Friday, 7 August 2015

Type, print, handwritten signs, script, grafitti, holiday reading and Magna Carta: my summer break, in text.

I write a lot here. 

I find it hard to nip in, write a quick update, and leave. [You might have noticed that by now.]

I like stringing sentences together, weaving words, compiling paragraphs but today I thought I'd try to write a post with fewer words and more images which is ironic really as ... the uniting theme of the photos is 'text'.

While browsing through my recent holiday photos from Lincoln I noticed that there was a recurring theme of writing, text, type, scripts etc traced around them, drawing them together. 

So here's an alternative look at my break, here's my holiday - in text. 

1. An intriguing sticker on the walkway around the walls of Lincoln Castle: 
It turns out that 'All Type No Face' is some sort of graffiti group. Maybe? This quote from their About page doesn't exactly answer all my questions: "We stand by living a life from a path you create, rather than what is dictated to you by others." Why put the sticker there? Who knows?

Now, appropriately enough ...

2. The grafitti-style artwork on the 'Young Baron' one of the 25 'Lincoln Barons' on the Charter Trail [a kind of treasure hunt through the city]:  

3. A rather painful handwritten 'Dear John' note taped to a shop door:
A rather painful handwritten 'Dear John' note taped to a shop door
I spotted this on a Sunday evening. 

I can only imagine the embarrassment of this shop owner when he/she came to open up on Monday morning and was greeted with this. 

Imagine knowing that passers-by had seen this before you. [And some of them might even photographed it. Forgive me.] 

4.A rather more quaint sign in which some marketing savvy hens tap into Lincoln's history:
A rather more quaint sign in which some marketing savvy hens tap into Lincoln's history:

5. The two books I read while on holiday:
I took comedian and actor Rob Delaney's memoir 'Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage' along with me but, once I'd finished that, I challenged myself to find the remainder of my reading matter from second-hand / charity shops in the town. Which is where I found Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey; a book I've always intended to read but never got around to, and it made perfect light holiday reading. 

And while I was browsing for something to read I picked up two additional books, that I've since read on my return:
6. A window blind at Doddington Hall featuring the text of letter from 1762:
It's a blown-up, printed, reproduction of a letter sent to the Lord of the house informing him of the installation and mending of various tapestries in the house. In case you can't make it out it reads:
"Honorable and Most Worthy Sir. I am hanging the tapestry in the bed chambers according to Lady Hussey Delaval's orders. I have had a tailor all of this week mending the tapestry before we hang it up."
[You can read about the tapestries in question here].

*Makes a note to pick out a tweets/emails to have printed on my curtains ... *

7. Detail of an embroidery in the Doddington Hall 'Voices From the Inside' textiles exhibition:
I'm kicking myself that I forgot to take a photo of the details of this piece. The wording says "I can change my mind" and all I can remember is it is old, and was by a woman who I think was in a mental institution.  If anyone knows the full story please do let me know! 

Also at Doddington Hall ... 

8. A sample of the Cornelia Parker 'Magna Carta' embroidery project: 
The full work, exhibited elsewhere, is an embroidered reproduction of the Wikipedia page of Magna Carta sewn by prisoners, the Embroiderer's Guild and others, [including Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and Jarvis Cocker who sewed the words 'Common People' of course!]

The democratic nature of Wikipedia is meant to reflect that of the original document but you can find out lots more in this video.

And, finally, on to the document in question:

8. The wall of the purpose-built subterranean vault in Lincoln Castle, home to one of the copies of  Magna Carta:
A version of the document is depicted on a vast, double-height, wall as you enter the building.
And while the guide informed us we couldn't take photos once inside the vault, he did say we could photograph the wall. And I don't need to be told twice! 
Some of the more famous, and important, phrases have been picked out in gold leaf: 
Now I know the Magna Carta wasn't perfect.

I know it didn't herald freedom and rights for all. [Those 13th Century law makers weren't exactly renowned for their feminist idealism or their concern for the working class] and yet ...

... it was a pretty good start. 
And well worth pausing to read a wall over.  [Find out more about the exhibition here.]


So, how did I do? Not sure I used a lot fewer words than usual. What can I say? I was surrounded by text and script in these photos so it was hard to resist rambling on about them!

Feel free to contribute some text of your own by leaving me a comment today.



  1. What a beautiful post. I was especially moved by hand-embroidered fabric. x

    1. Thank you Careena. Yeah ... that embroidery pulled me in too. I *wish* I'd made note of the details!

  2. You have made me want to visit the city of the county I spent most of my teens and early twenties in. Lots of places to put on my must visit list for next year's summer holiday :)

    1. I know, it's a nice place to while away a summer's day. But make sure to check when all the exhibitions / trails etc end ... I'd hate for you to be disappointed! [Not that there isn't *plenty* else to enjoy while you're there!]

  3. My favourite is the Doddington Hall blind/letter about 'hanging the tapestries'. I love that glimpse into the past that shows peoples hopes, fears, dreams and the 'mundane every day' have not changed. I haven't been to Lincoln in years - I think a visit is on the cards.
    Thank you for such an inspiring post - it makes me think about taking photos in a whole new way.

  4. Beautiful snaps <3 I saw the Magna Carta embroidery exhibited at the British Museum and it was stunning, I was blown away!

    Sophie |

  5. What a wonderful post Julie, as always you made me gasp (in a nice way!), smile, laugh and ponder. I'm planning a visit to Lincoln soon, so THANK YOU for saving me some research and things to look out for! One good turns deserves another lol. I hope the trail is still there when I visit.
    The embroidery II can change my mind' especially captured my imagination - such beautiful work and I would also love to know more about it. Hope you had a wonderful holiday, it certainly looked full of wonderful things.

  6. You have got to be the most interesting person that I don't really personally know but trust me when I say that you're WAY more interesting than most people that I actually DO know. lol

    I love both your words and your photos and how you find such awesome things is beyond me [I guess I live in the wrong area. LOL]

    Thanks so much for your awesome post and for the smiles. (Hugs)

  7. I hadn't been by for awhile, but glad I popped over today. Loving the texty pictures!

  8. Your posts are always so individual and interesting! Are you sure you aren't employed by the British Tourist Board, because now I want to go and visit Lincoln! wonder what was the outcome of that note you saw taped to the shop front?

  9. As the daughter of an embroiderer, I am pulled in by that wonderful stitching ... what a great lens through which to view your holiday!


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