Where Trees Grow Calm ~ Thursday’s Special

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Here’s another place I never tire of photographing – the Linden Walk. Not only is it lovely of itself, but it also leads to Windmill Hill, that other object of my snapping affections. I took this photo yesterday with the leaves whisking off the trees. It was too windy for those addicting musky smells of autumn leaf litter, and the delicious summer scent of lime tree flowers was only a memory (until next year of course).

But whatever the weather or time of year, this lime tree avenue is always a very soothing place to walk. Its other-worldly quality takes you out of yourself: a pathway to another dimension perhaps? Doubtless the town’s  physician, Doctor Penny Brookes, who planted the trees in 1869 was well aware of the calming properties of lime trees since he was also a Padua-trained herbalist.

When made into a tea, the blossoms have a sedative effect. This was a recommended therapy during World War 2 (Richard Mabey Flora Britannica).

But in the absence of linden flower tea, here’s the lovely second movement ‘Petals’ from Takashi Yoshimatsu’s Piano Concerto Memo Flora;  Kyoko Tabe piano:

 

Post inspired as ever by Paula at Lost in Translation  Please pay her a visit. CALM is today’s watchword.

Yesterday, Coming Home From The Allotment

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Hard to know which of us was on mind altering substances – me, my camera, or the Wenlock Edge Sky-painter. Perhaps all three of us. Anyway, I was tramping along the margins of Townsend Meadow, having been to the allotment for a trawl of Tuscan kale and cabbage tree greens. It was around 4 p.m. but already going dark, and I had paused briefly to watch three little girls bouncing so joyously on their garden trampoline in a hectic communion of after-school-steam-lettingoffness – when it suddenly occurred to me to turn around. And this is what I saw. It took my breath away. So of course I had to snap it and pass it on.

November Poppy’s Last Hurrah…

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…at least till next year.

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I posted the first photo of this oriental poppy last Thursday during a spell of unexpected sunshine, but I’m afraid the weekend’s rainstorms cut her off at the roots. Ah well. She was lovely while she lasted – so bravely out of time and season.

But writing this has just reminded me of what the lovely woman who sold her to me said.

If you cut your oriental poppies down to the ground after they have finished flowering in early summer, you will have a second late blooming.

Somehow I don’t think she meant they would flower in November. But then who knows what to expect these days, the way the seasons are shifting.

 

Cee’s Flower of the Day Please go visit Cee for more floral pleasures.

Return To Windmill Hill: Black & White Sunday

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This week at Black & White Sunday Paula says choose our own topic. So here is one of my favourite subjects, and one that I realize has been totally neglected for ages and ages. (Meg at Twelve Months in Warsaw  has pointed out – once or twice – that my penchant for snapping this particular local Wenlock landmark is somewhat akin to Monet’s repetitive haystack renditions). Ah well. Another OCD trait to admit to – along with obsessive compulsive compost-making. Also my other slight obsession is to use my camera’s monochrome setting in poor light conditions just to see what will happen. Here I was lucky to catch the last gasp of sunset before it slipped behind Wenlock Edge.

Black & White Sunday

Farewell Leonard Cohen ~ You Made Me Laugh

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“There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”

Leonard Cohen 1934 – 2016 Selected Poems 1956 -1968

 

Leonard Cohen was in his seventy fifth year when he put on the cool hat (to go with the sharp suit), set off on a world tour (2008-2010) with a band of brilliant musicians and reinvented himself.  He mined his back-catalogue, a body of work that the media in their trite, reductionist fashion, have long classified as doom-laden, wrote a host of new songs too, and generally set about letting in the light.What a star.

He made me laugh on the inside – little pulses of pleasure – wry, acerbic, revelatory – that hit my cerebral cortex and then migrated at a cellular level to all parts including those spots under your feet that practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine call ‘the bubbling well points’. In short, he was life-enhancing. He may have delved in dark places where we don’t often care to look, but he was also very funny. And we humans do need to laugh at ourselves now and then. Even, and maybe especially, a good dose of dark laughter is always worth having.

