Grandeur Within Grandeur

This is a somewhat alternative view of the Lake District. There was moss and trees, long views and snow on the mountains. It was the built fabric which caught my attention yesterday. It is the journey that counts, gaining elevation need not be the main focus. Though it so often is.

Snow covered Grisedale Pike seen through a bridge arch.

Greta Bridge voted by readers of Concrete magazine as the Best Civil Engineering Structure of the Century in 1999.

On a visit to Keswick and its surrounding hills Greta Bridge might not be the first call on sights to see. And one to photograph and post here. For most travelers it is just another bridge on the A66 carrying you closer to booted and gaitered pleasures. From below though – what grandeur within grandeur. Ah! the Lakeland Fells. Name those seen from Latrigg Fell.

Yesterday I joined a sangha walking group for the day. We spent most of our time scaling the dizzy heights of Latrigg Fell (368 m (1,207 ft)and one of the lowest of the fells) and then slipping and sliding down to the one time Cockermounth/Keswick to Penrith railway line. The track bed now a walking and cycling byway. The sky was blue and the sun was smiling upon us.

Here is a Cycle Path Network Millennium Mile Posts beside the railway line. This one titled Fossil Tree was designed by John Mills. The post takes the form of an abstract tree with relief imagery of fossils depicting the passage of time from early primitive creatures to the ultimate demise of fossil fuel driven technology. The helpful hand, connected to a person of course, points out the fuel on empty.
On a sunny Sunday afternoon the bikes were out in force with young children leading the parade. Watch out!!!


No day of walking is complete until after tea and cake! We went to The Lakeland Peddler. This very pink shop is close to the Peddler and I couldn’t resist a photograph.

Good enough to eat!

Walking through Keswick streets house walls built of green slate.


All in all twas a grand day out.

This post is for Lotti Dog, R.I.P. dear friend. And for her people now grieving.

Obstacles Bring Forth Fruit

Obstacles are those frightful fruitful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.

Henry Ford

When I first read the above quote in my diary I saw fruitful. Reading it again now I see the original word is frightful! Just shows how ones perceptions and comprehensions are conditioned by ones point of view.

All a bit lost in words at the moment. Tomorrow maybe some photographs.

Lunch By The River

Toe to toe
All in a row
We congregate – for lunch.

phone calls.
Welcome –
a break.

Half an hour
Cheese and potato

another call.

Creativity – The Mind At Play

The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.

Carl Jung

Many thanks to the reader who sent in this quote. Love it.

Appreciating Expression

I appreciate individuals, and groups, who stir to express themselves through artistic endeavour. I appreciate the, for want of a better word, the passion which has anybody opening up their doors and windows to allow themselves out into the public domain. Out there for scrutiny, open to scrutiny. To sustain that personal vulnerability over perhaps a life-time there must be something quite deep going on. I struggle to appreciate what that might be but perhaps the common theme is a wish to better understand ones own evolving inner process of thoughts and ideas. Whether it is giving our inner world expression through so called high art or everything else it doesn’t much matter to me.

And it is the everything else which has my attention. Even if I don’t really understand what is being conveyed on the surface level, I can appreciate something deeper. So what about these videos composed by a chap who practices within our Soto Zen tradition. I asked him how do I describe what you do. He said, after some thinking about it, abstract geometrical landscapes. I’ve picked out Japan Crossing because of the overt Buddhist connections as well as the connection with travel and especially travel by train. There are a whole bunch of these abstract geometric landscapes. Give them a go why not.

The videos called Bloodline of the Buddhas has a very direct link in with our spiritual roots.

This refers to the teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha and how it has been handed down through time in the Soto Zen lineage to the present. The soundtrack contains a manipulation of the sound of monks at Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey singing the daily Ancestral Line scripture.

Some years back this video was shown at a video festival (or what ever one calls such events) in Tokyo.

This post was inspired by an event I attended last evening. I’d cooked ‘tea’ for the main speaker and his wife so obviously I’d support the event, especially since it was just around the corner from where I am staying. The subject of the talk was a local Heritage Railway. I’d joined a room full of railway enthusiast, the steam era specifically. The emotion in the room on seeing photographs of trains in full steam was something to behold!

Everything else, in terms of creative human endeavor covers a lot of ground. Steam train fever, ice fever, knitting fever, philosophic ponderings, meditation? Passions can morph into obsessions of course. Along the way hopefully – deep personal fulfillment. Moments at least.

Chris maintains a personal blog where he posts photographs and links to his videos. There are recent images of snow in Norfolk. Weather again!

The next passionate endevour will be about knitting.