Starting to Look Up

Wrapped up in daily life, we usually head about our business or leisure looking to where we are going or being distracted by shop windows, that is when not avoiding those people with clipboards who seem to home in on those who seem most in a rush.  How often though, do you take the time to look up and see what delights are towering above eye level?

WP_20160419_001There is so much wonderful architecture around that’s just a glance away, which is often neglected, far from being a sad thing though it once again makes it a pleasure to wander around our cities and cities (Nottingham in this case), especially on a lovely day when full up on a hearty breakfast, plenty of coffee and the promise of bookshops on the horizon.

WP_20160419_002I do love the various styles that have been envisioned and created, with all of their intricate little details and strong lines.  It’s a shame that these builders will be unknown without turning to research but at least their buildings not only stand the test of time but are a celebration of spacial awareness and imagination.

WP_20160419_010I get the feeling that with a few more crenellations these combined building crowns could be a collective scene of the roof topping Gormenghast castle, a theme which tickles my literary tastes and encourages plenty of intriguing scenarios and thoughts for stories.

WP_20160419_007These are just a few examples from pootling around the city centre, I’m sure there are plenty more around with which I may get to one day but until then revel in the beauty of your surroundings lest they become horrible steel and glass structures which more often than not seem at odds with so much of our historical architecture.

64 Replies to “Starting to Look Up”

  1. Love this, Steve. Definitely important to stop and look around (and up)- amazing what you can find and the beauty that us humans can create when we set our minds to doing so. Great pictures!

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    1. It’s like a hidden landscape that’s not hidden at all, its just there and we easily forget it. Strange how life is… it is nice to get a different perspective now and a gain though.

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    1. I’m not the best photographer, especially the clock and the dome, that took me ages to shoot as it was on a busy street and the sun seemed to be following me about. If it inspires though then I am happy.

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  2. These are amazing, SteJ. Thank You for Sharing more views of your lovely home (town) and the visions of dreamers who dream in crenelations, corners, windows and rooftops that have made MY day, and certainly many others, more delightful for having witnessed their dreams built into life 🙂

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    1. Sadly this is not my home town, that is less interesting so I bus it into Nottingham to get a real feel for history (settled in 600AD by the way). I am glad you like my selection, I hope to find more in the coming months on my future potterings around. Looking up is always enough to inspire fresh and exciting new thoughts I find.

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  3. Very beautiful indeed 🙂

    We don’t have a whole lot of great architecture where I am. Mostly Burger Kings and Walmarts.

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    1. When your hungry (and desperate), the Burger King sign can be a beautiful thing. I know a chap who once undertook the fat food challenge of going to Burger King, KFC and McDonalds on his way home from a night out, some people need to be saluted for their approach to life.

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  4. May these buildings you’ve shown us never (or at least never soon) crumble and fall away! How neat that you think of Gormenghast. I read that trilogy a long time ago, and found it totally grotesque, though a very entertaining fantasy. The person I found the most grotesque was the mother, with her birds. My memory of the rest is rather faint, at least in terms of plot, but then, atmosphere, atmosphere, atmosphere, was the name of that series.

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    1. I didn’t get on with Titus Groan and so didn’t finish the others, I do remember liking the caste itself though, it promised so many mysteries. I don’t recall much of it now, apart from the ending events of course, it is pleasing that even the literature that doesn’t grab me can still inspire me to blog posts. Moby Dick needs to come up with something for me now, maybe a trip to Wales…

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  5. Love these photos, Steve. We often are so busy bustling about do whatever, that we forget to look up and appreciate the beauty above, whether of old, distinguished buildings, treetops, or fluffy white cloud figures.
    PS Don’t forget to look down once in a while lest you fall in a manhole.

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    1. Funny you should say that, the idea for this post came from my remembering of a old woman in the game Final Fantasy VII who only looked down until one day she realised it was probably a good idea to look up after a catastrophic event occurred (I omit the details for spoilers sake and the long convoluted storyline that got to the event as well). Now you mention it, I should keep an eye all around me whenever I am observing, just in case, I would hate to lose use of my typing fingers.

