Sunday, 14 August 2011

Peace and Quiet







It is the farmer's walking day today so he was off walking at 10.30am. As Dominic was also away with Trio Gitan (see the top of my side bar), playing in Hull this afternoon, my daughter-in-law came to lunch. After lunch we went for a walk with Tess at Jervaulx Abbey.

Jervaulx was a Cistercian monastery in the days when this area was covered in Cistercian abbeys, all of which became hugely rich on great flocks of sheep. All that remains now is ruins but they are very beautiful. In Spring and early Summer they are a haven for wild flowers and nesting birds. Now the Autumn colours are beginning to show.

We sat on a seat and took in the peace and quiet. Until, that is, a large family arrived for a picnic in the great chapel area. All that remains here are a few columns and a row of exquisite tombs of some of the abbots. The family immediately set up a cricket match, which wasn't exactly peaceful.

Then, to make matters worse, the boys in the group (there were about eight of them ranging in age from about three to maybe eleven) began to climb up the ruins, although there are notices everywhere forbidding going anywhere near the ruins. Then they began dislodgling stones and throwing them down.

What does one do in such circumstances? The parents were there but ignoring the behaviour. Apart from the destruction and the desecration it was also very dangerous. There were several people sitting on the seats enjoying the sunshine, but none of us said anything. One by one we got up and left. Eventually the boys climbed down.

Dilemma - what should we have done? What do you think? If you look carefully, you can see the children in one of the photographs above.(top left)

18 comments:

MorningAJ said...

I think you SHOULD be alowed to lob stones back at them. I guess I'd have taken photos and sent the somewhere. I'm too scared to do anything direct when I see that kind of behaviour.

The Crow said...

I might have been cheeky and asked if they were training their sons to be rioters.

(I all honesty, I'd have done as you did. I wouldn't have thought of the cheeky question until too much later.)

Heather said...

I would have done the same as you Pat though of course their parents should have controlled them and shown a bit of respect for their surroundings, even if they are in ruins. It looks such a beautiful place and I'm sorry your peace was spoiled. Hope the farmer and Dominic each had a good day.

Pondside said...

It's too bad that none of us would have felt able to say something - I'd probably have done the same - and I believe it explains much of what is happening in our world. No one is responsible for/accountable to anyone else. Yesterday we walked in the woods and came upon a very ordinary looking family group - except that they had a large, uncontrolled dog, very loud rock music playing and a son who was smoking and flicking ash in dry, wooded area. We didn't say anything, but hung around until the son put out his cigarette on the shore. Then I worried for the rest of the day.

Tom Stephenson said...

The Cistercians always chose the best places, eh Weaver? I have written half a book set in Waverley Abbey - the 1st Cistercian monastery - which, strangely, I am just about to serialise.

Re the boys: this was a police matter. The simplest thing to do was to dial 999 and let them sort it out. I would have seriously harmed all of them if they had killed one of my loved ones by chucking a stone on their head.

Rare Lesser Spotted said...

Thank you for sharing this journey and pictures - what a lovely place and I've never even heard of it. Definately worth a visit.
XX

ChrisJ said...

Being an ex-school teacher and headmistress, I'm sure I couldn't have resisted having a polite little word with the parents, asking them if they had thought about how bad they would feel if anyone was hurt. Would just have to poke my nose in -- I somehow feel responsible for the children of the world's behavior.

Maggi said...

I would have had words with their parents because, apart from the damage, throwing the stones was just plain dangerous. But then again I have always found it hard to keep my mouth shut!!

Reader Wil said...

We should say something but at the same time we know how dangerous it is. Call the police? I don't know, I would have done the same you did.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I still don't know what I should have done - our nearest police are twenty five miles away and take a long time to arrive and I am not willing to risk confrontation. Cowardly perhaps but maybe when I was younger I would have done more.
Thank you for commenting.

Elizabeth said...

My dear Weaver,
I would have been a major, embarrassing pain in the ***
and said so very evilly, sickly, sweetly sweetly to the mother something such as "What fun the boys seem to be having! But I'm awfully frightened some of the old folks might get bopped on the head......."
Robert says one day I will get shot by someone talking on a cell phone in their car.......but then they would have to put the cell phone down......
hee hee.

dinesh chandra said...

nice nice nice

Dave King said...

We had a similar day of peace recently among the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey - but fortunately no boys disturbing the peace and dismantling the ruins. Difficult to know what I would have done. I hope I would have intervened, remonstrated in some way or spoken to someone in authority - but maybe that's just the schoolmaster in me coming out, and in any case it depends so much upon circumstance.

Crafty Green Poet said...

It's a difficult one, these days people often react really badly to what they see as 'interference'. If I see anyone doing anything like damaging trees / vandalising signs etc when I'm out on my voluntary patrols along the local river, i never approach them, we're told not to, because we could put ourselves in danger by doing so. It's a sad comment on society but i think its true

H said...

I agree that this is very hard. Like you, I think I would have bitten my tongue and fumed for the rest of the day. I always wonder whether intervention would make any difference. Would it just invite a mouthful of abuse?

Mac n' Janet said...

If there had been anyone in authority around I would have said something to them about the children. I wouldn't say anything to the parents. We once asked a small child to move away from us as I was feeling unwell and the father came over and threatened us. it's a great world we live in.
The Abbey was lovely, too bad they spoiled your visit.

Golden West said...

What a conundrum! These days, it can be dangerous to intervene...

We have a beautiful nature preserve down the coast with rare pine trees that grow in only one other place on Earth. The majestic sea cliffs are carved by years of wind. Thoughtlessly, many visitors have scratched their initials and assorted graffiti into the cliffs, tree trunks and viewpoint benches.

I think "shame" needs to be reintroduced as a concept!

Golden West said...

I thought a bit further about this - perhaps a strongly worded (anonymous) note attached to their car's windshield, something along the lines of "You seem oblivious to the barbaric behavior of your young hooligans. Their lack of respect for others and public spaces bodes ill for their future. Please take responsibility before it's too late!"

Perhaps a tad melodramatic, but I think fostering respect is more important than self esteem!