Tag Archives: church

The Sagrada Familia: World’s maddest building?

Saturday 1st April 2023, 5.45pm (day 4,237)

Sagrada Familia, 1/4/23

I suppose I am reasonably well-travelled but this is still only my third-ever trip to Spain, the most recent being in about 2007 for a conference (hence before the start of this blog), and the first being in 1991 when I went inter-railing round Europe and went to Madrid and a couple of the cities in the south. But I never visited Barcelona, and Clare hadn’t done so either, and so when we were thinking about a destination for an Easter break, this was suggested and so here we are.

When in this place, everyone comes to see this building, don’t they? But I’m not sure I actually like it. It’s fantastic, unique, for sure, but it’s also somewhat mad, excessive, lacking in grace and beauty (something not true of St Basil’s, which could also be accused of excess). The other Gaudi buildings in the city are more attractive. It’s just a personal opinion based on a quick first impression, so don’t listen to me though. I suppose that one indication of the impression is that the cranes poking out of the top look at first like they may be a deliberate part of the design. It has been under construction for 140 years now, and still isn’t finished. Heaven knows what might still be to come.

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Holy razor wire

Monday 20th February 2023, 10.50am (day 4,197)

Holy razor wire, 20/2/23

Almost every time I am on campus I pass by the front of this building — the Holy Name Church on Oxford Road. Today saw a rare excursion around the back, and thus a chance to inspect its adornment of razor wire, a deterrent you’d think a consecrated place could do without. But clearly divine intervention is not something that puts off the lead thieves (which I assume is the point of all this).

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Saturday 28th May 2022, 12.10pm (day 3,929)

Overgrown graves, 28/5/22

St. Bartholomew’s Church in Ripponden is a fine looking building in its way, and its graveyard an atmospheric and photogenic spot — but someone really needs to cut the grass.

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Liverpool, from the other side

Saturday 30th April 2022, 1.30pm (day 3,901)

Liverpool from Birkenhead, 30/4/22

The other side of the Mersey, that is. Hence, on the (recently updated) stats this photo counts as one in Birkenhead, not Liverpool. But Liverpool is what you see here, including both its cathedrals: Catholic (a.k.a. “Paddy’s Wigwam“) on the left, the Anglican one on the right.

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Anwoth Old Kirk (Wicker Man reference)

Monday 21st March 2022, 1.45pm (day 3,861)

Anwoth Old Kirk

A brief stopover on the way home from Newton Stewart. If I was filming a classic 1970s British horror movie in the Dumfries and Galloway region, and I wanted an abandoned church as a location, I’d come and use Anwoth’s, just as did the makers of The Wicker Man. (See this page.)

11 different locations in 11 days — Manchester, Burnley, Brighouse, Mytholmroyd, Leeds, Hebden Bridge, Huddersfield, Carlisle, Polbae, Glen Trool and Anwoth. That’s the second time there’s been such a long run of variation in place.

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View over Halifax

Sunday 16th January 2022, 1.15pm (day 3,797)

View from Norwood Green, 16/1/22

The hoped-for walk duly happened — leg 6 of the Calderdale Way was completed, with Clare, over four months after the last one. But we are getting round, and somewhere just before this shot was taken (from Norwood Green, a village on the outskirts of Halifax) we turned generally to the west and started heading back home. There are a couple more days’ walking to do before it’s finished, at some not-yet-determined future date.

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Debi’s funeral

Wednesday 15th December 2021, 10.55am (day 3,765)

Funeral, 15/12/21

As time passes, and an increasing proportion of my life is depicted on here somehow, ‘cast members’ will start to be lost. Debi was the subject of my post on 11th February 2013. She lives in Hebden Bridge like me, but on that day we met in Brisbane while I was on my trip there and she was breaking a three-month visit to New Zealand to meet relatives. She was a fellow regular at the Railway too and has appeared on photos taken in there. We’d seen each other less recently, though unfortunately that is true of everyone, and a state of affairs I am increasingly refusing to tolerate: there was a healthy (in all senses) gathering of people today for her service in the Hope chapel, then the wake. RIP Debi.

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Gate, Halifax Minster

Sunday 31st October 2021, 4.10pm (day 3,720)

Halifax Minster is a great, soot-coated monolith of a church, and its gate provides a suitably Gothic (and autumnal) vista for this year’s Halloween shot, with Clare playing the part of the spectral apparition. Maybe. Anyway, with this shot, the town of Halifax hauls itself up to 9th place in the ‘all-time list’ (see the stats), with its 34th appearance on this blog.

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St. Mary’s Church, Banbury

Friday 16th July 2021, 11.40am (day 3,613)

St Mary's Church, Banbury, 16/7/21

The ‘Strategy Forum’ came and went — nice to meet people again, not so nice to be presented with visions of the future ruled by metrics and process management, with scholarship now an apparent inconvenience, allowed for grudgingly if at all. I couldn’t make it even to the end of the last half-day so escaped about 11am and shortly afterwards was in Banbury, which can become the 349th different location to feature on the blog. St. Mary’s Church is one of those buildings that it’s very difficult to get a full impression of on a single photo, but here’s my best attempt.

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Heptonstall, from Old Town

Monday 5th April 2021, 1.35pm (day 3,511)

Hepstonstall, 5/4/21

A pleasant, sunny, but surprisingly cold Easter Monday, Hebden Bridge and all points around being swished by a breeze straight off the North Pole. Did anything biblically happen on Easter Monday? Or is it just a modern excuse to give the plebs another day off in lieu? Either way — Heptonstall was looking good, as it always does. It’s been there for a few hundred years, it’s had time to bed in.

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