Bluebells, Scotland

Today we visited the City of Birmingham, in the West Midlands,  We had to have some work carried out on the car, and as I have never been to the centre of Birmingham before, I grabbed the chance to knock  the Cathedral off my bucket list.  I must admit I was pleasantly surprised, we went to the Bullring to see St Martin’s Church and also the Famous Rag Market, were I took loads of photos.  We then had lunch, and then went in search of the Cathedral, with it’s wonderful Victorian stained glass windows.  Again I took loads of photos……I will someday get around to posting them, but what really prompted this post, were all the single and little groups of struggling bluebells that I saw.  They were poking out between wire fences, anywhere they could grow and just a glimpse of their blue, reminded me of the beautiful ones in Scotland that we see in May each year on holiday.  So I found some from last year 2016 and I think a little periwinkle, but I could be wrong about that…….

April 2017

Kilmartin Cross, Kilmartin Church, Scotland

Inside the parish church of Kilmartin, Scotland, which we visited in May 2016, there are three wonderful ancient stone crosses, this post is about the early Christian cross called ‘ The Kilmartin Cross’, which was created in about AD 900.  It has short cross-arms and is intricately carved with a diagonal key pattern.  At its centre is an unusual curled diagonal cross, with almond-shaped frames above and below.  The cross was found laying in the churchyard in 1860, with one of the arms snapped off.  The cross was re-erected near the entrance and was brought inside in 1977.  There is a black and white photo of the cross when it was standing near the entrance to the church.  Also there is a front and back to the cross, as according to the information board below, one side was later decorated to fit the broken shape, as you can see in the photo following the information board.   The next post will be about ‘The Large Cross’.

 

Scottish Trawler

Last year 2016, we were waiting for a ferry to take us to the Isle of Mull early in the morning and I managed to capture one of the fishing trawlers coming into Oban.  Which is a good one for my ‘Occupation Category’ – Trawler Fisherman.

Killmartin Grave Slabs, Scotland

The information board invites you to step into this burial aisle for a glimpse of the Gaelic warrior culture that dominated the West Highlands in the Middle Ages….. and so we did, last May 2016.  Kilmartin is a small village in Western Scotland, famous for Kilmartin Glen, where there are over 320 prehistoric monuments in a six mile radius.  But for me, the graveyard of the village church holds untold stories of buried Highlanders, which got my imagination working overtime.  These grave slabs were collected from the graveyard, but there are still more grave slabs to be seen.  There are also historic crosses inside the church and next door you will find a museum that will tell you the story of the Glen.  This post is to show the grave slabs, that now stand side by side.

A little history for you……..Originally, the 23 stones would have been laid flat on the ground to cover a grave. After the Reformation, however, many of the stones were moved, and in 1956 they were moved inside a shelter to protect them from the weather. The symbolism of the motifs carved onto the slabs is the subject of much discussion and speculation. Many feature swords or claymores, some alone, others with surrounding designs of twining or interlaced foliage. Several depict armed men. 

The structure was originally built as a burial aisle for Neil Campbell and his wife Christiane in 1627. Neil Campbell became Bishop of Argyll, while Christiane was the daughter of Bishop John Carswell, who built nearby Carnasserie Castle in the late 1660s. Since 1956 their mausoleum has served as a lapidarium, sheltering the best of the medieval graveslabs identified in the churchyard.

More about Kilmartin to follow.

 

Two Tone Spreader

I love taking photos of tractors, and if there are seagulls following the tractors, even better.  This is not a tractor, I think its a spreader.  I really wanted to catch the person driving the machine, for my occupation category, he or she is in there somewhere…..so its going in anyway, as ‘Driver of a Farm Spreader’  Then I couldn’t make up my mind, faded or mono……… 🙂

Somewhere in the Fens – May 2015

On The Streets of Florence, Italy

Just a few mono photos of the streets of  a very wet Florence, Italy, from last years visit of 2016, well that’s not counting the owl bag.  I really loved that bag, but not the price tag that went along with it, you could, buy a very small house for the price of that owl…….so I just took a photo…..a lot cheaper 🙂

The Jacobite & Glenfinnan, Scotland

 

Every year when we go to the west coast of Scotland, we travel from Fort William to Mallaig along the ‘Romantic Road to the Isles’ its a must if you are visiting the West Coast of Scotland.  Even better if you can travel on the West Highland Railway Line.  The last time we manage to travel on the train, was 2012, you have to book about a year in advance, even then its touch and go.  So early last year 2016 we booked, we got some of the last seats, even booking that early.  We are making the trip in about three weeks time and looking back at last years photos I found some of our visit to one of the stations on the line, a very famous one at Glenfinnan.  Glenfinnan is where, in 1745, the ‘Jacobite Rising’ started and there is now a 60ft tall monument, which was built to commemorate the occasion.  Unfortunately the monument was having a facelift, but you get the idea how tall it is.  While we were visiting the station the train came in, ‘ The Jacobite’  it was quite a long stop as you are allow to disembark and take photos.  Once the train left the station, we jumped in the car and gave chase.  I wanted to catch the train going over a particular bridge very near to Mallaig and having missed it so many times in the past, I got lucky this time and got my train.  So I thought I better post last years 2016 trip, before this years 2017 trip 🙂