Category: Silent Eye School

Set in Stone

The Silent Eye’s Landscape Weekends were born from a mad-cap day on Ilkley Moor and a number of subsequent events up there. Join us on Sue Vincent’s birthday (14th September) for lunch and a short walk to one of Ilkley Moor’s ancient monuments as we remember our former colleague and fellow director in the landscape she regarded as her home. Meet: Noon at The … Read More Set in Stone

A Hebridean Diary (6-end) Great Bernera

Our two-week trip, ending in the Hebridean Island of Lewis, was coming to an end. The following morning, we would be on a ferry from Stornoway to Ullapool, then a fast route directly to Inverness, where we could pick up the main A9 to Perth, stopping in a travel motel, before setting off early for Cumbria and home. We decided to spend our last … Read More A Hebridean Diary (6-end) Great Bernera

August skies

Norfolk and Cumbria are both famous for having ‘big skies’. I’m sure there are others, but over the years, I’ve had the best summer sky shots from these two places – each one vast in its own right. August has long been my favourite month for shooting photos of such splendour. The one above was taken near where we live, on the edge of … Read More August skies

A Hebridean Diary (5) When power is unchecked

From the road that curls around the small hills on the way to the beach at Reef, in the Uig district of Bhaltos, it looks like a large cairn. The second time we drove by we saw the noticeboard and stopped to take a closer look. We climbed up the path to find a beautiful and touching monument on the hilltop, whose design was … Read More A Hebridean Diary (5) When power is unchecked

A photo tour of the RSC (1) Treading the Boards

“You might wonder,” said our guide. “Why the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) would spend £112 million on a completely new interior for its world-famous theatre, only to leave in place these scruffy wooden boards… Looking at me, he continued: “Do you realise, Sir, you are treading the same boards that creaked beneath the stage shoes of Lawrence Olivier, Richard Burton David Tenant and Dame … Read More A photo tour of the RSC (1) Treading the Boards

A Hebridean Diary (4) The Drowned Lands

We had wondered about the real nature of this landscape. On this our third day on the Hebridean Island of Lewis, we paid a long-anticipated visit to Callanish, the place of the famous stones – though the main site is not a stone circle. There, I came across a sign that perfectly described the rather barren landscape all around us. The sign read: Welcome … Read More A Hebridean Diary (4) The Drowned Lands

A Hebridean Diary (3) Of Coats and Kings

We had gone to bed early – exhausted by the journey from Poolewe to Uig. What felt like a full night later, I woke, refreshed, to find the sun streaming through the bedroom curtains… Not a sight we were used to on this trip. I smiled. It’s always nice when something really special ‘just happens’ on your birthday. Ahead of me was a day … Read More A Hebridean Diary (3) Of Coats and Kings

A Hebridean Diary (2) Long road to Uig

The day was already old by the time the ferry from Ullapool had docked at Stornaway. We had been warned that shops were few and far between on the Hebridean island of Lewis and advised to take advantage of the supermarkets in the capital. The no-sunday trading laws imposed by the ‘Wee Free’ Presbyterian church were in force across the island, and we were … Read More A Hebridean Diary (2) Long road to Uig

When the sky grows

There is a wildness to these last days of May; an energy long pent-up that rushes from the thrusting ground to meet the brightness of the glowing clouds… The whole locked in some exotic equilibrium, one pushing, the other pulling, until, racing past the middle of June, they sight the shimmering solstice. ©Stephen Tanham 2022 Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, … Read More When the sky grows

Light in the Park

It’s not a park in the usual sense of the word. Levens Park is the ancestral home of the Bagot Family who maintain a footpath along both sides of the often turbulent River Kent as it winds its last mile out to join the vast expanse of Morecambe Bay. The ‘park’ is the perfect place to walk the collie. A round trip from Sedgwick … Read More Light in the Park

The ejector-seat of self…(1)

Do we really understand mindfulness? It’s become one of those ‘must do more of that’ sentiments, as though we could press a button on the side of the head. Perhaps the reason for our chagrin is not that we lack diligence, but that we think it’s a chore… Possibly that we don’t feel pulled or compelled from within to practice it? After all, we … Read More The ejector-seat of self…(1)


Heavy metal, thinly sailed, is cast Like toy, and dropped onto the stone. Hedges bend, bow and form New writhing shapes – grotesques – Their twisted tongues malforming names Of foolish men who thought to tame The wild and winds of Cumbria… ——– And yet, from this we do emerge In harsh, unruly tufts of grass And mud that drains off torrents passed. Bleached … Read More Emergence

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