Exploring Anglesey Abbey

The meadow was bathed with sunlight. The grass tickled as I wiggled to wake up my legs. A trimmed lawn enclosed by sharply shaped hedges stretched out from my feet. The landscaping was as neat as the facial-hair sculpting on hipsters. I marveled at the sheer manpower this scene must have demanded. Someone would have had to mow lawns, cut the hedges, trim the trees, organized the gardens, cleared the paths and washed the bizarre urns scattered about the property. Then this team would have had to wrestled back nature again. And again. And again. What kind of awesome power could possibly maintain this idyllic sanctuary?

I leaned back. Ah yes. Money.

So how was I lounging on a rich man’s lawn? Read on dear visitor, read on. Continue reading “Exploring Anglesey Abbey”

Why Dover Castle Is Cooler Than Other Castles

Wow. Were medieval rooms really this… colourful? I tipped my head quizzically, as though I thought a new angle would correct what spread before me. Vibrant red, blue and gold encircled the room. It hung from the walls, sprawled across the floor and extended toward me on islands of furniture.

“Colour was expensive. Only the homes of nobles and royalty would have been adorned in these rich colours,” my partner, J, said over my shoulder.

And yet, right then, vibrancy floated freely around the room on the backs of the modern visitors to this medieval scene.

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Modern Ruins Photography

J and my sister had long dissolved into the mist ahead of me. I didn’t mind. I was moseying along at my own pace.

Settling into the stroll, I shoved my hands into my pockets and let my eyes rove. Aside from the squelch of the mud sucking at my boots the scene was a blank space. A bush of thorns struck into the path from the left. It faded away as silently as it had appeared. Then a fence corralled me through a mystery field. Sick of being confined I veered for a dip in the wire. That’s when I spotted it. Continue reading “Modern Ruins Photography”

Dover: A Hike Along The Shore

One day I want to experience a mist thick enough to conceal my outstretched hand. It will be the grandfather of all the foggy nights described in the fairytales of my youth. Nothing will entertain my sight except my vivid imagination. I almost experienced that sensation recently. The fog settling in to greet me at the Cliffs of Dover was a youngster aiming to please, but not quite legendary. Still, as it swallowed up my sister and gluttonously gobbled down my partner too I found myself left in an impressively tiny sphere of existence. Soon my only company was the squelch of mud under my boots and the soft smell of wild grass bathing in dew.

Until the shadows began to emerge from the misty curtains.

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Eating and Dancing in Cambridge’s Streets

Boom! Rattatate, rattattate, rattattate! Boom. Boom. Boom! Rattatate, rattattate, rattatate.

I found my head nodding in time to the energetic beat as it reverberated against the houses. Nabbing my boyfriend, J’s, hand as we crested a bridge I set us on course for the source of the sound. We dodged and gently nudged our way through the wall of people listening to the music.

Mill Road had gone from channeling a stream of cars to bursting with a river of strolling revelers. It was the Nile in flooding season. The local shops and international stores joyfully slurped up passing folk—their wares sparkling under the attention. Other islands of sound and bobbing bodies stood against the flow of curious incoming visitors. You never knew what you were going to float past next!

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Bonfire Night, Guy Fawkes Night, Firework Night

Yes you may know that on November 5, 1605 a group of Catholic conspirators were about to blow up the English Parliament and King James I, but did you know that people preferred burning an effigy of the Pope over one of Guy Fawkes?

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Guy Fawkes Night, Bonfire Night, Fireworks Night

Cozily wrapped in my hat, coat and fuzzy mittens the night’s chill could only nip at my nose. Of course, even my cold nose was being warmed from constantly rubbing against my camera screen. Looking down the line of revelers pushed up against the metal fence I was leaning against I observed the fire in their eyes. The source of the flickering reflections hungrily cackled as it whipped about. The beast was caged within a ring, enclosed within a vast fence.

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Castle Rising, Kings Lynn

Growing up, whenever my friends, family and I spotted people excitedly pointing and nattering over cows along the highways we’d break into giggles.

There’d be a car parked on the edge of the road and a group or pair of folks gawking at the livestock over the fence. Eyes would be wide, lips tapping out a frenzied speech and heads whipping side to side as the people glanced from their friends to the exotic beasts before them. Cameras were brought to bear to capture this explicit experience of authentic Canadian prairie wilderness.

Now I suppose I should retire passing judgment on cattle sightseers, since I collect stone churches myself.

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A Pair of Canadians Tackling Big Hills: Part 2

That hill was a journey in itself.

I remember seeing it for the first time. As we’d inched our way up an incline tailing the dozen before, this unassuming beast had risen from the crest of our latest achievement. My friend, pushing ahead, released an exasperated groan. I would soon echo it as I gawked at the climb ahead of us.

It was a country road. To a car the stretch would have been an effortless task—full of fresh country air and sweet sunshine—but for us each breathless push of the pedals led to a cycle that grew heavier. It was like winding up a spring. I glanced at my tires to make sure I hadn’t caught something in the brakes or chain, which could be adding friction.  It couldn’t be me could it? I didn’t feel tired. Where was the weight coming from? Was this the reality between physical strength and will?

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Cambridge Busking Band

Remember the band Still Seeking from the Cambridge Buskers and Street Performers Festival last weekend? It was the animated, jolly band with a bizarre instrument called a lagerphone?

I contacted them to ask a few questions about what it’s like to be a band out on the streets and they were happy to reply! Here’s a run down of what they said about their experiences as a band.

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