Month: October 2020

Two journeys, one destination (7) : Rosemarkie, the Black Isle

The continuing story of the ‘Pictish Trail’, the Silent Eye’s workshop in the far north-east of Scotland. We encounter the best Pictish stone at close quarters… (A ten minute read, 1100 words) Our final visit of the Saturday was to Rosemarkie, a beautiful village on the Black Isle, whose seafront looks south across the vastness of the Moray Firth. Rosemarkie was also home to … Read More Two journeys, one destination (7) : Rosemarkie, the Black Isle

Bridges of Stone and Heart

The emotional story of an unusual wartime chapel on Orkney reveals a different type of heroism… and hope. (A ten-minute read, 1400 words). (Above: the waters of Scapa Flow have not always been so calm…) Shortly after midnight on the 14th October, 1939, a German U-boat, U-47, passed unseen into the vast and hitherto safe waters of Orkney’s Scapa Flow, the base of the … Read More Bridges of Stone and Heart

Mellow Moods for Autumn (3): Heysham shadows

Heysham village is a delightful outlier of old Lancashire… Its main street curls up from a one-alley access road for a stony shoreline to become a row of beautiful stone cottages that have stood there for hundreds of years. Near St Peter‘s Church – there since Anglo-Saxon times, the road bends and climbs. This cottage dominates the corner; and today, the light and the … Read More Mellow Moods for Autumn (3): Heysham shadows

Two journeys, one destination (6) : a Pictish horizon

With the wonderful Portmahomack behind us, it was time to meet the three Pictish stones that marked the horizon line of the Tarbat Peninsula. These would originally have been visible from the sea, and boats approaching from the Moray Firth would have known they were approaching sacred Pictish land – centred on the monastery at Portmahomack. On this second day of the Silent Eye’s … Read More Two journeys, one destination (6) : a Pictish horizon

Stromness by night

A series of short ‘betweens’ from the Silent Eye’s ‘Pictish Trail’ and ‘Ancient Orkney’ workshops. We’re having an after dinner walk along the night streets of Stromness, Orkney’s main ferry port and link with Scotland. My wife and I have stayed here once before. The ‘Ancient Orkney’ part of this Silent Eye trip has been so packed with exploring that this may be our … Read More Stromness by night

Mellow moods for Autumn (2) The Secret Path

There are three ways back from the centre of Kirkby Lonsdale to Devil’s Bridge, where most visitors park their cars, if they’re just there for the views and, possibly, a coffee. There’s the river path, itself, with the steep descent down Mill Brow to the Lune Valley; there’s the main street out of the town to the south; and there’s this – the tree-lined … Read More Mellow moods for Autumn (2) The Secret Path

Two journeys, one destination (5) : blood and stone

Writing without the other hand to steady him was hard, but the other was clamped on his thigh, holding back the flow of blood. The words on the vellum were like the wanderings of a dying bird… he smiled at the thought, despite the pain. Through eyes filled with hot and salty water he read what he had written: ‘They came at the end … Read More Two journeys, one destination (5) : blood and stone

The Old Men of Hoy

I remember the ferry poster. May 2018 and we were on our way to Orkney for the first time. Four of us had travelled by ScotRail up from Glasgow to Thurso, a few miles west of John O’ Groats, the most northerly point on the British mainland. From Thurso, we were booked onto the evening ferry to Orkney, landing in Stromness around ninety minutes … Read More The Old Men of Hoy

Mellow Moods for Autumn (1)

A series of seasonal shots for Sunday, in either monochrome or with the colour reduced to give that mellow mood… The mists and the lane. The first mists gently fill the spaces between the trees at the end of the lane. So ‘soft and special’ you want to run out and take the shot before the shafts of sunlight disappear… ©Stephen Tanham, 2020. Stephen … Read More Mellow Moods for Autumn (1)

Two journeys, one destination (4) : two sides of the hill

On the second day of the Silent Eye’s ‘Pictish Trail’ weekend, we are beginning in what is, for me, one of the most beautiful places in the world. Portmahomack is a small fishing village on the north side of the Tarbat Peninsula. It’s an hour’s drive north from Inverness. I’m at the end of the pier, gazing out across the deep blue sea towards … Read More Two journeys, one destination (4) : two sides of the hill

%d bloggers like this: