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Posts tagged ‘castle’

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

Bows and flows of Angels hair ….

DSCF1248The weather recently has been a roller-coaster so it was no surprise that driving to Grenoble yesterday, setting off before dawn that it was in fog reminiscent of a threadbare coat … thick in places, worn so thin that you can almost see through it in others.  Headlights are difficult in such conditions … the light bounces back at you if they are lifted but doesn’t give much help when dipped and other peoples, particularly the lorries that are sharing the road at that silly hour of the morning are distracting and tiring on eyes that are still struggling to come to terms with working efficiently when they should still be shut in slumber.  The drive winds perpetually and scales up and down the steep gorges.  I won’t deny that I was ragged when we got to Polignac, and my reward felt just … the fortress sitting on its rocky table rising out of the feather mattress of softest white clouds below it was spectacular.  I thought of Joni Mitchell as she looked at clouds from up and down and wondered if she had ever seen this ice-cream castle in the air.  She should.  It is heavenly.   Reward, by the way, is the title of the Daily Press photo challenge this week … you can see all the other interpretations here

PS:  It’s a standing joke between HB² and I that whenever I take the wheel on a long journey the weather conspires against me.  Two Brains drove the second half of the journey down in bright sunshine and on the way back last night the sky was clear.  Until Brioude when we swapped and the fog engulfed me and only lifted for the sky to spit hail-stones that bounced on the road like a shower of polystyrene balls.

As blue as in my dreams

So says Red (no irony intended) right at the end of the most feelgood of stories ‘The Shawshank Redemption’.  Finally released after most of a lifetime in jail, he is sitting on a bus and hoping.  And what he is hoping for is serenity … that purest of dreams.  And searching through my pictures I came across this – the lake barely rippling and the castle  reflected in it and nature effortlessly playing her part in making the most serene of pictures so that I with my camera had no more endeavour than a twitch of my finger to capture the perfect picture.  For true serenity is a perfect sensation.  A perfection most of us seek and find to be frustratingly illusive.  Here’s my offering for the weekly photo challenge as a reminder that it can exist ….

DSCF5222

Chateau du Val, Lanobre, Cantal March 2014