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  6. Wonderful! I try and remember to look up while I’m out and about, but forget frequently enough for the skyline to usually seem like a fabulous revelation! 🙂

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    1. Part of me is glad I forget to look up, as when I do everything seems new again and I really don’t want it all to be mundane like the eye level city centre (minus the booky bits of course!). Now I am considering finding a high place to take photos of the top of buildings from above, just to really mix it up.

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  7. Wonderful pictures, Ste. The everyday hustle of our life rarely spares us time to look up, but whenever we do, we can see an azure sky and such architectural wonders. I’m very much inspired by this post…I must ‘look up’ and wander around my city as well, soon… 🙂

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    1. Part of my need to look up came from attempting to take photos on street level only to have people constantly walking into the shot. It is heartening to know that people have made the effort with buildings and that if we just think to look up that our day can be made more pleasant with the results, who knows what you may find with a casual glance up.

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  8. Very true Ste – carbuncles etc etc! Not much thought is taken these days in trying to fit the building into the landscape; but then this can be said about most architecture over the ages! Loved your photos and I’m glad you enjoyed your wander through the city in search of books feeling replete after a good breakfast.

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    1. It was a wonderfully lazy day, when I meet friends in Nottingham, I tend to arrive eight hours early so I can read and muse, if I am too lazy for a breakfast sometimes a bacon cob will make me happy too. You are right of course in your assertion that architecture is radically different and jarring when first built, what can I say I’m a traditionalist, I like my stone buildings and anything mildly Gothic cheers me.

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      1. I like the old stuff best I must confess but I have been trying very hard to understand and appreciate modern architecture recently and I believe I am a little less set in my ways than I was.

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        1. Perhaps somebody needs to sit us down and explain the concepts properly, now if they made something Gothic with smoke machines and a hall of mirrors I would be all for that.

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    1. You have the right idea, although mastering that art from ground level is also a challenging pastime. I tend to do that to people who go into a bookshop and look at the board games, although I probably come across as a weirdo but hey if that’s what my freshly printed T shirt says…

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    1. It’s refreshing to get a different perspective and then spend ages trying to photograph it whilst the masses walk around me. Sometimes we need a reminder to take a bit of time.

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  9. I luv looking up! Of course, I rarely see beautiful architecture. However, I see Graf everywhere. Seems we are both fortunate!

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  10. I would have to show you mine. I mean, my (not very good) photographs of buildings in Sarajevo. Oftentimes I prefer looking up at the rooftops and windows then looking at the people around me.

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    1. There is something romantic about the upper echelons of buildings, it’s a mysterious new world, people are only good to watch in bus, train stations and airports I find. My photos aren’t the best either, the amount I take to get a decent one is obscene, snap away, I look forward to seeing them.

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  11. Lovely photos. We have some great finials and finishings and frets and frills on our Edwardian high street above the standard shops, but this is a great reminder to look up!

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    1. It is a shame we get distracted from the beauty that is so close but it is always a treat to realise it is there, it always brightens up my day.

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  12. I love the beautiful old architecture in Europe. Someday I hope to tour your little neck of the woods. Our country, although beautiful, cannot rival the lovely buildings where you live. Hope all is well with you Ste J.

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    1. Hello my friend, how have you been I have missed you loads! All is well with me, my friend, it got bumpy for a bit so to speak but I am ploughing on. Your blog showcased some amazing places but you are right we do have some epic places, John Ruskin describes it wonderfully in his books which I am sure will take your fancy. Are you still planning on coming to Europe this year?

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      1. It is so good to hear from you and to know that all is well. We are good here also and we are still planning a trip to Europe in the fall. Unfortunately our plans will not take us beyond France and Italy this year. We were originally looking to fly into London but hubby found much less expensive airfare into Paris so our plans have changed a bit. We fly into Paris on Sept 7 and fly out of Rome on Oct 27. Your neck of the woods is still on our list, perhaps next year.

