Monday, May 21, 2007

Thankyou for bearing with me...

From top to bottom on the left: NW Bear and church, SW Bear, SE Bear, and the big picture is the NE Bear

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

I'm back from a holiday with Jim and I'm also ready to be back blogging!
I've been missing you all.

I do still have energy work to do but I think it is now going to be less all-consuming. I don't talk about it much here because its not easy to explain in words.

The last week we have spent in Scotland.

On the way up we stopped for a night in the Lake District. The "bears" above are from Dacre's churchyard. There are four very old carved stones and the story told is that the main figure is that of a bear.

Going from NW, anti-clockwise, the bears are:
NW Bear
The first one is a sleeping bear.

It looks to me like some sort of creature clutching a post. It either has no head or is holding its head down behind the post.

It is the first of the "bears" visible as one enters the churchyard from the village which might explain why the story starts with it.

SW BearThe second one is said to be a bear which has been awakened by some sort of creature jumping on its back. So far I've read or heard that this creature is a cat or monkey.

The "bear" is still holding its post. Its head is up and to me it looks as though it is protecting its post jealously.

SE BearThe third bear is said to be attempting to shake off the creature from its back.

It certainly looks a bit miserable to me. But I couldn't see it shaking!

Still holding onto that post with grim determination.

Incidentally there is a great looking castle in the background of this one.

NE BearThe fourth and last "bear" is said to have eaten the creature and is very happy with itself.

Or it may simply have got it off its back.

The post is still held onto safely.

Some people say this one looks more like a lion with a mane and a pointy tail. It is definitely grinning.

The "bears" might be Viking or older. I've put up more pictures of Dacre's Bears and Churchyard on flickr.

We stayed in a B&B in the Lake District with wonderful grounds. I was up to catch the dawn light:

1. Misty Dawn Chorus, 2. Dawn on one of Land Ends' ponds, 3. Sunrise, 4. Lake District Dawn

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

I love the Lake District but this holiday's goal was to enable Jim to achieve his ambition of climbing all the mountains of 3000ft and above in Britain and Ireland before his 40th birthday (which is this Thursday, May 24th) and he'd already done the ones in the Lake District long ago. There are 313 of these mountains and its taken him nearly 20 years - on Saturday he completed the last one with various friends who have been up other Munros with him. (The Munros are the mountains in Scotland over 3000 feet). Despite foul weather they all made it to the top of Ben Chonzie (3048ft) and appeared to enjoy the day!

Jim is the one with his arms upraised in triumph!

This is Jim's photo from flickr taken with a remote control so all those who went to the top of this final Munro with him are in the picture. Later most of them joined us for a celebration meal at the Achray House Hotel which did a wonderful dinner for us.

I'm not in the picture as I have not been up any of the Munros. I prefer less steep walks. I enjoyed the holiday and took loads of photographs - some of which will appear here and even more of which will end up on flickr in the next few days.

Oh I am glad to be back blogging. It'll take me a while to catch up with you all but I look forward to it!


Leah said...

welcome back caroline! what a great pic of jim with his arms up in the air. he looks so happy! :-)

Joy Eliz said...

Glad you're back Caro!
I love the bear story - I might have to create a bear piece. Also congrats to Jim!

steve said...

Welcome back caroline--so glad you had fun! Thanks for sharing these great pics of your adventures!

andrea said...

It's good to have you back! And extend my congrats to Jim. And Happy Birthday to him, too. Love the mosaic of the Lake District.

Cream said...

Good to see you back, Caro!
I love the Lakes. Just a couple of hours from us. And Ullswater is one of my favourite, especially ther other side towards Howtown and Sharrow Bay.
I love your photos!

Ian russell said...

good to see you back on the blog.

I have good memories of scout summer camp beside Lake Bassenthwaite many moons ago - but every time I've been back since, it's rained! Only ever been over the border once! nice to know it's still there.

Ian russell said...

actually it was twice!

Anonymous said...

Hi Caroline,
Welcome back. The bear photos are intriguing. I've never been to Scotland. The photos of your early morning communion are really stunning. I enjoy being in the presence of people who have just returned from a vacation. They are so centered.

Caroline said...

Thank you all for the warm welcome back! It really does feel good to be here again. I'll pass on the congrats etc. to Jim.

Leah - he's pleased but the enormity hasn't really hit yet - no more planning is the main thing!

Joy Eliz - the bears were brilliant to visit - I wonder about alternative stories

Steve - thank you!

Andrea - it was a glorious morning - I was very lucky as the Lake District is a very wet place...

Cream - a couple of hours sounds ideal - I'd visit more often if it wasn't 4-6 hours (depending on traffic). I'll check out your suggestions next time I'm there thanks.

Ian - rain makes the lakes and yes its often rained (hard) when I've been there too...

Scotland appeals more to Jim than to me but I've been there several times now... Skye is an amazing island with tricky weather... we were there in 2004 but Jim had to go again to actually bag all the munros there.

Caroline Potato - I owe a lot to other people coming back from holiday... maybe I'll blog about that one day!

GreenishLady said...

Big Congratulations to Jim! So glad it was a good expedition for both of you, and that you got in some peaceful lake-water time too. Perfect! Glad your energy-work is now allowing you time for blogging again too. Missed you!

Dave said...

Sounds a fantastic holiday. What an achievement for Jim, not many people have done that. Congratulations to him. I bet he enjoyed the celebration meal.

Caroline said...

Greenishlady - thank you - I did have a lovely time taking far too many photographs whilst I was away - I'm having trouble going through them all now! Glad to be back blogging too!

Davem - thank you very much - I'll pass on the congratulations to him!

Tinker said...

I didn't realize till now you were back blogging! I came to look at your cards, and found you back! Welcome back, Caroline!!

Congratulations to Jim - and now, owing to the time difference, Happy Birthday as well!

I am SO excited about seeing those bear photos - do they really not know who made them/how old they are?

So glad you're back blogging, Caroline! XOXO

Anonymous said...

So glad to have you back, Caroline!
Congratulations to Jim on his 40th!! Happy Birthday, Jim!! :D And what an achievement - 313 mountains! I'm exhauated just thinking about it! ;)
Your pictures are fantastic Caroline, and I hope that holiday feeling lasts for you...
Have a wonderful celebration today. Have one for me! ;) Cheers!

neena maiya (guyana gyal) said...

Oh good, you're back, Caro. You won't believe how much inspiration I get from your, and other artists' blogs.

Public art is so important, you realise this when it's missing.

Johnnynorms said...

Hands up in the air - Caro's back! Beautiful set of photos, I especially like the one with boat - reminds me of a Wordsworth poem read at school where he sets out in a boat, but it was in the evening not at dawn, and it was moored in a cave.

Caroline said...

Thank you everyone! Jim has appreciated the extra birthday wishes as well as the congratulations for his walking achievement.

Tinker - there is no real agreement over whether they are Viking, Roman or maybe Medieval. Glad you liked them!

Suzie Q - I'm still tired after yesterday - will wait til yesterday to blog about it.

GG - I'm glad to be back even if I'm not managing to blog as much as usual just yet!

Johnnynorms - you are funny I think that makes the only thing my photo has in common with that poem is the boat itself!

Elizabeth said...

Well done Jim! thanks for the bears, I has never heard of them. Glad you enjoyed your trip.