We leave Belsay Halland start off to get to the quarry, but first we’ll have a look in the formal gardens of the Hall. The temperatures were milder than usual in October and November, and so butterflies were still about, which surprised us.
Still some flowers budding and blooming too.
and some buggy things
There’s a manicured lawn within a walled garden
And then on out to the path that leads you on to the quarry, through gorgeous autumn colours.
Next time we’ll get to the exotic quarry walk so stay tooned!
As well as doing the 365 project last year, I did manage to get out and about with Sophie, and as I’ve posted over atFragglefilm a few from our re-visit of Belsay Hall & Castle, I thought I’d do a post with the Fuji photo’s I took the same day. We last visited in February 2019 but haven’t been in Autumn so wanted to rectify that. I’m repeating the history bit for new followers, and forgetful old followers 🤣
The History Bit
Back in days of yore, the first fortification at Belsay was an Iron Age hillfort, set on a hilly spur known as Bantam Hill. Not a lot of info on that as no records exist of how big it was, or how long it was occupied, but in 1270 Richard de Middleton, Lord Chancellor to King Henry III had a Manor built there. The Manor stayed in the Middleton family until 1317 when Gilbert de Middleton owned it. At this point in history, Robert The Bruce was on the rampage, and having won a great victory at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 was raiding into England with impunity. Gilbert raised himself a private army to counter the threat of The Bruce, but stupid Gilbert went a bit OTT and ended up raiding Yorkshire and extorting money from the Bishop of Durham. It didn’t take long until he was captured, hung, drawn and quartered, and his Manor confiscated. The Belsay estate was passed around a few people but ended up back in the Middleton clan in 1390, when John Middleton extended the manor and built the castle which is still there today. In 1614 the castle was modified by Thomas Middleton who added a Jacobean range on the west side, probably replacing the old manor. A further wing was added round about 1711, and a walled garden in front of the castle. In 1795 the castle passed into the hands of 6th Baronet Sir Charles Miles Lambert Monck who actually had the surname of Middleton but changed his name to that of his maternal grandfather Laurence Monck of Caenby Hall, Lincolnshire who died in 1798, in order to inherit his estate. Because you can never have enough halls and castles. Charlie had traveled to Greece for his honeymoon and became much enamored of Hellenic architecture, so with the help of John Dobson, the North’s most famous architect, he built a new manor in the grounds of the castle in the Greek Revival style. He and his family moved into the new building in 1817 and just abandoned the castle. Of course, that fell into disrepair and by 1843 parts of the structure were ruinous.
Luckily Sir Arthur Middleton took it on in 1872 and the 1711 wing was demolished and the manorial house was partially rebuilt so it could be used as a dower house ~ a house intended as the residence of a widow, typically one near the main house on her late husband’s estate~whilst the tower itself was restored in 1897. During the 2nd World War, the military used the castle which led to further deterioration, and by 1945 when the Middleton family got it back, they lacked the funds to sort it out. By 1986 Sir Stephen Middleton owned the estate, but moved into a smaller house nearby, leaving the two properties empty. Both of these were transferred into State ownership in 1980 and the site is now in the care of English Heritage.
Although the castle and the manor are great to photograph, our favourite bit is the walk through the quarry that connects the two buildings. We went looking for Autumn colours and were not disappointed, and the weather was kind to us, always welcome!
Firstly though let’s have a look at the manor.
It’s a fair walk from the Manor to the Castle, through the lovely landscape and a quarry walk, so next time we’ll start out and see what there is to see.
This week is kind of the straw that broke the camel’s back, actually several straws, and I consider the whole week AAFP’s. ‘Wildlife’ for goodness sakes. Face palming and eyerolling all the way through this. Consequently I have had to cheat i.e I shot 3 of the prompts when on a photography outing with Sophie this past weekend on a trip to Bolam Lake. On the whole Wardley, Gateshead tends not to have deer or hippo’s and the like wandering around Dunkeld Close or Parklands Way, no giraffe’s use the local Londis store, and though I have seen an urban fox on our night vision hedgehog camera, that’s only been twice, and s/he doesn’t turn up in the daytime, or come when you call. The weather has turned rainy and grey again too and very cold now, so not much sign of insects, slugs or snails either. Still, I’ve done what I can to get through the week, so let’s crack on.
Abbreviations you may come across during this post. AFAC~ airy fairy abstract concept. AAFP ~ annoying as F-bomb prompt. CBBP ~ completely bloody barking prompt.HDBS ~ hippy dippy bull****. AWP! ~ Absolutely wonderful prompt!
Also- there may be swearing.
Day 290 ~ Happy. ~ How exciting. This is the week to get outside and find the wild things! Birds, insects, animals, fish or even your pets if wildlife just isn’t your thing or you simply can’t find any! My grandson was so happy when he caught his first fish! It was a huge thrill for him even though it was just a sucker. We always do a ‘catch and release’ so no animals were harmed in the taking of this picture.
Mrs.Cocktail dress at least gives me the option of pets if no wildlife is available, but that’s such a cop out I think. Happy wildlife? Maybe, maybe not, but I was happy to get this shot of the swan and gull nodding to each other as the swan passed by.
Day 291 ~ Scene. ~ Today you can take the word Scene in any direction! It could be a scene that includes wildlife or you could show a wild life on display! I chose to put our beach spin on the latter… most fall days at the beach are anything but wild especially when fishing! It requires relaxing patience to wait for the wildlife to show up! Can’t wait to see which scene to happen across today!
So a ‘scene’ of the prompt lady relaxing on a chair at the beach with a fishing rod in her hand can be classed as a wildlife picture. 🤦♀️🙄 sigh. I despair, but there’s worse to come. Another ‘cheat’ shot from Bolam Lake. At least there IS wildlife in it.
Day 292 ~ prompt free. Prompt Free Days often bring to mind the saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” Some days, we feel restricted by the prompt, but on other days, no specific prompt makes us feel lost by having no point of departure. Think about these prompt free days as a check-in as to how this project is changing you. What do you notice that you would have overlooked previously? What small moments in you day now feel bigger and call to be documented? Today is a blank canvas for which all of the other prompts have prepared you.
