It’s summer–and that means flowers!
My third and final Lyme Park post, featuring photographs on no particular topic.
While I was climbing the hill up to The Cage, I kept thinking of Jane Austen, and that it looked like a location from her novels. I don’t know why, because I was sure she was never this far north (she wasn’t). But I still had the feeling that it had a Jane Austen aesthetic. The house on the above picture has a souvenir shop inside it (there are tours but they were closing down as I got there, they close earlier now because of the pandemic), so I went in there–and it turns out that the 1995 Pride and Prejudice mini series was filmed here! It’s the one with Colin Firth as Mr Darcy. Of course, I bought a Mr Darcy fridge magnet.
I took a lot of pictures of the view from the hill on which The Cage is, but I couldn’t decide which ones to post, so I link you my video.
As promised, here is another Lyme Park post, this time animal-themed. Because they have deer.
See them, in the distance? (Also why climbing that hill was worth it.)
And here they are, closer. I don’t know what made them come down to the foot of the hill, but they look curious about something.
What I know is that they legged it back straight away. Getting this shot was pure luck, it would not have been possible only seconds later.
Apparently, the deer have been present at Lyme Park for over 600 years.
Looking it up, I see that there are a few collective nouns for deer: a bevy, a brace, a bunch, a gang, a herd, a leash, a mob, a parcel, and a rangale (never heard that word before). Oh, deer.
Finally something new to my animal collection that isn’t a cat or a bird!
Although… last September I went for a walk to one of my usual places, the wooded area near my home, pictures of which have featured on this blog numerous times, when I spotted a doe with two little ones. I literally stopped like “eh?” and she saw me too, and swiftly as a deer, they ran to hide away, before I took my phone out of my pocket. Understand that, though it is a wild, wooded place, it’s still the inner city of Manchester, so not a location where you expect this type of wildlife. How in seven hells did they get there, or indeed why they’d want to stay there, is a mystery.
I haven’t encountered them since. I hope nothing bad happened to them.
Greetings, good citizens, today I offer you another piece of work from Manchester Art Gallery.
The label first:
The work the artists sent:
Link to Tentative Collective.
Manchester Art Gallery were no doubt relieved the immigration officer was satisfied that they were in a position to pay for the artist’s travel and accommodation!
This is an example of Hostile Environment. What is a Hostile Environment? It is a set of policies to make life in the UK difficult for immigrants so that they rather leave on their own accord. It turns doctors, landlords, teachers, banks, etc into immigration officers. It intimidates, bullies, separates families, and also probably kicks kittens and puppies.
I only made up the kittens and puppies part–please note that the rest of it is all true.
The Hostile Environment was introduced by then Home Secretary Theresa May in 2012. (The same Theresa May that later became Prime Minister, only to be replaced by the current clown.) “The aim is to create, here in Britain, a really hostile environment for illegal immigrants,” was how she put it. On first glance, it might be tempting to agree with her, illegal immigrants are bad, you think. Legal immigrants are okay. Ah, but you see, once someone has the power to wave a magic wand, or snap their fingers like Thanos, and turn legal immigrants into illegal, what’s there to stop them?
I was always afraid of the Hostile Environment, and it always worried me; it didn’t matter that I was not a subject to it. The immigrant hate, which I observed almost right from the moment I arrived to UK, had always made me feel uneasy. I don’t like hate. I mean, this type of hate, towards groups; I hate plenty of people and things myself but that is more personal and I don’t engage in any activity that would harm the people and things I hate. An example of a person I hate is the afore mentioned Theresa May, against whom I am powerless. The immigration van on the above picture, May’s own idea, should make anyone shudder. I mean, that is some horror movie stuff.
Oh I don’t know, because I can think beyond myself?
Only she knows which option she ticked on the ballot. It’s irrelevant anyhow, she was the one to trigger Article 50 without any plan, she was the one to insist on leaving the single market and customs union, but I digress, this post is not about Brexit, it is about Hostile Environment.
The biggest victims of Hostile Environment were the Windrush generation. Whatever I say about them will not do them justice, so I’ll just leave a link to the Wikipedia article, which explains all in detail. The Windrush scandal has been covered by Amelia Gentleman, a Guardian journalist, from the beginning; she even wrote a book about it. It took long months before the rest of the media caught up and even by now, I don’t think many of the general public realise how bad it really is. I’m sure they just think it was a glitch, unnecessary bureaucracy or incompetence. They have no idea that it’s like that on purpose, that it is a very calculated system of psychological warfare. The present Home Secretary is Priti Patel, a vile, nasty, violent sociopathic bully, who is also hideous to boot, and has a permanent disgusting smirk on her ugly face. (Image Google her by all means, I’m not soiling my blog with her gross presence.) She herself is a daughter of immigrants, but hypocrisy is only a mild offence compared to her other traits. If the reincarnation theory is correct, then she is a reincarnated concentration camp guard. Maybe even Heinrich Himmler himself (side note, Himmler served as a Minister for the Interior, i.e. the same thing as Home Secretary).
The artists in my photo example are Pakistanis, the Windrush are of Caribbean origin, but I have read stories from white Australians and Canadians who were also caught up in the Hostile Environment. And now, of course, with Brexit and the ending of free movement, it applies to EU citizens. It has started already, people are being stopped at airports and thrown into detention centres. Post-Brexit rules allow travel without visas, but border officials have wide powers to exclude visitors. They also, like the writer of the letter in my gallery photos, must have felt “not satisfied”.
