April 17, 2013
Blogging seems to have deserted me for the last while. I think it has been good to step back, to not be so obsessed (as is my want) with taking lots and lots of photos (and in so doing ironically miss out in appreciating that which I am photographing).
Here’s a picture taken at Dinas Cross, near Fishguard shortly after Easter. It was a beautiful spring day…
(Nikon D7000, Nikkor 35mm dx lens, ISO 220, f16, 1/125 sec)
Oh, the title is from Proverbs 19:21
Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
November 4, 2011
Yesterday we visited the amazing National Botanical Garden of Wales in Carmarthenshire. It is such a great place for all ages and levels of gardening interest. As you can see from the above picture the vast glass dome is very impressive, it holds a rich variety of plant life that wouldn’t last very long unprotected in this particular climate!
We’ve had a good few days off and are now on the ferry home as I write this (on my phone). Looking at the picture now (and the one below) I am struck by the unreality of it all, (albeit a welcome one), like a kind of zoo for plants…
Then as I let my mind wander further I’m awed by the contrasts; it was warm and still inside, with exotic plant life and strange tropical sights and smells all around, yet once outside we were blasted by a cold decidedly untropical Welsh wind and that special sideways rain that is the proud preserve of the west coast of the British Isles :-/
But maybe it’s not just plants that can live in an unreal world; the question of what’s really real has been a question on people’s minds at least since Plato’s Cave. It’s perhaps a question that many of us try to avoid because it can make us feel uncomfortable: “Why am I here?” “What is the meaning of life?” “How should I live my life?” “Did the Universe come about by chance and if so where did the concept of chance come from?” “How do I know that I know things?” … And so on! But of course it is good to think about and consider such things and then to realise that above all other life we humans hold such a lofty and privileged position – one of great responsibility, which – it is stating the obvious – we have not (on the whole) done a very good job with…
Fueled by too much coffee I could waffle on for ages, but the sea is getting rougher so I need to stop looking at this small screen!
… I struggle to imagine how anyone can consider these things and exclude God from the equation. In some ways I admire the Atheists, they require a depth of faith for their world to hold together that is staggering, far more faith than I could ever claim to have…
July 30, 2011
The first “Random Light” was all pictures taken with film – this time around it’s all digital…
Bridge over the river by Youghal.
A wonderful selection of cheeses, Narberth, Wales.
Sunset, Bancyffordd, Wales
Moria, Mid Wales
Japanese Maple, Co. Wicklow
January 10, 2011
Walking with my family along the sea front at Aberaeron as 2010 drew to a close, something about this little telescope caught my attention. Perhaps it was the sheer lack of view on offer; it was hard to see even where the sea and sky met, the horizon lost in a featureless haze. And such is the future, we have shadows and glimpses of what might be and what may become, but it is all just out of reach – and probably for the best. What will happen this year, what good will come to pass, what tragedies will unfold?
There will certainly be an election in this country (though the present Taoiseach will do his utmost to delay it as long as possible), even more people will lose their jobs, even more will emigrate and it is hard to see any positives at all on the political / economic end of things.
As I look at the mess this country has increasingly become, my prayer for this year is that people will let God into their lives, their homes, families and workplaces, that the countless failings of the churches will not continue to drive people away from faith and that people would not make up their mind to reject God because of the failings of God’s followers but would instead look to Jesus, the Way the Truth and the Life. How wonderful it would be this time next year to be able to think of many people who have let God into their lives and been utterly transformed as a result – at the moment I can think of a few, but I am greedy for more!
And so I wish you a belated Happy New Year with a quote from “Trotty” in Dickens’ short story The Chimes:
So may the New Year be a happy one to you, happy to many more whose happiness depends on you! So may each year be happier than the last, and not the meanest of our brethren or sisterhood debarred their rightful share, in what our Great Creator formed them to enjoy.
July 30, 2010
We’re back from our holidays. They were very special days, a time set apart, time together as a family. Very precious.
I took this picture whilst we were waiting for the ferry at Holyhead – at 5.15 am!
