One Day Out Wandering ...

I have a photography exhibition happening in Brussels in the autumn, more information to follow but today ... talking with Marcia, I suddenly knew what my theme would be.  And I spent the rest of the day going through the hundreds of photo folders I have images stored in ... hundreds and hundreds.

Hundreds to the point where there are photographs I took and never really got back to.  In the summer months I have been known to journey from Berlin to Istanbul to Italy.  Along the way, processing becomes impossible and special moments build up and overlap, some are lost.

Today has been a day of delightful finds.  I had forgotten the time I had spent wandering with Julie.  Those photographs, of time spent tearing all over a small corner of England, have been so much fun to go through.

There was this image, taken at Bath ... sunrise or sunset, I don't recall but it was, I remember, absolutely sublime out there in that light.

The Creatures on Cattedrale Di San Lorenzo

San Lorenzo's Cathedral was built to hold Saint John the Baptist's ashes ... ashes that arrived in Genova after the crusade in 1098. 

The lions that guard the entrance have been a point of fascination for me.  Today, searching for the cloister of yesterday (wrong church), I discovered the animals around the corner behind my favourite lion.

I love the way they seem to be attempting to peer round the corner ...

The Cottage, Bourgogne

Here I am, sitting at the table you see in the photograph below.   The air is soft and warm already, so early in the morning, the sky blue, and we're preparing to wander out into another day.

Writing ... the internet ... they are forms of meditation for me.   Out here in Bourgogne, I am loving the sensations of this outdoor writing and reading life.

Everyday we spend long hours wandering, exploring so there's a balance I love.  Today we're back in Beaune, tidying things up as we prepare to move closer to my beloved mountains tomorrow.  I shall finally visit Mont Blanc, a mountain I read of so often in the climbing literature devoured over the years.  And that is what makes leaving this little oasis of peace and beauty bearable.

A glimpse of here ...

Cluny Abbey, France

In 910, William the Pious, Duke of Aquitaine, founded an abbey under the patronage of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, accountable directly to the Pope. The abbey grew considerably until the 12th century thanks to abbots like Odilo and Hugh of Semur, who were later canonised. 

Cluny was the mother house for over 1,000 monasteries and became the headquarters of the largest monastic order in the West: the Cluniac order.

And that is where we wandered today. 

Bourgogne is confusing me. There is so much here.  You drive 6kms and you feel you have arrived in another country ... sometimes, another time.  And we have driven so many kilometres, slowly, wandering through time and space in ways I'm not sure I've traveled before.

Cluny Abbey was a Benedictine Monastery that played a hugely influential role throughout Europe in the Middle Ages.  It had the highest arches in the Roman world and was the biggest church in Christianity. 

Sadly French revolutionaries destroyed this incredible site in 1790.  Still, it was a pleasure to wander there, learning of its history, enjoying what had survived and/or been restored.

I turned a corner searching for the 3D film room they promised us and found the corridor below there in front of me.  This is simply a snapshot but I love that it captured something of the beauty that is still the Cluny Abbey.

A small space next to a window out in the country...

There is not much better, I believe, than waking up out in the country. 

Wandering down the exquisitely substantial staircase this morning, unpacking my Nespresso machine once in the kitchen (well, yes I did bring it), and the bread, butter and peach jam, I realised I had really done it. I had moved to the country ... just for a few days.

The family surged in and around and out and then were gone ... in their car packed full of people and laughter, heading for France.  I waved them goodbye, with the Wwoofers - a lovely Australian and American couple - and the veryvery sad dog. 

The roof guys arrived ... Eastern Europeans I've been told.  And I wandered back up those stairs to create some desk space for me and my boxloads of research and work.

Here is my space.  I look down on a small forest from my first floor window.  The set-up is not ergonomic in any way, shape or form ... in fact, I suspect it runs more along the lines of one of the top 10 ways to deliberately destroy yourself.  I'll work on it over the next few days.

Meanwhile, 29 celsius is expected today.  The sky is a deep blue, as I sit here at the window.  The garden is full of courgettes, tomatoes and all kinds of other delights waiting for dinner tonight.  The hens are rumoured to be laying well.  I may have packed some of my favourite Spanish red wine ...

Now, to work.