Puzzle’s Curse

April 28, 2021

Figure 1 week 4


Overseas travel is still not possible. A trip to Sydney to see La Traviata had to be cancelled due to a three-day lockdown before Easter. So, what to do in Brisbane? Yes, go to Goma. Yes, go the movies. Yes, go to the Museum of Brisbane, but what happened there? 

A Stephen Nothling puzzle presented and channelled itself to me. 

Figure 2 Puzzle cover

And I am not one to do puzzles. Though I must admit that I had bought a million-piece set of Velázquez’s Las Meninas from the Prada in Madrid for my then four-year-old granddaughter. I thought the little blonde princess might speak to her, having the same hair length and colour. 

Figure 3 Velázquez’s Las Meninas

Needless to say, the puzzle pieces bag was taken out of the package, touched and admired, and put back into its box again, where no doubt it still lies in pristine condition. That was some years ago when you could take a trip. 

Now I blame my darling friend Anoushka. You see, she, amongst her many other talents, like writing astounding narrative, doing exquisite glass mosaics, doing the most amazingly intricate crocheting covers, also does puzzles. If Anoushka, you have guessed by now that I adore her, does puzzles it must be alright for me to do one too. Hence the enthusiastic Nothling purchase that has since skyrocketed my budget, generally toppled my life, and prompted my other half to retreat to the garden shed.

With a professional approach I bought a 1000-piece puzzle satchel on the internet. No sooner in possession of same, I came to realise that it was not big enough for the gazillion pieces. So, I ordered a bigger board with four pull out sections. This is where the house was turned upside down, well the dining/living room in the first place with a flow on effect to the remaining rooms. We have managed to secure a small area at the table for breakfast, the rest being occupied by you know what. The number of times that I am crawling under the table looking for a dropped piece does not amuse me anymore. I am also wondering if all pieces are present because there are so many gaps and nothing to fill them with. 

Not only the house, but my life is also affected. Searching for a missing piece I bend over the board, sit down, and many hours later, still in PJs, unwashed, unkempt I tear myself away without the missing bit in its proper place. 

Progress is awfully slow, why I ever thought that one afternoon would see me with a completed work, is beyond me. It has been weeks, and the few thrills when I find the correct piece, are outweighed by the frustratingly slow progress. 

On Anoushka’s advice I now try to stick to a routine where I attempt to do my tasks first and then, as a reward, turn myself over to puzzling. At this rate, I might get it finished by Christmas. 

Figure 4 progress? after another 2 weeks

Then what? Should I take up glass mosaicking?

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