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Rivington Adventure: Ruins & The Picnic

By Adventures, Friends & Family, Happiness & Joy, Nature2 Comments
Rivington View - Partway Up The Hill

Rivington View – Partway Up The Hill

This is the second and final part of my Rivington Adventure (see Rivington Adventure: Lever Castle), which I had while off on annual leave a few weeks ago.

It was another glorious afternoon; Simon & I headed to explore some ruins in a less well-known part of Rivington’s Woodland. We traipsed uphill, the heat from the sun making the journey more difficult.

But when we got there, it was totally worth it. I could understand why Simon had wanted me to see this magical place.

The entrance included an archway, then stairs to a doorway and felt like stepping into another world:


Under the Archway

Under the Archway

Rivington - Stone Steps To The Doorway

Rivington – Stone Steps To The Doorway

Rivington - The Doorway to a Magical Place

Rivington – The Doorway to a Magical Place

The ruins were presumably built by the extravagant Lord Leverhulme as a place to entertain. They include an outhouse and what would have been a small cottage. These ruins have been named by some as the Chinese Village or the Hobbit Village. Here are some photos:

Rivington Ruins The Well Preserved Outhouse

The Well Preserved Outhouse

Rivington Ruins - The Small Cottage

Rivington Ruins – The Small Cottage

Rivington Ruins - The Small Cottage

Rivington Ruins – The Small Cottage

Rivington Ruins - Nature's Growing Over The Stairs To The No-Longer Existent 2nd Floor

Rivington Ruins – Nature’s Growing Over The Stairs To The No-Longer Existent 2nd Floor

Rivington - A View of the Man-made Pond

Rivington – A View of the Man-made Pond

Rivington - Another View of the Man-made Pond

Rivington – Another View of the Man-made Pond

As we explored, we came across this beautiful, large man-made pond. We sat down and ate our picnic admiring nature’s full summer bloom. I didn’t need to open my energy centres to feel the hum of the natural world around me. But when I did I felt bright green natural energy flow through my entire self – body, mind and soul. The energy went were healing was needed and began soothing, reviving and recharging my batteries.

I haven’t felt that blissful and alive in such a long time.

We sat on a bench and ate our picnic. As I did an ash tree seemed to call to me. I lit up a cigarette and sat with my back leant upon the tree. I closed my eyes and was transported back into the past. To a time were the pond and ruins were whole and in their former glory. I pulled myself back to the present aware that I didn’t want to go to deeply into the past with a lit cigarette in my hand. But I have to tell you that the glimpse I caught was breathtakingly beautiful.

Then Simon & I saw some ducklings with their mother duck. They were just going about their business, not bothered by us at all. So I took some photos:


Rivington Pound - Ducklings

Rivington Pound – Ducklings

Rivington Pound - The Ducklings Close Up

Rivington Pound – The Ducklings Close Up

Rivington Pound - The Ducklings Close Up

Rivington Pound – The Ducklings Close Up

Normally doing the amount of walking we I did I would have experienced some back pain afterwards. But surrounded by the elements: the earth beneath my feet, the air that I breathed, the water in the pond and the fire from the sun in the sky that warmed my skin. I left Rivington feeling interconnected with nature, healed, relaxed, rejuvenated and without any pain at all.

It did me the world of good.

Write soon,

Antony



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A Sensational Sunset

By Friends & Family, Happiness & Joy, NatureNo Comments

One of my New Experiences for 2013 was to see the sun rise and set. A few weeks ago I did manage to see a sensational sunset. It was the first time I’d truly observed a sunset. Click on any photo in this post for a full size image.

sunset-2013-1 sunset-2013-2

At 8:30PM Simon & I parked up in a lovely spot overlooking Rivington reservoir. The sun was due to set at 9:30PM and other people were around. The sun still shone bright and I felt the heat on my skin that emanated from the sun. There was a cool breeze that carried noise from the other people: cars, car radios and chatter. I was feeling excited to experience something new and yet frustrated at the distracting noise from the other people.

sunset-2013-3 sunset-2013-4

As the time approached, most people had gone which made it quieter and I was thankful for this. Simon & I sat on a bench and even nature seemed to go quiet. The only sounds were from the rustling of the trees that swayed in the fresh breeze. The breeze it’s self felt colder than before. The daylight had dimmed in the direction opposite to the sunset. The sun released orange ambers and reds that filled the skyline and reflected off strips of clouds. Time seemed to slow down.

I felt a new appreciation for the life giving warmth and light of the sun. I felt totally relaxed and able to be truly in that moment – without any intruding thoughts. I enjoyed the beauty and magic of the sun.

sunset-2013-5 sunset-2013-6

The sun began to make it’s decent over the horizon; I noticed the moon rising on the other side. The moon’s luminescent glow grew stronger as the sunset. The transition from dark to light across the sky was phenomenal. I savoured the final rays of light feeling awe struck and enchanted. I realised that I’d taken for granted that the sun will always rise and set.

