Monday, July 3, 2017

The Lake District - Grasmere and Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils...
William Wordsworth

This quote from Wordsworth graces the stone at the beginning of the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden at St. Oswald's Church in Grasmere. Wordsworth lived nearby in Rydal and, from what I can gather, attended services at St. Oswald's. He even planted 8 yew trees in the churchyard and he and his family are buried near one.

I find old graveyards and tombstones fascinating. Each stone pays tribute, some simply, others in grander style.

 They mark a life, hopefully, well lived and well loved.

20 years ago, I sat in this churchyard for quite a while, enjoying the solitude as well as the company of a small bird who lit on the bench next to doubt hoping for a crumb to be thrown its way...

taking in the shapes,   



scents and sounds of the area.

What had been a sleepy little village on our last visit was a bustling small town yesterday. It's good to see Grasmere thriving.

And the birds still provide company at lunch.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Lake District - Grizedale Forest

In 1998, John and I biked through England for two weeks. In truth, John biked while I mostly pushed my 70+ lb bike and loaded panniers up the many mountains we traversed to/around the Lake District.

One of the towns we were to spend a night in before continuing on our way to Scotland was Hawkshead. It was such a heavenly little village that we ended up staying for 3 or 4 days and that's how we discovered Grizedale.

Larch Arch, Jim Patridge & Liz Walmsley, 1990

A working forest with miles of hiking trails, its site specific art made from materials found in the forest caught our interest.

Art was created with the expectation and  intention that a some point, Mother Nature would reclaim it.

Concrete Country, Lucy Tomlins, sited 2012

John and I hiked the trails, noticing small sculptures by the paths. It wasn't until later that we realized these were markers placed near the path to indicate art in the woods.

Red Sandstone Fox, Gordan Young, 1991

We returned the next summer for two weeks of hiking. Grizedale was at the top of our list of places to visit. I don't remember if we covered the full art trail in one day or two, 

Some Fern, Kerry Morrison, 1997

but the magnificence of the installations, the appropriateness of placement, material and impact has stayed with us. I often considered applying for a residency to create my own installation, but never did.

Some Fern detail, Kerry Morrison, 1997

Nearly 20 years later, we brought our daughters to see this favored spot.

Romeo, Rupert Ackroyd & Owen Bullet, 2011
There are new pieces, such as Romeo.

Romeo detail, Rupert Ackroyd & Owen Bullet, 2011

Romeo, Rupert Ackroyd & Owen Bullet, 2011

Please Close the Gate (Picket Fence), Gregory Scott-Gurner, 1998

Please Close the Gate (Picket Fence), Gregory Scott-Gurner, 1998  

Taking a Wall for a Walk, Andy Goldsworthy, 1990

My first introduction to Andy Goldsworthy was his Taking a Wall for Walk. Now practically invisible midst huge ferns, the stacked stone wall weaves its way through the forest and trees.

Taking a Wall for a Walk, Andy Goldsworthy, 1990

 In 1999, the fern garden was a grassy meadow with a stone wall meandering through it.

This sheep is one of several that we saw on our last visit. Many are now unrecognizable as being other than a large bit of wood. This little fellow has weathered well.

Ancient Forester 2, David Kemp, 1995

Near the visitors center is one of my favorites, Ancient Forester 2. When we entered Grizedale and passed by this gentle giant, I stopped to say hi. I stopped again as we departed, to say goodbye and to thank for forest for another memorable day.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Lake District - Grasmere

Yesterday was one of those days whose transportation included trains (the Tube + Heathrow Express), planes (the airport where we picked up our rental car) and automobiles.

Thankfully, John took on the task/superhuman feat of driving to the Lake District.

We arrived safely in Grasmere last evening to the delight of Ellie and Grace who, even though they loved London, were ready for a bit of country. Little do they know what is store with hikes in these mountains. 

The whole evening was a tad surreal as John and I were here nearly 20 years ago. We're experiencing that coming home feeling one has when revisiting a favorite place and reliving the memories.

We're off to Grizedale. Enjoy!

London - Thursday

Our last day in London began with me having very high hopes for how our day would go, but as any parent knows, plans can and do change very quickly when little ones are involved. The 5 hour time difference plus the sun still being in the sky until nearly 10 pm has played havoc with not only my sleeping patterns, but Ellie's and Grace's as well.    

While it was touch and go for a few hours as to whether or not we'd ever leave the apartment, 

my powers of persuasion eventually won out and  

 we headed to our favorite spot.

Yes. Borough Market. No doubt when their friends ask their favorite thing about London, it will be Borough Market. And who could blame them?

We ambled back to the Tate  

so I could purchase the circle t-shirt. 

During a macaroon break, I noticed that those remaining

were the colors of the landscape.

We stopped by OXO Tower Wharf,

listened to many wonderful musicians,

delighted in the bubbles playing on the breeze

and met friendly monsters. 

The girls dressed for dinner in their new poncho and beret from Henrietta Park.

Our apr├ęs dinner stroll took us

past many of the newer office buildings

and I couldn't resist their colors and patterns. 

Good night London. Thank you for such a lovely visit.
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