August 31, 2012
For our family holiday this year we returned to Wasdale Head in the English Lake District. It is such a wonderful place to stay, with the benefit of being much quieter than other parts of the Lake District (because of its inaccessibility and because there is nothing to do here other than go walking in the hills or swim in the lake)!
St. Olaf’s Church is one of, if not the smallest church buildings in England. In the picture above it is all but hidden amongst a circle of Yew trees, with Kirk Fell and Great Gable in the background (larger version on Flickr here). The church has been there for at least a thousand years, some of the original timbers apparently being those from a Viking Longship.
The four of us bundled into one of the pews for a Sunday evening celebration of Holy Communion. It was one of the highlights of our holiday, the visiting clergyman gave an excellent sermon and it was wonderful to share the bread and the wine with such a variety of people, locals and fellow hill-walkers alike. (Photo on Flickr here.)
This window, with the quote from Psalm 121 is dedicated to the members of the Fell and Rock Climbing club who lost their lives in the First World War. It looks out on to the church yard and the graves of numerous climbers who died in the surrounding hills and of those who simply wanted to be buried here in such beautiful surroundings. In the background you can just about make out the north facing slope of Lingmell. (Photo on Flickr here.)
The origin of our word ‘holiday’ comes of course from ‘holy day’, a day set apart for God. There really is something special, spiritual and holy about walking among and being in these hills and I cannot think of any better way of expressing it than in those words of the Psalmist quoted above. St. Olaf’s may be the smallest church, near the highest mountain and the deepest lake in England, but perhaps here more than most other places, it is not necessary to confine one’s worship to a building because praise, worship and thanksgiving come so naturally in these most beautiful surroundings, just as much today as they did to those original Viking settlers over a thousand years ago.
August 23, 2011
My favourite ‘mixed idiom’ (I had to look up what it was called) is “Scratching the tip of the iceberg”, which is a great combination of ‘Scratching the surface’ and ‘The tip of the iceberg’. Of course it means that really you have only the tiniest sense of what something is like or may become. This is how I would describe our day out in Paris at the beginning of the month. Thanks to a family we had met earlier in the summer we found a wonderful campsite on the edge of the city, which was the perfect base from which to make our day trip. Catching the double-decker train into the city was an exciting start to the day and we soon arrived at the station nearest the Eiffel Tower. When we saw the large queues forming we were grateful for the advice which we had taken to pre-book tickets on the internet.
I just had to take a picture of these two characters – they might be gangsters at home, but here they are just tourists like everyone else…
Not a bad view…
If you wanted to you could spend a lot of time walking; we took the easier option of a boat trip along the river Seine, a great way to see many of the sights such as the Louvre, Notre Dame and so on.
This chap was interesting – in “The Great Flood” of 1910 the water level rose as high as his beard!
We made the obligatory stop at a street Café…
watched the pigeons…
It was a long, tiring but very enjoyable day…
On the way back to our campsite we noticed grapes growing over a garden fence, something we are not used to seeing back in West Cork!
Yes we really only did “scratch the tip of the iceberg” of this wonderful city – God willing we will be back another day…
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!
July 11, 2009
Nikon D70s, f9, 1/320 sec, ISO 200, 40mm equivalent (click to enlarge)
We’re back from a great holiday in England and Wales. For the last two years we’ve had to abandon our camping holiday due to heavy rain and flooding, so it was a nice change to try to avoid getting sunburnt instead. As usual I took about a gazillion photos (well about two hundred or so), which is quite a change from when I used to think that four rolls of exposed film was a bit excessive!
For the first few days we enjoyed meeting up with relatives and friends. The above picture was taken on a walk up the embankment at Trimpley Reservoir in Worcestershire. The clouds remind me of cartoonish thought bubbles that might come from someone sitting on the bench – well it was very hot and maybe my brain was overheating a little!
November 28, 2008
Nikon D70s, 1/125 sec, f5.6, ISO 200, +1 and -1EV combined, 37mm Equivalent,
(Click to enlarge)
I can’t ever remember a week going so quickly! We had a great holiday in Sligo, renting a cottage (not the one in the above picture) and doing little other than walking and playing on deserted beaches. Of course we took the opportunity also to make a trip to Enniskillen to buy what seemed to us from the “Rip-off Republic” incredibly cheap groceries!
August 22, 2008
Nikon D70s, 1/250 sec, f8, ISO 200, 24mm, RAW
We had a very enjoyable week in Galway. Even though it rained every day, it didn’t matter as we were not camping this time!
September is very busy in the Parish so it was good to re-charge the batteries a little…