Archive for the ‘black and white’ Tag
I just love this atmospheric derelict old building alongside the canal with it’s shattered fascade, the lifting platform where goods were once hoisted from the barges below as the smoke rose from the engines through the open windows to be breathed in by the workers with blackened faces. Workers who sweated and toiled from dawn until dusk and beyond. Stand for a moment and you may imagine the scene, smell the industry and remember the workers, the people who made this country great, a bygone era of industry and development sadly lost, the people gone, the skills gone too along with the pride in being a working man…… as the buildings melt towards the earth from where they once rose.
The older I become the more my own mortality plays on my mind. Silly some may say as I am still relatively young, but it is something that creeps into my thoughts more and more, triggered by some song on the radio, or by the sight of another season passing you by. Someone once said ‘Youth is wasted on the Young’, maybe, for sure I couldn’t wait to be an adult and live my life my way when I was a teenager. But now I see things so differently, almost as if I’m losing my grip on the life I so wanted and yet still eludes me, all the things you set out to achieve suddenly seem so far away that you wonder if you will ever achieve them. It’s my Mum’s birthday tomorrow, I wont give away her age as she would be most upset, but every year that we celebrate becomes a reminder that my beloved parents wont always be there, a sobering thought, for something so constant, so reliable and predictable will one day be lost forever. But that is where my thoughts turn to a new way of thinking, Ive never been one for practising religion but I believe in something more than just this life, that one day I will be reunited with all the loved ones that I have lost, somehow that thought makes the anguish subside just a little. At some point in our lives we all have to let go, whether that is letting go of a past that haunts you, a deed that you regret or words that were said in the heat of a moment, or the loss of a loved one or a pet that loved you so unconditionally in return, we all hold on for as long as is humanly possible, until the time comes for letting go……….
Some may call it a ruin other may disagree, for Holyrood Abbey still stands proud all be it a shell of its former glory. Founded in 1128 by King David 1st and was the home of the Canons who came from St.Andrews, it has survived attack by the English under Edward II and was burnt by Richard II in 1305 before being restored. In the 16th century Holyrood Palace was added by James IV but only a single tower remains of this addition and the palace that you see today was built by Charles II in 1670. In 1547 most of the main buildings, including the choir, lady chapel, and transepts of the church were destroyed by the commissioners of the English Protector Somerset, and 20 years later followers of John Knox destroyed the interior of the church in a Protestant frenzied attack. On July 22, 1565, the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots married her cousin Lord Darnley in the Holyrood Abbey church, and just a year later her Italian secretary and suspected lover, David Rizzio, was murdered by her jealous husband and friends in the stairwell of the palace royal apartments. A plaque – and a bloodstain still visible on the floor – marks the spot where Rizzio died. For all its history it is still a place of inspiration, the workmanship of those who laboured to create it still evident and an atmosphere still hangs around its ruined stones, thought provoking and haunted yet calming and welcoming to those who find themselves stood at its heart.
In my last post I mentioned that it is snowing yet again! So,to keep the ‘white’ theme going I am posting a photo that I took some time ago. I took a simple shot and then using PS just inverted the image and then raised the level of contrast until I got a pleasing image in black and white. I really like the effect and may just have to try this again some time!
So the weather has taken a turn for the worse again, snow snow and more snow…….Spring seems like it is frozen in time, held in a state of suspended animation. I was tempted to go out for a walk through the fields but just as I was about to leave the snow began to come down again, only this time really big wet flakes, floating earth bound on the icy wind. So, whilst wandering around the confines of my house I notes the bold shapes formed by a plant that sits in the bathroom window, acting as a temporary blind! Out came the camera and after a few different setting changes I had a really unusual bold print like image. I have put the image into PS and simply converted it to a black and white photo, and the result feels like a modern art wallpaper pattern! Something a little tropical feeling on a bitterly cold afternoon!
Hold, wave, clap, give, receive, grip, open, close, twist, shake, touch, feel, catch, stroke, say hello, say goodbye……how many words describe what your hands can do? I’m sure these are just a few, but have you ever really stopped to look at your own hands, consider what they have done for you over the years, and yet how we neglect them! Our faces we cover in moisturiser in the vain attempt to hold back the years, our bodies we exercise in the hope of remaining young a little longer but our hands are exposed constantly to everything we throw at them, cold weather, hot water, abrasive substances, chemicals, rough surfaces, the list is endless. Yet they work tirelessly for us all our lives until we have no more breath left in us…..take a look at yours and consider for a moment what your hands mean to you……….
Some years ago I had the fortune to stay at a fabulous Malmaison Hotel in Oxford. Some of you may have already looked at the image and guessed that this hotel was indeed a former jail and prison! It stands right in the centre of Oxford and alongside the actual hotel stands a museum which if you get the chance to visit you simply must go! I wont ramble on about the place but I have added a link below if you want more info as it really is a fascinating location. The rooms vary in size but the standard rooms consist of two cells joined together, original features such as the prison doors and windows are all still in place, as are the walls and general layouts, but the rooms are sumptious! The sound the door makes when you close it behind you is really chilling and you really feel like you are locked in! Upon walking through reception you enter the main hallway, and the view is breathtaking, two levels of cells with all the original railings and walk ways as well as the staircases at either end and the most fantastic view as you look up of the light coming through the ceiling. I can only imaging that the former occupants of this building were not quite so impressed about their surroundings and most definately wouldn’t have paid to visit! Visit www.malmaison.com/oxford for more info……