Friday, 9 December 2011

The peace after the storm

Yesterday was the wildest day we've had in quite some time. Fortunately the electricity company decided that doing maintenance work in 90M/hour winds was maybe not the brightest idea they'd ever had. So instead we kept our electricity, even during the worst of the weather although it flickered alarmingly from time to time. They will have to give us a week's notice for the work to start up again and at the moment are no doubt way too busy restoring power to the over 60.000 homes without it. We'll wait and see.

Peace and quiet have now returned (although very icy and ferociously cold) and I made my way to the library where talk was all about the weather. It's fun to hear that everyone of whatever nationality joins in with this oh so typical British pastime. On the way there you could see the signs of the storm all along the main roads in the shape of branches in the verges and several entirely uprooted trees.

After the library I went on my Artist Date for this week which was once again spend in Penicuik graveyard. The above detail is from a fallen and now partially covered ornament laying randomly in the grass. I was looking down in order not to stumble over all the rubble in the graveyard and suddenly saw a face peering back at me! It became my blip for today.

When I first came to Penicuik graveyard I thought this was one of the very few graveyards I've visited so far not located in a beautiful and scenic place. But I was wrong. It might now be surrounded by a traffic roundabout, encroached upon by a huge Lidl and facing a car park but when you peer over the wall at the other side of all that, you see what would once have been a lovely view over the valley of the North Esk river. But alas, that valley is now filled with housing estates and even the river itself can barely be discerned anymore. But my premise that the dead enjoyed the best views still holds.

Returning to the same graveyard on more than one occasion (and this definitely hasn't been my last visit!) offers an opportunity to have a much closer look at everything to see there. This skull is located on the side of a gravestone (in fact there is another skull, almost identical, on the other side). I do occasionally photograph the same stone over and over again which tells me that
something about it speaks to me and I keep trying to get good pictures of whatever it is for future reference and eventual inclusion into my art. A collage of skulls is definitely on the cards.


The riches in Penicuik graveyard are mainly to be found in the details as several of these picture show. This gravestone is well on it's way to disappearing completely into the ground but you can still just about see the top of the skull and the Memento Mori banner displayed about it's head. Who knows what riches are now lost to us?


And finally a picture that was my blip yesterday. This bird sought sanctuary in our garden during the height of the gale. He (or she) crouched down in the corner, out of the wind and looked thoroughly wet and sorry for itself. John alerted me to its presence and I sneeked as close as possible to the window in our living room to take this picture. John thought it was a sparrowhawk and who am I to question him (he's much better with bird names than I) but some of my fellow blippers put me right and told me it was a peregrine falcon. Much rarer than sparrowhawks and I was so excited to think I had managed to capture a picture of it even though it was through a window and during a ferocious rain storm.

4 comments:

abby j said...

This looks to be a wonderful place to visit, to meditate and to just relax! You captured it so beautifully... perhaps if we visit again...

Happy holidays to you, John and those sweet animals that help to make your home so warm. Wishing you the best...

Love,
Abby and Michael

Terri said...

Thank you so much for the tour of this graveyard. The headstone is fab, and the face amazing. Is that stone really sunk in the ground that far?
You are so lucky to get that picture of the falcon! Wow! What a gorgeous bird.
I am glad you have power again. Hopefully, you will keep it : )
Hugs,
Terri

Lenna Young Andrews said...

What a beautiful post, Frieda; I really enjoyed reading it. Even though scull images are not my favorite, I can see why you keep coming back to the one you showed us. I could see it as a repeated pattern used somewhere in your work, a border perhaps? There is something about the image and your philosophy about life & death I think that draws you to it again & again.

As I said on your blip, what a gorgeous "painting" of the falcon that visited you. A definite high point on a misrable weather day, I'd say! I love it and am thinking of printing it out! xoxo

Georgie Horn said...

I always love your graveyard pictures. How lovely to capture a glimpse of the hawk!

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