Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Hawksmoor, originally uploaded by Mr Atrocity.

I've been rummaging through a load of my old photos and uploading them to the internets.

This is a picture of Hawksmoor, a wood in North Staffordshire that's now owned by the National Trust. Hawksmoor is the area on the left.

My whole family is from North Staffordshire; indeed my surname derives from a tiny hamlet near Oakamoor so my roots here go back a long way. Since I've moved around a fair bit during my life, and since neither of my parents live in a house that I spent any time growing up in I feel that the roots I do have are extra important to me. Whilst London is now home and I can't really imagine living anywhere else, Hawksmoor has always been my spiritual home.

My grandmother was born in the one house that used to be situated in the middle of the wood and she lived there till she married my grandfather. The house is now a ruin but you can still see the foundations, the front doorstep and the hearth. Both my grandparents' ashes are scattered there too. For me, it's the most magical place in the world, full of memories of picnics when my grandparents would take my sister and me for day trips and it's still full of the magic that I conjured up in my childhood imagination because it really has hardly changed since I first went there.

It is truly a place out of time.


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