before attaining much size, full of rot and debris, but with signs of a hard core possibly remaining. After lugging it to where it could be picked up by car, it was jet-hosed, dried slowly for weeks and scraped to remove the remaining soft rot and dirt. The reward was this beautiful slightly sinister trunk of iron hard oak.
I was going to be in an exhibition of sculptures organised by the London Group in the gardens of Shoreham in Kent. Five years before I had named an old oak post "On Being 80", this being my age and I shared many of the post's attributes. I wondered whether I could show it with this ancient trunk and call it "Five Years Later Let's be Sensible About Death." Then the Corona virus pandemic began. That title did not feel tactful. Shakespeare always manages to be topical and All the World's a Stage and the seven ages of man says much the same.