Saturday, 16 May 2015

A Windy and Cold Whitby Abbey, North Yorkshire (Part Two)

By now the shadows had disappeared, the sun was hidden behind by the dark leaden clouds and a grey cloak had seemed to suck the colour from the surroundings.  The wind howled through the cracks and voids of the ruined abbey, biting our hands and faces as it swirled around us.


This tactile and atmospheric place would make any creative juices run wild, so I could easily imagine an author looking up to this charismatic ruin and writing one of the best horror stories of all time.


With a grave yard as old as this and the wind playing its sinister symphony along the keys of of the graves, the atmosphere would have been perfect for Bram Stoker and the terrifying story of Dracula.

Each corner we took around the Abbey set the imagination running. What might have been had it survived in its glory.  But, the ruins themselves are even more interesting.  Their bare bones exposed to the elements.


 The salts over the centuries have gradually corroded at the carved faces and created ripples in the stone.


The different colours of the stone work have been continuously shaped by the relentless winds.


The Dracula play continued around us but we had to find some form of shelter due to the cold affecting Mumsy's fingers.  They were literally blue!  (note to self: no matter what the weather, bring gloves!).  So while we have a coffee to warm ourselves up, please show yourself around the Abbey - and remember, hide your neck and keep eating the garlic!















Cold?  

You deserve a cuppa after that tour! 

I really must apologise for being incredibly bad at blogging etiquette over the last month.  I feel as though my life is not my own at the moment after Coco left us, and we are all trying to get back to normal.  However, there have been some positives amongst our grief:

 Mr Teen passed his driving test first time!

 Drum roll please! I have picked up the crochet hook and started putting together a plain and simple square blanket for the new puppy/dog when we find THE one! 



 I am on the search now for a new furry baby, so I will keep you updated on our search and eventually a new beginning for us all in Sweetbriar's household.



Have a wonderful weekend and a fabulous week.




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Saturday, 9 May 2015

A Date With Dracula in Whitby, North Yorkshire (Part One)

Well dear Readers, where do I start?  Don't you hate that with a new blog post?  Trying to get the right words to start off the journey.  Let me just say this is going to be a long post this week so I think it best that you get yourself a lovely bottle of wine, some nibbles and a necklace of garlic before I begin - Dracula may be lurking in the shadows!  So, following on from Wednesday's post, where did those steps lead?  Here's your answer...


The beautiful North Yorkshire coastal town of Whitby with its Abbey ruins on the hill, its layers upon layers of buildings and the fishing port is simply stunning.


The port was busy with fishermen preparing their boats for the next catch of the sea's precious bounty.  The nets were all primed and ready...


... and the lobster pots were set...


I was in a very happy place here, with the tactile materials that had been skillfully woven to stand the roughness of the sea and its hopeful inhabitants.  Just capturing the moment was enough for me.


Both me and Mumsy had taken another coach trip so it had taken a little time to get here, but to see Yorkshire's rolling hills and stone walls from the coach was incredibly satisfying.


Then, coming into Whitby, it became apparent that after last year's Tour de France, they were having their own Tour de Yorkshire!


Our first stop was of course to Magpies for their fish and chips.  I took a photo believe me of this fantastic lunch but it was so blurry due to these little wotsits who were determined to divebomb and snatch as much food as possible.  The seagulls are a menace  here and very, very cocky!  We saw one walk into a fish and chip shop to terrorise the staff!  A word to the wise, if you are here cover your food and then head to the bandstand to eat - less chance of being divebombed!  I mean, even this one was dribbling!!


We then grabbed a ride on an open top bus to head up the hill to the Abbey.  We could have climbed the 199 steps, but not today!


Instead, a nice leisurely climb on the bus through the town until we got to the top.


And listening to the brave and breathless coming up the stairs, all counting, and all saying that the sign was wrong!


The view from here was breathtaking in itself.   Windows and buildings all in view of the Abbey...


The harbour ferrying people to show the Abbey from the sea...


Let's get closer...


Yes, Pirate Teddy is off too...


The cliff tops and sea were beautifully married against the steely grey sky.


No wonder that Bram Stoker was inspired by staring up at this place and wrote Dracula!


The wind whips up an icy blast from the North Sea and howls through these ruins and amongst the graves of people departed from life centuries ago.


The waves crash against the shores below the cliffs, giving a real feel of anxiousness.


And no wonder, look who was crawling down the abbey ruins next to me...


Dracula did make me shudder, but he was part of a play that was being acted out around the ruins.  The actors were extremely entertaining and I thoroughly recommend following them as they tell the story of Bram Stoker's Dracula.



What an amazing stage to work from!


Of course I took hundreds of photos of the beautiful aged stonework which I am still working through and will share some with you next week (you know what I am like with architecture!!).  Until then, after my date with Dracula, I will return to my slumber and join you once again as I take you around the ruins with the howls of dogs and icy winds singing through the voids of the Abbey.


Keep eating the garlic!!


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