Friday, 10 February 2012

After Turner

 Erm.... is it possible to photograph views in the Lake District without being influenced by Turner?
We saw the painting below today, at Abbott Hall, Kendal. 'The pass of St Gothard' in the Alps. I knew we weren't being quite original in our composition. I say 'our' - t'owd man and I tend to work as a team on photography, unless I'm out on the Humber bridge looking down at mud while he's slaving away.


I have said 'Make friends with grey' before, and here are a few offerings from a day out up to Brantwood, home of John Ruskin. Now there was a prolific natural blogger if ever there was one! he would start to write every day first thing, and then a sack of letters would arrive each day and he'd be writing replies to them etc etc. I bought a book containing a weeny proportion of his offerings on just about everything. An introductory film show at the place told us how much of his vision had come to pass - free schooling, health care, homes for the elderly, and an understanding of the noxious effects of capitalism. He understood that the individuals who make up the capitalist system are not in themselves evil and selfish, but that they don't look at the bigger picture in which what they do makes up the brushstrokes. (I think he knew that if his ideas were to get anywhere, he had to concentrate on the good points of his audience.) Anyway, I can see that we need his wisdom more than ever now, and the condensed book of his writings will be my guiding light for a few weeks, that and Margery Kempe, and the book of household hints from the 1950s.

 Ruskin was perhaps one of the first to read what the skies were saying, and he even did a watercolour of a sunset called 'An Old-fashioned Sunset', of a sky before the days of what he called the Plague-wind. He made up some great little words, such as Illth, which is the opposite of well-being, and recognised as a word by the Oxford English Dictionary, as you will see if you follow the link.
 So - I am friends with grey - and I hope she will be pleased with these pics of her, even if the previous blog shows I'm really besotted with silver.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Snow Queen rambles

That's a verb, by the way! There are some days where you get back to base and you just have a beer while you... look at the pics of where you've just been. So I don't apologise for showing them here, then the most avid reader of this blog - that's me - can see them any time.

This was a walk south of Buttermere up to Haystacks, and Innominate Tarn where Wainwright's ashes are scattered. The whole thing was considered 'a triumph' for a variety of reasons:
  1.   T'owd man's feet did well in his new insoles (custom-fitted Superfeet).
  2.   My feet did well in the boots I bought in Logrono, given that they shredded themselves on the camino.
  3. Both sets of feet did well in the new Microspikes:
  4. My new rucksack, the very Gucci of walking which is Osprey:
  5. We got down in one piece, two really as we did not need to cling together for any reason at all. It's an easy walk there and back of about 7 miles total from the YHA at Honister.
I think you can see that we have been on a bit of a spree. But we ate frugally back at base on beer, teacakes, hummous, local lamb, red wine, chocolates...... hollow leg syndrome had set in big time.

Looking over Buttermere from the south on the ascent to Haystacks.

Innominate tarn, where Wainwright's ashes are scattered

Where now?
The goal - Haystacks is the dark mountain I'm looking at.

Eventually, the summit of Haystacks. Wish I'd brought my crocheting though.

He got there too.

This ruscksack seems to have about 20 adjustable straps.

Blackbeck tarn, on the way back to base. Magical late afternoon light.

Frozen waterfall back at Honister quarry HQ.

I wrote recently about 'don't go there'; but I do like to have a look.

Microspikes meant we could skip down frozen stuff.

Back down the tram track to Honister.

Back to base!

    Photographer at work

    T'owd man's really enjoying himself here...

    Suffering for his art

    Good results!

    We got a little tired by the end of the day, but I find if you imagine you are walking on level ground, it helps.

    Tuesday, 7 February 2012

    Can it be better than this?

    There are some good sunsets visible from our garden, but maybe Barton-on-Humber is not the Lake District, and so perhaps it can't quite equal looking across Derwentwater on a February afternoon.
     Oh look, another pic sneaked on. There was just meant to be one. It has something of black lace about it, mmm? I have a piece of black Lever Lace from some years ago, and maybe this is telling me that its time has come. I don't want to 'spoil' it, but I'm so old now I say that it will be 'spoiled' if it doesn't see the light of day soon in some Victorian grandmama thing.

    Friday, 3 February 2012


    Autumn meets spring at Beck Hill.
    Not suffering from artist's block at the moment, it was hard to tear myself out of the lair, and when I did I started to look at pics and think how lovely patterns in things can be. And so, the brain being totally attuned to picture books and nothing else, I thought that a mixture of mud & embroidery would suffice to make a bit of a display of pretty things from recent days. Words are likely to reappear at some stage.

    But winter appears at last.

    Cassia, myrrh and aloes

    Cassia, myrrh and aloes 2

    Humber pattern 1

    Humber pattern 2

    Thursday, 2 February 2012

    Moving in

    Dear reader! I have just moved house! Not literally of course, but getting a new laptop is much the same. There's the stage where the vans are parked outside, and the house is all pristine within, and then they have to go and spoil it by carrying it all in for you, and really you'd rather just live out of the suitcase of essentials packed to see you through the whole exhausting process. But things are looking up, and t'owd man has put up some 'shelves' now for me to keep my photographs etc on, and so blogs will recommence with a vengeance I hope. Plus, I had my head down in some 'work' as I call my activities sometimes.

    So here is just one pic from a recent bike ride, and one pic of some 'work'. I tend to cycle over the Humber quite a lot, and notice its many moods. I call this one 'Humber stretch marks' 'cos it reminds me of.... no no really, I won't go there as they say. (When did we start this not 'going there' business? It was much later than the 60s, where it had no part when people were busy 'letting it all hang out'. A term that perhaps dates from when people began to take various legal actions after others had been a bit too 'up-front'. You can guard against such things if you remember not to 'go there' too readily.)

    So I leave you with the start of my work on Psalm 45, as you see just a few scraps cut up from clothes I haven't made yet, relating to v 8, 'Your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia'. I did some research and found that these fragrant substances are derived from the bark and resins of trees. This creature is having fun, and I hope you are too.