Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Friday, 19 October 2012

Window of Opportunity


One of the themes on offer in this week's Sepia Saturday is 'windows'. I thought I'd pretty much covered this in a previous post; 'But Soft, What Light...?'. But then, flicking through the albums I came upon a few missed opportunities. I discovered three windows which all have a claim to fame in some way. The above picture of my husband, with his holiday pint in hand, was taken in 1977 in the quaintly named Cornish village of Mousehole, looking out of the window of the harbourside Ship Inn. Four years after this picture was taken the landlord of the pub died along with fellow crew members in the famous Penlee Lifeboat disaster. The village (pronounced Mowzel) is also famous for visits from the poet Dylan Thomas, who described it as 'the loveliest village in England' and for being the home of the last native Cornish speaker.


Here is my husband again, with our daughter, in 1979, looking down from one of the tower windows in another famous seaside village. This one is Portmeirion in Wales, which is famous primarily for being the setting of 'The Prisoner' TV series, now a cult classic. Over the years it has been visited by many famous musicians and writers, including Noel Coward, who wrote 'Blithe Spirit' there.

The final picture is me aged about ten, with my parents, outside Dove Cottage, Grasmere in The Lake District. This was the home of the poet William Wordsworth and his sister from 1799 - 1808. Here he wrote many of his famous poems, and his sister Dorothy kept her famous journals. If you click on the link you'll see that at the window immediately behind our heads is now obscured by shrubbery. The bedroom window in my own picture appears to have faces staring out, and so would fit in with the Sepia Saturday theme. However, when the picture is enlarged the 'faces' seem to be no more than reflections or tricks of the light. If they're faces it would be lovely to think that they were the ghosts of William and Dorothy, but a more likely explanation is that they were just holidaymakers like us.

It seems I can't resist (unwittingly) making pilgrimages to the sources of inspiration for famous writers and poets. Sadly the genius of Coward, Wordsworth and Thomas didn't rub off on me, but perhaps a little bit of the magic did and gave me my lifelong love or poetry and wit.

Why not join us at Sepia Saturday and see what windows of opportunty other contributors found.


27 comments:

  1. Mousehole is one of my favourite Cornish villages, too. Whilst studying with the OU, I worked as a drayman, and The Ship was a regular 'drop'. Pretty tight, squeezing a 10 ton truck through the street, especially in summer. I didn't know that Dylan Thomas was a fan. We are indeed, in good company, Nell.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Another great blog post, although I would argue the point about the genius of Coward, et al, not having rubbed off on you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's such a nice thing to say, but I'm not in the same league.

      Delete
  3. I thought for sure those were faces in the last window. Oh well. Still a lovely visit to romantic places far from my home.

    ReplyDelete
  4. A few things have personal relevance for me: I was in Mousehole in the early ' 90s and adored it! I own some Portmeirion pottery, and I have read Dorothy Wordsworth's journals from Grasmere. Thanks for sharing that photo in particular.

    You haven't changed a bit, by the way! Do you remember the name of the dog? Was it yours, or just on the scene at the time?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He was called Kim, and he was mine! He often pops into my blogpost. Remember my poem in this post?
      http://hangingonmyword.blogspot.com.es/2012/02/to-say-nothing-of-dog.html

      Delete
    2. Oh yes, of course! (Forgive the addled menopausal brain.)

      Kat

      Delete
  5. Oh you do have a gift of genius in your stunning (always interesting or entertaining) writing and lovely poems. I knew you'd be here once I posted mine! What an amazing post too, I would have guessed you worked long on it! (Ha! Ha!) You have made me very curious about Mousehole, and I will have to study up on it, and perhaps do a Pinterest if I can! Amazing post you pulled out of your hat! Enjoy your weekend- Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen, you're too kind! I haven't visited everyone else yet. I'll be doing that later. I haven't succumbed to Pinterest yet either - I'd never have any time left to call my own :)

      Delete
  6. A window for every occasion. Like Kat I was wondering about the cute dog. No sooner thought than answered!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well, I've been to Mousehole and remember the Penlee disaster well. I've always promised myself that I would visit Dove Cottage but haven't made it yet. Now I must just to check out those windows for ghosts.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Definitely so!

    Something a bit ghostly about those faces, too - or is that just my imagination getting the better of me? :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Those definitely look like ghosts in the window - perfect for Halloween which will be coming soon.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I also see faces in your bedroom window. It reminds me of a photo I took of the U.S. Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor. The photo was of part of the ship sticking out of the water. The reflections in the water looked like many faces -it was eerie!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Whoa! Those really do look like faces in that window at first glance.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love that shot of your husband and daughter looking down from the tower. It could almost look.like a black and white photograph were it not for that pillar box red jumper!
    I'm always amazed by the stories and pictures you uncover for these themes. There is no doubt a second career in writing awaits. Your writing is concise, yet very descriptive and detailed, a difficult combination to achieve, but one which comes naturally to you.

    Lucy x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Lucy. Coming from you that's a real compliment!

      Delete
  13. OK people, if we all start spreading the word that we have seen this photograph with the ghosts of William and Dorothy appearing, and we leave this URL here and there, we can make Nell famous! And obviously, that rubs off on us. :)
    Great post, Nell!
    PS I think your first picture is the only one sofar with an inside/out view.
    PS2 And who says you can't write? I read you every week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're very kind Peter, (and very funny). I like that idea of making me famous with my ghosts at the window :)

      Delete
  14. Hi Nell, you came up with a superb post (and to think you were stuck). I'll go through and check out your links. That tower is so tiny. Was there a little room at the top?

    I see the faces too. I'll just go with the spirit story, because it sparks my imagination.

    Kathy M.

    ReplyDelete
  15. It's odd Kathy, I must have viewed that photo hundreds of times in my life and yet it was only when I actally looked AT the window that I saw the faces. I really can't remember about the tower. I was the one down below taking the snap :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I especially like the last picture with the mysterious window and the cute little dog (not that you're not cute too).

    ReplyDelete
  17. Cosmic coincidences work for me, as I have been to all these places too, (though not looking through those windows.)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Portmeirion, an Italian village in North Whales, very strange... I wonder if there is an Italian who can pronounce its community name 'Penrhyndeudraeth', or call for the fire and emergency service: 'Gwasanaeth Tân ac Achub Gogledd Cymru'.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Such beautiful photos of happy times past. A very original name for a village called Mousehole, it must be a very small village!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'll borrow your eyes and believe there are ghosts peering out that window.
    "Mousehole"? Cute name, but no beach, just boulders...
    All that water and no beach!!!
    Rather vexing...
    But I would still visit.
    It certainly looks charming enough.
    Love this post nonetheless, beach or no beach.
    :)~
    HUGZ

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hello Marilyn:
    We are so pleased that we have not missed out on this post having, in earlier years, visited all three of the places which you feature. We did click the link and think that Dove Cottage looked more interesting in the picture which includes you as a ten year old than today. Associations with writers, painters or, indeed, anyone are always of interest.

    ReplyDelete