I didn’t have a cheat for this one, so went for the cop out instead 🤣 taken after I got home from work. In fact our Winnie has some Bengal-cat DNA we found out from Sophie which explains a lot as she is mad bonkers wild when not asleep!
Day 293 ~ Climb. ~ This week we’re supposed to feature wildlife in our photos. Well as far as I’m concerned my two great-nephews are as wild as they come! The older one, Trace, loves the show American Ninja and loves to climb and do the obstacles that they feature on the show. I wouldn’t be surprised if someday he actually tries out for it. This playground is just around the corner from my house. I had never seen anything like it but these two just loved climbing and swinging between the posts. Wildlife comes in all forms. What climbing wildlife can you find today?
I did say there was worse to come didn’t I? I mean, SERIOUSLY!!?? “Wildlife comes in all forms”. Nephews! Pfft!! What is the point? Oh let’s give people a prompt and then totally bloody ignore it ourselves and post pics of our grandkids and nephews instead. FFS. AAFP +++ and CBBP. If I was a cartoon I’d have steam coming out of my ears. The only thing to do was subversion. And this isn’t even the end of worse to come. 🥴
Day 294 ~ Gather. How are you enjoying capturing Wild Life this week? Depending on where you live, this could be a challenge! Today’s prompt is gather. I thought about this golden field, and the deer gathering there. You could look for any animal. You could capture your subject gathering something (i.e. a squirrel gathering nuts) or you can look for animals gathering together.
I think you can tell how much I’m enjoying it. No deer, no squirrels and had my car in the garage having work done so no going out hunting. So I had one ready for this from when I took the last of the quadryptych last week.
But I really don’t like cheating so much. I noticed these shrooms when I walked back from dropping the car off, and I thought, well, they grow wild and are alive and in so many special ways! I recently watched a documentary called Fantastic Fungi on Amazon, and it blew my mind, here’s a 2 minute trailer so you get my drift, even 2 mins is jaw dropping.
Day 295 ~ Flame.~ This week has been about capturing wildlife or wild life. After a week of wildness, are you tired? Are you ready to kick your feet up and relax? I am. Around a warm fire is always a cozy way to relax. Maybe you can relax with family around a fire pit or in front of a fireplace. Perhaps you’ll share a quiet candlelight dinner with someone special. Or the flame that warms you today could be that of the sun as you relax outside with some wild ones, or not. The choice is yours.Whatever your day brings, may warmth and happiness be a part.
Can you imagine my apoplexy dear reader? This is beyond CBBP, AFAP and eyerolling with attached facepalm, and belongs in the What the actual f**kery department. Firepit?? Candlelight dinner??? What has any of that got to do with wildlife?? Anyone? No, me neither. And so, a decision is made. There are 70 days left in this 365 challenge, and I will keep going until the merciful end, but this level of ridiculosity will not be tolerated, and when prompts are this silly I will resort to ‘off~prompt’ days and shoot the cats or whatever else I fancy. So for today we have Lord Vincent, who can’t quite fit as snugly as Winnie does on the tree~house, but where there’s a will…
Day 296 ~ Bumpy. ~So the wildlife that I found was a frog, on my bumpy cobbled drive. What wildlife can you find today?
That could have been an impossible prompt but it was my day out shooting (or togging as we call it) with Sophie and we went to Northumberland. It was very exciting as they have recently added Arctic Foxes and Snow Leopards to the zoo which were glorious to see, one day when this is over I’ll share the photos! In the meantime they also have some tortoises, and this one is a Sulkata Tortoise, also known as African Spurred Tortoise, they can grow to be one of the largest reptiles, weighing in at over 90 kilos. He was certainly bumpy!
And that’s the end of wildlife week, not the best of weeks for me, but hey ho, win some lose some. Next week is colour week and this time the colour is Black. I’m away next week though visiting ‘doon sooth’ with my son Ben and grandson Lewis, so they will be my priority, there’ll certainly be pictures taken every day but whether or not I can stick to the prompts is another matter! Stay tooned! 😁
This week we are into another colour week, this time brown. I’m not overly fond of brown, it’s a bit dull to me, but after last week’s Labours of Double Exposures, I wanted to have some fun this week and decided on a little subvertivityness, and that would be to add in as much bright colours as I could and that the prompts would allow. Here we go..
Day 241~ Accomplishment. ~ “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment “- Ralph Waldo Emerson.It’s brown week! It is going to be such a beautiful warm week in our galleries and I can’t wait to see all the richness this colour gives us. We can all be so proud of our many accomplishments! As we near the end of August, that means you have posted a picture a day for almost 8 months. That is an amazing accomplishment. An accomplishment is something done admirably or creditably. It’s any acquired ability or knowledge. It might be as simple as learning a new craft, sport or recipe. It might mean stretching yourself to physical limits, or sitting and enjoying the accomplishment of finishing a book. What have you accomplished today? Remember to add some brown to your picture!
That could have been an AFAC from Mrs.Cocktail~ dress, but I actually thought of something straight away, as I was cooking a Sunday Roast lunch today. I accomplished it very nicely, it was yummy slow roasted lamb in garlic & herb rub, accompanied by vegetables and delicious roast potatoes.
Day 242 ~ Garden, ~ Brown is described as an earthy, warm, and relaxing color, often associated with the great outdoors. So let’s head outside to see what browns are in a garden or outdoor space that you enjoy. There is so much in nature that is the color brown – trees & dirt, birds & insects, buildings & statues. I happened to find a few large animals at the botanical gardens…thankfully not of the furry variety! What brown did you find today?
Typical Bank Holiday Monday – it rained most of the day, so in between drops of the stuff I ventured out into my garden and shot the waning buddleia bush we have. It’s been such a poor summer that most of it’s blooms are completely brown now, but I wanted some extra colour and found this one hanging on to a bit.
