Saturday 26 September 2015

Every Picture Tells a Story - Part II

I blogged recently about the stories behind the pictures HERE 
My continuing research recently found me in my car, with a friend, and with my back seat loaded up with the contents of my daughter's uni house. (This is how I spend most summers, driving around like a demented motorised snail, with someone else's house at my back, rather than on it. (Unless I brake sharply, of course). Halfway along the skinniest road imaginable, my little long-suffering car started making strange graunching noises and by the time we parked up, I was less concerned with pictorial research than with ensuring I had enough mobile phone signal to contact Green Flag. First stop, the visitors' centre. What this picture, of the wonderful aisled barn, 
doesn't tell you, is that there was a little glass pod at one end of the barn, in which were encased a farmer, complete with flat cap and Northern accent so fruity you could pour gin on it and make punch, and his whippet. Of course with his whippet. The farmer was on the phone, shouting seven shades of nasty to a hapless supplier who'd failed to send the correct invoice. We obeyed the notice which said, "Visitors please enter" only to be greeted with "No, shut t'door, the dog'll be off and I'll not catch 'im. What d'you want? Leaflets? Tek that one there and shut t'door behind you."

Scarecrows in the aisled barn

After that less than cordial encounter, we went snooping around the ruins of the old manor house which offered countless photographic opportunities. And what the picture below does not tell you is how long I waited to click the shutter, while the only other people in the valley that day chose that moment to walk past this window. And stop. And walk back. And then wait for their friends. And their small child. And the dog.

My friend and I climbed a hill. Just a small one. If you've clicked on the link to my previous exploits, you'll understand that big hills and I don't really get along. And so I was able to take this picture of a very old pack horse bridge. And position myself so that the afore-mentioned children, clad that day in Barbie-pink jackets, and sitting at the far end of the bridge, could not be seen.

The bridges in this village are very old and very famous. And my friend was enraptured as she walked across this one below. I was not so pleased, however, because I was trying to take another picture. And so it was that she crouched behind the tree that you can see to the right of the photo and obligingly waited until I had my shot. This day, she was wearing turquoise. Does nobody wear brown or grey any more?!

We climbed out of the valley and scaled a larger hill where we sat for a while in this, the panopticon.

And a man came with a big telephoto lens. Ever-conscious of the photographer's need for unobstructed views, I asked him, "Are we in your way? Would you like us to move?"
"No," he said, "You're not. But that is."
At least I only want people to get out my way. Asking concrete structures to shimmy to the left is a little more tricky ...

If you want to know where I was and what I was really up to, pop over to HERE where I talk about The Ruination of Wycoller


  1. People dressed in bright text marker colours standing right front of whatever you want to photograph with no intent to move for the next week are a nuisance well known to me. Some even take photos themselves, but they're obviously not concerned by fugly, often time traveling intruders on beautiful scenery / architecture, or they would move eventually. ;-)

    That concrete thingie? I'd totally have wanted it to shimmy to the left as well.

  2. Thanks for your comment Gabriele - the concrete edifice really dominates the landscape and you don't have to climb far out of the valley before you can see it. It almost looks like it landed, rather than being built. Sorry the link to the 'proper' research is not live yet, but to link the pieces to each other, one had to go live first so I could copy the URL. Please pop back tomorrow to have a look :)

  3. It does look a bit like an UFO. And after enough gin punch the green manikins may appear as well. *grin* (Which was the explanation I got for the appearance of the ghost in Cawdor Castle. "It's the Speyside distillery tours," a guide told me.)

    I know about the link problem; I crosslink posts in my blog all the time.

  4. I'd like to hear more about your encounter with the ghost in Cawdor Castle! Thanks for being understanding about the link - there doesn't seem to be an easy way round the problem, unfortunately

  5. I was in Cawdor back in 1998 and the guide told me the usual story about a lady in white or green said to haunt the hall (one would expect King Duncan, but maybe ghosts have a better sense of history than Shakespeare and spook were they actually got killed). Once, a lady visiting the place insisted that she had seen the ghostly apparition right then and there, but the guide added with a wink that he suspected a few drams of Speyside Whisky rather than a real ghost. She had partaken in a guided tour that had included visits to the distilleries. :-)

  6. Lovely! The guide could have had a point, though - it's amazing how adamant we can all be after a dram or two ... !

  7. This was fascination, as was your other post about Wycoller. Nice pictures, despite the challenge of shooting them.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth - I'm so glad you enjoyed them :)