Friday, October 17, 2008


Circumstances seem to require you to make a fairly major decision. So you do. Then you are persuaded to unmake it. Loose ends abound. Bah. One of the hardest delusions to relinquish is the stubborn, nagging belief that life should at all times be tidy.


Back to last weekend.

Durham. We imagined we would be impressed by the cathedral and the castle as indeed we were, especially by the former which is extraordinary and moving and deserves a blog post of its own. Maybe another time.

But very, very early on Sunday morning, sneaking out alone, it was the railway viaduct - a Victorian engineering masterpiece that rarely makes the tourist brochures - that worked the unlooked for magic. I love the cathedral-like curve and sweep of the arches, the regularity and strength of the massive stone supports, the combination of stone and brick, its grace and scale.

It dwarfs the houses beneath ...

and the castle on the horizon.

On the prowl on the scruffier side of town, absorbed in colour and light and shade and camera angles. No traffic. Empty beer cans in the gutter. Two men, obviously friends, walk their dogs.


Relatively Retiring said...

There's a great one in Worcester, too, spanning the river and the roads and curving round the edge of the race-course. I think we share The Joy of Railway Architecture!

Zhoen said...

That such art and care went into a practical building project cheers me.

Dale said...

Great pictures.

leslee said...

Beautiful photos! I love the light in them. I'm rarely out so early (though, often up early these days). It's wonderful to be out before everyone but the dog walkers.

herhimnbryn said...

Always where we least expect it, the mechanics of the everyday become beautiful ( thanks to your good eye) and walking in the early morning helps.

Sky said...

yes, a tidy life would be so helpful and so comforting! not gonna happen!

great photography, m! arches are seductive.

pohanginapete said...

And you saw the light — particularly in that penultimate photo. I love that last paragraph, too. "Empty beer cans in the gutter — you have the knack of noticing what gives things their flavour, their grit; often, perhaps usually, the things that go unnoticed.

mm said...

Thanks everyone.

RR: Do you know, I have not yet made it into Worcester for all its proximity. A viaduct is a powerful incentive!

The Joy of Railway Architecture. *grin"

Zhoen: Absolutely. I actually had a sentence in the post to that effect but it was not a good one so I deleted it.

Dale: :-)

Leslee: It is without question my favourite time of day.

HHB: Exactly. The peace and quiet of the early hours make it easier to see this, I think.

Sky: The silly thing is I keep hoping. :-)

Pete: So good to hear from you again! Thank you for your words.

starnitesky said...

Beautiful photos of the viaduct, I always think viaduct are a wonderful feat of engineering considering when they were built.

Just caught up reading your blog, sorry I haven't visited for a while life just took over.