|CHRIS IN ORANGE OVERALLS ABOVE|
Thursday, 19 July 2012
Day 25 begins
Day 25 begins
The wind was brisk and the sun was out very briefly as I rose to the new day. I was going to be doing that small walk down the cliffs to a bay below Ravenscar later, but I felt able to do a bit of exploring this morning. Actually I didn't get very far as the walk to and near the Raven Hall Hotel was a lovely scenic setting. There are old castle like garden walls on the cliff side of the hotel and the views over the scar below were very powerful and intense. I took some pictures and watched the birds flying in and out of their cliff side homes for quite a while.
A view over the small golf course was tranquil and the Yorkshire countryside is just very lush and hilly and well, so perfect for my days here exploring.
I decided to go and have a sneeky peek inside this great looking hotel with views over the bay. When I went inside I was blown away by its old world feel. The richness of the surroundings was a perfect backdrop for a few hours maybe to write and catch up with my blog and several poems that I had been avoiding posting on my poetry blog. Mainly because some of them were about my dear friend Richard who had died only last month, and the feelings are still very raw.
I did sit in the end and found a very comfy sofa, watched the goings on of the hotel and wrote almost constantly for about eight hours. Yeah I know, a marathon and no real leg work..... But heck the people here were diverse and I met and chatted with a couple who had come down to have their afternoon lunch who told me that they had recently received a telegram from the queen, because they also had been married for 60 years. I didn't catch their names as they rushed off to eat, but they were certainly a very happy and active pair of almost 90 year olds. I was sweetened by them still holding hands and talking about one another with genuine and endearing affection. They said that they had had a good life, and I said that it looked as though there would be plenty more to come. They giggled like a pair of teenagers whilst smiling at one another.
During the day I had sipped tea, eaten wonderfully prepared prawn sandwiches, and had a cream scone to rival any other dessert man could make. I felt rather decadent as I sat and enjoyed the luxury of this place whilst only contributing a small amount for my services, and the thoughts that all these people were sleeping like kings and paying maybe a kings ransom, whilst I had been sleeping a few yards away in my tent made me smile happily. Only because I found it fascinating that we were all enjoying the same views and weather but from much different budgets.
Near to the time I was to meet Chris I packed up my things and began the short walk to his home at the Tearooms. He was just finishing his dinner so came out shortly afterwards. We set off at a pace to go and catch the tide out on this end of the bay. Chris was eager to share any information he could about the bay the life of people here and his own projects that he was diligently working on. I still wanted to know more about his concepts for performing, as he was keen to collect articles, particularly wood form off the beach. In a way he was a walking clean up guy, taking away so many items from the beach. He found a piece of wood that it would appear was from an Ikea bed base and began to explain that he found it fascinating how it had arrived here, and what must have led up to its being discarded in the first place. I guess you and I don't really care too much about things to this degree, but it showed me several sides of the man. He hated like me and many others, the sight of rubbish on the beaches. He wanted to know why and how it had arrived here, and also that he cared that so much was bing dumped or cast away. We clearly live in our part of the world, in this throw away society. We dump so much waste that could and should be recycled or re-used for of other things but in the end just dump it in the earth or the sea or any other convenient spot along the side of the highway.
I had taken a few pictures of Chris sitting looking out over the bay, he seemed miles away in contemplation and I was inquisitive as to how like his art this was. He was explaining that he wanted to come here to the scar and do his performance, a kind of very slow and silent watching out to sea maybe moving about as and when the art described a movement to him. But he wasn't sure if he wanted an audience, or even a video camera to record it, because that may change the act in the way that knowing you are being observed would. I found it very fascinating, but have yet to see more examples of this type of thing, but I happily watched Chris as he collected pieces for his projects.
I saw some seals on the scar, sunning themselves in the late evening rays, and then quite by accident came across a dead seal. It was laying on its back and didn't seem to have moved in a few minutes, so I wondered what had happened to it. Just then another seal probably a male appeared from behind a rock and began snorting and flapping its feet, and the other seal suddenly came back to life. He flapped his way quickly to the sea and swam away, leaving the female behind to fend for herself from this fearsome predator. Typical, the courage of the male seal....tut tut tut...
The female didn't seem too bothered, but then I wasn't aggravating the situation by moving towards her. I took a brief video, I was sure I'll never get this close to a live seal again. Then I left her to go and make her way back to the cowardly man she had chosen on his way to Dogger bank......
I really need to find out more about this seal species and update the blog, I am so new to all this finding out so many new things all day.
I had asked Chris if he would mind being my first interviewee for the documentary that I hope will give my project some credence later on. The records of ordinary people telling their stories and sharing their ideas about the Nation in which we all live at present. How they feel we came to be great, what is making us great at present and what could help us to improve and show more equality and fairness. And the all important question, about personal involvement in this shift towards a new era of tolerance and community activity. I thought it would be great to shoot outside the Tearooms his parents ran with his help. Chris had been a manager in another place running a restaurant, and he admitted the skills he had learned from working for his parents had been invaluable to his ingress into that hospitality trade, though of course his first love was his performance art. I saw this was why I had noticed the brilliant way in which he had dealt with the customers in the shop several times I have visited.
We made our way off the scar and back up to take the video as the last sunlight was dropping over the horizon. Great skies, and just enough light for my little camera to catch the action and Chris's answers. I hope that you all enjoy the footage as and when I can get such a big file uploaded onto the blog. (As you read this I am four days further along the walk and there have been so many other great encounters it is difficult to keep up with the story. I may have to compress many days into one smaller item in future, but we'll see. I won't get much walking and meeting done if I have to type all day now will I ? Or can anyone with secretarial skills come and join me ?)
We said our farewells and I said that I would be in for breakfast before I definitely set of tomorrow. And besides, I was going to be leaving a flat mark on the cliff edge if I stayed any longer, the tent had been up three days. (Note to Matt at Crag and Moor, I have worked out now why I have missing pegs, the clips on the inner tent connect to the outer and therefore I need less pegs......Simples.....)
So back home I quickly got myself ready for a nice long nap.
And that my friends was what happened on day 25 of the Imagine project.