Posted by: brigid benson | January 1, 2018

Music To My Soul!

 

My home made mini movie and just some of the places I find inspiration!  ❤️

 

Posted by: brigid benson | August 23, 2018

North Coast Journey

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The Magic of Scotland’s Northern Highlands

My new book is published!

Further to my award winning books in my ‘52 Weekends‘ series, North Coast Journey is a richly illustrated, magical odyssey through the highlands of Scotland’s far north.

The dramatically changing coastline, awesome mountain scenery, scattered cottages in sparsely populated landscape, abundant wildlife and birdlife, and welcoming community hubs make this a very special adventure for people of all ages.

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The discoveries I share are diverse. I invite you to travel routes taken by skilled drovers herding hundreds of cattle through wild scenery. Weave your way through ancient landscape to spine tingling settlements and monuments made by our ancestors in prehistory times. Surf some of the finest cold water waves in the world. Visit crofts and castles were you will be made most warmly welcome. Explore at ease through 10 clear stages; each offering the bonus optional detours to yet more fantastic discoveries.

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The essence of the book is to slow down, to connect with the north highlands in a meaningful and respectful way.

I invite you to nourish your spirit in nature, to be inspired by driech damp weather and golden sunshine days, to observe mountains express moods of light and shade through veils of mist and drifting cloud. To enjoy the tang of salty sea air as wild wind whips surging white horses and to peer into the ocean mirror as it reflects passing boats and romantic sunsets in the bewitching hush of calm, flat days.

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I invite you to feast  – on simple pleasures! To connect with local people in diverse communities, to reach dreamy beaches and secluded coves off the beaten track, to saunter footpaths with heart-stopping island views, to be still, to hear bird song, the rhythm of softly lapping waves, the uplifting sound of silence, and so much more!

North Coast Journey is based on my authentic, first-hand experience, my knowledge and extensive research. I am thrilled to share this beautiful, romantic and magical new adventure with you.

Whatever you do, don’t rush it!

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Posted by: brigid benson | August 1, 2018

Happy Birthday Glasgow Central!

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The glassy wonder of Glasgow Central station is 139 years old today. I love this busy place! I love the city too! There are more images of it on my Facebook page but here is a hidden beauty that some people never notice in the city railway hub.

IMG_4534This beautiful mosaic celebrating Glasgow as The cultural Capital of Europe in 1990  is installed in the station below eye level so you have to seek it out carefully, but it’s well worth it.

I especially love the left hand panel that depicts a sunrise over the west of Britain and a return of the light to the land. The mural, commissioned by British Rail, is the inspired work of Jude Burkhauser an artist and curator with a huge passion for Glasgow. She was born in Trenton, New Jersey 10 September 1947 and died 19 September 1998.

If you are visiting the station, take a few special minutes to experience her beautiful work. It feels, to me, a meditation on journeys in life.

The installation was achieved by Fiorino Pallisco (1932-2008) a brilliantly skilled artisan mosaic specialist at DeCecco Ltd. Fiorino was a native of Italy who lived in Scotland and created murals around the world.

So happy birthday to the beautiful station, made ever lovelier by inspired and creative souls!

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Posted by: brigid benson | July 9, 2018

Heatwave 2018

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Some distance from this golf course, a portable barbecue sparked a wildfire that spread rapidly across parched land caused by the heatwave summer 2018.

IMG_4900Testing the sprinkler system, the golf course green keepers are preparing for lower pressure caused by the water shortage of the heatwave summer.

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Posted by: brigid benson | June 30, 2018

To The Lighthouse!

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Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Scotland’s national centre for design and architecture is The Lighthouse in Mitchell Street, Glasgow. Formerly the city centre building housed the print offices of the Glasgow Herald Newspaper. The media hub was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1895 and one of the most important aspects of the building is the water tower which held 8000 gallons ready to supply a sprinkler system in case of fire.

When the newspaper moved out of the building, the space stood unloved and empty until it re- emerged as The Lighthouse. The centre is great, free Glasgow visit. Steps to the water tower viewing platform are epic! The external design rose out of the hard landscape of the city and was intended to appear like a flower in full bloom.

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Steps to the sandstone water tower which would feed sprinklers in case of fire

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Climb the steps for a great view of the city!

Beside the imagined open bloom of the red sandstone water tower is the chimney. The yellow brick structure was intended by Mackintosh to appear like a flower stalk, denuded of petals yet red bricks signal seeds and new life to come.

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The yellow brick chimney, designed to appear like a stalk above the city

A great view of both towers is possible from Floor 6 of the building, where there is also a spectacular view across the city rooftops. If you are lucky you might hear someone playing the piano in the space, the acoustic is lovely. Check out my Facebook page to hear what it sounds like!

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The great view from Floor 6 of The Lighthouse

Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city and the distinctive branding which appears everywhere is simply that ‘ People make Glasgow’.

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Fantastically simple branding!

I wonder what Charles Rennie Mackintosh would make of the building becoming a centre recognising his contribution to architecture. His life was one of great success before his star sadly dimmed. Yet today he is revered, to the extent that he is a national treasure and his dapper image is precious part of Scottish culture, even in the design of bath ducks!

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National treasure Charles Rennie Mackintosh in the form of a bath duck!

 

Posted by: brigid benson | May 24, 2018

Love You To the Moon and Back!

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A beautiful lunar artwork by artist Luke Jerram has arrived at Liverpool Cathedral, the largest in Britain. The magnificent ‘Museum of the Moon’ is lit from within and illuminated at night. The magical sight is on view at the cathedral until 10.30pm May 31st as part of the Tall Ships Liverpool regatta.

