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Something so right

The title is ‘Wall’.  I have a quiet obsession with walls.  When I meet someone new I have to own up to to this compulsion fairly quickly to explain my conversation discursively tailing off when I spot a lovely piece of brick work or, even better, a good effort at a dry stone wall.  I want to learn how to do it.  When I was a little girl our brickie was a displaced Glaswegian called, predictably, Jock.  He used to come and speak unintelligibly and make walls in our garden or for a new garage or such-like.  The house had been built for Mr Lyle known for his savvyness with sugar, to-wit Tate and LyleEdwin Lutyens had an influence in its design and construction and Jock was loyal to getting it right – not just any old bricks, not just any old cement.  The right stuff for the right place.  He was a tiny man with a large family living in a little house on a not so pleasant council estate some distance from us.  He taught me by osmosis that one should never ever judge a book by its cover.  He was a good man with a skill and not a deep pocket and looked after his own as best he could. A man of extreme moods, the world was either bright and sunny or dark and repellent.  I liked Jock and was happy to carry him a mug of stewed tea laced with 7 sugars and whatever mother had made for elevenses or tea (we were ‘posh’ so that was cake or scones, his ‘tea’ would come later and would be what we called ‘supper’).  Simultaneously, being a horse-mad youngster, I spent much of this formative period on a pony out in the wildest parts of Britain – moorlands, highlands and sparce wastelands and I developed this love of walling.

So when I saw this challenge, I was all over it.   And I sifted through and through the hundreds and hundreds of pictures of walls that I have and gave myself a headache trying to choose because I stubbornly refuse to use more than one that evokes the prompt each week.  Nose-face-spite.  But then, just as I was throwing my toys out of my pram, spitting my dummy and generally being childishly unpleasant,  something so right cropped up out of the blue driving home from Grenoble at the start of the week.  A wall on a wall – a man-made stone castle, now decayed, toothlike atop the rocks, imperious and impervious to the elements and ever driving off the scurmisher as they remain standing firm.  Nature – 1, human beings – 0. DSCF1410

PS:  The title is from Paul Simon and picked because he says in that song ‘I built a wall around me’ which has always echoed favourably with me.  Give me a wall any day …. keep em out for I embrace my hermitude.

And I got a wall around me
That you can’t even see
It took a little time
To get next to me

And one last thing …. in answer to the request to find out more, I have discovered that this is actually Chateau de Crussol in Ardeche …. I believe the border with Drome is the Rhone which skirts Valence over which the ruin still watches

23 Comments Post a comment
  1. Thank you, Ms. Osyth. The Lady and I enjoyed your memories of Jock very much and the photo of this very striking ruin.

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    March 19, 2015
    • Thank you Albert … Jock was a lovely fellow and very kind to dogs … the photo was a story in itself, we were diverted and Two Brains was eager for me to map read but I spotted the ruin and had to grab a snap … his patience was sorely tested as he had no idea where we were going and his navigator was single focussed on the picture 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      March 20, 2015
  2. I wish the Jocks of this world ran the place….

    Like

    March 19, 2015
    • Me too …. wouldn’t the world be a better place, Helen 🙂

      Like

      March 20, 2015
  3. I’ve known a few “Jocks” in my time. My own father being one. Code of ethics that would make you shudder and a self determination only matched by their self destruction. Oh, and happy to take your place behind your walls should you ever tire of the solace and want to rejoin the world…

    Liked by 1 person

    March 19, 2015
    • You are on … occasionally I do take my fill of the jabbering hoards and then retire to my cell for solace!

      Like

      March 19, 2015
      • Don’t forget your key mind… 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        March 19, 2015
      • I should show you the key to the little fortress we are refurbishing in the south …. it’s almost bigger than the building 😉

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        March 19, 2015
  4. Annie Lennox does a fabulous cover of the song.
    Love your wall.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 19, 2015
    • Claudette, that is actually my favourite version to the extent that I nearly credited Annie over Paul S! So glad you like the nonsense 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      March 19, 2015
      • Annie has an amazing voice.

        Liked by 1 person

        March 20, 2015
      • She certainly does, Claudette … one of the greatest of all time, I would say 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        March 20, 2015
      • I love strong female voices, and hers just cuts right to the core of emotion, playful, soulful, tearful, angry, happy – she gets some much across when she sings.

        Liked by 1 person

        March 20, 2015
      • We share that love …. it’s a funny thing as I have aged so my love for the female voice has deepened. Hers is unbelievably rich – the ability to create mood and emotion unsurpassed. In my twenties I wanted to BE her … she was quite the chamelion in her ability to change look and style as well as represent a whole gamut of emotions vocally.

        Liked by 1 person

        March 20, 2015
      • I have an old friend who reminds me of Annie so much in her looks, something about the face shape, and especially when my friend had her hair short I thought she must be her long lost sister. 🙂
        I think what I like most about female singers I listen to is the strength of their voice, I love to here a singer impart that feeling to mean, it is hard to quantify but some have it and some don’t. Amazingly the ones who do can also do the sweetest soft ballads and still make me shiver.

        Liked by 1 person

        March 21, 2015
      • They say we all have a doppelganger … your friend is fortunate to be the twin of Annie! I love the way you describe what you love about a voice …. it is indeed hard to quantify but the feeling imparted is hard to ignore!

        Liked by 1 person

        March 21, 2015
  5. What a lovely story! I enjoyed the portrait of your mason – and share your love of walls. Funnily enough, my daughter lives in Glasgow and her boyfriend’s name is Jock!

    Like

    March 20, 2015
    • Glasgow is such a fantastic city now …. really one of the success stories of recent years in the UK. So glad you enjoyed the story and very pleased you are a fellow wall fan 🙂 All the best to your daughter and her well named boyfriend too!

      Liked by 1 person

      March 20, 2015
  6. Jenny Adams #

    What do you know of the history of the castle? I would love to know more. Don’t let the bastards of this world wall you in! You are much loved. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    March 20, 2015
    • I shall see what I can find out, Jenny … it is near Valence on the western edge of le Drome almost into the Ardeche. Oddly we have never taken that route to Grenoble before but we are certainly going to do it again – quite a magical drive and no longer than the route via Lyon which also means we avoided all the speed traps round St Etienne (which John is still recovering from, I think) …. Thank you for your lovely words …. your reminder of the love of others is timely and well received 🙂 xx

      Like

      March 20, 2015
  7. A great photo that draws you into the story, which I loved.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 20, 2015
    • Thank you Jules … that is a lovely compliment very well received 🙂

      Like

      March 20, 2015

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