I saw an angel on Good Friday!


Travelling south on Friday, on a miserably wet and snowy journey through Gateshead, on the way to York, Young Lady and I suddenly spotted through the gloom, the Angel of the North. I have given the Angel the benefit of capital initials as she is now very famous following 10 years of life on a wind-swept hill. On first glimpse, it looks a bit like a glider which has reversed in flight and landed with its tail embedded in the hillside, and nose pointing skyward!

We were not able to stop to have a closer look, as the inexorable traffic drove is on, and we could see no exit signs to let us go closer. I’ve read about it (on blogs and elsewhere)and seen the photos but was still not prepared for the size. I must be honest that on such a day I did not find it beautiful, but it is certainly startling, and perhaps the fact that it is not possible for a through-traveller to see it in detail is important. It is obviously very strong, but in some ways it is ephemoral, as it fades into the distance. The image of the outstretched arms was also not lost on me on Good Friday…was this intentional?

You can check it out on the gateshead website… www.gateshead.gov.uk …then follow the link, for a three-dimensional view. Maybe next time we will be able to get out and have a closer look.

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4 thoughts on “I saw an angel on Good Friday!

  1. As I sit here and type this to you I glimpse over the top of my glasses and I see her in the distance. She is anything but ephemeral to me. She is constant, she is perhaps an adopted guardian of mine. I feel calmer knowing I can gaze over to her.
    I’m always interested in visitors opinions of her and I don’t think your opinion is particularly favourable. This goes to prove that what is art for one is just a glider with its tail embedded in the earth to others. ;o)
    Give her the benefit of the capital letters! I always do that too. Next time you visit let me know and I’ll be sure to get you off at the right junction so you can have a closer look although with her being so huge perhaps a distant vantage point is a wiser option.
    I hope you had a wonderful Easter and enjoyed the service at York Minster.

  2. Thanks for your comments…..as I said, we never expected to see it, the weather was awful, the traffic intimidating, and the viewing was brief. So don’t judge me too harshly!

    Having seen the ‘Gateshead’ link, it looks so different. Perhaps it is a lesson to us all not to judge such a surprising and brief meeting, with anything more than a transient opinion. With the benefit of your constant viewing, perhaps she is indeed your Guardian Angel.

    I once brought a Chinese Teacher of the Deaf to our house in the countryside, but he was un-settled by the emptiness, as he said that where he came from, he could walk out into the street and meet at least a dozen of his relatives, whereas from our viewpoint we could see only nature.

    It takes all sorts!…….

  3. I think it brings out the human nature in us all, we automatically defend what we love. I probably didn’t realise that included large monuments but there you go! We live and learn. ;o)
    It’s was very 50/50 as to how it was/is recieved. Many just thought it was a montrosity that had no depth to it. When I say depth I mean, no attention to detail on it but I suppose it’s simplicity is part of its beauty. I can’t imagine that hill without The Angel on it now, but perhaps that is because, as you say, I have grown so used to it. It’s like an extra work collegue who doesn’t nag me to put the kettle on or to go and let someone into (or out of) reception. ;o)
    Another thing that has been brought to light is that we do expect others to find exactly the same wonder in something as we do, and if they don’t perhaps then it is not so beautiful, but then you lose individuality, you lose the very thing that makes us all different.
    Your post has stretched my thoughts way beyond a monument.
    You didn’t mention the service? I would imagine it was beautiful. York Minster was my mums favourite place. (and York itself, she loved to wander around The Shambles.

  4. I’ve never seen her but I do like her! There’s no doubt that like her, or not, she’s very impressive.
    I guess that seen at a distance, close up and in all weathers makes a difference as well.
    I already knew that she’s Daffy’s guardian Angel but it’s interesting to read her comments.

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