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TBT Ruins

In Something Borrowed, my novella in the anthology, FOUR WEDDINGS AND A SIXPENCE, Cordelia sketches at a local ruin.

I must confess something: I LOVE ruins.

The first time I went to England and Scotland in 1990, I was obsessed with finding ruins. In England, finding ruins is like looking for antelope in Wyoming, or seagulls in Seattle. They are everywhere.

And I was in heaven.

Here are some of the photos from Elgin Cathedral I took way back then. I loved how they show the sheer grandeur of these buildings and how they were constructed–the walls with the rubble in between, and mostly, how the stones have been “borrowed” by the locals over the centuries. Early recycling at its finest.

And so it seems, Cordelia, the heroine of Something Borrowed, shares my love of ruins. Okay, she can’t help herself.

They turned the corner in the road, and the entire reason Cordelia had set out in this direction came into view. Just off the road stood an old ruined castle, which was more a pile of rubble than fortress, the once lofty walls having been pilfered for centuries by the nearby villagers.

In the far western horizon the sun was beginning to settle in for the night, throwing off the day’s labors by bathing the sky in brilliant shades of pink and red, while the humble yellow stones of the castle glowed back with an ancient fire—that flicker of twilight where day and night entwined and embraced.

They both stopped, and Cordelia couldn’t help herself, she reached over and caught hold of his hand.
“Have you ever seen—”

“No, I haven’t. At least not in a very long time.” Then he surprised her utterly. “Thank you, Cordelia, for asking me—to come along and all. I had forgotten—”

So periodically as I write, (like when I was writing Something Borrowed) I pull out those photos from that long ago trip and smile at the ruins I found, the glorious houses I toured, in what became the inspiration for this career of mine.

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