I often pass this window on my walk. It’s in a farmyard outbuilding, and the detritus on the other side of the panes never changes. Neither do the spiders’ webs. They neither grow nor disappear. Time for a spring clean and change of perspective?
These days, weeks and weeks into Life-with-Covid 19, I crave a nice quiet dinner with people I know, tea parties with friends, or a chinwag in town over a good cup of coffee and a fresh-from-the-oven buttered scone. And I can’t have any of them.
Instead, I’ll settle for memories of a tea party from a few years ago, when we met with good friends to celebrate a couple of birthdays. No tea shop for us, but instead a jaunt on the Wensleydale Railway, a Heritage Railway which runs in normal times through the heart of the Yorkshire Dales .
As we rattled along, enjoying countryside views, smart serving staff plied up with elegant little sandwiches, properly fattening cakes, and the all-important scones served with jam and cream. And tea, of course. And prosecco.
It’s not often that afternoon tea with all the trimmings includes an ever-changing bucolic view through the window.
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A June walk near Richmond in Yorkshire. Not this June as it happens, but it’s a walk I remember well.
This was the countryside we strolled through.
And this was the abbey we found near the end: Easby Abbey, ruined since shortly after the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536, and as atmospheric as ruins generally are.
The site includes the not-at-all-ruined parish church which is still very much in use. When we popped in, we didn’t expect to find a poor swallow, struggling to get out. Church members were trying to help him, but he was still vying with stained glass angels as we left. Poor swallow.
Birder friends: can you help please? I realise this may not be a swallow, but it doesn’t seem to be a swift or house martin either. Thoughts?
If you go walking in Wensleydale: if you go for a walk from Jervaulx to Jervaulx via Thornton Steward, you’ll come across this tree home, at the edge of a field, commanding views over the valley. It has just one door and, importantly for Monday Window, just one window.
It’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere, but I always like to imagine a doting grandfather, tall and rangy from a tough life’s farming and probably reminiscent of the BFG, lovingly creating a little refuge for his grandchild in this hollow tree.
I couldn’t fit in it, neither could you. Perhaps the grandchild is too big now. But I know a couple of young people who’d love to play there. Perhaps you do too.
This time last year, we were near Barcelona, me and my whole family, celebrating two significant birthdays. What a difference a year makes.
This year, nobody’s travelling anywhere much, so I’m going on a virtual journey, to Barcelona and to one of my favourite destinations there, the Hospital de Sant Pau. I’ve already written about it twice, here and here. Today, let’s celebrate its vibrant, colourful windows, with glimpses of the glorious buildings that lie beyond.
Today, I’m going no further than my kitchen window. The lilac has been glorious this year. Is it because it has been – well – especially spectacular, or have we simply had more time to enjoy its big blowsy blooms and seductive smell? It’s June now, and lilac has no place in the summer garden, so here is the view that has greeted us every breakfast time for about three weeks. Can’t complain about that.
I just came upon this picture that I took one Christmas Eve. Even though it’s from mid-winter, it seems to be such a positive image, full of promise for the day ahead, that I thought I’d post it while we’re still largely confined in Lockdown.