Thursday, 26 March 2009

Look through any window

I found a new exercise this morning in my bid to keep fit; washing windows.
It is an action that is good for the Body, Mind and Spirit.

For a window to be effective, it should be cleaned regularly on both the outside and the in. When it is unclean, much is hidden but once the cleaning is done; even the smallest of blemish (even in the corners) is noticed.

The view from the window opposite is taken from Hetton Hall Northumbria; a prayer seat at the top of the first floor looking towards the sea and Cuthberts cave. A bell rings and it is time for morning office.....


Sunday, 22 March 2009

The Caravan Pilgrim

The large caravan, pulled by two horses emerged from behind the Black Bull Inn at Ugthorpe. It was 1934 and already much of the pilgrimage had been accomplished. Peter Anson and his companion Tony Rowe began (with a much larger portiuncula) in Datchet - Thames Valley on Ash Wednesday; marked with black smudges on their foreheads and determination in their hearts. The stop-over at Ugthorpe was for 5-weeks and the villagers got to know the pilgrims well. Mum recalled the story many times and the fascination of the local community. A trade for the old caravan was made with gypsies at Guisborough and the re-fit work began. The old van would have been too heavy for the steep hills in Scotland even though Jack and Bill were good strong horses. Earlier as they approached Ugthorpe, just before Jolly Sailors bank, one of the shafts broke in two with a painfully audible sound of splitting timber. Once all was made safe, Tony left Peter to go for help; knowing folk around these parts but it was not till morning that help arrived, Peter spent a windy night on the moor top.

Peter Anson wrote and sketched about churches, Cathedrals and Abbeys up and down the country; he also travelled round Italy, France and Ireland. Peter was with the Benedictine brotherhood on Caldey Island, and one of the twenty monks who followed Abbot Aelred Carlyle over to Rome in 1913. He must have felt quite at home during his stay at Ugthorpe; the community had not changed in it's beliefs or ways of life in many years. Staying true to the faith during the persecution, hiding priests and being married by the church in secret; and later in Whitby to fulfil the law. Peter had a great interest in these times and commented as he found them on his travels.

Peters companion was a local lad, Anthony Rowe from Brotton (only a stones throw from us). Tony was a farrier and an ideal choice for his knowledge of horses and practical sense. He went on to write the first book “The Brown Caravan” followed by Peters “The caravan pilgrim " On their way back from Scotland through Bowes, Yarm, Guisborough and on to Ugthorpe, which was to be their final port, the horses sensed the home run and needed to be held back rather than urged forward. The caravan was sold, the horses too and Peter continued his wandering, writing and drawing; his stories of local folk, faith and determination.

Note to evening office: Keep telling the old stories.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Hayburn Wyke

The walk last Sunday is still fresh in my mind and I couldn't resist putting the pictures into a video. Tomaso Albinoni now on my Ipod seemed a good choice of backing music. Hayburn Wyke is in North Yorkshire, a little north of Scarborough; close to Ravenscar.

The waterfall comes over the cliff and down to the shoreline; you could not call it a beach. Rocks, boulders and stones; I should also mention - a great place for fossils along this stretch of coastline, all the way up to Robin Hoods Bay.

Note to memo: Take time to smell the flowers. (must be almost spring)?

Monday, 2 March 2009

Between sleep & awake

Last Saturday was one of those days when things just dropped into place. I had a late morning call to make, which I had not been looking forward to; I was late and running low on petrol. I daren't stop on the way, as I said I was late already. The call turned out better than expected and after a coffee I was back on the road again. The tank was almost empty - yet still no sign of a petrol warning light, as I pulled into the garage at Guisborough.

Back at the friary all was quiet, no one around. Great, I decided to do some housework and a little in the garden (it's surprising how much I can get done when there is no-one around); a little lunch and then some more clearing up and mopping the floors. Latter I must have been flagging and in need of some caffeine, I put the kettle on and made a nice cup of coffee. Going through to the sitting room I found the easy chair and put some music on (Classic FM).

Before long I was nodding off, the music just holding me between sleep & awake; it was a pleasant state and not one I wanted to change. The old clock struck the hour and I wondered what time folk would be back. An oboe concerto began and I felt I was listening to perfection; the sound was moving me through emotional dimensions - I guess I could put it down to being half asleep. Excerpt from concerto - let me know what you think.

Note to evening office: All work and no play/ rest makes David a misery.