Here are some images of the moon by daylight. I’m looking forward to seeing it by night too. I’ll post more images of that. If you visit, look out for the self guided moon meditation journey around the cathedral. Pick up a small stone from a bowl and walk with it in contemplation and serenity.

Architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott won the competition to design Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral when he was just 22 years old. His vision was of a welcoming space to embrace the spirit of the city and all the people of Liverpool. He is buried in the cathedral grounds.

For anyone visiting Liverpool cathedral anytime, if you are able, perhaps consider taking a donation for the Micah food bank collection point in the cathedral. Tins, packets and toiletries are all hugely appreciated.

And look out for kind Brian (pictured)who wondered if the magical moon might be made of Wensleydale cheese!

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Look out for Brian, who wonders whether the real moon is made of Wensleydale cheese!

 

 

Posted by: brigid benson | May 22, 2018

Transformation: the paper bridge!

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So here’s the magnificent paper bridge, the subject of my previous blog, under construction. This extraordinary achievement by school children on both banks of the River Mersey was created in collaboration with Tate Liverpool, Arup and Open Eye gallery. I feel honoured to have been part of such a great project! My thanks to inpsirational Paul Grover, Associate Director, Arup, and his welcoming team! The images below are Paul’s, thanks again to him. The little video clip is mine.

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Posted by: brigid benson | May 15, 2018

Take It To The Bridge!

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Friday, May 18 is Light Night in Liverpool, a fantastic, free, hugely diverse cultural celebration across the city from 5pm until late. There’s so much to see and experience, it’s a firm booking in my diary. A great night out!

While I was working in Edinburgh with the publicity team and my commissioning editor on the final stages of my new book, North Coast Journey, I received a lovely invitation to contribute to one of Light Night’s wonderful installations.

The project is an ambitious collaboration between Tate Liverpool art gallery, Arup ,an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists working across every aspect of today’s built environment and Open Eye Gallery.

The team has been working with school pupils on both banks of the River Mersey to create a scale paper bridge that would span the river and link the communities on either side. Around 800 people will take part in this fantastic creation which will be made from paper and extend 15 metres across the atrium of the Open Eye Gallery at Mann Island in the city centre, close by the waterfront.

I feel honoured to have been among the people invited to contribute my thoughts on the theme of ‘Transformation’  on one of the many fragments of paper that will ultimately make the bridge.

I received a plan of the neat space into which I had to fit my concept and return it to the Arup team ahead of construction on Friday. My challenge was to make something eye catching and meaningful! I began by spraying the white paper gold, then I tore up some strips of thick hand made paper into small fragments to carry my words. The lovely hand made paper was bumpy and rough, I needed to write with care. I knew the letters would go all wobbly across the rough surface but I figured that was OK, as long as the final result legible! Besides, any transformation can be a wobbly process!

I thought about what I wanted to say and was inspired by the idea of the transformation of a caterpillar into a magnificent moth or butterfly. It’s not an easy journey. The caterpillar has to do a lot of unseen work to develop itself within its chrysalis. And when at last the magnificent moth or butterfly emerges it is not able to simply fly off immediately it must be patient. Very slowly it pumps body fluid into its silken wings. Then when the wings are expanded, the moth or butterfly must take time to rest and allow the structure within them to harden. Eventually the moment comes to fly and take to the air! Everything happens at just the right time. That’s the wonderful magic of transformation!

The butterfly has just two weeks to live, so every day is an extraordinary adventure. I also learned while researching this journey that butterflies taste with their feet!

It seems appropriate that I made my bridge artwork during Mental Health Awareness Week. It seems we are all like those magnificent moths and butterflies, evolving though life, facing new challenges, often needing quiet time to discover what works best for us and needing to take good care ourselves through the process.

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I wrote out my words on four pieces of paper and set them out just a little bit like butterfly wings. Sure enough, the hand made paper made my writing wobbly! Then I found some golden hearts to add to the words because any process of transformation requires a lot of love. I put them through the middle of the words, just a teeny bit like a butterfly body, made with love! Then I remembered I had to put my name on it somewhere so I managed to fit that onto another strip of handmade paper.

It’s been wonderful to take part in this amazing project. I’m so happy to have had the opportunity, thank you to everyone involved in making the bridge and for inviting me to play a teeny part in it. It was a lot of fun.

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I’m looking forward to seeing the bridge on Friday night, I’ll post pictures of it here! These pictures show my transformation of white paper into a message to be built into the bridge, inspired by butterflies! Here’s how my completed contribution looks!

With love X

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Posted by: brigid benson | April 2, 2018

A few minutes of springtime in lovely Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire

The friendly mill town of Hebden Bridge on the Rochdale Canal. A special place of great Yorkshire character and spirit. Here’s a glimpse of it!

Posted by: brigid benson | March 16, 2018

World Sleep Day

I am a writer and also a Creative Director. I conceive ideas and events and bring them to fruition.

To celebrate World Sleep Day, here’s some of my recent work for an international client, John Lewis.  My client was seeking outstanding concepts to creatively, imaginatively and distinctively communicate the beautiful John Lewis Natural Collection of beds. A great project!

Here is what I conceived and produced, discover it in John Lewis stores nationally and internationally.JL_Cover

Posted by: brigid benson | February 16, 2018

Happy New Year of the Dog!

Invited to dinner in Europe’s oldest Chinatown on the eve of the Year of the Dog. The trees were full of red lanterns, there was music with projections and big street celebrations are planned for the weekend. Was beautiful!

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