Friday, 24 December 2021

Merry Christmas

"Peace on earth will come to stay, when we live Christmas every day."

~ Helen Steiner Rice ~

Tuesday, 21 December 2021

Winter Solstice 2021


"May the longest night and the shortest day
Bring rest to your mind and soul, I pray.
May you find guidance and may you find peace,
As the cycle of light will slowly increase.
Embrace the magic that the darkness bears,
Breath deep in the chill and shift in the air.
May you always be blessed with the light from within,
And may well-being be yours as the new cycle begins."

Saturday, 18 December 2021

Walks With My Dog - Gotts Park, December 2021


Happiness is living near a park where there are miraculously beautiful winter mornings. 

Thursday, 16 Dec

Friday 17th Dec 

Sunday, 28 November 2021

iMovie: Christmas Time In York


Since, sadly, there is no Christmas market this year in Leeds, the town I live in, I was very pleased to learn there is one taking place in York, one of my favourite cities and most certainly one of the most beautiful towns in the UK and beyond. I hadn't been there for quite a while and was very excited to walk around the town's old, historic and charming streets festooned with Christmas lights and decorations. There is a lot of Christmas related events happening there at the moment, too, and the city very much exudes the magic of the season. 


Thursday, 18 November 2021

Walks With My Dog - November 2021, Gotts Park, Leeds


 Autumn colours this month have been stunning in my local park, and I have enjoyed immensely my morning walks with the doggie. Here are my favourite captures of what is the best and now the last of this year's autumn.

Thursday, 4 November 2021

iMovie: A Wet, Autumn Weekend in Haworth, Brontë Country


Last weekend I stayed in my beloved Haworth, for what could be the last time till spring. Yes, I will be going back soon, of course, but probably just for a day visit until days get longer again.
Apart from a couple of brief sunny spells it was a very wet weekend, which prevented me from venturing out on the moors, but I still had a good and relaxing time staying in the village. 
It was a Halloween weekend. I personally don't care much about Halloween; what interests me a lot more is Samhain, a pagan Earth festival that usually starts on the 31st October. Samhain marks the end of harvest season and the beginning of winter according to the Celtic calendar. For me winter does start in November when all the autumn colours slowly disappear, the trees become bare, the nights are drawing in, and there is that wintry chill in the air. 
This short video is about the change in seasons - the transition from autumn to winter. 



Friday, 29 October 2021

iMovie: Oakwell Hall & Charlotte Brontë

Oakwell Hall is one of the nearest Brontë related places to my home. It is also one of my favourite ones due to the fact there is so much to enjoy around it; the fascinating historic manor house, beautiful gardens and over a 100 acres of country park, all coupled with the fact that Charlotte Brontë also enjoyed this place in her life time. 

Oakwell Hall was built in the 16th century by the Batt family, and today it is a living museum featuring a home as it was to the Batt family at the end of the 17th century.

In the 19th century the Hall used to be a boarding school for girls run by various families. Charlotte Brontë, the celebrated Victorian novelist, knew one of the Cockill girls who lived at the Hall from 1830 - 1865 and whose mother ran it as a girls' boarding school. Charlotte's best friend Ellen Nussey lived in the same village, Birstall, and it is believed that the two friends visited the Hall together in 1830s. 
Charlotte was so inspired by Oakwell Hall that she featured it in her novel "Shirley" under the name of "Fieldhead", as the home of the heroine, incorporating things that can still be seen in the house today. 

Monday, 25 October 2021

Oakwell Hall Still Life In Black & White


Oakwell Hall at nearby Birstall never fails to regale me with new images. Here are some inspired b&w  interior shots and still life I found in the beautiful 17th century home, now a museum, last week.