The final moments of the sun’s day go quick – it took 5 minutes to completely disappear from sight. I glanced at my watch and noticed that it was precisely on time. I took a deep breath, the transformation from day to night was complete.

sunset-2013-7

sunset-2013-8 It was a magical experience, almost spiritual; that made me fully comprehend why some people did and others still do worship the sun.

The contrast from light to dark, as the day transforms to night is magical. At one point the sun and moon even looked almost in balance.

The sun is currently rising far too early for me, but I’m hoping to see sunrise later in the year.

Take care,

Antony



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Rivington Adventure: Lever Castle

By Adventures, Friends & Family, Happiness & Joy, History, Nature2 Comments
Rivington Natural Beauty

Natural Beauty

A few weeks ago, I had a week’s annual leave from work. I choose the right week to be off – as all week we had glorious sunshine and sizzling temperatures.

Simon & I headed for an adventure in Rivington. Rivington is a massive woodland and village close to Chorley and Bolton, both of which are in Lancashire. It has a long history dating back to the Bronze Age.

Rivington has several sets of old ruins; with the buildings constructed under the instruction of the long deceased wealthy Lord Leverhulme, whom used to own the land.

Lever Castle (known to some as Rivington Castle) was built by Lord Leverhulme on a whim and closely mirrors Liverpool Castle. Here are some photos of our adventure exploring Lever Castle – as always to see the full size photo click on it:

Outside Rivington Castle - Covered In Greenery

Outside Rivington Castle – Covered In Greenery

The outside of Rivington Castle

The outside of Rivington Castle

Rivington Castle - The Entrance

Rivington Castle – The Entrance

Rivington Castle Inside - Ruins in a Good State

Rivington Castle Inside – Ruins in a Good State

Rivington Castle Inside - Ruins in a Good State

Rivington Castle Inside – Ruins in a Good State

Rivington Castle Inside - Ruins in a Good State

Rivington Castle Inside – Ruins in a Good State

Rivington Castle - 'Owe look a window!' Simon says.

Rivington Castle – ‘Owe look a window!’ Simon says.

Rivington Castle - 'Hello!' Simon says.

Rivington Castle – ‘Hello!’ Simon says.

Rivington Castle - The Top of One of Four Towers

Rivington Castle – The Top of One of Four Towers

Rivington Castle - A Stunning Corridor of Arching Doorways

Rivington Castle – A Stunning Corridor of Arching Doorways

Rivington Castle - The Court Yard, with Winter Hill & a Watchtower in the Background.

Rivington Castle – The Court Yard, with Winter Hill & a Watchtower in the Background.

Rivington - A Place of Bewitching Beauty

Rivington – A Place of Bewitching Beauty

After exploring the castle and stopping to enjoy the serene view of the reservoir below; we decided to go for a walk to appreciate nature. To me just taking the time out of busy life to truly appreciate nature – is a spiritual experience in it’s self.

Although the photos don’t do this wonderful place justice, Left and Below are some photos of Rivington’s natural world.

Rivington is right on my door step, yet I forget it’s there. I should visit more often.

Rivington - A Place of Natural Delightful Beauty

Rivington – A Place of Natural Delightful Beauty

Rivington - There's Something Magical About Being this Close to Nature.

Rivington – There’s Something Magical About Being this Close to Nature.

Take care,

Antony



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Apollo

By PaganismNo Comments

I love the greek god Apollo. He is a deity that I like what he stands for, creativity, lover of the arts, beautiful, admire of beauty (both physically, emotionally and spiritually). Here is some quick facts about Apollo:

Apollo’s Appearance: A young man with curly golden hair.
Symbol or Attribute: The Sun itself, the lyre (a type of musical instrument), the bow, and the chariot he drives across the sky daily.

Apollo’s Strengths: Creative, handsome, supportive of all the arts of civilisation.

Weaknesses: Like his father Zeus, Apollo is all too happy to enjoy the charms of nymphs, as well as the occasional youth, and his conquests number in the dozens.
(From http://gogreece.about.com/cs/mythology/a/mythapollo.htm, Last accessed: 30th October 09)

Yet believe it or not, I can’t find a good statue of Apollo for my altar anywhere in the UK. A statue that truly represents what Apollo means to me. My good friend Kay told me that I she was going on holiday so I showed her what sort of statue I wanted (from images on the Internet). When she went away, she picked me one up and here it is:

The photo took on my Blackberry Storm and it really doesn’t do it justice. On the photo you can’t see the detail and the true quality of the statue.

