Monday 20 August 2012

Lakeland sunshine

Mid August in the English Lake District and this year rain clouds have never been far away. But today we had sunny blue skies which gave us the chance to enjoy the great outdoors.

This is Ullswater, one of our quieter lakes. Birdsong and water lapping against the shingle shoreline were the only sounds I could hear.

Our mountains are clothed in purple heather just now and it clings to every available rock and crevice.

Close to the lake, and nestled below towering mountains, is the Church of St. Patrick in the village of Patterdale.

In summer the grass in the old churchyard becomes a wild flower meadow. 

A perfect illustration of 'God's Acre'.

The church doors are often left open during the day allowing visitors to enter for a few moments of quiet prayer and reflection.

Leaving the sunshine behind I stepped into the porch, turned the heavy iron ring on the old oak door and entered the cool interior.

The sun streamed in through the stained glass windows.

Stories from the Bible illuminated in jewel-coloured glass .

The church houses some lovely tapestries created in the 1930s by artist and craftswoman Ann Macbeth who lived nearby.

Here is her depiction of The Nativity which she set in a Lakeland landscape with familiar wild flowers in the foreground.

Looking at the local cottages I wondered if Ann Macbeth had lived in any of them.

In fact she commissioned a house and studio to be built in the 1930s well away from habitation. Her small white cottage is just visible in the centre of this picture.

She probably felt quite isolated during the winter months when thick snow lay on the ground but on a sunny summer's day like today, what an idyllic place it would have been to live and work.