Saturday, 16 February 2013

One wall, many faces

Think of a wall. 
Practical - yes. 
Necessary - usually. 
Inspiring - hmm. 

Each day Jessie Dog and I stroll along the tow path. Life along the canal changes with the seasons - the flurry of wildlife activity in Spring, the colourful hustle of holiday boats in Summer, lengthening shadows and golden reflections in the Autumn and the dramatic monochromatic images we witness each Winter. All attention is focussed on the water. But if I look to my right I am faced with another set of images. Before the tow path opens out in to hedgerows and open fields there is a high wall. Made mostly of engineering bricks and old Victorian red it performs a variety of functions.

Bordering the edges of gardens.

Propping up the railway.

Providing a turning point for the horses that used to tow the boats.

And entrances - now defunct.

Looking closer you recognise the variety of colours and textures.

The variety of plant life.

And plants provide habitats for creatures.

Where the man made starts to decay nature starts to thrive.

(Although the legacy of Tez still holds strong after thirty years!)

Life on the wall is perhaps not as overtly picturesque as the canal but on close inspection it is an incredible structure. It doesn't just fulfil it's practical obligations - it does so much more. I'm sure the original architect did not expect it to diversify in such a way  - who could predict that something as hard and uninspiring as a brick could age and adapt to it's environment. But the wall has done just that. It is now host to an abundance of living organisms and the unexpected beauty which that brings. 

Inspiring - definitely.



  1. What an interesting post.It is amazing what you see if you really look.I really enjoyed it.

  2. You have inspired me to look at the mundane things in life a lot more carefully. To take in the beauty of each element and how it marries up with nature. At work one of the ancient walls collapsed last week and I was saddened thinking that the last time the inner structure of the wall was seen was by the men who built it a few centuries ago. I will now watch the wall being restructured from all it's original components over the next few months with added interest. Thank you. Chel

  3. Beautiful post and photographs. You have an artist's eye! I love the beauty in everyday things. It is heartwarming to find that not everything in life which delights has a high pricetag. Minerva ~

  4. Great photos - the colours of the plants and the bricks are really pretty. It's amazing what you can appreciate when you stop and look :) And I agree with Minerva, you have an artist's eye! Elisabeth

  5. I love your post on the bricks...they feel different too when you hold your hand against them....all those stories they could tell?
    daisy j

  6. Hi,Vintage walls!just lovely,a refreshing change.'bye for now Pam.

  7. Lovely post! I too love old brick, and rock walls too. Old bricks have lovely colours, muted soft tones often as well. In our garden we have some rock wall and paving done by an early landscape gardener, Edna Walling, maybe early 1930s. Thankyou for helping us see what we are seeing, Mrs A

  8. I love it when Mother nature reclaims her footing
    Thank you for sharing
    Thea x

  9. Isn't it amazing what's right in front of our eyes but we usually don't see! :o)

  10. What a lovely post. When we truly open our eyes, we are able to appreciate everything that surrounds us. That wall certainly serves many purposes. Wishing you a wonderful week. Tammy

  11. What a great post. Very inspiring, it can be so interesting to simply look at what's all around us...
    M xxx

  12. I so agree I love a good wall... crumbling, moss and lichen... beauty is everywhere one just has to be open to it...


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