Saturday, 21 July 2012

One Hundred Words for Green

Hawkshead Parish Church

It amazes me that there aren’t a hundred words for “green” in the English language as there are for “snow” in Icelandic.  I wonder whether our ancestors actually opened their eyes as they settled across the British Isles, whether they could see what I see.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I mentioned in my last post that I had begun to consider whether Hawkshead had much more to offer when I climbed a set of stairs to the Hawkshead Parish Church.

And then I got to the top of the stairs, turned around and saw this.

The Beatrix Potter Shop Hawkshead

How many shades of green can you count there?  I can count at least twenty.  This country can be absolutely breathtaking and as much as we complain about the rain, it wouldn’t be that pretty if this were a dry season.

You may notice the Beatrix Potter store.  There were stores all over Cumbria as this was where she lived as an adult.

War Memorial Hawkshead

Not only were the views impressive, but I found the churchyard to be quite inspiring too.  The inscription on the war memorial above reads:

Let those who
come after
see to it that
their names be
not forgotten
1939-1945
John R. Clifton
John R. Crossley
Ernest M. Hodgson

I imagine that the inhabitants of this tiny village really felt the loss of those three men.

The Church Gate

The churchyard even inspired my father who specifically requested that I take the photo above.  Something about the gate intrigued him so.

The View Over the Rooftops

I’d noticed in the past that my photos are often overexposed as I try to adjust for the effects of clouds and bad lighting.  On this day I tried to embrace the clouds and to capture them in all of their dramatic, moody glory.  It certainly helped because I can count another dozen shades of green in the photo above..

Hawkshead Church

There has been a chapel on this site since the 12th century and following increments to its length and width in the 13th and 15th centuries, there were final adjustments to the roof and windows in 1585.  What you see today is essentially how the church has appeared since the 16th century and that is pretty impressive.

A Dizzying View of Hawkshead

Almost as impressive as this dizzying view of the hills surrounding Hawkshead.

Hawkshead

Of course, much as I would have liked to, I could not stay in the churchyard all afternoon.  For just a moment, I put my camera aside and just stood taking in the view below. It is hardly surprising that a language that fails to provide one hundred words for green would prove inadequate in describing such beauty.  Surely I’m not the only one who feels rejuvenated after seeing such scenes?

The View from Hawkshead

Realising that I was all alone on top of the hill, I slowly made my way back down to the village.  I made sure to appreciate the path down though, doesn’t it look promising?

The Path Less Taken

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12 comments

  1. You take a slow life, ask a few slow question, take some slow pictures,

    that is a great life.

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  2. I love the cloudy skyes! Makes it so much more dramatic. What a great place, Emm!
    Hugs from Ohio,
    I.

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  3. I love these photographs... and I love this part of my country :-) As usual, there's plenty of background information, which is one of the things I like about your blog. Hope you enjoyed your trip.

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  4. Looking at your pictures made me homesick for England. When my mother was alive and I visited her in Paris about twice a year I would always stop in England on the way, every other year, but she has been gone now since 2002 and I have not gone back to England. I told my husband we need to go next spring – but where since he is not allowed to drive anymore and I am so scared of driving on the left. It will have to be places that can be accessed via trains or coaches – it will take good planning. I’ll check Cumbria and Windemere Lake as the landscape there is so beautiful – thanks for showing them.

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  5. Your first picture makes me wish, once again, that I could master watercolour - it would make a gorgeous painting!

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  6. The surrounding lush greenery is absolutely captivating along with the breathtaking views. i enjoy all your photos.

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  7. The countryside is truly spectacular and your shots are wonderful. I enjoy them a lot

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  8. Very good, and very true about GREEN! We seem to have 'emerald green' and that's it! Photogenic village is what a holiday is about, preferably after the rain!

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  9. Gorgeous pictures. I can't wait to travel to England and see all that I've seen in your pictures in real life

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  10. it's true, everywhere on your pictures is so green, the nature is blooming
    why it is also so clooudy?:)

    Blog about life and travelling
    Blog about cooking

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  11. Yep, all those greens would rejuvenate me too! The greenness was something I loved when I lied in England — such liveliness!

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  12. So true, the UK is rife with different shades of green, helped by the ever-present rain that makes colours richer, brighter, darker.

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