Category: Photography

The City and the Stars (4) : The Ring of Brodgar

You look at the landscape around you… This magnificent place, where the natural features are as spectacular as the Neolithic discoveries, lies between two lochs surrounded by a natural amphitheatre. You are encircled on all sides by the hills and the monuments that make up the heart of Orkney’s Neolithic World Heritage Site. Welcome to the Ring of Brodgar, in the valley of the … Read More The City and the Stars (4) : The Ring of Brodgar

Mellow moods for Autumn (8) the Levens Estate

When the leaves have all but gone, nature still has one or two colourful surprises left. (220 words. A two-minute read) Rivers are beautiful at any time of year. This one, the River Kent, flows through Levens Park on its final mile to the sea, joining three other rivers in its outfall into the north end of Morecambe Bay Levens Park is the ancestral … Read More Mellow moods for Autumn (8) the Levens Estate

The City and the Stars (3) : The City on the Ness

A ten-minute journey from Stromness, on Orkney, lies an ‘isthmus’ which recent excavations have shown to contain one of the richest archeological concentrations in the world… It is nothing less than an ancient spiritual city, lost to time until the early years of this century. (1200 words, a ten-minute read) An ‘isthmus’ is defined as ‘a narrow strip of land with sea on either … Read More The City and the Stars (3) : The City on the Ness

The City and the Stars (2) : The Houses of Skara Brae

Skara Brae’s modern story began in 1850 when a violent sea-storm tore off the layers of grass, sand and soil that had covered what appeared to be two ancient and completely intact Neolithic houses. For 4,000 years, they had been lost to history, having been mysteriously abandoned. (1000 words, a ten-minute read) The local landowner at the time was William Watt, who lived at … Read More The City and the Stars (2) : The Houses of Skara Brae

Mellow moods for Autumn (7) Bonfire

There’s something wonderful about an autumn bonfire. It brightens the darkening evenings, and mirrors an inner process taking place as we respond to the end of the bright months… (300 words; a two minute read) We had ‘light from Nature’ during the long and bright months of the summer. We didn’t have to do anything to be a part of it, just step outside, … Read More Mellow moods for Autumn (7) Bonfire

The City and the Stars (1)

With the Pictish Trail weekend a long car journey and a boat ride behind us, we had awakened in Stromness to the early morning of an overcast Orkney day – The excavated and intact Neolithic village of Skara Brae was a few short miles away… (1300 words, a ten-minute read) We had not expected to be here at all. Visiting Orkney for the second … Read More The City and the Stars (1)

Mellow moods for Autumn (6) Misty Gorge

If you’re a canoeist, the half-mile of the River Kent that descends, thunderously, through the limestone levels of this part of Cumbria is well known as an extreme test of skill… but there are other reasons to visit… (400 words; a five minute read) Our village, Sedgwick, owes its existence to the River Kent, which rises in the southern Lakeland mountains around Kentmere and … Read More Mellow moods for Autumn (6) Misty Gorge

Two journeys, one destination (9) : Dunrobin Castle

The beautiful vision of the ‘fairytale’ Dunrobin Castle, seen here from across the bay during our visit to Portmahomack, had tantalised us with the reported splendour of its architecture and gardens. Now, we had arrived at the gateway of its estate. (1800 words, a twelve minute read) (Above: Dunrobin Castle through a long lens…) Dunrobin Castle is the most northerly of Scotland’s great houses … Read More Two journeys, one destination (9) : Dunrobin Castle

Helmsdale : haven of the far north

Not far south of John O’ Groats – the most northerly point of the British Isles – lies a beautiful fishing village with a vibrant present and a fascinating history (A twelve minute read, 1500 words) (Above: Helmsdale’s modern outer harbour. It has two…) We’ve finally caught up with ourselves – this twin-telling of the central and incidental places on the Silent Eye’s Pictish … Read More Helmsdale : haven of the far north

Mellow moods for Autumn (5) : sounds of the forest stream

We’re lucky to live close to two forests. The first is a few minutes’ walk away, the other is further and larger, the main path taking the walker in a slow ascent through the ancient Sizergh estate. At the highest point, you emerge into the open air within a few hundred metres of the local organic farm shop and cafe. Tess loves the walk. … Read More Mellow moods for Autumn (5) : sounds of the forest stream

Two journeys, one destination (8) : the thousand-year fingers

Despite the world of the Picts being so far away in time, there was one man who reached back and ‘touched’ their minds with a language they shared… Art (A ten minute read, 1300 words) (Above: George Bain) He looked, once again, at the beautiful rendering of belief and life and…. everything. Once more, he was swept away by a sense of identity with … Read More Two journeys, one destination (8) : the thousand-year fingers

“Ain’t this a mess, Sheriff!”

In the film ‘No Country for Old Men’, there’s a famous opening scene at the site of a drugs shoot-out. Everyone’s dead when the local Sheriff and his deputy arrive and start wandering through the bodies as though they were in a Spaghetti Western. The Deputy stays silent for a long time, then says excitedly, “Ain’t this a mess, Sheriff!”. Sheriff Bell (Tommy Lee … Read More “Ain’t this a mess, Sheriff!”

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