This weekend I took a journey to the Lake District in England, escaping the city spontaneously in my friends car. It took me hours and hours to drive through the country from London but it was so worth the endurance. Actually I quite enjoyed time on my own, speeding along listening to the beautifully crafted songs of Kate Bush and Ane Brun. Wondering how divine their inspiration was to write such lyrics and melodies...

life is a journey - or is it?.JPG
Nowhere to go ... but in  OSHO

Sometimes being on ones own suddenly turns the light of inspiration on inside. With no plan I was directed to the most staggeringly beautiful places seemingly by chance; by being open. People along the way seemed to know what I was looking for and pointed me there without me asking. Several poets and artists have drawn inspiration from the Lakes and I can see why. The landscape and the hint of it's Norse history is haunting. The wind, rain and black cloud made the experience even more affecting. Nature can be dramatic ... and other times beautifully serene, peaceful, and seemingly non eventful...

The Lake District is so stunning, I hadn't expected such immense beauty. I felt like I had arrived in Norway as I visited waterfalls, forests and huge expanses of mirror-like water. Driving through the glacial valley of Honnister Pass in the North I experienced such stark beauty. Hurricane Ophelia graced my visit to the near by Lake Buttermere ... and at times I had to shelter low on the ground beside a tree to stop her blowing me into the water with her 90 miles per hour gusts. Now I'm back in my studio in London and full of inspiration for winter, so pleased I made this trip and challenged myself - things that once seemed big and impossible like driving so far alone and finding my way suddenly seem so small in comparison to what I found there.

Weekend Inspirations

Misty Winter Weekends

Here are some shots of the highly inspirational Exmoor National Park this weekend ... I love visiting places with wild nature and dramatic scenery ... Exmoor was wet, misty and mysterious this weekend. Perfect inspiration for a fragrance poet ...

God of Fire: South Great Mountain, Nányuè

In April we set off to visit China for a long awaited trip. Spending our first days in Hong Kong was extremely pleasurable, but was a world away from the rural China we set out for. That said we travelled most of the way on a bullet train, which has speeds of 305KPH -  Great Britain will possibly have one in 2024! 

Here are some images of our trip to South Great Mountain, known as both Nányuè and Héng Shān (Hunan).

Nányuè is one of the five great mountains of China and is known as the place for the god of fire in Daoism. It is also the birthplace of Southern Chan (Zen) Buddhism, which began in the 8th century, although apparently Buddhist worship began here as far back as the 6th. We began our exploration by hiking up, then cheating and getting the cable car, to the mist shrouded Zhurong Peak, visiting many beautiful Daoist and Buddhist temples along the way.

For Daoists, mountains are where the cosmic 'Chi' energy is at its strongest - and I can confirm the energy one of the Daoist temples we found was particularly strong! Being inside this ornate temple was a very powerful experience. 

Many devout worshipers come to the mountain to give offerings of incense and to burn prayer books and fire crackers in the fire. Lots of different rituals were going on, many seemed to be asking for, or receiving, blessings. As with incense, the Chinese believe that the smoke created when burning something, will reach up to the heavens, carrying their messages to deities or ancestors in other realms.

... more soon