Enchanted Living – Finchale


“On the banks of the River Wear, in a beautiful wooded setting, stand the extensive remains of Finchale Priory. It was founded in 1196 on the site of the hermitage of St Godric. a retired sailor and merchant, who settled here after a life of adventure and travel. The priory was an outpost of Durham Cathedral and functioned as a holiday retreat for the monks of Durham until its suppression in 1538.”

Source: English Heritage

Godric of Finchale

St Godric was an English hermit, merchant and popular medieval Saint.

Godric experienced a vision of St Cuthbert at Lindisfarne and he devoted himself to Christianity and God.

He lived as a hermit at Finchale, by the River Wear. He is remembered for his kindness towards animals, and many stories recall his protection of the creatures who lived near his forest home. He hid a stag from hunters and allowed snakes to warm themselves by the fire.



We could learn a lot from Godric. Even if extroverted solitude is necessary!

Enhancing your identification with the world can help prevent loneliness. The following tips might help.

These are great to do with children

  • Don’t just be a spectator.
    • Engage with the world with all of your senses.
  • Go outside and mimic the birds who live around you.
    • Call back to them when they call – a conversation may ensue.
  • Go outside into the world and dance with it
    • A tree, bird or animal
    • Begin by mirroring or mimicking
      • Open your arms like wings
      • Sway with a tree
      • Bend with a flower

Reawaken your senses

  • Learn to attend
    • Attention = your subjective reality
      • Be mindful of where you place your attention.
  • Perceive relations
    • Observe the interface between water and land.
        • Erosion meeting resistance
        • Hard meeting soft
  • Perceptual Flexibility
    • Let go of expectations
    • Explore optical illusions
  • Perceive depth
climbing trees

Everything is Waiting for You

Your great mistake is to act the drama as if you were alone. As if life were a progressive and cunning crime with no witness to the tiny hidden transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny the intimacy of your surroundings.

Surely, even you at times, have felt the grand array, the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding out your solo voice. You must note the way the soap dish enables you, or the window latch grants you freedom.

Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity. The stairs are your mentor of things to come, the doors have always been there to frighten you and invite you, and the tiny speaker in your phone is your dream ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into the conversation. The kettle is singing even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots have left their arrogant aloofness and seen the good in you at last. All the birds and creatures of the world are unutterably  themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

Enchanted Living at LAL Photography

Would you like an affirmation print or piece of Enchanted Art?

Affirmation 5

Location of the Month

Each month we’ll highlight a local location we love to shoot.

With exclusive offers, only available to our mailing list

June = Finchale

Finchale is a priory that can be accessed by road or via a beautiful woodland walk from the opposite side of the River Wear. A favourite local location of mine.

I am standing amid an aliveness, and that aliveness deserves my attention, my respect, my care …

The insects and birds and animals are singing themselves into being; this autumn land is dreaming and I am part of that dreaming.

I’ve read that children feel safe, welcome, seen and loved if there are images of themselves in the family home. I love this idea and think this is something every family needs to know.

You see stories, memories and keepsakes are important. Life is short. Our humanity is what makes us beautiful. The light will never look or be seen the same again and neither will we. We will never have this moment again. So, let’s capture it!

I’m Lesley-Anne, also known as LAL.

Our humanity is what makes us beautiful.

The light will never look the same or be seen the same again and neither will we.

We will never have this moment again.

So, let’s capture it!

Why Choose Me, as your Family Photographer

It’s your story and your legacy. It’s how I see your story through my lens.

I am one of a handful of photographers in my area and in the UK that showcase honest, authentic, everyday moments. This is my speciality!

I am noticing delicate, awe-inspiring moments and connection. I am seeing these with every family I am lucky enough to spend time with.

I want to share what I see with you.


I want you to fall in love with your family time and time again!

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