Lost in the Fog with Monsters

Needle felted polar bear

A bear with a jar full of stars, a valley full of chiffon mist, celestial blue skies; if only life could always be filled with such magic and beauty. I feet like retreating into my inner land of make believe this week and potentially that may be the safest place.

Mist in the Lake District

It’s been the most unbelievably atmospheric Autumn here in the Lake District so far. Clouds and mists rise and fall, flowing down the valleys and draping themselves over the tops like gossamer bridal veils – forgive the flowery language but you can see why all those poets got carried away with it around here. Sunday’s walk was a perfect example … beginning in sun dappled forests smelling of pine and mushrooms and earth (Shinrin-yoku), enduring a slog up a boggy hillside in thick fog (navigation practice, hmmm) to emerge on an eerily lit summit where an almost biblical revelation occurred as the mist slid away in stages to reveal layer upon layer of heartbreakingly gorgeous landscape.

Towards Causey Pike in the mist

I hear it’s been like that above a certain height all week but for one reason or another I have been unable to reach up to the sunlight through the fog.

Skiddaw in the mist

I had been due to start my new job at the Museum yesterday. As I said in my last post it had meant that at last I would be earning enough to justify my existence on the planet but not only that; I was hoping it would mean meeting more people over here, drawing me out of what has become an increasingly hermit like existence. I also really liked the Museum. I got an email on Saturday asking me to “pop in on Monday for a chat”.

mug designs by Kim Tillyer

I had been offered the job on the merit of my interview and the carefully prepared presentation on ” The Benefits of Working with Volunteers”, the gallery in Keswick provided a good reference and I had all the dates on the calendar and my shoes polished for day one. Only I did a stupid thing. I trusted in honesty and good intentions.

mug designs by Kim Tillyer

I’d given Joe Cornish ( the photographer not the comedian ) as a referee, believing in my naivety that, despite all the difficulties in the cafe towards the end of my time there, I’d loved my work organising the creative workshops and that I had done a good job, been a dedicated and effective member of staff and that Joe himself was a man of integrity and an artistic soul (as his website claims). I was very wrong. Joe was too busy packing for a trip to write anything so his partner suggested they ask the gallery. Joni (who had cried when I left and apologised for her mismanagement of the situation) wrote a reference that made me sound like a lovable village idiot who could just about make a cappuccino but was unlikely to manage anything too taxing involving any “attention to detail”, numeracy, organisation or reliability… and thus I was sent away humiliated and shell shocked, the job offer withdrawn. I am indeed an idiot, I expect people to act fairly and compassionately and they don’t. The past is a hole thinly covered with branches on a sunlit path and inside the hole there are spikes and mud and monsters.

I also found out that Joe is again running his exclusive residential workshops from the lovely North York Moors surroundings of ….wait for it…. Snilesworth Lodge, shooting estate and home of the delightful and kind Toby Horton, UKIP landowner. I felt like I’d been beaten up.

mug designs by Kim Tillyer

I’ve moaned at you and it’s a massive turn off but sometimes things need saying and the cat wasn’t really being very responsive. In other news I’ve been printing mugs and lurking about in my pyjamas in next door’s porch trying to photograph them ( the mugs not the pyjamas) in the morning light, I’ve been listening to Elbow and trying to play my mandolin and getting trapped in corners by spitting alpacas… not all at the same time though. I won’t always be moaning so please come back soon, thank you for listening. x

Reading :-“Nature Cure” – Richard Mabey  Listening To:- Real Life (Angel) –  Elbow




5 responses to “Lost in the Fog with Monsters

  1. Loving your openness and ability to spring back from setbacks – lovely piece of writing

  2. As usual magnificent mountains……so sorry about the job, I still feel you should have told them the whole story…….and…….btw my son is also Jacob. A name I love. xoxo

  3. Gosh, I am so sorry. Why do people always let us down. Could make you lose faith in the human race. Don’t let it! What amazing photos. Take strength from the beautiful surroundings where you live!
    Jacqui xx

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