Day 243 ~ Glad. ~ I am so glad that I live in such a wildlife-filled area. It brings me such joy finding little treasures like this while out hiking. What is something brown you find in nature that makes you glad? If it’s not something in nature, share with us something else that’s brown that makes you glad.
A definite AFAC, I mean, who goes around looking at brown things and feeling glad? I had to work my brain for this one. It was a mega full on day at work, bank holidays are nice but the office manager piles on extra clients to make up for it and I’m already working flat out! I was quite knackered when I got. home so sat by the window hoping to take a picture of some brown sparrows at the Happy Eater Tree. Of course sparrows are not coming quite so much these days as they are likely to be murdered by Winnie or Vinnie (2 bodies so far) but the little blutits are fearless in spite of their death toll (3 bodies so far), and I got this little cutey instead. The tree is brown, and I’m glad the bluetit survived. 😊
Day 244 ~ Crayon ~ I have a caddy of crayons that has so many different colours in it. I pulled out all the brown toned ones for this photo. Brown crayons aren’t necessarily the prettiest but some of these crayons are quite nice. A couple of them are metallic and I like the way they colour. Take out your crayons and practice some art! Bring out your inner child. My grandson calls his art his “masterpieces.” Show us your masterpiece.
Luckily I have a set of artist materials, that sounds posh but they are not professional quality, it was bought for the grandkids but I purloined it for myself for a time such as this. The kids have got enough art and stationary stuff to open their own branch of Staples if they wanted to anyway! Here is my inner child’s masterpiece.
Day 245 ~ Supportive. ~ The color brown probably goes unnoticed more than any other color. The prompt today reminds of the things or people in our lives that go unnoticed but provide great support. When you are driving across a bridge, you don’t see what supports it but you trust it is sure and sturdy. This is the old trestle in Harper’s Ferry, WV that is now a walking path. You can really see how strong the supports are when you step back and away. Think about something that provides support today. It can be literal, like my example photo, or it can be figurative, something that supports you.
Yet another rubbishy rainy day, and wasn’t inclined to go out, but I know a thing or two about personal support so I got this done without too much chagrin.
Day 246 ~ Downtown. ~ Not all downtown areas are pretty buildings with colorful picture windows and flashy lights. Some are simply boring brown buildings. But, every now and then you’ll see something interesting for which those buildings serve as the perfect backdrop for creating both contrast and context. As you go about your day, in a downtown area or otherwise, look for something interesting to photograph where a brown building serves as a backdrop for some other subject.
And so. Sigh. AAFP because there was nothing for it but to schlep into Newcastle in the misery weather to take a picture of some structure in front of a brown building. It shouldn’t have been hard, as there’s plenty of statues and art works dotted around the city. I decided the 5 flying swan sculpture set in a small lake thing in front of the Civic Centre would be nice. I hadn’t actually seen it in the flesh so to speak, just pictures on a website, so wanted to add it to my collection. I didn’t really know where the Civic Centre was, but had my sat nav and there are signposts and maps around to help tourists and numpties like me. I worked out I needed to get off the metro at the Haymarket and it wasn’t far from there. Unfortunately I turned the wrong way coming out of the metro station and went in completely the wrong direction. The sat nav then pointed me into the indoor shopping arcade called Eldon Square, which is huge and has a lot of hilly bits, and I thought I’d get out the other side of it and be by the centre. How wrong I was. I got completely lost in Eldon Square, and ended up retracing my steps to back where I’d started. I checked the ‘you are here’ maps which list the Civic Centre but don’t actually show it on the map part, and none of the signposts pointed to it either. To cut what already is a long story shorter, after several wrong direction moves I finally found it. I walked around the whole outside of the building, which is not small, and no sign of the scupture, although there was a bit of water. I’ve since discovered you have to go inside the building and then out into an inner courtyard. So a complete fail. My Plan B was to photograph the Man With Potential Selves art work outside Central Metro station, so trundled back to the other side of the town to get to them. 2 & 1/2 hours I’d been traipsing about when really I could have just got off the metro at Central, taken the shot I ended up with anyway and got straight back on the metro home, that would have taken less than an hour. 🙄🥴
Day 247 ~ Effect. ~ The owner of this vehicle decided to have a hot drink in his van. He got the gas going but unfortunately it started a fire, causing a lot of damage; three other cars were completely written off and those trees as well. The effect of one hot drink was a bit of destruction, as the tree had to be cut down. The area looks completely different today. Now let’s hope the brown you find today has a good effect on you.
Well that’s an AFAC for sure. But I’d been thinking about it anyway and when I came across the M&S building in Newcastle yesterday I took a shot of it as I wanted to use it for today. Of course that’s cheating really, and I should have gone back to Newcastle and taken it today, but Phil’s younger sister and her hubby is visiting and travelled up from the Isle of WhightWhite Wight and I don’t have time today. So I forgive myself this once. Anyway, the Marks & Spencer Building – The 167 square metre wall has been made using nearly 16,000 plants, including Sea Pink, Thyme, Cranesbill, Wood Rush, Hebe and Ferns, and is irrigated by rainwater captured on the roof by a rainwater harvesting system. The development, which will stay green throughout the year and help to encourage biodiversity, goes alongside a number of other eco-friendly changes in-store such as intelligent door sensors, LED fridge lighting and a new heat reclaim system. These features will help to improve the store’s energy efficiency by 20%. Effect? – I think it has the effect of being dead. 😳
And that’s a wrap, I’m winning at brown! Next week we are back to technical skills, and it’s all about ‘motion’, stay tooned dear reader!
This week is another Colour week, and we are having adventures in Green. Green is not one of my go-to colours, it’s nice for plants an’all, but other than that isn’t of much interest to me, also I read through the prompts for the week and found myself groaning, more AFAC’s (arty farty abstract concepts) to deal with, so it hasn’t been the best of weeks photographically speaking.
Anyway, onwards with my offerings.
Day 185 ~ Lace. ~ Lace is usually white or cream, but if you have some green lace go ahead and take a photo. If, like me, you don’t have any, then think out of the box, this is a field of corn and I think the leaves give a lacy feel. Let us see what you come up with for Lace today!
