Category: Fun Stuff


Refreshing Break

In August some dear friends invited us to share a few days with them in a holiday cottage they had rented in the Yorkshire Dales – a part of the UK famous for it’s natural beauty, boasting such breath-taking scenery. As I love taking photos I thought it appropriate to share some of the experience on Ready Writer.

INGLETON WATERFALLS TRAIL

A ‘magical’ 4.5 miles of waterfalls as shown below. (Click on an image to enlarge)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Imagine the thunderous roar created by these Falls – an incredible sound.

COVERDALE WALK

The cottage is located in the picturesque village of Carlton-in-Coverdale – with many stunning views and plenty of trails for the walker. Here are just some of the vistas on offer:

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Delectable are they not … ?

CASTLE BOLTON

Within 8 miles of the cottage is this remarkable monument dating back to the 14th Century – it allows one to step into history, inter-acting with images, relics and stories of a bygone age:

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        In addition to the wonderful variety of rooms: great chamber, dining hall, bed chambers, kitchen, brewery, armoury (and not forgetting the dungeon) one can also view some of the rather unusal residents of the castle & its grounds:

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Thought I’d throw the wild boar in, for good measure, which I discover is a “Crepuscular” animal – one that is active primarily during dawn and dusk – well I do enjoy learning new words !  A group of wild boar is called a “sounder” – something else I didn’t know before this visit.

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And finally … 

I’m sure you wouldn’t fancy meeting this fearsome character in some dark alley  !!

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IT’S GOOD TO TAKE A BREAK  !

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Rationalized

Surplus

Unwanted

Shelved …

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Not for long !

Insufficient time

to  gather dust;

Re-positioning …

Blocked

I sit and stare vacantly at the blank screen, its flashing cursor mocking my brain deadness – all attempts to think completely futile. Then an inner censor kicks in: “I have nothing to say, anyway”. “I am 60 years old, I have done little, discovered little, been little, and now have no worthwhile thoughts in my head.” I grit my teeth, gird up my loins, shake myself down – and still, nothing.

The censor continues putting the boot in, as it viciously occurs to me that most people are not the slightest bit interested in my meanderings – so I’m left even more demotivated – why bother !

 

Of course, it’s an experience common to creative writers – novelists, poets, dramatists, script-writers – which I find strangely encouraging. Realizing that professional writers, even those who have produced the world’s  greatest literature — Leo Tolstoy, Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, Joseph Conrad, Ernest Hemingway, for example — were tormented by momentary lapses in their ability to produce text, affords me a degree of comfort.

 

 

Then, I briefly get to musing about the prolific psalmist of Israel – the shepherd/king, David – as he plucks away merrily at his harp, his heart bubbling over with goodly themes, and I wonder if inspiration ever seemed elusive to one so obviously moved by the Spirit (that is, when he wasn’t committing adultery, or plotting the murder of his lover’s husband !)

I further ponder on the ancient Jewish prophet – weeping Jeremiah – as his message burns inside, like a fire shut up within his bones, which he found impossible to contain. Did that sense of being carried along by the Spirit ever leave him at the height of those depressing moments – in a dungeon, or in a pit.

My thoughts turn next to that brilliant theologian – St Paul – writer of much of our New Testament scriptures, many of whose letters were birthed as he languished in captivity.  Did he ever have those soul-destroying moments of emptiness, wondering if anything made sense, or did anyone care ? Surely not !

But it happens to me … plenty !

Now, American poet William Stafford offers a proposition: “There is no such thing as writer’s block for writers whose standards are low enough.”

No, he’s not encouraging me to produce garbage, but suggesting how easy it can be to take myself too seriously, to think I’m going to produce the greatest, loveliest, most intelligent piece of work ever made. Consequently I sit there, thinking how useless I am, cursing the day I was born, even hating the very act of writing that has so stymied me. Rather,  Stafford encourages writers to let go – to go ahead and write anything, just so long as they write. Out of their ramblings something good will come, an idea will catch fire right there on the page, there will be sparks, patterns will emerge.

Be willing to throw stuff out. It’s quite all right.

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So here it is: I decided to write … and you have the outcome … and if it makes any sense, or even helps, all well and good – perhaps Stafford’s advice works after all.

Have a block-busting month !

Haiku For May

Spring greetings !

MAY blessings attend

you, in this sprightly season –

vibrant days of MAY

~~~

Pingley Haiku

The view from my rear garden in the spring.

Verdant meadow lush

Pasture-land all resplendent

Shepherding delight

~~~