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7 August 2014

A Short Study of Crescents

Can it be less than a year since I thrilled you with some holiday snaps from my visit to the wilds of Northumberland? The answer is yes. The good new is that I've been back and I have a heap more photos to share with you! Ha ha... I bet you can't wait! Given that I've been a bit quiet on the blog of late, I'll also try to squeeze in a few other updates here and there too. Buckle-up!


I started my last post on Northumberland remarking at the crescent I'd seen whilst up there. More on this now. I'm still trying to figure out what it means and where it came from.

Although crescents can appear as heraldic "charges", I'm not convinced that this is one of them. I've learnt that the up-turned moon was a symbol brought back to England from the crusades; The symbol of Islam. It was often used to denote a cadet branch to a royal family (i.e the descendants of royalty... a royal line). Another red herring I reckon.

This particular crescent is the symbol (or "badge") used by the Earl of Northumberland, a title held by the Percy family. The one pictured above adorns the entrance to one of their residences: Alnwick Castle. I still haven't got a clue where it originated.


A little more on crescents. I love this panel by Suehiro Maruo. I called Suehiro a "twisted genius" when I discovered him and his work earlier this week. Actually, he scares the life out of me. I kind of want to and don't want to see more of it. Whilst his art is accomplished and beautiful, some of the subject matter of the pictures is really quite horrible. I can imagine that people who buy his comics are put on some sort of register and then rounded up at the dead of night. :-O


Here's another crescent picture that I think came from a comic called Agent Silencio. What a fantastic piece of retro mystery. I could imagine something like this appearing in one of my comics. The symbolism is strong here!

"The word crescent is derived etymologically from the present participle of the Latin verb crescere 'to grow', thus meaning 'waxing' or 'increasing', and so was originally applied to the form of the waxing moon (luna crescens). The English word is now commonly used to refer to either the waxing or waning shape. In the technical language of blazoning used in heraldry, the word 'increscent' refers to a crescent shape with its horns to the left, and 'decrescent' refers to one with its horns to the right." ~ Wikipedia


Do you recognise these characters? I drew them with my finger on my mini ipad. Why on earth would I do that? Let me reveal that I've been storyboarding part three in the Bad Moon comic trilogy! Yes! I had time on my hands whilst I was chilling in Northumberland and it just sort of started to happen. Before I knew it I'd pretty much figured out most of the story, right down to the ending! Wow! I'm going to try and hold off doing the artwork until the story is in the bag, which is a different approach to how I created parts 1 and 2. Will it work? We'll just have to wait and see.

On the first two comics: They're still available FREE from pretty much everywhere. I'm encouraging anyone who'll listen to please give me a review. I'm hoping for polarised 5s or 1s else I'll view my efforts as a huge failure... and we wouldn't want that would we!

If you haven't already done so... go download the comics now and write a scathing review. And if you don't? Well maybe I won't finish the story! Ha! Damn you all!

BTW, it's been suggested that I fit some of my ipad art into the new comic. That might just be possible... hmmm... ;-)


One last picture before I move on to some photos. I call this one "Swimming in the North Sea". It was inspired by two young ladies I saw taking a dip off the beach near the stunning Bamburgh Castle.

Rather them than me.


Unlike my first visit to Northumberland, a lot of this visit was spent on the coast. I hadn't intended to, but I couldn't resist returning to Holy Island for a drier look around. You may remember that it chucked it down the last time I was there.

As I crossed from the mainland in the morning the causeway was engulfed in a cool sea mist that was blowing inland, dancing across the water. It was very spooky and atmospheric. Whilst the sun did eventually break through you can see here that the skies never really cleared. It gives a wonderfully mysterious backdrop to some of my photos.

This picture is of some of the fishermen's huts that I found quite by accident. The lesson here is to leave no rock unturned!


Here's quite a famous subject matter for Holy Island photos. These are the remains of some old moorings, most likely used by ships visiting the nearby Lime Kilns. I also spotted rusting metal hoops fixed in the nearby rock for much the same purpose. I love the jagged look, sticking out of the water like broken swords.


One last shot from Lindisfarne. I couldn't believe having posted this snap on Google+ when it was instantly identified as a Cinnabar moth. The power of Google! Ha ha. Actually, I'm not convinced that it is a Cinnabar Moth, but I don't know any better. It's certainly the right size and shape... but the markings and colour are all wrong... hmmm


Berwick's an odd town. I mean this in a nice way. I paid a flying visit and did a tour of the wall. It took a while to figure out how to get up there! I was on the outside.

I was surprise by the number of buildings that were boarded up and derelict. This must be prime urban exploration country! It felt as if the town inside the walls is only half lived-in. There is so much history here. I'm going to dispense with all the beautiful snaps I took on the day, and instead show you this one of some graffiti on a bridge I walked under. I wonder what it means?


I finally got to visit  Cragside! Last time I was in the area I'd learnt about Lord Armstrong. What I hadn't realised until I started to get flashbacks whilst wandering about the grounds was that Cragside was one of Lord Armstrong's homes. I'd seen pictures, but never put two and two together. Well, I finally got to see it in the flesh and it really is quite special! He had the land and money to do what most could only dream of. Armstrong created lakes that drove hydro-electric generators that lit Cragside Hall. It was the first house in the world to be lit by hydro-electric power! He was a ground-breaker.



Imagine having a stroll along the beach just North of Seahouses when all of a sudden an impromptu horse-race is started and all hell breaks loose. Yep, it happened to me! Fantastic! The tide was out. The sun was shining and the horses looked like they were having a ball. Ha ha. The only thunder that day was the thunder of hooves across the damp sand.


I'm a man of simple tastes. This made me laugh. Look at the number plate of the waste van. Ha ha! 


I'm running out of steam.

Okay, I'm going to end with some seaweed. Hopefully this post will get me back in the posting way. Fingers crossed! If you haven't been... get your arses to Northumberland. The only thing missing is 3G. ;-) 

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