Birthday Travels & Scary Castles

Double Click On The Image To Step Into The English Countryside

John and I went north last week to attend a reunion with some people he used to work with in Carlisle. Since my birthday fell during that time, we added a few days to make the long drive more fun. I’ve got about 700 photographs from the area where Beatrix Potter used to write about her friends on the farm, and I’d love to show you a few, but you’ll have wait until tomorrow when I’ve had time to sort some out for you.

We skipped over the border of England into Scotland on the 10th for my birthday and came across an 800 year-old castle that too scary to me to even go into. John wouldn’t have minded, but I had an odd feeling and was content to snap my photos from a distance. I’ll tell you what I discovered later when I researched the castle online. Here’s a photo or two so you can see what I mean about spooky.

 

I’m usually quite fearless when it comes to poking around ancient monuments, but some places feel less inviting than others. Although John never seems to feel this way, I’d be willing to bet that some of my readers know what I’m talking about.

 

Fairy Spirit Or Twist Of Light

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Fairy Spirit Or Twist Of Light?

I live in a place that is a wonderland for the imagination. Stories lie in wait around every turn and each time I step out for a walk or a run I return with a headful of ideas begging to find a bit a permanence and a place to call home. Whether on the moor or walking over the ancient bridges that cross the river that runs through our little village, I see possibilities wherever my eyes stop to rest. I find myself talking to the animals I see along the way and can easily understand how Beatrix Potter could create worlds where bunnies and geese talk back while cats and dogs do the shopping and farm work. These are fertile grounds for story making and the peace of my rural life is perfect for coaxing life into new characters and situations.

I have so much material that I often feel overwhelmed with my choices much like the way one might when standing before a huge buffet table, only instead of choosing between fried chicken southern style or asian sweet and sour , my banquet table is weighed down with ideas. It’s a wonderful problem to have, but for a woman prone ever so slightly towards being easily distracted…too many choices can be troublesome. So the ideas tend to pile up, waiting in a long queue for their moment with some moments taking longer to arrive than others. If I forget to write it all down…the story can disappear, but sometimes there is evidence, a lasting trigger with an image of mine to remind me.

Such was the case with a walk in Scotland on the Isle of Skye at sunset a few years ago. Day or night, the sky there is always stunning and I crawled over a thorny patch to capture this image lit by the setting sun. Skye has long been a magical place for me and seeing what looked like a bit of a fairy spirit captured in the lens of my camera created  more of a feeling of confirmation than surprise.  I have a series of these taken from different angles and the image is the same …twist of light or fairy spirit…you choose. I’d love to hear your thoughts…

 

(My lens was clean…in case you’re wondering…with no smudges or dust)