Sunday, March 23, 2008

Cross Words and Crosswinds

An unholy row erupted in 664AD between Roman and Celtic Christians about exactly when the Resurrection should be celebrated. A compromise was reached, and the 'Synod of Whitby' as it is known, gave us the movable feast of Easter. Religion is not my strongest suit, but the Brotherhoods of Bernicia did us no great favours this year - it is the coldest, wettest most unpredictable Easter I have ever known! The Easter cross outside St Oswalds Church, Lythe (above) , looks oddly unseasonal against the night sky and driving snow.

The weather however didn't stop the crowds flocking to Whitby, and yesterday armies of tourists in hoodies, hats and coats of many colours sought respite in cosy cafes, cheery Inns or curiousity shops. The wind across Whitby Swing Bridge brought involuntary tears to the eyes and claimed the lives of at least two bags of fish & chips!

Later at Sandsend the wind had eased somewhat, but it seems that, for some at least, it was all too much. The dejected duck (right) seems to have had enough of the weather and his dillydallying friends and has decided to await the 'Second Coming' of the X56 bus... Happy Easter everyone!

(Apart from brightness and contrast corrections, all photos in my diary are unretouched or manipulated in any way)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Leap of Faith

Legend has it that the famed daffodils of Farndale, North Yorkshire were originaly planted by the Cistercian monks of nearby Rievaulx Abbey nearly 900 years ago. We were perhaps a little early in the season to expect the usual riot of swaying yellow as mid-April is the best time to see them. Nevertheless, I mused on the origins of such legend - did the monks eat the daffies? Were they cultivated by wayward brothers with 'bad habits' who distilled the Narcissus for illicit recreation when the Abbott's back was turned? Alas, early research suggests that they planted them simply because because they liked the look of them!

Such care and devotion to aethstetics was much in evidence at the Feversham Arms too - this thirsty hiker traversed myriad obstacles on his way to the beer garden with almost gyroscopic control of the head on his 'Black Sheep' bitter!

" They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude, And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.." (William Wordsworth 1804)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bouquets and Bandits

A bright but cold and windy morning. The moors high above Danby have a certain 'outback' quality about them this time of year. Patches of dry earth breaking up the hardy, dormant heather. From atop Danby Beacon - a former wartime RAF early warning station - one can truly appreciate the majesty of this small corner of 'God's own County'. We came across a bouquet of beautiful silk flowers, lovingly arranged around a wooden memorial cross, nestling amongst the heather. With no inscription or clues to its provenance, we speculated on whether it was a favoured viewpoint of a departed loved one, or the last resting place of a faithful hound? But then again - Perhaps it was a memorial to the brave men of the RAF who guarded our shores all those years ago...