Month: January 2020

Voices in the Mist (1)

We had never been to the First World War monuments and graves in northern France. As a young man, I considered them part of a national mindset that glorified war. But, over the decades, that view was moderated and I realised that such places are the result of something much deeper in the national psyche. And not just national. Like a vast whirlpool, WW1 … Read More Voices in the Mist (1)

#ShortWrytz: Lille Sundance

It was late afternoon in the city of Lille in northern France. We were making our way back to our relative’s house on the outskirts of the centre when we turned a corner and found the sunset breaking through the heavy clouds at the ‘end of the street’. Being January, the sky was rapidly darkening, but suddenly the street was filled with golden light … Read More #ShortWrytz: Lille Sundance

#FurryFives – Not Leaving

Human: Pretty please? Misti: Not in a month of Sundays… Human: We can’t leave for France if you don’t get off the travel bags… Misti: Exactly! Human: Chicken? ©Stephen Tanham

The Sun, the Lion and the Ashes

We are in northern France, visiting relatives that were only re-discovered three years ago, after an eighty years gap… My paternal grandmother was the youngest sister of an elder brother (also Stephen) who survived the horrors of WW1, married a French girl and eventually settled near Calais. When France was overrun, the Nazis wouldn’t allow Stephen to take his family back to England and, … Read More The Sun, the Lion and the Ashes

#ShortWrytz – Intricate Outlines

Winter offers the photographer a challenge – to be creative with what little colour there is… One way around this is to look for the most contrast to be found. In this shot, taken on a walk in the mid-afternoon, the pale sun was already falling towards the horizon, filling the shadows with a rich, inky darkness. Lovely! I walked for a while until … Read More #ShortWrytz – Intricate Outlines

Keys of Heaven (10): final resting place…

continued from Part 9 The village of Lastingham, of the southern edge of the North York Moors, was a fitting place to end our weekend – both for its mysterious wells and also on the basis that the crypt of St Mary’s Church marks the final resting place of St Cedd. Following the fateful Synod of Whitby in AD 664, Bishop Cedd returned to … Read More Keys of Heaven (10): final resting place…

The Helmet in Morrisons’ Sink: Monday 13th January

I could have shown you a picture of my motorbike lying on its side in the car park, but that might have been too brutal… “It’s not for everyone, the Advanced Rider Course,” my examiner was saying as he helped me recover the Honda 750NT from its prone position in a corner of Morrisons’ huge car park on the outskirts of Kendal. “It’s rather … Read More The Helmet in Morrisons’ Sink: Monday 13th January

#FurryFives: bag girl

©Stephen Tanham

Keys of Heaven (9): blown down the mountain

continued from Part 8 My companions of the Silent Eye’s ‘Keys of Heaven’ weekend were waiting when I arrived at the Lion Inn. We had coffee and biscuits and we discussed the options for our last day of the workshop. Everyone was looking forward to the visit to the celebrated St Mary’s church at Lastingham – the final resting place of St Cedd. There … Read More Keys of Heaven (9): blown down the mountain

Keys of Heaven (8): crosses at heaven’s gate

The high pass over the North York Moors is seventeen miles long and crosses the ‘roof of the world’ in the heart of the national park. You’d think twice about going there once the autumn has given way to winter. Local photos show the many times that groups of people have been stranded on the long line of its peak. In one case, in … Read More Keys of Heaven (8): crosses at heaven’s gate

#FurryFives – Tabletop Racer

Misti: “Boring, boring…. uh-uh, I feel a transformation coming on!” Misti: “Out of the pits and onto the long, ‘address label’ straight…” Misti: Reaching over 100 mph just before paper brook – will she brake in time or spin off? Misti: “Ooops! Its a race marshal… and he’s not pleased!” Misti: “Sigh…I didn’t know there was a sin-bin in motor racing” ©Copyright Stephen Tanham

Keys of Heaven (7): the path to gentle darkness

The tiny fishing village of Staithes is a place of peaceful beauty. It lies part way between Whitby and Saltburn on the North Yorkshire coast. It’s geology is also one of the few breaks in the vast cliffs that define this region; and which are the main source of the famous Whitby Jet semi-precious stone. Staithes was our destination… and I was taking a … Read More Keys of Heaven (7): the path to gentle darkness

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