In the middle of August, the North Yorkshire Moors transform into a sea of purple. The subtle perfume of the tiny purple flowers drifts in the wind heralding autumn.
The other side of the world, a month later, on a dusty hot roadside in the Goldfields, Western Australia, spring flowers burst into bloom.
The Seated Figure, a 3 metre high bronze sculpture by Paul Henry, is perched on Castleton Rigg in the North Yorkshire Moors. One hiker we met said in broad vernacular, ‘It’s bloody brilliant’. I agree. The man sits looking across Westerdale. Waiting or simply meditating on the stunning scenery?
Clockwise from top left:
Lowna in North Yorkshire, South Cottesloe in Western Australia, Chamonix in France, North Fremantle in Western Australia, Morogoro in Tanzania, Iringa in Tanzania, Dwellingup in Western Australia, Cropton in North Yorkshire.
As 2016 draws to a close I reflect on the past year and wonder what the future holds for us. What path are we on, have we chosen the right path, and if we go the wrong way will we be able to navigate through or turn back to a better course?
Sometimes it isn’t obvious which is the right path, but normally we do know when we have gone off course and are going the wrong way. I fear that at the moment the world is certainly following a path to a very uncertain future.
The Yorkshire Dales
Last month my father was the recipient of the highest decoration in France, the legion d’honneur. This medals were awarded at Yorkshire Air Museum as a way of honouring and thanking those who fought and risked their lives to secure France’s liberation during the Second World War.
I had always known he landed on a Normandy beach in 1944 and had heard some of the ‘funny’ stories of the war, perhaps because the horror of war was not a story anyone would want to tell. Even when I had watched Saving Private Ryan many years ago and Dad had said that he had been on the next beach, I had hardly wondered at how he might have felt, perhaps because the imagery in this film was linked to an American flag and an American story.
Only when our family sat listening and watching as five, frail British nonagenarians were awarded their medals and I saw the emotion in my father’s face, did the enormity of what they had experienced sink in.