Perspective

Day Total (on foot): 5.5 miles, coffee, A very deep lock, 6 hours
Overall Total: 534.25 miles, 462 locks

Before I start today I owe a mention to our lovely Swing Bridge family.  So thank you again to Steve, Carly, James, Alex and Charlie Wickham for their help with the bridges on Sunday afternoon!  (Carly is out of shot taking her own photo of the hero helpers!)

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So today’s early start was off to the supermarket for some cleaning materials ready for tomorrow’s big boat clean.

After breakfast, however, we headed off to explore Bath, and headed first for the Royal Crescent.

79b - Royal Crescent

I was particularly keen to see this as I watched an episode of Time Team a few weeks ago where they had excavated the ground in front of the Crescent several years ago and found a Roman Road.

It was amazing – and my photos will pop up later!

Down into Bath and to St Michael’s Without (as in Without a city wall – as in outside!)

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This beautiful Communion Table with a rift down the middle is an amazing image of our brokenness meeting God’s grace and mercy.

After some shopping and a coffee and a trip to Screwfix to get some ironmongery to sort the front fender we went to Bath Abbey.

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The Abbey has also rediscovered its roots.  Well, the Anglo Saxon pillars which it found in the North Aisle (on the left of the main altar as you look towards it.)  This picture is taken through a grating in the floor.

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It is very easy to spot when a Church is alive and following Jesus.  Bath Abbey and St Michael’s Without are clearly such Churches!

As part of their development project they used these words…

“With little or no change, the Abbey will remain inhospitable to new, more open forms of worship, continue to be impractical for its busy programme of events and becomes increasingly inaccessible to the community.

Bath Abbey Footprints Programme

Here is a Church planning for the future!!!

Back via the River Avon footpath and the locks that we won’t be doing after all including the Bath Deep Lock, which at 19 feet 5 inches is the second deepest lock in Britain, beaten by 3.5 inches by a lock in Rochdale.

And to give you a sense of scale here is someone else’s picture with boats in the bottom of the lock.  Look at the people at the back of the red and green boat for reference.

79d - Bath deep lock with boats

However, these pale into insignificance compared with this lock in the Republic of Ireland.

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Ardnacrusha lock is made up of two locks – one of 42 feet and this one at 60 feet.  They were built to take boats to the top of a hydroelectric power scheme.

My response to this picture is simple….

“Whimper!”

Anyway – back to the boat for a game of Machi Koro, which we first played at Thirsty Meeples in Oxford, and then to the blog.

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So, today’s picture?  Well, it’s pictures to be precise.  Several different pictures of the Royal Crescent – most of which I took playing with the Panoramic setting on my phone and one taken by someone else. So, as a reminder, this is the Crescent.

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This panorama was taken from outside the middle house, at the side of the road.  The Crescent becomes a strange double curve.

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This panorama was taken from the “Ha Ha” – a hidden dip marked by the yellow line in the top picture.  i.e. from the geometric centre of the circle of the Crescent.  It is now a straight line!

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This picture is a 360° panorama turned into a “Tiny Planet” using the app on my phone.

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And then this picture, which isn’t mine, where the photographer has used a technique called “tilt” to change the depth of focus of the image.  This has the effect of making the subject of the photo look like a toy or a scale model village.  (As an aside I LOVE this effect!)

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All of these pictures are of the same subject.  What has changed each time is the Perspective – the way we look at the image – the way we understand it and interpret it with the camera and our eyes.

How we see something depends on how we look!

If we look at something with a closed mind or preconceived ideas, we will generally find plenty of evidence to back up our position without ever seeing the whole picture.  Both sides on the current Brexit referendum are doing just that!

The prophet Isaiah was told to tell God’s people…

‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
    be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’

Isaiah Chapter 6 verse 9

This wasn’t a curse from God as much as a parent saying “Go ahead!  I’m not stopping you!” and then saying quietly to themselves, “And I’ll be here when it all goes wrong!”

Many people accuse me of being irrational for believing that Jesus is who he said he was – God, and that the Bible is true.  Yet, I see so much evidence for the action of God in this world; in creation, in the history of His people; in my life; and in the lives of the people who walk this road with me.

So often I come across people who profess no faith whose perspective is such that they will not accept any evidence that cuts across their preconceived worldview.  (I accept that there are many Christians who behave in very much the same way!)

Yet the photos from today remind me that I haven’t necessarily seen the whole picture.  That to assume that I know everything that there is to know about Father God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit is arrogant in the extreme.  These photos show me that MY perception of this world is distorted – by sin, by my own preconceptions, and by the fact that I am a bear of very little brain and long words bother me!

The next time you look at God – just remember my pictures of the Royal Crescent and remind yourself that you might not be seeing the whole picture, or it might not be quite as you think it looks!

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