Well this one was straightforward, I used a lacy overcoaty thingy for a dress I never wear.
Day 186 ~ Empathy. ~ Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. I was struggling to find my grandson’s smile on a particularly hard day for him. I gave him a mood ring. The ring had a brown stone in it and he was fascinated when I told him it changed colour with his mood. Sure enough, it turned from brown to yellow. “What does yellow mean Granny?” “Damon it means you are mellow-yellow and feeling fine!” He liked that and a small smile appeared. But then, it turned to green! “What does green mean Granny?” “It means you are happy Damon”, “Would you like to wear it Granny and we can both be happy?” So much empathy from his young soul. And with that our day was complete. Green is the colour of tranquility and tranquility was what he needed on this day.
Seriously??? Empathy in green?? A gold medal AFAC from Mrs.Cocktail Dress who I was getting to like after her last prompt or two. Sigh. It was a hard day at work for me, and the clinic manager is about as empathetic as a dead gnu, so I wasn’t feeling it at all when I got home. Had a cuppa, and forgot about stressing and this idea popped into my head. So I did it.
Day 187 ~ Full. ~ Don’t you just love color week? I’m always surprised by what catches my eye and even more surprised at the things I hadn’t noticed before I was on the hunt for a particular color! Since today’s word is FULL – let’s fill every inch of the frame with green! I can’t wait to see what you’ve been overlooking while waiting for Green Week!
Another mega day at work, I should stop with that as it’s an ongoing thing now, doesn’t look like it will be changing any time soon. I’m getting more and more clients in wiith actual ear problems rather than wax, but the GP’s surgeries are still not seeing people, or they’re having to wait so long for an appointment so they come to me. I do the best I can and refer back to the GP by letter when I find a real problem. Anyway I digress. Full is what we have to do. I figured the view from our bedroom window is particularly greenful at this point in time.
Day 188 ~ Adventurous. ~ What a perfect color to capture today’s prompt of adventurous! I took this photo in early spring, and I found that a low point of view was going to be best to capture as much green as I could. Today, try to capture your adventure at a low point of view. It really does draw your eyes to your subject in a neat way! Don’t forget to capture as much green as you can too!
Well my only adventure was going to work and this afternoon going for a dental appointment. The dentist doesn’t have green livery or I’d have shot that! I went stalking Winnie as she is always off on adventures around where we live.
Day 189 ~ Door. ~ I love photographing doors. I’m always on the lookout for interesting and unique doors when I’m out and about. When I travel, I love to find doors that are unique to the specific culture and show the architecture of that country. I think doors can be so beautiful. This door leads into the cellar at a historical building at a site not far from me. It’s a fairly plain door but the stonework around it fascinated me and I was immediately drawn to it. Fortunately for me is was a lovely shade of green! What unique and interesting door can you find today? As it’s colour week, try and find a green door. If you can’t find a green door, include some greenery or something else green in your photo.
I had to take Phil to the Sunderland Eye Hospital today as he was in for lazer treatment for his poorly eyes, so that took a fair bit of the day up, but I went for a walk when we got home as I knew and had photographed a well cool door on the outskirts of our estate. It belongs to Woodbine House, a remnant of when Wardley was a pit village. It used to be a Post Office and then the British Legion club. Last time I went it was a bit dilapidated but had a crusty front door with peeling green paint I thought would be cool. But when I got there some bugger had bought it, done it up and painted the front door a hideous bland blue/grey. Sigh. So I took a picture of the only green door I could find on the modern side on my way home.
Day 190 ~ Challenge. ~ What is a challenge for you? We all face challenges of some kind. It could be a mental challenge, a physical challenge or an emotional challenge. This photo represents all of the above to me. Hiking on a trail, having to navigate water and obstacles. How do you get around or through it? Can my body even do it? How do I face my emotional fear? You can share details of your struggles or keep it simple. It’s up to you how vulnerable you want to be with the prompt. It’s green week so it might be a “challenge” to even incorporate the color in your image.
Blimey that’s all a bit intense. I’m not sharing anything about my ‘struggles’ or ’emotional fears’, mainly because I don’t have any, and if I did I wouldn’t be plastering them all over ruddy Instagram. 🙄 I had to take Phil to his hospital at South Shields to hand in his sick certificate, and we went into town after to the flea market there. I challenged myself to find something green and pretty to take a picture of. I found this lovely little vintage mint perfume atomiser made out of Caithness glass, which is made in Crieff, Perthshire which is somewhere in Scotland but no-where near Caithness. It cost me £5 and when I looked up Caithness Glass found one in Etsy just the same selling for £25! Bargain! I’m winning at green!
Daay 191~ magic. ~ Today is my anniversary, a day when I take a stroll down memory lane to the magical moments that Weber and I have shared. One of my favorite things to do in my daily photos is to try to document the emotions of my day. Some days, I can do that with a photo only. Other days, words come to me first and, in turn, inspire the photo. That was the case here. I love this quote and it seemed quite appropriate for the day’s emotions. Thinking about the words sent me on the hunt for something that, for me, represented an angel’s wing. All of the green makes the image feel so magical and alive .How do you see and feel magic? If words inspire you, include a quote with your photo.
Well dear reader, you can imagine, I didn’t know whether to blaspheme or just swear like a navvy, so I did both. 🥴 ‘Angels wings’, pfft! I am designating this another Gold medal AFAC, that’s 2 in one week, the ladies have outdone themselves. Anyway this is what I cobbled together for it.
Thankfully that’s the end of green week. Stay tooned for the next week when we are having adventures in points of view>
Well this week has been a bit of a mixed bag really. This is ‘style’ week and the style is Golden Hour. Golden Hour is the period of daytime an hour before sunset, or an hour after sunrise, when the sky is all reddened from the low angle of the sun. Of Course Golden Hour requires the sun to be in the sky, so looking at the weather forecast I knew this wouldn’t be the easiest of weeks. Let’s begin!
