Endurance

298BABE6-9C67-415E-BCA0-CE8906D204F58613814D-E43F-41E7-9274-773983C0C4BE20CB9B7E-2EF2-43B6-9094-8D165743FD9E

As the Advent pilgrimage season continues, here’s some stunning photos from @martinrhartley’s Instagram feed. Martin seems to specialise in capturing Arctic expeditions and as well as these incredible images, his text is worth reading. He outlines how just standing still will kill you even though you might be in full protective gear, how an arctic explorer is also a mother of four in a classic “man pulling shed” shop, how clipping the corners off food packets and unnecessary zips and mosquito nets in a tent can save vital kilograms, and how salt leaches into the ice making it ironically very difficult to find ice to melt for drinking water. Fascinating and with no trace of self-pity.

Gorgeous

IMG_6231IMG_6229

How luxurious are these fantastically vampish sketches by Helleu?

IMG_6230IMG_6228

This is absolutely the ideal of beauty between 1900 and 1914 and I feel I could seriously get behind it…

IMG_6232

All images via Pinterest.

Cathedral crawl

On the last Bank Holiday, I set off on a cathedral crawl, taking in both ends of Hope Street in Liverpool

IMG_3839IMG_3910IMG_3856IMG_3842IMG_3844IMG_3851

and the houses and art in between.

IMG_3923IMG_3927IMG_3931IMG_3933IMG_3935IMG_3937IMG_3888

This is the Anglican cathedral, a monumental Gothic that removed the fussiness of the style and made it ready for the 20th century that was about to dawn.

IMG_3862IMG_3865IMG_3867IMG_3864IMG_3841IMG_3907IMG_3909IMG_3863IMG_3903

Favourite details and the Catholic cathedral to follow later.

May 2017.

Saturated

IMG_3048IMG_3045IMG_3037IMG_3076

In amongst the Gothic architecture, vaulted ceilings and high windows in St Vitus’ Cathedral, Prague, is a saturation of colour from mosaics, wall-paintings and art nouveau glass.

IMG_3106IMG_3109IMG_3112

Colour stains the stone walls, rains down on the visiting tourists.

IMG_3040IMG_3044IMG_3069

April 2017.

Palermo

IMG_2746IMG_2747

I need to dig out my holiday photos from Palermo a few years ago, but here’s a cheat: web photos of the amazing Oratorio Di Santa Zita. Whipped cream a go-go.

IMG_2748IMG_2749

Eat Sweat Play

So, so important, and reading this was a revelation that I don’t like exercise but do like sport:

For men, sport and exercise are all part of the same active continuum, but for women they are presented as two very distinct things. Exercise, with its approved end-goal of delivering you a better body, is revered for twenty-first-century women…

Sweating for sport [my emphasis] is not seen as beautiful. It’s raison d’etre strays too far from appearance…It’s…about grit and determination, not losing a few pounds or looking great but absolutely wiping the floor with your opponents. It’s about winning, showing aggression, being competitive, openly rejoicing and being proud in doing all of these things.

For more read the rest of Anna Kessel’s Eat Sweat Play. I completely agree with her analysis and I’m not sure I’d have got through previous hard times without the mental confidence from fencing. I also don’t think it’s any coincidence that my performance st work skyrocketed and I began thinking of myself differently once I took myself off the training sessions and onto the piste.