May 10, 2010
The Beach at Amroth
Olympus OM-1, G. Zuiko 35mm, Ilford FP4 plus (pushed to ISO 400)
Olympus OM-1, G. Zuiko 35mm, Ilford FP4 plus (pushed to ISO 400)
It’s probably the Welsh blood in my veins but there is just something about the Carmarthenshire coast. It’s not especially spectacular when compared to say the West Coasts of Ireland or Scotland but it has its very own beauty. The beach rambler would never tire of the sheer variety of coastline, vast sandy beaches, small rocky coves, cliffs and dunes, the abundant wildlife (and even the good ol’ tacky amusement arcade here and there). Many childhood memories are brought to mind in these places – lemonade in glass bottles, sandwiches with more sand in them than ham or cheese, Granddad with a knotted handkerchief on his head, huddled in a bus shelter in the rain whilst eating salty chips, my grandparents Morris Minor. Ah yes what a wonderful place and what special memories.
Now as we occasionally get to travel across we witness a new generation of grandchildren accumulating wonderful memories, as plentiful as the shells gathered into their seaside buckets. The world might be a slightly different place – lemonade is now called different things and comes in a plastic bottle, chips no longer come packaged in yesterdays newspaper and many other changes which on their own are tiny but when put together represent a subtly different world. The new generation of Grandparents though are just the same, just as loving and doting and instrumental in passing on to their grandchildren that love and kindness which will still be there when their turn comes, as it surely will, when they will watch their own grandchildren run about in frenzied joy in a world that is the same but different.
September 28, 2009
Panasonic LX1, 5 images @ f5.6, 1/400 sec, ISO 80, (click to enlarge)
Panasonic LX 1, f4.5, 1/250, ISO 80, 28mm equivalent, (click to enlarge)
We had a very enjoyable weekend going over to Llanelli for my Aunt and Uncle’s Golden Wedding Anniversary. It was great to see them and many other family members, some of whom I had not seen since I was a toddler! It was lovely to wake up on a Sunday morning, initially in a panic about getting ready for church- is the sermon ready, what to mention in the prayers etc. and then remember that it was not for me to worry about on this, one of my precious four Sundays off per year.
Happy childhood memories were rekindled as we took a walk around Burry Port harbour yesterday afternoon. The places where I built many sandcastles and went hunting for cockles with my Nanna and Grandad just the same as they always had been. Looking down onto the sands I could almost see myself thirty years earlier digging and building away in childhood reverie…
July 14, 2009
“David & Goliath”Nikon D70s, f9, 1/320 sec, ISO 200, 75mm equivalent (click to enlarge)
“Towards Snowdonia”Panasonic LX1, f4.9, 1/500 sec, ISO 80, 25mm (click to enlarge)
“Beach to ourselves!”Panasonic LX1, f5.6, 1/400 sec, ISO 80, 28mm equivalent (click to enlarge)
Shell Island is a remarkable place located on the Snowdonia coastline in North Wales. There is a 300 acre camp site, which although it can be very busy and very tacky is large enough that it is possible to escape the lager-swilling-trance-music-listening hordes at weekends.
In the photo of the beach you can just about make out my wife and eldest son far down at the bottom of the vast sand dune – our youngest is balancing atop my shoulders while the picture is being taken :-0
The views are spectacular as the seascape across to the mountains of Snowdonia show …
By the way, this is my 100th post in just under a year of blogging – hardly prolific but perhaps a little better than I had hoped for when I started :-)
April 10, 2009
Disused Railway tunnel, Bedgellert, Snowdonia, North Wales
Year 2004, Olympus C310, F2.9, 1/30 sec, ISO 320, 35mm equivalent
This week, we have been journeying towards the Cross of Christ. We have looked at Jesus’ last day and hours before he gave His life. Today is Good Friday, a day which for the Christian is full of mixed emotions. On the one hand we weep and despair at what Jesus went through, we see that we too are responsible for betraying him and putting him upon a cross, we see that there is no room for us to wash our hands of the situation like Pilate tried to. Jesus went to the cross because of our sin. On the other hand Good Friday is not all bleak. When we take on board what Jesus did for us, we realise just how much He loves us, the pain that He was willing to endure for our sake, we cannot help but be overcome with joy at the realisation of what the cross actually does. By his death we are forgiven, by his death we are free from the consequences of our sin, of our rebellion against God and by his death we are given eternal life. Yes for those who believe that Jesus is who He said He is, eternal life is a free gift. As Tony Campolo puts it “its Friday now…. But Sunday’s coming.” In other words the events of Good Friday viewed on their own in isolation would be utterly bleak and without hope, but when we remember that Easter Sunday is just round the corner, when Jesus rose from the dead, it’s puts things in a whole new and wonderful perspective.