Day 94 ~ Nature. In photography the golden hour is the period of daytime shortly after sunrise or before sunset. It is also called the Magic Hour! To me this is so appropriate for today’s prompt of nature. Nature is magic! It may refer to living plants, geological processes, weather, animals or humans. We are surrounded by a world of nature right outside our doorsteps. Step outside at sunrise or sunset and see what kind of magic you can capture in nature during the golden hour. There is the chance that the weather or the hour for photography won’t suit or cooperate with you. Not to worry! If that should happen, show us what nature surrounds you today.
So basically do it in golden hour if you can but not if you can’t. Well I am not keen on this shilly shallying, and determined to only shoot in that period of time, which up here is from 6.13am and would require me to get up whilst still asleep, not do-able, or 7pm, which is doable, except that’s just around dinner time so adjustments had to be made. Day 94 did not have a golden hour at that time, it had the grey hour instead, so I made do with my blossom tree which has burst into action this past week or so and added a warming filter to give it a bit of a golden glow. It wasn’t very effective really as you can see how grey the sky is behind it, but here it is.
Day 95 ~ Energized. I don’t know about you, but when the golden hour turns the sky into a myriad of glorious colors it sure does energize me to grab my camera! When the sun is low in the sky, it is the perfect time of day to take advantage of backlighting your subject or trying your hand at silhouettes. When you illuminate your subject from behind, you might be surprised at details that stand out, things that might otherwise have been overlooked. No amazing sky today? No worries! This effect can also be achieved using the light from a window or open doorway to create your own backlighting. Can’t wait to see the light that energizes you today!
That ‘Z’ is a bit mad isn’t it? and I had to stop myself from correcting the spelling, as I believe in letting people speak/write in their native tongues however incorrect they are. 😉 I had a really busy day at work and didn’t feel energised at all. Taking energetic pictures was the last thing I wanted to do. The sky was grey and moody when I got in from work so I figured I’d have my dinner and then play around with window light. But at the last minute, a break in the clouds happened and I spotted the chance to catch my eucalyptus tree engoldened. I know how the sun works on our estate, what will be lit up and when, and have spotted the gold happening before so was glad to get the picture. I didn’t bother with the backlighting or silhouette, nothing I haven’t done before, I just loved the side lighting on the tree. So I was energised in the end and chuffed with myself, this is my fave shot of the week.
Day 96 ~ Cable. Everything kind of fell into place easily for this prompt today. We bought a fish house/camper earlier this year that has the most amazing cable system on it; and, the golden hour tonight was lovely. Those two pieces together allowed me to capture the prompt and picture style week quite nicely. I hope you are able to find a cable today that catches your eye. Just try to remember to use the beautiful hues of the golden hour to accentuate your subject. I do believe you’ll also have a lovely photo to share with us today as well.
This one annoyed me. Firstly, I didn’t know what a fish house/camper is. I googled it and found out that a fish house sells fish, but then found out a fish house camper is just like what we call a camper van, but in the USA people use camper vans to go ice fishing. I think that’s right. Here in the UK we don’t have many lakes that freeze over and require the fish to be removed so having a specifically designed camper for ice fishing is just not a thing. The USA ones come in various sizes, mostly ginormous, and cost more than my 4 bedroom house. I imagine the petrol needed to move it would power a small country for a year, so that’s annoying considering the climate thing. Also annoying is the assumption that we can all find a wonderful photogenic cable of all things. The picture she posted was like a winch with a heavy roped cable around it, and I’m thinking where the expletive deleted am I gonna find a winch in Wardley? I was moaning to Phil and he suggested electric cables and we still have a few of the old fashioned telephone cables on poles on the wrong side of the tracks of our estate. Luckily the sun was breaking through the clouds so after dinner I got in the car and drove over there to find one.
Day 97 ~ What’s more refreshing than taking a stroll around a lovely pond at golden hour? The water flows out of the fountain, hitting the pond surface with the spray lightly touching your face as you walk by…doesn’t that sound like a nice way to spend a warm evening?”Refreshing” can come in many forms such as a refreshing drink, a refreshing swim, or a refreshing change of scenery. Taking photographs during the golden hour can be refreshing in itself. The light falls so gently at this time of day, adding drama and texture to your photo. Show us the refreshing way you enjoy golden hour today.
There was only grey hour this particular evening and no Missy, it wasn’t a warm evening at all, bloody freezing here this week! Refreshing swim??? In yer dreams 🙄. I had no inclination to find a pond. Also I received my new iMac today, and I had a lot to do starting with migrating everything from my old iMac to the new one. It’s an easy process as macs have a migrating assistant, and so long as both computers are on the same internet connection it’s just a matter of invoking the assistant, hitting a couple of keys, and hey presto, a couple of hours later it’s done. So I had a refreshing glass of wine whilst I was setting it up, and as it was in the golden hour timescale, put my golden faced clock next to it. I’m winning at golden!
Day 98 ~ Prompt Free Days often bring to mind the saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” Some days, we feel restricted by the prompt, but on other days, no specific prompt makes us feel lost by having no point of departure.Think about these prompt free days as a check-in as to how this project is changing you. What do you notice that you would have overlooked previously? What small moments in YOUR day now feel bigger and call to be documented?Today is a blank canvas for which all of the other prompts have prepared you.
I usually use a cat for prompt free days, but today I’ve been busy resetting my old iMac to default so Phil can have it, then resetting his old one so we can give it to a grandkid. My old iMac has been with me since 2012, 9 years now and there’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just too slow now for the size of the photography programs I use, but will be fine for Phil. The one he’s been using is a smaller iMac that I got in 2008 and gave him when I upgraded last time. It still works too, 13 years and still going strong. They may be top end price wise but at least they don’t conk out after 4 or 5 years. I don’t expect I’ll ever need another, but who knows. So meet the new boss, same as the old boss,but with upgraded internally stuff. Full disclosure, it was a miserable, bloody cold grey hour yet again, so the golden hour look is fake. *hangs head in shame*. 🤪
Day 99 ~ Authentic.I have spent many years trying to figure out what my personal style is when it comes to photography. In a nutshell, I have come to the conclusion that I like authenticity in my images. I like them to reflect true and meaningful moments in life. I think that puts me in the category of lifestyle and documentary photographer. What this means to me is that I don’t generally set up my shots. I don’t edit out imperfections. And, I don’t always shoot at “the best time of day.” My intellectual self knows that shooting during the golden hour makes for gorgeous photos, but the realist in me also knows that a lot of life’s stories take place in the other twenty-three of hours each day. And those stories need to be captured, even if done so in less than ideal circumstances. Think about what creates authenticity in YOUR photos. Capture that today. If it happens during the golden hour, yay! If not, shoot anyway.