And this was the “good Europeans”, you know, Germans and the French and Italians, not “bad Europeans” like me, of former Communist bloc. What chance do the rest have? As for us, already here, the new “settled status” (I hate that name) is digital only, we have no physical proof of residency. When a situation occurs where we have to prove our right to stay, we can only hope that the system won’t be down. Otherwise, bad luck!
The Hostile Environment is not bad now because it affects white Western Europeans, it has always been bad. The only thing I can hope comes from this is that once people see it, they will realise the awfulness, precisely because it now affects white Western Europeans. Because that’s not a group you expect to have problems at the border, if you understand what I mean. It won’t be known for a while, as so far the only media that is covering it is Guardian, which, unfortunately, gets dismissed by too many as “leftist”, “socialist”, “liberal elite” paper. (But it’s okay for Daily Mail, Daily Express and Daily Telegraph to spread hate and incorrect information.) What can you do.
But why this obsession over immigration?
That, my friend, nobody can answer.
- basic input/output system, a set of computer instructions in firmware which control input and output operations
- British Immigration Obsession Syndrome
Read more here.
It’s not a literal cage, it’s just named that way.
Lyme Park is a huge estate to the south-east of Manchester, near the village of Disley, Cheshire. It was recommended to me ages ago but it wasn’t until I got some time off work this June that I finally made a visit there.
I ended up with around 140 photographs, which for my outings is pretty average; but now I’m struggling with what to post on the blog. So I’m going to split them into groups, same as I did with my trip to Haworth. This post is dedicated to The Cage, a structure on a top of a hill. Climbing up there took effort, not gonna lie, but the result was worth it.
More pictures from Lyme Park will follow.
ETA: When I made this post, I was either too tired or too lazy to add more info about The Cage, so I’m adding it now.
The Cage was built by the warrior priest, Sir Piers V, in 1524, and was used either as a hunting lodge or a watchtower. In 17th century it was a holding prison for poachers awaiting trial, and this is where its name comes from. In the 1730s, Giacomo Leoni rebuilt it to make it more hospitable, so that it could be used as a banqueting room. Later it was a home for estate workers.
Buttercups never got the attention the deserve on this blog. So here they are now.
Pools of them, actually.
Pictures are from Heaton Park.
Buttercups are made out of old sunshine, said Paul Irving to his teacher Anne Shirley in Anne of Avonlea. I think he was right.
Following on from my previous post, here is another piece from Manchester Art Gallery.
This is the painting Hylas and the Nymphs by John William Waterhouse. It hangs quite high up, hence the awkward angle:
John William Waterhouse was an English painter of the Pre-Raphaelite movement and Hylas and the Nymphs is one of his most famous works. This is the gallery’s label:
(Look, I don’t know. Maybe the nymphs were just like: dude, you’re trespassing. It doesn’t have to be that deep. Waterhouse can hardly be blamed for some femme fatale shit, when it’s a story from Greek mythology. Also, I like Pre-Raphaelites. I like nice things. I’m a visual person.)
The image below is a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the fourth film in the series, released in 2011, directed by Rob Marshall:
Okay, I admit you have to squint a bit, but you can’t deny the presence of a tiny resemblance.
The two stunningly beautiful people are Philip and Syrena, played by Sam Claflin and Astrid Berges-Frisbey. Syrena is a mermaid, not a nymph, and there are no water lilies, obviously–I don’t know if that’s supposed to be a lagoon or what–but she does look like something Waterhouse would have painted. He seemed to have a thing for women of mythology and legends, and bodies of water. (Waterhouse, get it?) Philip is no argonaut, he’s a missionary, hence the cross he wears, but he was on a ship. Which is, I suppose, a logical occurrence in a movie centred on pirates. On Stranger Tides is probably the weakest in the series, but it’s still worth watching for these two, if nothing else. Their romance would surely inspire artists and poets alike. There was something so pure about it, stupid as the word is. I love Philip and Syrena, they own my heart.
*spoilers* Interestingly, much like Hylas, Philip was never seen again either. His fate is a bit ambiguous, as he’s injured, likely quite critically, and the above scene is the moment just before he and Syrena kiss and she pulls him into the water. It was established earlier in the movie that a mermaid’s kiss can heal, and she does tell him “I can save you, just ask”, though he doesn’t ask, he says he wants only forgiveness (he blames himself for her capture). She kisses him anyway (get in there, girl!), and the last we see of them is when they float underwater. But I’m positive Philip didn’t die, the reason why neither him nor Syrena appear again is that The Powers That Be decided not to include them in the fifth movie. *end spoilers*
POTC gets a lot of ridicule, which I maintain is unjustified. The movies have everything–adventure, action, a dose of supernatural/horror elements, lots of humour, great characters, one of the most iconic performances ever from Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow–and they always nail their romances. It’s not only Philip and Syrena. Take the fantastic Elizabeth and Will from the first trilogy, and Henry and Carina in the last film. And they don’t take themselves too seriously. Plus, the theme tune is the best.
What I wanted to say is:
The resemblance of the Philip and Syrena scene and the Waterhouse painting proves that Pirates of the Caribbean movies are a work of art.
To all you culture snobs out there–go step on Lego!
Manchester Art Gallery is now open for visitors again, so I went there. Here I give you pictures of the two statues at the entrance:
They’re staying safe!
I don’t know what the statues are or the name of the sculptor–not a good thing for the blog, but what can I say, I didn’t look at the labels, I was too fascinated by the face masks!
Daisies are always daisies.
The last one looks like they gathered to watch someone give a talk.
Taken–you guessed it–with my smartphone, on–you guessed it–a walk in my park. I could say this post concludes a trilogy titled Spring 2021, but I’ve only just made it up.
What the title says.
All taken with my phone on my walks.