This is what came to mind on a pretty bleak, rainy walk along the beach where I live. Written for The Daily Post writing challenge called “Blog Your Block”: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/blog-your-block/
The grey pebbles turned and twisted under her sturdy shoes. It wasn’t a pretty beach, she thought. Although there was a kind of pre-historic peace to the place, as if it couldn’t be bothered with day trippers looking to build sandcastles. Only a few fishermen and foolhardy sea gulls clung to the shores of the channel trying to catch a bite for dinner. The coastguard was watching like an ever present guardian angel and a few local inhabitants always had their kitchen windows focussed on the waterfront.
Strange plants grew which had developed around this harsh, salty, barren landscape. Nothing else grew but scrub plants. There were no trees so the wily, quick witted birds had built their nests in the stones and the scrub trying to avoid the footsteps of people and foxes.
When the wind blew people walked at a 45 degree angle and when the sun shone they lay flat out on the uncomfortable stones in bathing suits which were quite inappropriate for the area – more suited to a Caribbean island somewhere.
The rain was penetrating every layer of clothing and she kept her eyes fixed on the pebbles. Occasionally a crushed shell came into view: a strand of mangled seaweed; discarded ropes; broken lobster pots – the plethora of driftwood which came ashore after a storm. The tides changed with every minute bringing a new wave of stones and shingle but the landscape never changed.
I did a post not long ago about how there was a distinct lack of creativity in architecture these days – we no longer seem to put in the effort and time to decorate our buildings as used to happen. There are a few very talented people that keep traditional crafts alive but not enough.
My response to the challenge this week is from a trip to India that I did – my first one. I was overwhelmed by the beauty and the colours everywhere. In an abandoned palace in the middle of nowhere there were some amazingly colourful mosaics which caught my eye. The walls were crumbling and there was nobody to prevent rot and destruction setting in but the mosaics still shone…that’s what I call a work of art! Something that can withstand time, the elements and still be inspiring.
I was going to write a blog about the technology side of things, but that seems to be the main theme already. For my part I miss record players and tape recorders!
So how about the talent of building beautiful buildings going obsolete? We have such beautiful churches, villages, thatched cottages, castles and country houses in the UK and yet when you pass a building site it’s normally a multi-storey car park or identikit houses on a soulless complex. Do you think people will marvel over these in 200 years time? Probably not because they will have blown down or been washed away within 50.
On that note here is a marvellous building which has lived through its fair share of war, fire, rebuilding etc so it must be worth investing in beautiful buildings! St Paul’s Cathedral, London built by the fantastic Sir Christopher Wren who obviously agreed. He rebuilt over 50 churches after the Great Fire of London in 1666, many of which you can still admire today.