Saturday, 23 October 2021

Sunday, 17 October 2021

Autumn At Oakwell Hall (Fieldhead in Charlotte Brontë's "Shirley")


“The Autumn day its course has run – the Autumn evening falls,
Already risen the Autumn moon gleams quiet on these walls,
And Twilight to my lonely house a silent guest is come,
In mask of gloom through every room she passes dusk and dumb.
Her veil is spread, her shadow shed o’er stair and chamber void,
And now I feel her presence steal even to my lone fireside,
Sit silent Nun – sit there and be,
Comrade and Confidant to me.”

~ Charlotte Brontë ~

Monday, 11 October 2021

Autumn on Penistone Hill, Haworth, Brontë Country


“Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.”

~ Emily Brontë ~

Thursday, 30 September 2021

Hill Top, Haworth Moor, Brontë Country


"There is a spot 'mid barren hills
Where winter howls and driving rain
But if the dreary tempest chills
There is a light that warms again

The house is old, the trees are bare
And moonless bends the misty dome
But what on earth is half so dear - 
So longed for as the hearth of home?

The mute bird sitting on the stone,
The dank moss dripping from the wall,
the garden-walk with weeds o'ergrown
I love them - how I love them all!" 

~ Emily Brontë, "A Little While" ~



Friday, 24 September 2021

iMovie: Anne Brontë's Scarborough


I visit Scarborough at least once a year and certainly every summer. I personally prefer inland countryside to the seaside, but in summer months I love to be near the sea for a change. Scarborough, a popular resort town on England's North Sea coast holds a lovely traditional and historic charm which is right up my street; and there is also a very special reason why I love visiting this place: Anne Brontë (1820-1849), the youngest of the three Victorian literary sisters died and was buried here. As a big Brontëphile, it means much to me to come and pay homage to Anne, who is the only member of the Brontë family not buried in Haworth, where they lived most of their life. 

Anne became very fond of Scarborough through the holidays she spent here with the family for whom she worked as governess. When she got struck down by tuberculosis Anne came here with her sister Charlotte hoping the sea air would help her recuperate, but tragically she died just a few days into her stay, aged only 29. Her sister Emily and brother Branwell died within months of each other in the previous eight months, and to spare her father Patrick the pain of yet another family funeral in Haworth, Charlotte decided to have Anne buried in her beloved Scarborough.

I love coming to Scarborough on my own and wander around with just Anne in my mind for company. This video is part of the Brontë Places project I have been working on. It focuses on places and buildings that Anne would have been familiar with and shows them in the light present day visitors/locals see them.


Friday, 10 September 2021

Emily Brontë Stone on Ovenden Moor, Between Thornton and Haworth, Brontë Country


"She stands outside

A book in her hands,

"Her name is Cathy", she says

"I have carried her so far, so far

Along the unmarked road from our graves

I cannot reach this window

Open it, I pray."

But his window is a door to a lonely world

That longs to play.

Ah Emily. Come in, come in and stay.

~ Kate Bush, 2018 ~

Looking for Emily Stone took me for an exhilarating walk on remote and for me hitherto undiscovered moorland. It was a perfect time of the year for a hike to the stone with purple heather in full bloom and moody light from the rain threatening sky.

Emily Stone is a natural rock, part of Ogden Kirk, inscribed with the above poem by Kate Bush, English singer-song writer. The stone was unveiled in 2018, the year of Emily's bicentenary birthday, and also the 40th anniversary of the release of Kate Bush's single "Wuthering Heights", which was inspired by Emily's novel of the same title. 
In Victorian times -  the time the Brontës lived in, Ogden Kirk was a popular picnic spot. A good Brontë family friend, Elizabeth Firth mentions in her diary coming to this beautiful, elevated and secluded places for a picnic with Patrick Brontë and his children. Subsequently, Emily who loved long and distant walks is almost certain to have frequented this place herself, which is the main reason for the location of this stone. 

Emily Stone is part of a group of four stones in Yorkshire landscape, each one remembering the literary Brontë sisters in the countryside they lived in and which profoundly inspired all their work. Brontë Stones, as well as four Brontë Stones Walks are devised by writer Michael Stewart