A woman after my own heart. So this basically means shoot what you want when you like, sod the challenge. Another prompt free day in other words. Maybe she just couldn’t think of anything prescriptive. I had of course decided it was shoot the cats time, but just as I was considering that Phil called me to the conservatory as Lucy the hedgehog had turned up again. She’s been 3 times now during the day, but also turns up at night, as we see her on the wildlife camera. We are figuring her body clock is way off. Also she’s a lot smaller than the others that visit at night so maybe she’s trying to eat herself bigger and needs to do it more often. Anyway she seems fit and healthy, eats and drinks well and runs around pretty nimbly. She is definitely an authentic Hedgehog and not a copy.
Day 100 ~Shine. By taking photos on a regular basis you learn when the best light of the day is for you. I love it when the sun is shining and everything has a soft glow during golden hour. I am better at taking the photos in the evening, I am not a person that gets up early enough to see the sunrise most mornings at this time of year. By using the golden hour to take a photo of my magnolia tree, I am making the bud shine. What can you find to shine today at golden hour?
Nothing. That’s what I can find shining in golden hour because bliddy golden hour is bliddy grey. Again. But although no lovely shafts of sunlight came my way, I noticed that it still lit up the higher clouds, the white ones toodling along higher up than the grey blanket in the lower sky. I could see their reflection on the back of my car so thought that looked a bit shiney. Works for me anyway.
And that is the end of Golden Hour/Grey Hour week. Only 2 shots out of the seven were in a proper golden hour, and the rest I had to fudge, but at least they were taken when golden hour should have been gold. I suppose I could have got up at 5 am and done a morning golden hour thing, but that was never going to happen, and even if I had it would still have been grey more than gold. So a challenging week, but stay tooned for next week, adventures in colour. I think colour week is becoming my favourite week!
Hi guys, this week is the sodding selfie week, and I find I’m taking a perverse pleasure in keeping as little of myself in the picture as is possible, whilst still following the prompts. I’ve checked out other peoples contributions on the Instagram page and am quite appalled at the amount of people who completely neglect to put any bits of themselves in the shot at all. I mean, come on, cheaters! Anyway onwards!
Day 87~ New. Where I Stand is a monthly prompt that we repeat throughout the year. The idea is to include your feet, either taking the photo looking down or putting your camera on a tripod and taking a photo of just your lower half. What do you have that is new in your life, that you should include in your photo? Put it next to where you stand and show us.
I didn’t have anything new unless we count some pitta breads and a bottle of milk, which I don’t, so made do with my latest purchases from Amazon and Ebay, though they are a few weeks old now. Some woolly socks, and a watch.
Day 88. Apparel. Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you. You decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live – Gianni Versace. I like an eclectic, bohemian style when I am not dressed for fitness. When my husband bought his Harley I was very excited by the potential for shopping for the clothes I needed in order to be his passenger. I am in love with my Harley Davidson protective gear. I feel really fierce in it! It is almost as fun to wear the leathers as it is to ride on the bike. Fashion is instant language. Show us your style and let us get to know you better.
WTF? Fashion?? Style?? Leathers?? Seriously woman, left all that behind many years ago. Mini skirts and thigh high boots were the thing back in ‘my day’ but then I segued into sartorial elegance (jeans, T shirt) and now repose in the Andy Pandy school of fashion. This sums me up perfectly.
(For my non UK readers, Andy Pandy was a kids TV programme in the jurassic era and this is what he looked like).
Day 89~ Remember. As we continue on with our Picture You Week show us something that is currently part of your day. When you look back on this day next year what will your photo remind you of?
This! Today was the first warm, sunny day of the year, and my Happy Eater Tree which had loads of buds on it sprang into action. By the time I got back from work it was blooming gorgeous! (I’ll do a not-the-365 post soon on the other blogwith the tree in full gloriousness)
Day 90 ~ dinner. Picture You week is my favorite week and I am always so willing to be in the photos. Today, however, I was more excited to eat our yummy, colorful dinner and didn’t take the time to get myself in the photo. That’s ok! We definitely want to remind YOU of that as well. What does dinner (or supper) look like for you tonight?
If someone who likes being in their pictures forgets, what hope is there for the rest of us? Dinner though, that took a bit of faffing about but here it is. Chili con carne with rice and pitta breads and salad.
Day 91 ~Relaxation. That feeling of bliss that washes over you when you “get away from it all” isn’t just in your head. Whether you spend time in the great outdoors, reading, or even cooking, total relaxation will help you find, clarity and rejuvenate your mind and body. The exercise that generally goes hand-in-hand with spending time outdoors (hiking, biking, water activities, etc.) spurs the production of endorphins, your brain’s “feel-good” neurotransmitters which helps you feel loose, clear-headed and calm. While some find relaxation in exploring the outside, others find relaxation in the quiet alone time reading, doing needlework or just sitting and thinking. What will you do today to reach a state of relaxation; you can do it! Take a photo of YOU…relaxing!
This was guest prompt, the ladies let someone from the group have a go once a month, this time a chap who frankly I think of as ‘lazy geezer’ for suggesting this. Also a bit long~winded there, but if it’s your only chance to be famousish you’re gonna take it I guess. Anyway I couldn’t do my normal relaxation shot as we did that on Day 33, so I decided I’d do meself in the bath as I do know people think that’s relaxing. I don’t think so really as the water keeps going cold so you have to keep topping it up with hot, and the pages of your book get wet too. Just have a quick shower and get on with life FHS!
