For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!


Friday, 14 December 2012

Two characters in search of an author *

Tuesday 11th December

Many walks have some emergent wannabe actor who doesn’t always get a mention. Today two seats played that role, but more of that shortly.

A call from T (we go back to schooldays) saw the scene set, walking up the River Kent from Burneside, following The Dalesway.

Burneside owes its thriving existence to James Cropper plc (paper manufacturing),  established 1845. The script here, and at Cowan Head, a mile upstream is complex. going back to 1750.   Click here for a history lesson

A mile beyond Cowan Head the second act took us back by paths and minor roads through Bowston, a bit player in the paper making history.

T has a science background, and inevitably an enquiring mind. Trudging down the road we passed a wayside seat, and thirty yards beyond T looked back and noticed it sported an unusual wooden barrier, and insisted we walk back and attempt to unravel the mystery - a play within a play? We concluded it wasn't the set for delivering the prologue, or preaching a sermon, more likely for safety, in consideration of the slope in front of the seat, but we agreed we had not seen anything similar before.

Our dialogue about the oddball seat, now rambling somewhat, continued in fantasy mode as we trudged on, until we suddenly had a massive fright. A car approached from behind, and a small white van (the villain) came towards us at speed from a blind bend. He  saw the other car, swerved, hit some ice, swerved towards us, then managed to correct and squeeze past between us and the other car.

Further on we found another seat hamming it on top of a steep banking which plunged straight down to the road, much more dangerous than its predecessor, AND NOT PROTECTED BY A BARRIER  - we were incensed.

Such musings go through one’s head whilst walking alone, but it was good to have the interactive audience of an old friend to share this frivolity. I would add that there was some more erudite conversation during our walk.

* With apologies to Luigi Pirandello

Complicated use of River Kent by James Cropper plc

A few hundred yards further up it is more tranquil, but the river is still restricted by the weir effect of Cropper's infrastructure

This and the next two pics show the old mill premises at Cowan Head that have been converted to luxury apartments

"First Seat" in the cast list

"Second Seat"


Roderick Robinson said...

I don't suppose it's much comfort to you but these semi-urban walks offer a whole new photographic sub-text of straight lines and artefacts that would be missing if an improved knee had taken you to the lower slopes of Buchaille Etive Mor. I mean, when did you last willingly point your camera towards a block of luxury apartments and when was I last presented with the opportunity (via your blog) of querying that phrase: luxury apartment. Other than that the adjective is taken up thoughtlessly by the builders who build them and the estate agents who sell them, just what constitutes such an apartment and how is it detected from the outside? And does living in one change the resident in any way: Had to get rid of the wife, she didn't match the decor, sort of thing.

I suppose I would be regarded as shockingly arriviste if I started insisting that I lived in a luxury four-bedroom detached house. "Oh not the furniture, that's mere eye candy. What we strive for is an elevated intellectual atmosphere so that our guests, taking time off from a set of much humbler aspirations, leave with their lives immeasurably enhanced."

I don't think one lives in a luxury apartment, one dwells there, the mind perpetually on finer things. Yes, fine - the adjective that Henry James virtually took over - must play a prominent role in the conversations of luxurialists.

So it's ironic that the luxury apartments you have captured appear to be toppling to the right (it may be an optical illusion), their fine (finer? finest?) occupants carried away like Ophelia to a better after-life.

Have you ever thought that someone on one of those balconies was photographing you as an example of someone dwelling at the other end of the luxury spectrum, having seen through your ploy of investing in half a dozen bean bags.

NOTE: I've had a poor record with comments to your blog in recent weeks, showing an unerring tendency to become (in PS's words) "lost or misconstrued". If so, don't neglect the little dustbin icon.

Sir Hugh said...

RR -You may be surprised to hear that I am embracing these “semi-urban” walks - they give more scope for creating interesting posts, not directly from the photos, but more the material provided on which to hang a sub plot.

Because developers award the “luxury” definition, it implies it is something they included like granite worktops, or electric windows and the like. Luxury is only definable by the recipient, so it is nonsense for developers or estate agents to award that accolade where potential dweller’s tastes may vary from minimalism to a passion for Victoriana

I think the dwellers could only become more snobbish from such an environment, but as they were probably ultra snobbish before they bought, I wouldn’t predict much change, unless they had arrived from a ghetto after winning the Lottery, in which case they would likely be miserable misfits in alien surroundings.

I think the dweller’s minds will be concentrating on how to operate the Bang and Olufsen home media complex, and writing round-robin letters to send to their friends at Christmas, and God save you from any of them descending on your abode.

As we passed by, there was a small gate leading from the apartments onto our countryside path bearing “strictly private” notices. I imagined some dwellers emerging for a country walk, not dressed in the usual Berghaus or North Face kit, but in strange looking jackets, designed for no specific purpose, with suede leather trim and probably made to measure by a London tailor, and sporting tweed flat hats, breeches, and knee length stockings, with snatches of conversation about the imminent return of offspring from boarding school.

Luxury for me is a gin and tonic, and a long hot bath, which MUST have been justified by a particularly harrowing or stressful experience that I have managed to battle my way though, or else a particularly strenuous day in the hills.

Sir Hugh said...

Addendum to my comment. Yes, I've just noticed incorrect apostrophes for possessive plurals.