Home of Inspiration

This is Brantwood, home of John Ruskin (1819-1900) the artist, writer and champion of the welfare state. Ruskin absorbed the natural world around him and expressed his talents through paintings and poetry. In 1869 he was Professor of Fine Arts at Oxford and established the Ruskin School of Drawing (

The Brantwood Estate is suspended, afloat on the hillside above lake Coniston Water. The house  continues his legacy by exhibiting local artist’s work in a gallery. The gardens display the array of inspiration and the footpaths lead to the lakeside.




A Days Work…..

What did you do today?
I pushed out the boat
Watched over my shores
Kept possibilities afloat

I swaggered the banner
And raised the tide
Worked through anguish
For our sense of pride

I swept out the doubts
That folded around
Housing cool whispers
Putting fears to ground


The Beauty of Urbex

“Urbex (urban exploration or UE) is the exploration of man-made structures, usually abandoned ruins or not usually seen components of the man-made environment”(Wikipedia).

These buildings are often abandoned hospitals, asylums, and industrial buildings, areas that look desolate. I am always intrigued by such photographs. To me they hold a history of a bygone age, a story of our society from an era now removed from our existence. These buildings often served the community and held a workforce of many in our towns and cities.

The images are often taken in black and white, to me this is to represent the historical value what is being captured, but what I ask,  is the onlooker to see deeper into the psyche of urbex pictures. Try to imagine the time and motion of the buildings in their working form, such as a busy hospital ward, workers in the factory and life within the picture, not just the abandonment of its current existence.

The beauty of these pictures is their past to present portrayal. I have tried to take some urbex photographs recently on a visit to Lancaster Castle.  The history of the Castle is thought to go back as far as Roman times as a fort and in the 11th century came under Royal possession as a medieval castle. It has a dark history of executions and the Lancashire witches trials in the 17th century.

The Castle is also known for being a Prison until 2011, but now it is a historical monument, open to the public as a visitor’s attraction for tours.

For Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: What is beautiful to you

Here are some Urbex Experts;







1 Comment

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fray

I found this statue hidden under the branches of a tree. She was covered over with the leaves, forgotten, worn and frayed. She must have been the image of a woman someone loved and cherished in the past.
Your face will
never fade
from my memory
Your laughter
the sound of
sweet melody
Your eyes into
mine engage
into eternity
Always ever in
my thoughts
kept internally


Leave a comment

Women’s War Memoirs

A single cornet player led the start of today’s World War 1 remembrance readings in my local library. Over 60 women turn out to listen to the readings from diaries, poems and memoirs of the Women’s Voices. The script was compiled by Maggie Norton a local Poet Laureate researched from publications of a generation of women who volunteered to serve their country.

The readings were written by women who served at home and abroad. Many of them were nurses, either VADs (Volunteer Aid Detachment), trained nurses or rising military Captains, Flying Ambulance Corp Nurses, Frontline Nurses on first aid posts and Suffragettes in Women’s Emergency Corps.

At the event I had the pleasure of meeting a nurse who had started nursing only months before the start of World War 2. She was born in Northumbria, went to train as a nurse at the Hammersmith Hospital and treated the wounded throughout the London Blitz. She even did combat training  to land at Normandy treating up to two hundred soldiers a day.

These days she is a champion for the nursing profession and a Veteran. She is active in the remembrance services throughout Britain and in France where she is a VIP in towns and at state events. She regularly visits schools and talks about the Blitz and has visited French schools to pass on a generation’s experience of war. As the anniversary of the war starts today, remember our nurses, so brave, “lest we forget”.




Weekly Photo Challenge: Split-Second Story



Landmarks often depict an era, a period of time and historic relevance. Here is a photograph of a historic island and castle that dates back to the 12th century. It has been documented that this island, in the background, has been inhabited by Celts, Romans, Monks from Normandy during the rein of King Stephen and a port to German fleets of Lambert Simnel in the 15th century.

Today the island can be seen juxtaposed by the modern lifeboat station and small pier with the island in the near distance, calmly waiting for the next adventure to begin.