Forty Seven

Originally posted 7th May 2011

It has been a while since I was last on here…there are a few reasons for that, firstly the general busyness of life what with work and OU and a desire to spend at least a small amount of my life away from the computer screen, the second reason (although I suspect that if you want to get technical the first reason was three reasons so the second reason is actually the fourth, but ignore that for now!) is motivation or lack of access to it. Despite my cries of there being no excuse for lack of inspiration (something I generally still believe) I am without the motivation to act on the inspiration that I have; I know they are both there somewhere, I can see them hiding at the back of my brain when I look around but they never show themselves at the same time! Either that or I am thwarted by technology as last week I had both Inspiration and Motivation and a holiday to provide me with time, I did not however have computer internet access. So I am goint to tell you about the things that inspired me last week and hope that I can, in the process convince my motivation to show its self!

The thing that inspired my creativity and interest last week was Abbeys. Mainly Cistercian Abbeys sitting within the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors. Here is a picture of one of the most famous, Fountains Abbey, look at that then I will explain myself.

Never fear I have not had a sudden attack of religion… I remain resolutely non religious but I am inspired by their buildings. These Abbeys sit in spectacular Yorkshire countryside and, although ruined (or possibly because ruined) enhance the surrounding with interestingly sculpted spaces. Spaces which were designed initially with simplicity in mind, then as time progressed they became more elaborate and were altered according to need and (for want of a better word) fashion. These alterations provide, not only an interesting photographic challenge but an interesting puzzle to work out which was built first, and how it was altered. Consider that with the challenge of imagining them as whole buildings without grass on the floor and the impressive feats of engineering involved and the whole thing can become an obsession.

The history of these places is also fascinating, the Monastic lifestyle does not sound very appealing but compared to what else was on offer a life of hard work and prayer in clean surroundings with a guaranteed bed and meals albeit with no meat…well it still does not sound appealing but I can see why it may have done then! I am not going to furnish you here with a full history of Cistercian Monks, but suffice to say they became a victim of their own success in many cases and in all cases a victim of Henry VIII.

There is something about these ruined, but still spectacular places that is quiet and calm (even with the Bank Holiday tourists and egg rolling) and worth a visit to try and figure out the puzzle of the past and to appreciate the blend of natural and manmade which is made even more appealing by their ruinous nature.


In other news, I am currently wearing only one watch as if done too much the quirky can be as mundane as the ordinary. Also I forgot to put both back on after my holiday.


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