Length of Time

Life is going very well in Nottingham and my girlfriend Stephanie is enjoying her stay more and more, as you can see from her updates too.
My brother David was here over the week-end and we had a great time training together, talking and walking.
Work is well and busy and I am learning every day. We had a deadline last week and we have a big deadline this coming Friday, but we are ready for it!

Stephanie and I will go to Newstead Abbey the next week-end, if the weather is nice.
Newstead Abbey is the place I went few weeks ago with my brother and my mother, the former residence of Lord Byron.
I've written about it last time but I wanted to linger a little longer on it.

This place is magical for the many layers that exist at the same time in the same place in an organic and deep bond.
I want to draw your attention on how these layers are there at the same time, place and in such depth because year after year, decades after decades, centuries after centuries, people have loved, lived, died there.
This is one of the reasons for which I love history and I studies historic preservation at the University. What makes such place unrepeatable, unmatchable is the very overlaying of countless events, both physical and abstract. This place can exist only here and nowhere else in the world.
Learning about Newstead Abbey is diving into a chest of dreams - good or bad, happy or sad, important or frivolous.
Layer over layer, story after story, it gets more solid and its aura is more and more powerful.

Even just visiting Newstead Abbey leaves a mark, because every visitor helps preserve this fascinating historical place.
Different people should be part of it in the future, as different people have been part of it in the past.
Different people - from monks to poets, to gardeners, to servants, to lords, to visitors.
Different lives - a life of prayer, of writing, of working, of travelers.
Different dreams, thoughts, words, actions.
Every one of these left their steps, their thumbprints, their sweat, their blood, their tears, their laughs, their dreams.

And everything is linked by one thread, untouchable yet ever present. Time.

Life Meeting Point

My return to Nottingham has been busy, in a good way.
After spending the holidays at home in Italy, I had few days at home in Nottingham; then my mother and my brother came to visit; then I had few days by myself; then my girlfriend Stephanie arrived (at last!).
On top of that, I had important deadlines at work.
Also, of course, I went back training and this week I am basically back to full regimen.
The first two weeks back to England have been great!

A great moment of the time I had with my family has been the visit to Newstead Abbey.
Newstead Abbey (my museum entry photo here) was a former priory which had been destroyed by Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries. part of it had been saved because it was sold to a private person.
That private person was an ancestor of famed Lord Byron.

Lord Byron (George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron) was a poet and a leading figure in the Romantic movement.
He couldn't live, let alone restore, the huge building, but perhaps that is what kept the interest of it, with its run down parts.
The building (the former priory) is the standing building that is left, while the actual church has only the front facade left.
The building is interesting under any aspect, from some faulted ceilings, to a long corridor, to the pretty artisan details, such as the doors' handles, which are all carved out of wood.
The big estate is very interesting too, with secret corners, a Japanese garden, three vast water bodies, and more. It is fascinating and unique, diverse and charming - like what they said its owner was.
Lord Byron was, for what they say, beautiful, eccentric, intelligent and literate.

At Newstead Abbey, literature, history, architecture, religion, nature all meet in one place, in an organic, elegant, magical way.

I want to visit more places like this, more places that have more than one deep layer to it, and have interesting stories that you can find only in that very place.