Saturday, 31 October 2015

The peace & tranquility of Lilleshall Abbey

Another week is flying by & I am enjoying the changing colours of Autumn.

Sunday morning saw me wake early with the dawn chorus in full voice outside in our hedges. Had I forgotten to put out food? No - just lots of birds enjoying the early morning sunshine - wide awake & full of the joys of Autumn.

I suddenly felt the urge to head out on a mild morning & enjoy Sunday morning too so I grabbed my camera & headed out to a local favourite place of mine.

Lilleshall Abbey is tucked away in the Shropshire countryside & it is always a lovely peaceful place which speaks to me of a quiet time when life moved at a very much slower pace.

Signs of Autumn at the Abbey

Old stone walls surround the Abbey & they are gently worn with lichen & moss on them

The quietness of being the only visitor at the Abbey meant that I could really just clear my mind & take in the silence & peace that is associated with Augustinian Lilleshall Abbey.

The Abbey was founded between 1145 - 1148 so has a long history  - according to wikipaedia 

Lilleshall Abbey was an Augustinian abbey in ShropshireEngland, today located 6 miles north of Telford. It was founded between 1145 and 1148 and followed the austere customs and observance of the Abbey of Arrouaise in northern France. It suffered from chronic financial difficulties and narrowly escaped the Dissolution of the Lesser Monasteries in 1536, before going into voluntary dissolution in 1538.

Looking back towards the entrance

Autumn views through the doorway …

The Cloisers

The massive end arch is still intact & imposing - offering glimpses of the countryside beyond ….

These are the two covered rooms to the side of the main Abbey. I have seen shadows here on previous visits so I did not linger there as I was on my own. This Abbey has reported sightings of a Monk ….

Peaceful countryside sounds …

I really enjoyed the peace, quiet & solitude of this old Abbey. Nothing clears the mind like spending time in the outdoors, doing what you love - photographing lovely spaces in my instance, & just being at one with nature.

I hope you have enjoyed the visit with me, thank you for taking the time to read & comment.
Dee ~♥~

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Focusing on hands in India ….

Hi everyone - are you having a good week?

While in India earlier this year, I found myself taking lots of photos of people & then found myself fascinated by their beautiful hands which were often painted with henna patterns.  Hands are so powerful & I then made a conscious effort to photograph more of them.

These hands were a doctors were met in Kalka - she had been to a wedding …

Photographed at the Jama Masjid Moque in Delhi - beautiful hands with stunning jewellery

Hands at a textile / carpet factory in Jaipur …

 Carpet weavers knotting as many as 1000 knots per square inch in Jaipur …

Knotting for carpets

Palmistry is very popular in India - Ms M measuring up in Jaipur

Silver & gold leaf sheets on the market in Jaipur

Street food in Jaipur …

 Ms M choosing bangles in the market in Jaipur

Bangles handmade from the orange disc of plastic / resin in Jaipur 

Shades of preciousness - rubies at the handcutters, jewellery quarter, Jaipur

 Working hands - Calcutta

Our Calcutta Walk guide enjoying fresh coconut water on the streets of Calcutta

Hands offering food to taste on the street in Calcutta

Tasting sugar in Calcutta …

My favourite hands in India belonged to a family sat in the boat next to us during the evening ceremony on the Ganges at Varanasi - the spiritual capital of India.  

Varanasi has been a cultural centre of North India for several thousand years, and is closely associated with the Ganges. Hindus believe that death in the city will bring salvation, making it a major centre for pilgrimage. The city is known worldwide for its many ghats, embankments made in steps of stone slabs along the river bank where pilgrims perform ritual ablutions. Of particular note are the Dashashwamedh Ghat, the Manikarnika Ghat, the Panchganga Ghat, and the Harishchandra Ghat, where Hindus cremate their dead. 

They were clearly pilgrims & followed the ceremony close, with observances & prayers in a quiet, dignified manner & at the end, they all lit a traditional light & very gently with the hands joined - placed it in the Ganges …. 

…. and then it drifted down the Ganges between our boats …

“Behold the hands, how they promise, conjure, appeal, menace, pray, supplicate, refuse, beckon, interrogate, admire, confess, cringe, instruct, command, mock and what not besides, with a variation and multiplication of variation which makes the tongue envious.” 
― Michel de Montaigne

Hands tell us so much! I hope you have enjoyed these images as much as I enjoyed taking them. Thank you for your company, I always love your comments.

Dee ~♥~

Saturday, 24 October 2015

A global inspired Autumn sideboard

Hi everyone

My regular visitors know that I am a restless soul who loves to change my decor regularly. The most changed space in our home is our large sideboard in the conservatory where I spend a lot of time.

My decor style is eclectic shabby chic with strong global decor trends because we have lived & worked in several countries abroad & we have collections of special things collected on our travels.

I love Autumn - the colours are just so stunning & beautiful but … orange is not a favourite colour of mine except on trees & leaves.

However, I love the bare bones, the structure that emerges in Autumn as the leaves expose tree shapes & glimpses of buildings that are hidden in Summer.

Autumn needs earthy wooden objects to 'ground' it so I looked around the house & decided on these favourites at home for the sideboard ….

An Ethiopian wooden tray which is used to hold their tiny coffee cups - perfect shape

Used upright it adds height & colour to the modern wooden leaf & an elephant from South Africa

The opposite side has a wooden dish with found pine cones found on our Autumn walks, a handturned wooden candleholder with a global candle & a hand made wooden box. Don't you love the colours & textures?

An absolutely favourite African plate gifted by my sister -  I love the beads, details & colour

Three favourite modern African animals bought in South Africa - they echo the patterns on the plate

Some serviette rings bought in Africa are added to repeat the pattern

The patterns sit well with my favourite Ralph Lauren Pocketwatch plates 

Modern tea light holders look right as well ….

My eclectic candlestick collection is topped up too 

One never knows when one needs a candle or two or three & some battery led lights too ...

Familiar, favourite items - all chosen with the same eye - sit comfortably to be enjoyed.

TIME marches in to Autumn with our clocks changing this weekend & then it will really feel like Autumn / Winter with dark mornings & afternoons.  I think the candles will be used more often & even the battery lights on the top shelf to bring light in to the darkness.

I hope you are ready for the seasonal changes - do you change things about at home? Please share your ideas …. Thanks for your company
Dee ~♥~