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        1. I will see if I am able to come meet you at some point, it seems like it’s the year for meeting fellow bloggers this year. You have to love those cheaper tickets, I was lucky to find a decent flight to Boston, cheap for Summer so that will be my first week away and the first meeting with blogger #1!

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          1. I am envious that you are coming to this country and we haven’t met yet. If you think there is a possibility to meet somewhere in France or Italy I would welcome it!

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            1. I shall certainly do my best, I could get back into the travel lark again as long as the cash and days off are there of course. Although this year is a quick holiday, I plan on doing a slightly more epic attempt next year.

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              1. I understand the cash flow situation. Being on a fixed income does cramp one’s style. I look forward to hearing more about your Boston trip.

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                  1. My visa has also been recently renewed and ready to go. BTW, I am going to get back to blogging, albeit a bit differently and with less intensity. I don’t want to fall prey to spending so many hours in front of the computer so I have decided to write for me. Sounds a bit selfish doesn’t it? 😉 I would so love your opinion on how I have changed up my blog. We will be doing a 6-week road trip soon and I will probably start to blog shortly after that. My focus will be not only on travels, but on my other passions – health and fitness, healthy food, and whatever my muse seems fit to toss my way. Would you give me your honest opinion when you have a few minutes? Thanks so much and I WILL meet you one day, I have no doubt.

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                    1. This is great news! You have been missed, I have noticed a lot of crew I grew up with slowing down or disappearing of late so it is nice to have the trend reversed. It is a challenge to master the blogging and offline world but I will be up for giving you my opinions whenever you need them. When we meet, I will be ridiculously giddy with excitement, you have been warned.

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                    2. I will be like a giddy schoolgirl myself, so it should work perfectly! 🙂 Thanks for agreeing to offer up your opinion. It means more to me than you know.

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  13. Ste J, it is simply because you live there that you may, on a day-to-day basis of going about your business, generally take for granted the architecture and history you have there which makes it even nicer when you notice and share. As a visitor (which I fear I’ll never get to be 😦 ), I’d be looking at that more than ANYthing! lol

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    1. Why such a fear? All you need is to find a place, pick a blogger who can get you a cheap but nice place to stay and then toddle on over for a cultural experience with fish and chips and a shedload of history! It’s that simple!

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      1. Nah, I WISH it was that simple! 😀 The thing for me is the expense AND physical limitations :-\ I’m highly chemically sensitive and allergic to all kinds of stuff and rooms are never safe. The plane ride alone would be a nightmare in that sense. I said “fear,” but should’ve just said “know.” It’s just the way it is, my friend. Lots of limitations for me, travel being just one of them. It’s extremely difficult when I have to stay anywhere, including the one-night stay for our annual conferences. I often get “sick” due to things like Fabreze (toxic, no matter what the company says), fragrances, carpet cleaners, air fresheners, laundry detergent, and the list goes on. Even bringing sheets of plastic to cover all the bedding and using my own sheets doesn’t prevent it. Oh, well! One of the reasons I’m so grateful to “visit” in ways like this 😀

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        1. Well in that case, I must do more roaming for you, as if an excuse was needed! It must be horrible to be so troubled by things others don’t really notice, it certainly puts things into perspective though!

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          1. Without a doubt, Ste J. I started feeling symptoms when I was maybe 18-20 years old, but didn’t know why. It wasn’t till I was in my mid-30s that I became more debilitated. Nothing bothered me (in an obvious way) when I was young, and you do take it for granted. But having my struggles has made me a more understanding and tolerant person than I might’ve been otherwise. We all have something to deal with, that’s for sure!

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            1. It usually takes something such as illness to make us reassess life, it is too easy to take it for granted. Your words will make me treasure my travelling time more and try to keep how lucky I am in mind when embarrassing myself in front of people whose language I don’t really know.

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                1. English is complex enough once you get down to the nitty gritty of it, at least we don’t have feminine and masculine words, that just confuses me and I usually get the fifty/fifty choice wrong as well when I do try and wing it.

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