Category Archives: Camera

Quote

‘The LORD’s my saviour and my light– who will make me dismayed? The LORD’s the stronghold of my life- why should I be afraid? When evildoers threaten me, to take my life away, my adversaries and my foes will stumble in that day. Although an army hems me in, my heart will feel no dread; though war against me should arise, I will lift up my head.

One thing I’ll plead before the LORD, and this I’ll seek always: that I may come within God’s house and dwell there all my days- that on the beauty of the LORD I constantly may gaze, and in his house may seek to know direction in his ways. For in his dwelling he will keep me safe in troubled days; within his tent he’ll shelter me, and on a rock me raise. My head will then be lifted high above my enemies; and in his tent I’ll sacrifice with shouts of joy and praise.

LORD, hear me when I call to you; be merciful and speak! “Come, seek my face!” you told my heart; your face, LORD, I will seek. O do not hide your face from me, and do not turn aside your servant in your righteous wrath, for you have been my guide. O God my Saviour, leave me not; do not reject my plea. My parents may forsake me, LORD, but you will welcome me.

Teach me, O LORD, how I should live, and lead me in your way; make straight my path, because my foes oppress me every day. Give me not over to the will of vehment enemies; for liars rise to slander me and breathe out cruelties.

Yet I am sure that in this life God’s goodness I will see.

Wait for the LORD; be strong, take heart. For him wait patiently.’

 

Psalm 27 (C.M.)

Sing Pslams: New Metrical Versions of the Book of Psalms

 

Burst of Hope: Light in the Darkness

Embrace

What beauty has been revealed to us!
Horgabost Beach, Isle of Harris

A Prayer from the Heart

Embracing family

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We, as an extended family, have no problem with getting   of the camera lens. Photo-taking has been very much a part of our lives since we were little. And since my eldest brother took an interest in photography that lead to his pursuing it to a professional level, photos and cameras are an even greater part of our lives! All of ‘the siblings’ take photos almost every day, even more so with the wonderful tool that is the iPhone! Embracing the camera isn’t something we have difficulty with! But I do think we need to be more deliberate in sharing these photos, and in recording the memories and context that go along with them. What an even better insight and memories to cherish for future generations seeking a glimpse into the lives of their forefathers.

This has been a lovely week, despite the rain and clouds covering us for days! Surprisingly though, the coming of the rain has been like the welcome return of a dear friend, our gardens, and lochs, and everywhere really, have been getting pretty dry over the past month. Some older folk in Leverburgh here have actually said that they have never seen the loch beside our house as low for.as.long.as.they.remember! There has also been the welcome return of my brother Colin and his fiancé Nma. They came on Monday for a little holiday break, and they’ll be leaving at the crack of dawn tomorrow. Not really the crack of dawn. That would be at 4.30 am here right now, and then it isn’t even dark here, especially when there is little to no cloud cover. A night of twilight! They’re catching the early ferry, so an early start whatever the light! Not as horrible as in the dark of mid-winter though.

They have had a quiet week, set against my busyness of organising various events such as a youth club BBQ on Friday night (I hope it’s dry by then!) and youth camp which is coming up in the next couple of weeks. We went out to the Anchorage for a lovely dinner tonight (the only restaurant in Leverburgh, but so nice you don’t need anywhere else!) and decided to get a photo of us all to remember our week. After many attempts with the timer, we managed to get an acceptable one! Even if not such amazing quality, it’s the photo moment that counts! How do you Embrace the Camera?

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Gardening days

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We are still enjoying our spell of lovely weather here, sunshine and no rain! But there has been a drop in temperature, it’s no longer scorching, we even had to give the heating a blast last night- the first time in weeks. But we’re making the most of it here on the hill, in the garden mostly. Ruairidh has been turning and planting in our little vegetable plot. The potatoes are now in the ground! My battle in the garden just now is with that sly villain crocosmia, not weeds as you might expect! Our garden (really quite a bit area, ranging from wilderness to cultivated beds) is overrun by crocosmia. I think it is a lovely plant, very lush looking, sturdy, and the orange flowers in the autumn are just stunning, especially when colours are fading from the garden. But for some reason, ours is spreading EVERYWHERE! It grows from a bulb, and of course, the bulbs multiply underground. But our kind also seem to have seeds that scatter EVERYWHERE as well. We are being overrun! My first focus was on a bed beside the house, that used to be in front of the old shed which was knocked down at the end of last year. I thought it was a promising place to begin, especially with the hydrangea bush in the centre (albeit a tired, scrawny bush!). Buuuuuut, the rest of the bed was chock-a-block full of crocosmia! It took ages to get all that crocosmia, and all the bulbs, out of the bed. They are now mournfully waiting being turned into a bonfire! “Get rid of the beastly things!!”

