The barri antic – old town centre – of Premià de Mar is terraced by rows of what were once fishermen’s cottages, mainly dating from the 18th century, and known as lescases decós. Their inhabitants divided their time between two occupations – fishing – and market gardening in their long narrow back gardens. The featured image shows a typical street, with awnings stretched across to shelter passers-by from the summer heat.
There aren’t many trees, so these days the town council has placed some in tubs along the pedestrianised streets.
With not many trees about, some residents cram their windows with cooling plants:
Although one careful resident has thoughtfully left a cat-sized gap at the bottom of his plant-friendly window.
Poor old window. Poor old washing line. They each wanted their five minutes of fame as a Monday Window, and as a Monday Washing Line. And instead their shadows grab the limelight.
If you want to know why the window seems a bit curvy, that’s because the wall it’s projected on is pretty old. Vestiges remain from the days when it was first built, in the 15th century, for lay brothers from Fountains Abbey who lived and farmed here.
Last week meant a visit to London, to see the family we haven’t had sight of since last August. This was no tourist trip, but on our last day, the children securely occupied at school or nursery, we did venture forth – more of that another day. Today, I’ll simply share views from the escalator at Canary Wharf Station, because I always find this sight optimistic and full of light.
Everyone knows that when a castle or a church tumbles into ruin, it’s an opportunity for the locals. All over Europe and beyond, once majestic buildings have found new uses as humble farm labourers’ cottages, or a house for the local blacksmith, or … whatever’s needed really. Round here there are at least two houses whose builders hadn’t merely appropriated the stone, but also reinstated the windows found in a tumbledown place of worship.
This house is two farm-workers’ cottages knocked into one. The original tiny dwellings have been here for centuries: but being humble didn’t stop them from having fine windows once part of a church that no longer exists.
Not far away is a handsome farm house. That too benefits from a spot of recycling.
Last week, I showed you wisteria on the front of the house. Today, we’ll sneak into the walled garden and look at the clematis framing one of the windows in our neighbour’s house – there it is in the featured photo. And here’s the lilac, just coming out:
And here’s the view from the kitchen window – the lilac’s still budded, but soon it will be fully out – for one week only – before becoming once more a rather unremarkable shrub.
I may produce more lilac for Jude’s Life in Colour: two shades of purple to go at in just a few days. But I promised another window view for Ludwig’s Monday Window. So here we are.
This is the time of year when the outside of our house, and the one to which we’re attached deck themselves in scented clouds of wisteria.
There’s lilac below the kitchen window: that’ll bloom very soon: already the tightly furled buds are loosening and hinting at the soft mauves and purples that will emerge. That’ll be for next week then.
On the last day of April, I took myself for a short walk, from country house to country house near me. They’re all called Sleningford-something-or-other – Old Hall, Hall, Grange – in memory of the village of the same name that was ravaged by marauding Scots in the Middle Ages, never to be seen again. Though they had older antecedents, all these buildings are from the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and they all mark pleasant pauses in our walking routines. Here’s the gatehouse to the first, Sleningford Old Hall, its window enabling the gatehouse keeper to keep his eye on all the comings and goings into the estate. Well, the last actually. I’m showing my last photo first, and working back towards home.
Only the upstairs windows of the house itself were visible over the high wall which maintains the owners’ privacy.
A mile or so beforehand, I’d already passed Sleningford Park and Hall. You can see the house set in its parkland in the feature photo. The conservatory has glass enough, and the gatehouse too has windows pointing in every direction to help the gatekeeper do his job.
I’d started from home of course, less than a mile before that. Not that we live in the house you see here. But we’re lucky enough to live in its grounds, in a rather simpler dwelling, which has its own long history – that’s for another day.
A less-than interesting photo of the main road near Skipton? Who cares? We were off to see my daughter and her family for the first time in about a year. For us it was the very brightest day of the year.
We all started queuing bright and early. We had to. Our local independent bakery and deli has been doing Click and Collect throughout the last lockdown, but now it’s open again, and we all wanted to make sure we got our hands on our favourite sourdough loaf, a croissant or two, or a couple of cinnamon buns maybe. And a few little treats from the deli while we were at it. We’ve missed you, Vanora!
The featured photo shows the shop window. And not just Vanora’s shop window, but all the ones opposite, reflected in the shiny glass.