Day 92 ~ Centered. What brings you to that place of balance where you feel the most content. For me, it’s always being in nature with a camera in my hand. It really transforms my entire attitude.We have had several requests for a day where we can show off our 365 Picture Today Swag. Today is the day! If you have your 365 Picture Today swag, wear it! If you don’t own any of our group attire, that’s okay too! You can still show us where you are the most centered and balanced. You can also go in the direction of centering yourself in the photo. It’s totally up to you how to approach it.
This one annoyed me a fair bit. Firstly, be centered, be balanced be content etc. This is a thing that newish people do, oldish people like me grew up just getting on with stuff, not self-analysing every damned thing we do. So I had to google what being ‘centered’ meant. Pfft! Clap trap. Secondly ‘show off your 365 swag’. According to the Miriam Webster dictionary Swag in the USA can mean ‘promotional stuff’ like their sweatshirts with the 365 picture today logo on them. Swag over the pond here means stolen goods. I don’t have either, and I chose to use ‘happy’ instead of ‘centered’ so sat in my car which is my exceedingly happy place for my sodding selfie.
Day 93. Pocket. Do you remember where you were on January 9th of this year? Do you remember the photo that you took on that day? If not, go back and look because you will need to revisit that spot again today. Today’s Picture Your World prompt invites you to photograph the same location four times throughout this year documenting the changing seasons along the way. You may choose a different perspective or choose to include different subjects in these repeating photos, but try to make it obvious to the viewer that they are seeing the same location. Once you have taken today’s photo, create a diptych using it and your January photo.
In the January shot I hadn’t realised you were supposed to be in the shot, so this is how it has to be now. Phil and I had a nice walk over to the nature reserve, still a bit of a chill in the air, but nice blue sky afternoon. I tried to match up exactly where I stood in January but didn’t quite get there, but you can tell it’s the same place. Also, pocket???? WTH?? I don’t get that at all.
So another sodding selfie week comes to the end, but stay tooned for next week’s adventures in Golden Hour.
Something different this week, so you can have a rest from all the edumacational history normally turning up in your feed on a Sunday. I’ve been taking photographs since I was a teenager, though only really started learning about photography 10 years ago. I love seeing other people when they are engrossed in taking photographs, and if I see someone so engaged, will take a picture of them if I can do it sneakily! So here is my collection of some of the happy people making memories, and a few who do it for a living.
“It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
“Photography has no rules, it is not a sport. It is the result which counts, no matter how it is achieved.” – Bill Brandt
“Gosh, my job is so easy! I just click a button all day… said no photographer ever.” – Unknown
“Results are uncertain even among the more experienced photographers.” – Matthew Brady
“In the world of photography, you get to share a captured moment with other people.” – James Wilson
“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.” – Aaron Siskind
“Photography is a love affair with life.” – Burk Uzzle
“The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.” – Andy Warhol
“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.” – Marc Riboud
“A camera is a SAVE button for the mind’s eye.” – Roger Kingston
Following on from our trip to Richmond Castle, Sophie and I went a mile and a half down the road to the ruins of Easby Abbey, and as you know, before we get to the pictures, we must first do
The History Bit 🍪 ☕️
Easby Abbey, or The Abbey of St.Agatha is one of the best preserved monsteries of the Premonstratensian order. Premonstratensian is a bit of a mouthful, and I’d never heard of it so in case I’m not the only one here’s a quick run down of what it was/is. It’s full title is The Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré, also known as the Norbertines (sounds like a grunge pop group) and in Britain and Ireland the White Canons, on account of the canons wearing white habits.
Founded in 1120 by Norbert of Xanten (which is in Germany). Norbert has nothing to do with Easby Abbey per se, but he’s an interesting chap so lets dig a bit deeper into his history. Nobby’s Dad, Heribert, Count of Gennep, was a member of the high nobility of the Holy Roman Empire and related to the imperial house and also to the House of Lorraine. Because of the family connections, he was ordained as clergy to the church of St. Victor at Xanten, wherein his only job was to chant the Divine Office. Nobby wasn’t up for that so much and paid someone else a small fee to do it for him while he went off to become a councillor to the emperor Henry V in Cologne. The salaries he got from the Xanten church and the royal treasury allowed him to live in the style of the nobility of the times.
He quite liked living high on the hog for not so much work, and managed to avoid ordination as a priest and also turned down the chance to become a Bishop of Cambrai in 1113. But two years later, Nobby had a near death experience whilst riding his horse to Verdun. A thunderbolt from a storm struck near his horses feet, naturally the horse threw him and he lay unconscious for nearly an hour. Nobby saw this as a wake up call, gave up his posh life at court and returned to his church in Xanten to live a life of penance placing himself under the direction of Cono, Abbot of St Sigeberg. In gratitude to Cono Nobby founded the Abbey of Fürstenberg in 1115, endowed it with some of his property and gave it over to Cono and his Benedictine successors, which was jolly nice of him I think.
Nobby was 35 years old at this point and soon accepted ordination as a priest and became a great devotee of the Eucharist and Our Lady. He adopted a lifestyle of ascetism, (adopting a frugal lifestyle, characterised by the renunciation of material possessions and physical pleasures, and also spending time fasting while concentrating on the practice of religion or reflection upon spiritual matters.) Unfortunately his ascetism was so fierce it killed his first three disciples. 🙄 He tried to reform the canons of Xanten, but in light of not wanting to starve to death, they declined and denounced him to some council or other, whereupon Nobby resigned his positions, and sold up his properties to give to the poor. Off he went to visit Pope Gelasius II who gave Nobby permission to wander as an itinerate preacher so he trundled around Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and northern France, where he did some unspecified miracles. Along the way, in many settlements he visited he found a demoralised clergy, often lonely chaps, feeling abandoned by the official church, and practicing what’s known as concubinage, which means they were indulging in matters of bodily naughtiness with ladies they could not marry.
