Wednesday, 9 November 2016

The view from St Julians

(DISCLAIMER: As an overall nice human being, I do not force entry, vandalize, steal, or disclose means of entry or location if it isn't obvious. I do this to protect locations and respect them. Trespass without forced entry is a civil offence rather than a criminal one, which isn't worth acting on unless one causes damage, steals, has ill intent, etc. I simply photograph and leave everything as I find it. I do not condone breaking and entering, and I do not condone what I do. I'm a danger to myself and a terrible role model. This blog also contains the ingredient "Metaphor." Metaphor is one of a group of problem-solving medicines used to treat Literal Thinking and other diseases. Metaphor takes two or more unrelated topics in a way that stimulates lateral thought processes and creativity. This product is to be consumed optically. )

Let's talk about Sanity! What a terrifying condition to be burdened with! You know, people suffering from sanity will often do perfectly sane and ordinary things, like spend their money monthly on the privilege to watch TV, in the hopes that something *gasp* original will be on it. People who truly suffer from sanity will give you confused looks if you dont watch TV. Its a sad illness actually. People live out their entire lives without living at all.

But there's more!
Sanity causes a little voice in your head to speak out if you're doing something that might get you into trouble. Common sense and a conscience do that too but the difference is they will (hopefully) just say things like "I can't murder/hurt/steal from them, I'll go to jail (and it's morally wrong.)" Sanity expands on this I'll-get-into-trouble mindset and soon you're dreading negative consequences from just about anything, from getting down on all fours and barking, to simply wearing a silly hat in public (Oh No!).
Sanity is the unwanted party crasher of life.

Roughly five years ago, I gathered the old rooftopping posse of old and together we climbed St Chads church right to the top. It was the proudest moment of my addiction so far. Addiction to what, you ask? Danger? Adrenaline? No, no. Addicted to life! In the few months since I'd started doing this crazy sport, I'd taken my life from rock bottom to howling with laughter as I clung to a gold cross at the highest part of Shrewsbury. I was ecstatic. I was the best kind of high. I had a bit of a double rainbow moment up there. You have to understand that in that moment I felt true power. Nothing as pedestrian as power over people. I don't have that, nor do I want it. The world doesn't need anymore managers or politicians. The power I felt was the power over my own life. I could do whatever I wanted! How many people throw away their opportunities  out of fear of failure, or ridicule? I have, plenty of times. But not this time. In those moments the world belonged to me.

This was before I'd decided to put my adventures into the public eye, before this blog, before the media put my arrogant, smirking, kittenishly sexy mug on the front page, and before lots of people knew who I was, back when I could sit on a rooftop and innocently eat my lunch without looking down to see people waving at me. I used to say people don't look up. That's not true in Shrewsbury anymore.

This year, I climbed another church. This blog is the view from St Julians!!!

I know, I know. I said I was going to show the adventure where I bust my hand, didn't I? Well when I wrote that sentence a couple blogs back, I had completely forgotten this one was due!

 St Julians church, to my knowledge, ceased functioning as a church in 1976. Its cemetery is overgrown and remarkably photogenic, but restricted from public access, but not from me. Prior to its construction, a Saxon church stood here, dating aaaaall the way back to 1188. The tower is all that remains of this, with the rest of the church being rebuilt in the 1770s, which is why there is a contrast in colour. Apparently the guy who designed the churchs reconstruction was the same guy who designed the Iron Bridge of Ironbridge. What an awesome bloke!

In modern times, the church was active as a craft centre and was also the training ground for Shrewsburys now-disasembled street theatre. A sign at the gate says that the church opens on Saturday for bible studies and also warmly welcomes me to join them to discover the depth of Gods love and the breadth of his wisdom. I don't think God has time for me but someone tell him I say Hi.
From what I can gather, the tower of this church was a place of residence until the owner recently moved away.

But enough of the babble. Check out the view!

 It never gets old. Each time I climb anything I feel the same rush, like I'm seeing the view for the first time. I brought Tree Surgeon on this trip too and encouraged Rushworth to do the same. He's a miscreant adventurer in his own right, that bloody magnificent bastard Rushworth. Whereas Tree Surgeon is my brother from another mother, my best friend, my faithful steed, my can of goddamn spinnach. If there was an animated movie based on my life, Tree Surgeon would be voiced by James Earl Jones. Rushworth can be voiced by Danny DeVito. He's quite petite. But we made several trips up here, so you may see clearer skies in some photos.

In the pictures, you can see the towers of St Chads and the Market Hall, which my old rooftopping posse conquered shortly after St Chads. I could probably spot a million other places that I've been too.

 Here you can see Fish Street, which is glowing with light polution next to the foreboding neighbouring church, St Alkmunds. I did once sneak up the interior of that tower, right to the bell, but this is far more impressive.

 The foreground is in shadow but it lights up at Dogpole street, and looking closely you can just see the Abbey there in the distance.

 And this is Wyle Copp. Tree Surgeon and I actually spotted Ms K, Tree Surgeons wife, while we were up here and struggled in vain to get her attention. She didn't see us though.

And down below are two pubs, the Old Post Office and the Wheatsheaf. Both are good pubs but I have frequented the Wheatsheaf the most because the Paprika Blues Band occasionally plays there. You don't know the Paprika Blues Band? Look them up. They've got a great vibe to them, and I often seek out their gigs when I need to turn a frown upside down.

So unfortunately I don't have much in the way of photos. It was windy so many of my long exposures came out blurred. And as always, the photos dont do the experience justice. But sometimes people say to me "You're going to get yourself hurt" and "You could fall and die." And you know something? That sounds far more dignifying than reaching 90+ and spending my final years bed ridden in a care home, with a bag strapped to me for my poop to go into while I'm spoon fed gunk by carers who don't know me and don't get paid enough to put up with my sense of humour. I don't fear dying, I fear not living.
People in some parts of the world are lucky to make it to puberty, so I'm really quite lucky. That life we complain about, someone is praying for. And I didn't outlive them by several decades just so that I can come home from my minimum wage job and watch Eastenders.

I think when one feels that they dont belong in the world that exists, then that's because they need to create one of their own, and add it to the existing world. This blog is facing exciting times. We now have an established "group" so we can plan journeys and adventures, and photoshoots, since I love photographing people too, and I know loads of photogenic people. So when I mention the time before this blog when I climbed St Chads in complete anonymity, I'm not grumbling, because in the few years that this blog has existed, it's brought a lot my way. A camera, friends, confidence, and happiness. And some say the internet is evil. The internet gives us the power to make something out of nothing, and share it with the entire world. Its a tool for creation.

Thank you for reading. As always, you can follow me on Instagram, and Twitter, and feel free to share the blog over the social media of your choice. And of course, be there for each other. The world is only as poopy as we let it be. Go make someone happy. Turn a day around, compliment a stranger, defrown a miserable git, slap someone with happiness. Bonus points if you get a hug out of it.

Have a beautiful day and thanks for reading.
Stay awesome!


  1. Luke, if you fancy meeting up to examine various places, let me know: Regards, YMGW

  2. I'm worried about our Luke .. he seems to have disappeared from the blog. If you're reading this, Luke .. I hope you're okay.