Nostalgia is a funny thing.  I took this photograph of the chapel underneath the towers at Buffalo State Hospital some time in the mid-2000s.  In the years after this photograph was taken, I built three campsites inside the building, so that I could get some kip during the hours of darkness that were relatively useless, photographically speaking.  The first of these was very simple - a pile of blankets in a carpeted room on the floor below this one.  When the Administration pavilion - the building with the towers - was sealed off with a welded metal plate in 2007, I built a second campsite in the cafeteria annex, using sheets of window insulation as “beds”.  I used this on several trips into the asylum.  On my final trip, finding this insufficient for two nights’ decent repose, we dragged two old patient mattresses out of the basement and set them up in the attic.  I jumped back over the fence and made a run to K-Mart to buy sheets and pillows.  I had no idea that this would be my last trip.

Shortly after this, I advised the owners of the property on how to seal up the viable entrances, as vandals were getting into the building.  I had thought we had an unspoken agreement that, in return, I would have access to shoot one or two more times - but the owners turned out to be hostile, even to their unofficial “security advisor”.  I received a laughable letter some months ago from their lawyer, advising me to stop displaying photos like this one (taken over 8 years ago) because they were proof of trespassing (which has a maximum statute of limitations of 3 years in New York State).  My friends and I had a bit of sport over that one; who did they think they were fooling?

But man, that nostalgia eats at me… what I wouldn’t give for one more night in that final campsite, falling asleep to the gentle flutter of bat wings and the promise of wonderful morning light.

King Edward V and the Duke of York in the Tower of London, 1831.

In 1674, skeletons of 2 children were discovered under the staircase leading to the chapel at the Tower of London. Believed to be the remains of the “Princes in the Tower”, the skeletons were buried, on the orders of Charles II, in Westminster Abbey. In 1933, the grave was re-opened & the skeletons determined to be those of 2 young children, one aged 7 to 11 & the other 11 to 13. Therefore, the skeletons could belong to the missing Princes. If only the Queen would allow DNA examinations..!! xxx

Dover Castle.

I’m always conscious of just how well this wonderful edifice has stood the test of time. This window is in a small chapel in the Great Tower, which King Henry II ordered to be built around 830 years ago. As you walk through the halls and passages today, you can still see the marks left be the stonemasons’ tools. Unlike today, however, everything then was crafted by hand.

Despite being pretty much the closest point to mainland Europe, and in the aptly named Hellfire Corner of WW2, the castle escaped bombing, largely because it was an important landmark for German bombers on their way to London.

Now on the hands of English Heritage, it provides a brilliant day out for young and old alike, and a fascinating walk through centuries of our history.

Thinktober #13

There is a difference between being wed and being married. A wedding can be legally undertaken by any man and woman and usually involves a large celebration and a ceremony provided by an Aya. A marriage is a spiritual joining of the souls, performed by a Bishop in the chapel of a tower. Marriages consist of long hours of heavy meditation and promises to the Gods. It’s a private ceremony, undertaken with great consideration and reverence.

Divorce from a wedded union is quick and carries little social stigma. Divorce from a marriage is complicated and often brings shame upon the couple, if not outright penance assigned by the Bishop.