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The View From Here…. (Part Two)

We have just spent a marvellous two weeks on the Isle of Skye (more on this in future posts) and now it is time for the second leg of our month away. This week we are on the Isle of Harris, part of the Outer Hebrides.  It is one of the remotest parts of the UK and perfect for the kind of quiet holiday we prefer. I am looking forward to spending time in such a stunning landscape.

This archipelago has an amazing geological story, with rocks over 3 billion years old, the oldest in the UK, and among the oldest in the world. If you are even vaguely interested in this fascinating subject, you might like to glance through this very informative brochure, produced by Scottish Natural Heritage.

Pictured above is the main view from our cottage. We arrived to a series of amazing rainbows, one after another over the loch. The railings in the photograph look a bit squiffy because I took a ‘pan-shot’ to gather in the double rainbows – you can see the ‘end’ of the left side of the bow dipping in to the water.

And here is the view that we can see from the other side of the property – this is a beautiful bay which we will have fun exploring during the week.

All the Scottish islands we have visited have their own unique ‘personality’. The Isle of Harris feels wise and ancient – a place for calm and contemplation. Lovely. 🙂

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Water Therapy: the Wonderful Orkney Islands

 

“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
It’s always our self we find in the sea.”
― E.E. Cummings, 100 Selected Poems

To close the circle opened by my last post about our trip to Orkney, I wanted to share with you just a few photos from our visit.  To prove, if indeed it was necessary, that our gorgeous Scottish islands are just the best!

The Orkney Isles archipelago consists of around 70 islands, of which around 20 are inhabited, to a greater or lesser extent.  We were visiting only for a very short trip this time, so we stayed on Orkney itself, in Kirkwall, the largest settlement and administrative centre.

We had glorious weather, as you can see.  This is a view from Kirkwall Harbour across the Bay of Weyland.

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Ah, beautiful Orkney: the irresistible pull of the Scottish Isles

A view of the Orkney Isles from the beautiful walled garden of the Castle of Mey
A view of the Orkney Isles from the beautiful walled garden of the Castle of Mey

This week, Hub and I have been travelling North.  Having already visited Tain (north of Inverness) and Wick (south of John O’Groats), the final leg of our trip has taken us across the Pentland Firth to the breathtaking Orkney Islands.

I have written before about the feeling one gets when on a Scottish island.  As we left the mainland, I realised that I just had to re-post this wonderful video produced by Alistair Corbett, which, with the help of Rachel Field’s mesmerising poem ‘If Once You Have Slept On An Island’, celebrates our wonderful islands.

 

Continue reading “Ah, beautiful Orkney: the irresistible pull of the Scottish Isles”

Happy Birthday Elvenhome!

 

A year on from Hub’s guest post about the start of his model rail journey, here is an update from him…..

Hello everyone.  It is Hub here again.  Yes, you are right.  The Lizzie Question was posed again (for those who do not know what that is I suggest you read my last post).  I happened idly to mention to my dear wife that it was nearly a year since my first video on my YouTube channel presented to the world my N gauge model railway layout Elvenhome.  Her little eyes lit up.  A smile crossed her face as she formulated the question.  I knew what was coming.  I could see the words forming in her brain and moving, synapse to synapse, to send the signal to the vocal chords.  “Might you like to write…”.  I capitulated at once.

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His ‘n’ Hers Part II

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Yum!  The Back to Backs sweet shop

In my last post, I wrote about our recent weekend visit to Birmingham.

On the Sunday, while Hub was enjoying his second day at the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition, I met up with a friend who lives near by.

We spent the morning on a tour around the fascinating Back to Backs preservation area.

An amazing site, these types of buildings are an iconic part of Birmingham’s working-class history.  The National Trust has restored the last courtyard still standing, to reflect the lives of people living there in the 1840s, 1870s, 1930s and 1970s.

Understandably, we were requested not to take photographs of interiors, but here are some images of the exteriors:

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Continue reading “His ‘n’ Hers Part II”

His ‘n’ Hers

Last weekend, Hub and I spent a few days in Birmingham, the UK’s second largest city.

The main driving force behind our visit was so that Hub could attend the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition at the National Exhibition Centre.  This is the main model railway event each year in the UK and, as a modeller himself, Hub was keen to see the 90+layouts and pick up a few bargains along the way.

If you are interested in seeing the progress with his layout, check out his YouTube channel here.

Although I am extremely supportive of Hub’s hobby, I didn’t feel the need to see the exhibition myself.  Instead, I took the opportunity to spend one of the days in the centre of Birmingham with my Mum.

We had a great time checking out in particular the city’s Museum and Art Gallery.  It is a magnificent testament to the city’s commitment to the arts.

The Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, plus Christmas Market
The Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, plus Christmas Market

Continue reading “His ‘n’ Hers”

The Curious Traveller

I recently took a trip to London to see, among other things, a couple of exhibitions – more about these in a future post.  I normally fly from Edinburgh, but opted this time to take the train – so much more civilised, relaxing and interesting.

I decided to write down whatever came in to my mind while looking out the window. Below is the result.  It rather pleasingly captures the essence of the evolving journey.  I hope you enjoy it too. 🙂

Continue reading “The Curious Traveller”

Paper Bristol

I grew up near the UK city of Bristol.  It is not surprising, therefore, that I was drawn to this short and very cute video recording of how artist Sam Pierpoint has recreated some of the city’s iconic images.  Such talent and vision!  I love the inclusion of the SS Great Britian, the zoo animals, the suspension bridge and the coloured houses.  Click here for some photos of the real thing so you can compare. 🙂

 

 

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