After adding some extra soil, I added some plants donated by my dad from his recent garden maintenance spree, and planted some seeds, also donated by seeds. The plants (primrose & big daisies- my name for them!) seem to be happy enough, but the sunflowers are the only little babies that have appeared so far. Sad! It might have something to do with the fact that they were ancient! Stored over decades (well, one at least!) in a dusty corner in Dad’s garage, they may be a bit past it. I will wait in hope a weee bit longer yet!I thought I’d share some pics to show the progress, more to come soon. I guess they’ll in understanding what it is I’m on about!

 

In the corner beside the steps, the mound of bulb was as high as the top step! There were bulbs on top of bulbs, on top of bulbs, all pinky-brown and fresh looking because they had never actually been in any soil! Ugh, they look creepy!

{More photos in the next blog post}

My indoor-sowed seeds are coming along much better. The Morning Glory is out of the nursery, little seedlings getting taller! I have to think about where they’re all going to go outside now! (See flickr for a snapshot of them.)

 

Basil Green and Sky Blue

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I love days in which the weather completely turns, from horrible to lovely that is. I don’t appreciate it turning the other way around as much! Yesterday began a lot like today, wet and drich and grey and cloudy. But then the wind blew, the clouds parted and the sun shone through. For the afternoon at least. It cheers you up to see the sun here in the islands, especially when we so want to shake winter away. Come on summer, you can make it through! I was just starting to put together dinner when I was distracted by the lovliness of the basil in the kitchen window, I just had to go for the camera. Dinner would wait! The light was glowing through the veins on the leaves, leaves so green and fragrant. I kept snapping trying various angles and settings. I’m trying to get better with Ruairidh’s camera (a big fancy one with knobs and settings to keep me happy with developing photo-taking!), and as I’m still pretty awful most of the time, I take lots to practice and to get a nice photo. But then all of a sudden, it wouldn’t take a photo. It wouldn’t click. I looked at the screen, to see ‘No more memory’. Eeek, I had filled up the memory card. Not just with the basil! I hadn’t uploaded photos since February. Last week I realised I had to set some time aside to take photos of my laptop because I was running out of space on there too. There were photos from nearly two years still there. Most had been put onto flickr, up to this summer. But I hadn’t been able to put them onto disk, and delete them from the laptop, what with senior honours, a wedding, moving, and all that jazz! But I can now stoke it off my list. I love being able to do that. And now I have a whole new lot of photos to edit and put onto flickr. Yippee! Yes, I am looking forward to it, strangley enough. I have a new toy to play with you see. I got Photoshop Elements for my Birthday, and I’m just starting to get the hang of it. And I want to see if I managed to get any decent photos of the horses we met on the beach a couple of weeks ago. So, keep an eye out to see some of our recent adventures. And our not so recent- I have only processed the first half of our honeymoon holiday so far.

So, I was forced to get back to making the dinner. Just as well it was yummy! We had a pizza night. We get ‘Glutamel’ gluten free ready-made pizza bases from the Co-op for Ruairidh. And when, like yesterday, we don’t have any wheat-full bases for myself, I have to say I am happy to eat them too. They are really yummy actually, and they don’t break like some others. I haven’t got around to trying some home-made bases yet, maybe sometime.

I had thought when I started to write this, that today was going to continue its misery of drizzle and cloud. But *hoooray!* the cloud is lifting with the wind. I might get that load of washing outside after all. Oh, how housewifey that sounds! It’s not the highlight of my day, honest. It juts makes laundry a lot easier!  Have you had any highlights so far this weekend?

