Gloomscapes

Gloomscapes #25

Welcome to Number Twenty-Five of Gloomscapes. This will be the last post for a while, as I’m taking a break from the series, to gather some new material and ideas for the future.

And it couldn’t be any other way than ending it with the very best–The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

nolite te bastardes carborundorum

And there it was, in tiny writing, quite fresh it seemed, scratched with a pin or maybe just a fingernail, in the corner where the darkest shadow fell: Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.

#KeepOnGloomin’

Don’t let the bastards grind you down.

Random and Weird Phone Shots

Random and Weird Phone Shots – Tomatoes at the Bus Stop

So, I’ve had a cauliflower on the fence and a bunch of berries on a Pepsi can in previous RAWPS post, now prepare for tomatoes at a bus stop.

tomatos bus stop

They’ve been waiting for a bus for a while, but at least there’s two of them.

Have you ever spotted fruit or vegetables in an odd place?

Also, is this where I make that to-mah-to/to-may-to joke?

Outdoors

Does This Tree Look Like Yggdrasil?

Let me just start with saying I know very little of Norse mythology and what I do know comes from either Marvel Cinematic Universe or the TV show Vikings. But at least I’m aware that Yggdrasil is a mythical tree that connects the different realms, or worlds.

So obviously I don’t walk around looking for trees that look like Yggdrasil. I do, however, photograph trees and it was this one that reminded me of something.

yggdrasil lookalike3

yggdrasil lookalike2

This tree grows in Abney Hall Park. As I said in before, Agatha Christie used to spend time there, visiting her sister and brother-in-law. Now, on first sight, the Queen of Crime doesn’t appear to have much in common with Norse mythology, but bear with me.

This a page from the novel The Hollow. (no spoilers ahead)

agathachristie the hollow

In this scene, Henrietta is reminiscing about a country house, Ainswick, where she used to stay during school holidays. She’s talking to her second cousin Edward, who is now the owner of Ainswick. And she remembers there was a big oak tree that she named Ygdrasil!

When first reading The Hollow, it was actually the very first time I have come across the name Yggdrasil, though I had no idea what it was. I thought Agatha made the word up–I suppose she presumed her readers would know–but for some reason the name stuck in my memory. Until I finally learnt what Yggdrasil was and I was like, ooooh, so that’s why Agatha Christie named that tree in The Hollow that!

It’s so sad that the tree in the book was struck by lightning. [Insert teary emoji. Or Chris Hemsworth.]

thor
Look what you’ve done now!

So, if Agatha Christie drew inspiration for her books from Abney Park, could she have been thinking of this very tree?

yggdrasil lookalike1

Like, it looks pretty old. It was probably there when she was there. I know when I saw it I immediately thought of Henrietta in The Hollow.

Of course, there are millions of trees like this all over the world and Agatha travelled a lot and it may not have been an actual tree that inspired her, she just needed a sentimental moment between Henrietta and Edward. I realise all of that. It’s fun to think about though.

vikings little bjorn
Little Bjorn from Vikings is not having it

 

Okay, Bjorn, I just said it looks like Yggdrasil, not that it is Yggdrasil.

What do you think? Tell me in the comments!

One more thing…

The mythical Yggdrasil was an ash tree, the tree in Agatha Christie book was an oak. I don’t know, botany not being my subject, what kind of tree the one in my photos is. If you do, I would be much thankful if you could let me know in the comments box.

Skol! *drinks water

 

 

 

Gloomscapes, Outdoors

Gloomscapes #24

And it’s Part Twenty-Four of Gloomscapes.

Current topic–Abandoned Council Project.

abandoned council project1

abandoned council project2

It wasn’t meant to end like this. The Council announced the project five years ago. This area had been abandoned for so long; nowhere else in the city needed this more than us. We will be working with the local community, they said. Park and lots of greenery, beneficial to people and wildlife, they said. A corridor to the heart of the city, they said. Future developments will lead to links to with north and east quarter, they said. It was more than a million they were investing… then nothing happened. Where did all that money go? They forgot about us… again.

abandoned council project3

#KeepOnGloomin’

Outdoors

Abney Hall, Cheadle

Abney Hall is a house–or more like mansion–in Cheadle, part of Greater Manchester. Here, I give you some pics from my recent trip there.

abney hall1

abney hall2

abney hall3

It’s a Grade II listed building that now houses offices and, as far as I know, is closed to the public. It is surrounded by a park, of which I will post photos separately in a future entry.

abney hall4

The last private owner of Abney Hall was James Watts. He married a lady called Margaret Miller, who was the sister of one of my favourite people to ever have lived in this world–the writer Agatha Christie! Agatha used to visit here often and wrote some of her stories during her stays. She had based some of those big country houses that feature in her books on Abney.

You can imagine me walking the grounds there, going like, OMG she stood at the same place I am standing right now! Ah, those fangirl moments.

Gloomscapes, Outdoors

Gloomscapes #23

Another Sunday, another Gloomscapes post.

More brutalistic architecture today; this time a canteen of an office building. I was thinking of the canteen in George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth in 1984, though that one was underground.

brutalistic canteen2

The lunch queue jerked slowly forward. The room was already very full and deafeningly noisy. From the grille at the counter the steam of stew came pouring forth, with a sour metallic smell which did not quite overcome the fumes of Victory Gin.

brutalistic canteen1

This was also the place where Winston and Julia arranged their first date, over spoonfuls of stew.

#KeepOnGloomin’

 

Animals, Outdoors

Geese in the City

Geese time!

As I said in Ducks Are Awesome, geese also deserve their own post. So here they are.

geese four

All the photographs in this post are recent, taken in the past month. Above and below are both from Salford Quays, Manchester. In the below shot, geese are feasting on seeds that a kind lady was throwing them and as you can see, some pigeons helped themselves as well.

geese food

One evening in May I went to town to take pictures and look what I spotted near one of the canals:

geese goslings

How cute are goslings?

geese family

A little family taking a swim near Castlefield in Manchester.

geese lovebirds

Love birds. They even form a heart-like shape. From the the right angle, I mean.

geese goose

All these hoomans with their cameras.

So, tell me. Do you live a city and encounter any ducks or geese in local rivers or lakes or other bodies of water?