A twilight wander at Halloween around Heptonstall


I am frequently out at twilight until the final light dissolves from the sky into darkness. It’s the change in colouration towards the blue end of the spectrum and  rapidly dropping light intensity (with added artificial light in areas of habitation) that I love to witness and although one has to work fairly quickly to capture the transience, there is always light, even in the dark. 

I wandered around the two Heptonstall churches this evening. They are separated by an expanse of tombstones lying on the ground like a undulating stone lake of words. Not far away lies Sylvia Plath, her grave frequently covered in pens left by her literary followers, but I was not there for her. It was the crumbling stonework of the medieval St Thomas a Becket watched over by St Thomas the Apostle that I was keen to explore in a different light. Golden leaves blew from the silver birches one by one whilst their delicate branches caught the moving air…occasionally landing on me, but more often adding to the orange mosaic on the ground. The silence was broken at one point by several girls with flowing wigs, white ghoulish faces and blood stained dresses running along the path towards the village houses, and then at intervals by the words “Trick or treat”. 

After discovering the most beautifully carved pumpkin nearby, it was time to head for home leaving the trick or treaters to labour on for their sticky delights.

Old boats

Boats of all shapes and sizes are, in my opinion, an artist’s dream. It’s the combination of those sinuous curves and proportions needed to make them suitably wave faring and cut the waters that imbue them with a added gritty romance in the mind of this observer who tries to imagine the nautical miles covered both horizontally and vertically.

And when these venerable old ladies of the sea are retired out, they recline on shores at a tilt akin to wooden Henry Moore sculptures where they embark on new journeys of gentle dereliction through disrepair; the slow elemental ingress as the layered paint peels results in a steady, deeper decay of the fabric of the boat and new transient textures and colours are revealed.