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Pancakes

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*disclaimer : links may stimulate mouthwatering reactions; contains food imagery; if hungry, do not click*

Today turned into a pancake day. Yes, I know it was a bit late, but it was planned this way. Kind of! Pancake making had been suggested as an activity idea for us to do with the local youth club that we help run, and I had pencilled it in for tonight’s activity. It was my turn on the rota, cunningly devised by moi, as I have been wanting to try out our new electric pan/hotplate and pancake making were the perfect opportunity. Our household grew up wolfing down a multitude of pancakes that Mum made on her electric pan. Mairianne and I graduated from watching on the sidelines, to helping flip the pancakes, and, in the end, making them from scratch, all by our chuffed-selves! Of course, Mum has the best knack! As did her mother before her, and its Granny’s recipe we still use. Pancakes, otherwise defined as ‘dropped scones’, hold many happy childhood memories. We loved arriving for a visit at Granny and Grandpa’s in Callanish when Granny was making pancakes. She kept the little crunchy tidbits that fell on the pan all for us! The dog didn’t like missing out on his treat that day though! Mum used to make pancakes at our Primary school’s gala day- EPIC pancake making days that raised a lot of money. I think it was definitely in the top three favourite stalls at the gala. Pancakes make great Christmas presents, and a batch is always made when family come home for a visit, or somebody is going to visit them on the mainland. My brothers would never forgive a lack of pancakes and scones from visitors from home! What do we do with all these soft, brown, airy, slight-sweet, beautiful morsels? Apart from (grudgingly 😉 ) giving them away, basically, stuff our faces with them! They are best, of course, hot off the pan. With a good layer of golden syrup, or butter and strawberry jam *mouthwatering moment*. Another favourite is toasting tham from frozen, or frying them to go along with a fried breakfast. Who couldn’t appreciate toasted/fried pancakes, bacon and maple syrup? Cold, they are popularly topped with combinations of butter, jam, whipped cream, crowdie (cheese made from buttermilk) and cream. Or creme fraiche for the healthier eaters. We love to have pancakes along with soup, especially lentil or scotch broth. Such a versatile cake, or scone. The different denotations can cause some confusion. Our ‘pancakes’ are smaller, thicker and denser than you might expect. But yummy all the same!

Mum’s electric pan supplied a LOT of pancakes over the years. It sadly gave up the ghost a few years back, and as Mum had initially received it from her sister in Canada, a replacement was hard to come by. Impossible it seemed. We couldn’t find anything like it on the market over here, or online. It seemed the express, consistent pancake making era had come to an end. Our hope failed. But it semed we gave up too quickly! One of our wedding gifts was an electric pan/hotplate!!! (I’m not sure how to define it. I suppose the box would show a title, but it’s downstairs as I write this, so it will have to wait!) It advertised cooking things like prawns, but it was perfect for pancakes too. I think Mum gasped when we opened it! “Where did you get that?” she demanded of the gift-givers (thankfully folk well-known to us and of good humour!). As it turned out, it was to be found in a shop in Stornoway (yes, Stornoway- who would have thought of looking there?!!) at a bargain price. The next day, Mum was the proud owner of an electric table pan. Of course, she inaugurated hers months ago, but ours only made it out of the box today!

Making pancakes on the new machine at Youth Club tonight

I did do a quick trial run before youth club, to get acquainted with the new toy. It behaved beautifully, despite my messing up of the recipe (disaster always follows the hurried baker!). Well, not a complete disaster, they were edible, I just mixed up tsp (teaspoon) and tbsp (TABLEspoon) with the margarine and syrup. They were just a bit heavy. The mix was much better later on. They ‘kids’ did all the measuring etc, and did really well spooning the batter and turning the pancakes. I think (and hope) they enjoyed it, we leaders sure did anyway! Hot pancakes and syrup opened a new world for some anyway, and another will surprise them tomorrow at breakfast- I recommend pancakes, egg and bacon! Many of our family and friends will be aware that we have a fondness for baked goods at breakfast time, so this will come as no surprise. You know about the pancakes, but what do you think of fried duff? (Duff is our version of a ‘clootie dumpling’- another post entirely!) I would like some more practice with the electric pan, to try and figure out the best temperature etc, but I’m really chuffed with this kitchen toy wedding gift. May it prove as successful in our family over the years as yesterday’s Canadian Pancake Queen  proved to be until the end of its days. And I think Pancake Day will be a future favourite with our youth club!