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Showing posts from April, 2012

Kagyu Samyé Ling Monastery and Tibetan Centre

I've driven past this Centre a couple of times in the past and have always been intrigued by it. So, as things were pretty quiet in the Lakes, I decided the other Sunday to have a little drive up and investigate. I had intended to drive the whole way up Eskdalemuir as it's a fine Scottish glen but just spent too much time here.

The building that now houses Samyé Ling was originally a hunting lodge called Johnstone House. In 1965 the Johnstone House Trust was formed with the objectives of making the lodge's facilities available to the general public for study and meditation based on Buddhist and other religious teaching. It was founded by two spiritual masters, Dr. Akong Tulku Rinpoche and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Samye Ling was the first Tibetan Buddhist Centre to be established in the West and was named after Samye, the very first monastery to be established in Tibet.

The grounds are full of shrines, places for prayer and Stupas. The eight stupas line both sides of t…

The Old Coal Road.

The Old Coal Road runs between Cowgill in Dentdale and Garsdale high up in the Yorkshire Dales.

There were twenty-five coal pits which formed part of the extensive coal workings and lay on the moorland either side of it. These coal pits were worked by local people, initially to produce domestic fuel, but by the 18th century, the poor quality coal was also being used in lime kilns. Commercial coal mining went on in Garsdale until the 1870s when the Settle-Carlisle railway started bringing in cheaper, higher quality coal from the Lancashire and West Yorkshire coalfields.

If you aren't adversed to a bit of  road walking then I should imaging a trip up on the Settle-Carlisle train, getting off at Dent Station and then walking up to Garsdale Head (or Hawess Junction as it was once known), would be a grand day out. For good measure it should include a couple of pints in The Moorcock Inn before getting the train back down.

On Garsdale station stands a statue of Ruswarp, a collie. Ruswarp…

Being in the right place.

When out with my camera in the Lakes, truly magical moments are often entirely unplanned and require simply being in the right place at the right time. This was such a day. It had been a dull one and I'd been round to Rannerdale near Buttermere to photograph the bluebells. There had been very few breaks in the cloud and also the display of bluebells was very poor; I think I may have been a couple of weeks too early for them. Being in the area gave me the opportunity to call in the Kirkstile Inn and sample their excellent Loweswater Gold so all was not lost!

Coming out of Keswick on my way back to the caravan site, the cloud broke to the west lighting up Skiddaw and Latrigg beautifully, just long enough for me to find a lay-by to take a few shots. Encouraged by this I made a short detour to Castlerigg Stone Circle where in the right conditions, the evening light and shadows can be extremely good.

What I was greeted with was really beyond my wildest dreams. A rain shower down the …