Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England


9 Comments

A Thing of Beauty

September sunrise-2

A  transient September sunrise,  it’s titanium patina lasting  just about long as it took to get the camera out of the bag.

Another thing of beauty, is the new plaster on our walls (I’m sure it will be longer lasting. Oh what a joy, smooth as silk and whilst not as strong as titanium in comparison to what it replaces, it is golden. Joe’s bedroom walls now cry out to be painted rather than me shedding tears of frustration as I spend days to get anything to look half decent and failing.

Here we are playing a game a kin to those tile games you used to have as kids as we try and get the house back in decorative order after the roof was replaced in the summer; some of the work is as a direct result of the roof works, (i.e the 2 holes in our bedroom ceiling!) whilst a lot  of it is decorating jobs that have been put off for a long while we muttered the mantra ‘no point doing that till the roof’ has been done.’  So we are moving furniture and chattels from room to room with a wash of emulsion paint following in it’s wake. Meanwhile my blog remains unkempt, comments un-responded too and the camera rarely out of the bag. Sorry.

I’ll try and rustle up a chicken tale, in between  coats of paint, or maybe some shots of the roof, I can do that from stock…


9 Comments

The Core of Eden

My favourite part of the Eden Project was the Core building, it is the arts, education and events hub. It’s design is based on the geometry that defines plant growth, or as it is known to its mates, phyllotaxis

Core 1

I totally fell in love with ‘the seed’ a 70 ton sculpture  hewn from Cornish granite that sits at the centre of the building (regular readers will know my affection for lumps of rock.)

seed 1 

The impact  of the seed seemed magnified somehow by the small circular room in which it nestles, hidden, gestating waiting to burst out (this also makes it difficult to photograph) for me there was something going on about, the vastness of nature and the littleness of the human race, I have to add I don’t have a clue what I am talking about here, I can only tell you how it made me feel

For a sense of scale

seed 2

And texture

seed 1-2

It is based on a sunflower and was designed by the sculptor Peter Randall-Page.

I enjoyed the video* of the making of ‘the seed’ from the selection and blasting the rock, the sculpting and it’s journey on a very large truck through the narrow lanes and the nail biting crane lift as it was carefully lowered through the central oculus** into position. The journey, or maybe it was more of a ceremonial procession, filmed from the cab of the truck, seemed to encompass all life, passing on the way babies in buggies, children playing,  right through to a funeral cortège (forgive me, but I can just imagine the films creative directors glee at capturing a hearse on film, ‘Yes! birth, death, the seed, the core, gedit? regeneration, life’s journey, the cycle of life.’

Oh forgive me I’ve come over all eco-arty, I’ll have to nip out side and hug a tree and caress a cauliflower.

 

*One teeny weeny moan, the entrance to the little theatre area where the film was shown, was next to the screen, so the light falling on the screen rather took the edge off the viewing quality of the film, I still watched it twice though!

** Oculus, got to love that word, not sure how often I could chuck it in to a conversation though.

 


8 Comments

Bollington Festival 2009

 

Joe and I went over the hills and crossed the county boundary into Cheshire last Saturday, we went to Bollington to watch the Carnival Procession that is part of the two week long Bollington Festival.

Brass band refelctions 3

Bollington is a long sinuous town, three villages sewn together the building of cotton and silk mills, it has more than a touch of Wirksworth about it, you take a look for yourself on the Bollington web cam. It likes to be known as the Happy Valley and it has none of the pretentiousness of the neighbouring  ‘gold triangle’ Villages of Prestbury, Alderley Edge and the town of Wilmslow.

Powder blue

The procession was as home grown and local as it is possible to get and the town has a strong sense of community; you can listen to the local radio station, Canalside Community Radio here

Be Green

We liked the garden in a wheelbarrow

Bollington community garden

Brass band music it’s a generational thing

Brass band reflections 2

The festival program is stuffed with events, I may have to return, Joe wouldn’t let me follow the artists open studio trail ‘You’ll be aaages’ he said. He was probably right, I have a master plan to return, alone, to indulge in the exhibitions and galleries this weekend.

Three Girls

You can imagine how smitten I was with the felt wall sculpture displayed in the library

Felt wall

I’d have happily taken it home with me.

IMG_8724

Or maybe I should make my own, it can’t be a big job, I’m sure it wouldn’t take long.

IMG_8725


6 Comments

Anyone for Tennis?

 

Anyone for tennis

A tennis ball ice bound in the pond.

We’ve all been to a very nice Bar-B-Q this afternoon, it was a fell runners event, so a bit of cold weather wasn’t going to stop them in the pursuit of such an out of season activity. Mr Uhdd did a bit of a orienteering  race, and the boys and I did a more modest one, except Tom got a bit ambitious and raced ahead, leaving Joe and I map-less, not to worry, we knew our way back to the BBQ and we had a nice amble around, just what we needed after the excess of New Years Eve.

Some photos from our ‘race’ and I use the term very lightly

Farmstead circa 1700

Farms and buildings dating to about 1700

Farmstead, yard

When your fabric is that old, bits tend to give way, here the lintel has broken over the door

What no lintel

The other elevations don’t look so good either.

Oh , dear, looks like a big job

Some rather handsome sheep, who must be used for showing because they were very tame and obviously used to being near people

Handsome couple

A gate post with a history,

Gate post

A delicate and elegant packhorse bridge, thought to date from 1700 or so, the packhorses were led by men known as Jaggers

Pack horse bridge

Riverside 1


15 Comments

Not on the Agenda

I was in a meeting the other day, in a first  floor office when I spied, out of the corner of my eye, an owl, it was roosting under the eves of the neighbouring building. I was very excited, my colleagues less so.

Night flyer, sleeping

It’s a tawny owl I think, according the the RSPB website it’s the size of a pigeon, well its a bloody big pigeon, to give some scale to the shot the pipe it’s perched on is a standard size overflow pipe, I’d have said it was more the size of a small chicken. (a friend tells me that ‘owls are like duvets, all fluffy and puffed up’ So maybe that’s the answer, this is all fluff and no substance: now I have a mental image of the RSPB lining birds up for an identity parade, feathers off, golden eagle to the left of line, goldcrest to the right.

Down below the snoozing owl the street was busy, workmen were using a pneumatic drill a few yards away, it seemed unperturbed ruffling it’s feathers occasionally and having a look around every now and then. It was a bit of a distraction, for me  at any rate, but then I’m easily distracted from any agenda. Obligingly the owl was sitting out the day in his/her somewhat exposed roost site so I was able to sneak back later to take these photos,

Night flyer, sleeping 2 

They’re not the best, but I had to be a little discrete, leaning out of the first floor window brandishing a long lens would not have done me any favours with security, as it is I’ve already got a bit of a reputation.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 332 other followers