One of the main reasons that I love Apollo is because he is bisexual. He has had both female and male lovers. As a gay man I am most interested in his male lovers of which there were two. Here are the stories:

Apollo & Cypatissus

In Greek mythology, a myth set in Chios tells of Kyparissos (Greek: κυπάρισσος, “cypress”) — or Cyparissus (Latin: cupressus, “cypress”) — a young boy and son of Telephus. Though the mythic context and the setting is Hellenic, the subject is essentially known from Hellenizing Latin literature and Pompeiian frescoes.[1]

Apollo gave the boy a tame deer as a companion, but Cyparissus accidentally killed it with a javelin as it lay asleep in the undergrowth. The gift of a hunter’s prey is an initiatory gift in the sphere of the hunt, a supervised preparation for the manly arts of war and a testing ground for behaviour (Koch-Harnack 1983). The tameness of the deer may be purely Ovidian. In a late reversal of the boy’s traditional role, perhaps an interpretation applied by Ovid,[2] Cyparissus asks Apollo to let his tears fall forever. Apollo turns the sad boy into a cypress tree, whose sap forms droplets like tears on the trunk.[3] Cypress was one of the trees Orpheus charmed.

According to a different tradition Cyparissus was the son of Orchomenus, the brother of Minyas, and the mythical founder of Kyparissos in Phocis, which later was called Anticyra.[4] (From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyparissus, Last accessed: 30th October 09)

Apollo & Hyacinth

Hyacinth, the young son of the King of Sparta, beautiful like the very gods of Mount Olympus, was beloved of Apollo, shooter of arrows. The god often came down to the shores of the Eurotas River, leaving his shrine in Delphi unattended, to spend time with his young friend and delight in boyish pleasures. Tired of his music and his long bow, Apollo found relief in rustic pastimes. He would take Hyacinth hunting through the woods and glades on the mountain sides, or they would practice gymnastics, a skill which Hyacinth then taught to his friends, and for which later the Spartans would become renowned. The simple life awoke Apollo’s appetites, and made the curly-haired boy seem more charming than ever. Apollo gave him all his love, forgetting he was a mere mortal.

Once, in the heat of a summer afternoon, the lovers stripped naked, sleeked themselves with olive oil, and tried their hand at discus throw, each vying to outdo the other. The bronze discus flew higher and higher. Finally, the powerful god gathered all his strength, and spun and wheeled and let fly the shiny disk which rose swift as a bird, cutting the clouds in two. Then, glittering like a star, it began to tumble down.

Hyacinth ran to meet it. He was hurrying to take his turn, to prove to Apollo that he, though young, was no less able than the god at this sport. The discus landed, but having fallen from such a great height it bounced and violently struck Hyacinth in the head. He let out a groan and crumpled to the ground. The blood spurted thickly from his wound, coloring crimson the black hair of the handsome youth.

Horrified, Apollo raced over. He bent over his friend, raised him up, rested the boy’s head on his knees, trying desperately to staunch the blood flowing from the wound. But it was all in vain. Hyacinth grew paler and paler. His eyes, always so clear, lost their gleam and his head rolled to one side, just like a flower of the field wilting under the pitiless rays of the noonday sun. Heartbroken, Apollo cried out: “Death has taken you in his claws, beloved friend! Woe, for by my own hand you have died. And yet its crime was meeting yours at play. Was that a crime? Or was my love to blame – the guilt that follows love that loves too much? Oh, if only I could pay for my deed by joining you in your journey to the cheerless realms of the dead. Oh, why am I cursed to live forever? Why can’t I follow you?”

Apollo held his dying friend close to his breast, and his tears fell in a stream onto the boy’s bloody hair. Hyacinth died, and his soul flew to the kingdom of Hades. The god bent close to the dead boy’s ear, and softly whispered: “In my heart you will live forever, beautiful Hyacinth. May your memory live always among men as well.” And lo, at a word from Apollo, a fragrant red flower rose from Hyacinth’s blood. We call it hyacinth, and on its petals you can still read the letters “Ay,” the sigh of pain that rose from Apollo’s breast.

And the memory of Hyacinth lived on among the gentlemen of Sparta, who gave honors to their son, and celebrated him for three days in mid-summer at the Hyakinthaea festival. The first day they would mourn his death, and the last two they would celebrate his ressurection.
(From: http://www.gay-art-history.org/gay-history/gay-literature/gay-mythology-folktales/homosexual-greek-mythology/apollo-hyacinth-gay/apollo-hyacinth-gay.html, Last Accessed: 30th October 09)

If I was to invoke a god (take a god or goddess’ spirit with in your physical body) in the future it would be Apollo.

Kay and I are planning a Psychic Party / Home Warming at the end of November and the invites have gone out via Facebook. So check your Facebook inbox for invites, should be a good evening of fun.

Write soon,

Antony

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