He also became acquainted with the Cistercian administrative system that created an international federation of monasteries with a fair amount of centralized power, though local houses had a certain amount of independence. These reforms, written up in their “Charter of Charity” would affect him significantly in his own future work. Nobby gained a lot of acolytes and founded houses of his order all over the shop, firstly in Premontre, as well as becoming the Apostle of Antwerp after combatting a heretical preacher called Tanchelm. He became the Archbishop of Magdeburg where he survived a few assassination attempts whilst reforming the lax discipline of his see. In 1126 and in his last years, he was chancellor and adviser to Lothair II, the Holy Roman Emperor, persuading him to lead an army in 1133 to Rome to restore Innocent to the papacy.
Nobby died in 1134, and initially buried in Magdeburg. The abbot of Strahov in Prague was able to claim the body after a few problems such as Magdeburg turning protestant and military fisticuffs and such like. He is now buried there in a glass fronted tomb and was canonised by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, so is now Saint Nobby.
So back to Easby and it is listed in the Domesday survey of 1086 as ‘Asebi’, which was held by Enisan Murdac, an important local landowner who was a vassal of Alan le Roux or ‘the Red’, Earl of Richmond (c 1040–1093) whomst you may remember from the History Bit re: Richmond Castle.
The abbey of St Agatha at Easby was founded in about 1152 by Roald, constable or principal officer of Richmond. It’s thought he was the son of Hasculfus Musard, lord of Tansor in Northamptonshire and of estates in Oxfordshire. He established Easby as a Premonstratensian monastery, only the third such house to be founded in England. In the process, the existing minster community was probably absorbed into the new abbey.
Roald endowed a modest bit of land to Easby which rose slowly, over the centuries and there are over 100 charters documenting it’s rise. Sheep farming seems to have been their main income. Not much is known about the early buildings of the monstery, but there is a re-used 12th century doorway in the west range of the cloister, and surviving fragments of the abbey church probably dating from 1170 or 80. In the 12th and 13th centuries the monastery prospered, with the increase of more Canons and the replacing of the original buildings on a grand scale. In 1198 Egglestone Abbey in nearby Teesdale was founded as Easby’s only daughter house.
During this time Roald’s descendents kept hold of the constableship of Richmond going all lah-de-dah and styling themselves De Burton or De Richmond, but then in the late 13th and 14th centuries they started to sell off their estates for unknown reasons.
In come the Scropes of Bolton, a family from Wensleydale, and landowners of knightly rank. They made the abbey their buriel place and it’s most likely they paid for an extension to the chancel in the 14th century. In 1392 Sir Richard Scrope the 1st Baron of Bolton granted land to the Abbey and it was substantially enlarged. Sir Richard served King Richard II and also fought in the Battle of Crécy under the Black Prince, (Richard II’s Daddy). He had been made Lord Chancellor in 1378, trying to stop Richard II spending all the treasury dosh on wars against the Pesky French, but resigned in 1380 when the government collapsed after all the military failures in France. He regained the position after the Peasants Revolt that had started then, but was sacked by King Richard for non-cooperation in 1382, so went off back to Bolton and rebuilt his castle there. He had a 4 year long dispute with Sir Robert Grosvenor over his armorial bearings for the right for his shield to be emblazoned “Azure, a bend Or.” A court of chivalry decided in his favour, with Geoffrey Chaucer gave evidence in his favour. Although his son William had been executed by King Henry IV for supporting the deposed King Richard, Henry held Sir Richard in high regard and allowed him to keep his lands and titles. He died in 1403 and was buried at Easby Abbey.
A good deal is known about the abbey between 1478 and 1500 when the abbey was subject to inspections on the state of it’s community. Richard Redman the Abbot of Shap and later the Bishop of Ely was the principal of the Premonstratensians in England and he recorded any goings on. In 1482 he discovered a canon called John Nym had run away after being accused of improper bodily naughtiness with a widow, Elizabeth Swales. Redman wanted him found and to face a tribunal, which he was and he did, where he was exonerated. By 1494 he was the Abbot in charge. Redman also observed that although the Abbey was in debt, the buildings were well maintained and food was provided.
In the 16th century little is known about the abbey, but in 1535 the then Abbot, Robert Bampton, drew up a document restating the rights of the Scropes as patrons. Round about this time there were rumours that Englands monasteries would be suppressed and it’s thought he issued this document to obtain the Scropes support for keeping the monastery intact.
That was a vain hope in the end, as the year after Easby Abbey was closed. Their were only 11 canons left by then, so the abbey and it’s lands were let to Lord Scrope of Bolton for £300. Also by this time Richmond was taking a major part in the Pilgrimage of Grace, whereby the north rose up in support of the monasteries. That went tit’s up and by Springtime 1537 the leaders of the uprising had missed the opportunity to defeat the Crown’s forces. It was, of course, Henry VIII in charge at this time, and he was well miffed about the uprising. His pal the Duke of Norfolk was tasked with crushing the rebels, and Henry wrote to him saying “at your repair to … St Agatha and such other places as have made resistance … you shall without pity or circumstance … cause the monks to be tied up [hanged] without further delay. Vengeance was a thing with Henry.
The Abbey was returned to the Scropes but by 1538 most of the buildings had been demolished and the lead roofing stripped. The Scropes gave up the lease in 1550 and the abbey and estates went through several pairs of hands before another Lord Scrope, Henry, bought it back in 1579. There’s no evidence of any repairs being done to the Abbey between the 16th and 18th centuries and an engraving of it in 1721 sees it not much different from it’s present state.
The Scropes passed it on through the family until the death of Lord Emmanuel Scrope in 1630. His daughter Annabel married John Grubham Howe and so the estate passed into the Howe family. In 1700 Sir Scrope Howe (way to go combining the names!) sold it to Bartholomew Burton and then it passed through several different hands until 1816 when Robert Jaques bought it.
Late 18th century and 19th the abbey became known for being a romantic ruin and was painted by several artists including JMW Turner between 1816-18. Then in the 19th century it became the plaything of antiquarians, and Sir William St John Hope partially excavated it in 1885-6. It was still owned by the Jaques family up until 1930 when it was taken over by the Ministry of Works.