We were lucky to see him in 2009 when he was playing the Labatt Stadium (now Budweiser Gardens) in London, Ontario. The venue was packed, with every generation represented, from a bunch of retirement home residents to babes in arms. The concert was as fine as could be, and if you want to see it for yourself the DVD of the 2008 London UK concert is a good buy.

Coming up is a clip that especially makes me laugh inside. He’s performing with U2, and it comes from the 2006 documentary Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man.

The man’s dry humour and humanity live on. Thank you, Leonard.

 

N.B. This is an update of an older post so some of you will have been here before.

Today In My Wenlock Garden: Thursday’s Special

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This oriental poppy has been unfurling its petals for the last couple of days – never mind the fierce squalls and sudden Arctic blasts. Never mind that it is NOVEMBER. This morning she finally opened into sunshine. Still a little crumpled in the frock department, but what chutzpah, eh, and for a flower that looks so intrinsically delicate.

Anyway, she is my offering for Paula’s Thursday’s Special challenge. Today she has given us five cue words to choose from: ascending, idleness, jaunty, whiff and luminosity. So here we have poppy luminosity. With a touch of jauntiness thrown in.

Come to think of it, to find something so lovely in the garden at this time of year, also has my spirits lifting sky-high, so I’ll throw in ‘ascending’ too. Hope she brightens your day too. Many of us could do with a good gloom antidote, mentioning no ‘T’ words.

 

copyright 2016 Tish Farrell

Out of Chaos…

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Everyone knows chaos is the the starting point for creation. In Andy McKeown’s light show ‘Fractured Light’ chaos was the creation. It filled one of the cavernous warehouse floors of Ditherington Flax Mill in Shrewsbury. Multiple projections of coloured lights and Flax Mill images danced on the walls and cast-iron pillars of this eighteenth century prototype of the skyscraper.

I wrote about this historic building way back in 2013 when Friends of the Flax Mill were hosting an open day.  (See Pattern For The Skyscraper ).  The place is vast, and has stood empty for decades waiting for some clever scheme of ‘adaptive re-use’ that will make restoring the building viable. It has ghosts of course – of the many poor children who once provided ‘slave’ labour here. The light show, at least, lifted the spirits after we had toiled round dank, windowless chambers, and up narrow stairwells that reminded me of Tolkein’s Mines of Moria in Lord of the Rings. Luckily, we met no orcs.

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For some great exterior shots of the Flax Mill see Jude’s post for last week’s Thursday’s Special, and take a look at Andy McKeown LightWorks.

Daily Post Photo Challenge: Chaos

Looking Back: Traces Of The Past

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I took this photo on a whim, just to see how it would turn out. This old farm-field post was one of several on the footpath to the Hathersage stepping stones that cross the River Derwent just outside the town. For those of you who read my earlier Derbyshire posts, you’ll know I was on a quest to follow in my great grandmother’s footsteps, taking the path that she once took from Callow Farm and into Hathersage.

I don’t remember ever seeing stone posts like this before, and don’t know how old it is. But I think it’s safe to say that this and others were there in the late 1880s-90 when Mary Ann Fox passed by to do her shopping.

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You can read more of her story at Stepping Stones Through Time and Stronghold – The Telling Of Family Tales

There was also another idea running through my head when I took the photo – a far cry, too, from Derbyshire and my ancestors. When I saw the hole in the stone I was reminded of the 1960s young adult novel The Owl Service by Alan Garner. It is set in Wales and explores the rival affections between three teens through a parallel tale from the Welsh medieval story cycle of the Mabinogi.

It’s a great story, both the original and Garner’s use of it. Here’s a quick version of the myth.

The magician Gwydion makes a woman, Blodeuwedd, from flowers. She betrays her husband Lleu with a man called Gronw who tries to kill Lleu with a spear. He turns into an eagle and escapes. However, rough justice allows Lleu to have his turn to throw a spear at Gronw who may only use a stone for protection. Lleu throws the spear so hard, it passes straight through the stone and kills Gronw, and to punish Blodeuwedd for her part in all this, the magician Gwydion turns her into an owl.

So the first shot is my photo version – the stone of Gronw.

copyright 2016 Tish Farrell

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If you want to post some of your own ‘Traces of the Past’ please visit Paula at Lost in Translation

#ThursdaysSpecial