Light and colour

nick north days 090I was looking for a particular photo of a dramatic sky to illustrate Going down… That meant delving into old files and I came across the folders taken in the cold of the autumn last year, when I and my eldest son had spent a few days exploring Cumbria. For some reason he could not recall ever having really visited the Lakes and fancied the trip. Never loath to head north or to play amongst the hills, off I went, meeting him there halfway through his stay on my way to Yorkshire.nick north days 188On our first full day we drove up the motorway so that I could show him what was on the other side… the hills of my home county, Yorkshire, towering stark and glorious over their hidden valleys. I remember he said then that he had not known there were such places in England. He began to see, I think, why the north draws me inexorably home by every heartstring.nick north days 083We had both taken the cameras, even though I would be playing taxi. This was fine… we must have stopped in every conceivable stopping place as we explored and the scant few miles that took us over the heights of Kirkstone Pass ended up taking the whole day. Not that I would have had it any other way. It is a beautiful run.nick north days 126From valley to lake, along the narrow, winding roads of the pass, up trails so steep they carry names like ‘The Struggle’, and at every corner there were squeaks and squeals from me, deep breaths from my son as we were inundated by beauty. nick north days 047There are moments when you almost cannot contain the bubbling joy of seeing a landscape unfold, bathed in shifting light, shrouded in swift moving clouds and painted in the impossible jewel colours of autumn.nick north days 044We took so many pictures that day that even I can’t remember them all, so looking through the albums provided me with some lovely memories. It is, I think, the colours that get me every time. There is a vividness to the northern landscape, probably due to the incessant moisture in the air from the rain and the low-playing clouds that come down to greet you. Even the rocks are as bright as is they had been varnished by some otherworldly hand. Divine artistry is visible in every line and curve of the hills and the palette is that of the earth tones… the russet, citrine and olive stark against the dark, shadowed stone.nick north days 075And then, of course, there is the light. There is a quality to the light in the northern hills that is quite unique; a luminosity that seems to defy the dark clouds, or perhaps it is there because, not in spite, of them, made visible against their shadowed bulk, lining them with gold and white.nick north days 030The clouds roll and roil, or drift in lazy blankets over the hills, wrapping the world in softness that seems close enough to touch. Here, in the south, the skies are farther away; distant and impersonal. The northern skies come down to play and their touch is intimate, the welcome of home.nick north days 150

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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10 Responses to Light and colour

  1. alienorajt says:

    A beauty both heart-breaking and soul-lifting in its intensity and perfection, Sue. xxx


  2. Val Mills says:

    What a beautiful part of the world!


  3. iosatel says:

    Amazingly beautiful places (and pictures, of course)!


  4. Eliza Waters says:

    These photos are so beautiful – I can see why you would squeal with delight! I definitely have to visit Yorkshire one day!


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