2014's Calender Photos

** Anna V, please contact me to give me your 

details so I can send you the calender you won!**

Davene, from Spilled ... because my Cup Overflows, asked me to show the photos I'd chosen for the 2014 calender. And so, here they are ...

The cover of the calender has this photo:

It shows some of the wild flowers that grow on our machair during the summer, and in the distance you can see our house. For a certain number of weeks each summer, the machair is cleared of all livestock and this gives these flowers the opportunity to grow and delight both our sense of sight and our sense of smell.

Ahhhhh ..... summer.

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 January's photo is of the Gearannan, on the West Side of the island.

This thatched village has been restored and some of the houses are now available for holiday lets. One of the homes is used as a museum which shows what island life was like in times past. The last of these homes were actually still home to folks right up until the 1970s. When the final few older residents moved to modern homes - homes without thatch, and all the additional work that entailed - the houses were given 'conservation status'.

The houses seem to us to belong to another world, and yet ... thick stone walls, their low profile, and the insulating thatch ... all these features make them ideal for the weather conditions here in Lewis. 

And the materials are all to be found locally. I can see Green Grants being issued for the building of this type of home in the future - yep, sounds like a plan, Mr government-green-grants Adviser.

Y'all heard it here first, folks ;)

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February's photo needs no explanation.

Well, okay, I ought to explain that he doesn't always look like this. 

This dirty? No.

This cute? Yep.

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March could be nothing else but the lambs.

Here are some of Big Brothers' gorgeous lambs. Between March and April, he spends practically all his wakened hours in the Maternity Ward. So far, he's never felt it necessary to call for my help.

Strange that ...

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We had a gorgeous spell of weather in April, and I nipped out one morning to take a walk along the beach.

This was the same morning DR's run of Fire Service call-outs for moor fires began, but while I walked in these dunes, moor fires were the furthest thing from my mind. Early morning, I think, is the best time to wander down to the beach.

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Occasionally, Calum and I take a wee wander over to town, and on this lovely May day, we chucked a flask into the car with some sandwiches, a couple of books, and of course, his sword and additional weaponry.

The castle grounds are so lovely, and worth having a day off school to go visit.

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June: the Callanish Stones.

My Dad joined Katie, Calum and I the day we took a spin around the West Side and visited the Broch and the Callanish Stones. It would seem that these stones have been around for around 4000 years. Yes, that's four thousand...

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July's photo is of the Wee Guy, aka Calum Stewart, helping in the taking home of the peats.

The tractor is a Massey Ferguson 35, and has been in the Builder's family since way before we were married. It's been responsible for taking many loads of peats home.

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The photo I chose for August is from our friend, Calum's, trip to St Kilda. Our three St Kilda blog posts, Part I, Part II, and Part III, were amongst the most popular posts of 2013.

This is looking down on the Village Bay, Bàgh a' Bhaile, on a stunningly beautiful summer's day.

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We return to the Castle Grounds for September's photo.

This photo is taken from close to Cuddy Point, and shows the main part of Stornoway, the island's only town.

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We stay in Stornoway for October's photo.

This photo is taken from the town, looking over the inner harbour to the castle from with the Castle Grounds takes their name. 

The castle was built by Sir James Matheson in the mid 19th century. Matheson, who'd made his money from the Chinese opium trade, had bought the island in 1844, and the castle and wonderful grounds are his lasting legacy.

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November: an early sunset and a reminder that we will all, one day, die.

I love visiting the cemetery - not for morbid reasons, but because my visits bring reality home to me. My grandparents are buried here, as are the Builder's parents. There are graves belonging to many, many people I knew: some reached old age, and others were called out of this world way before the expected 'three score years and ten'. 

I am sad, yet rejoice, when I read some of the gravestones. They speak of people who are now in heaven, awaiting the resurrection. They are people with whom I will spend eternity, and together we will sing praises to the Lamb in the midst of the Throne.

There are some that make me weep: in the early part of last century, there were so many young children who died as a result of illnesses that are so easily cured now. How blessed we are with the age in which God's providence placed us.

Other graves speak of sons who never returned from the World Wars. That, in turn, speaks of unspeakable heartache and that makes my heart sore for mothers and fathers whose grief was unimaginable.

This also makes me thankful for the time in which I live.

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December's photo was also taken by our friend, Calum, when he visited St Kilda. 

When I posted this photo on Homeschool's Facebook page recently, a lady contacted me to say that the closest house in the photo is where her mother was born, and where she lived until the final evacuation of the island in 1930. Wow! 

I find the scenes from St Kilda so poignant. I think any poet, or writer, or composer, or artist, who is struggling with inspiration ought to take a visit to this island.

The stones truly speak, even though the homes are empty and silent.


  1. Wow!!! Those photos are just lovely! I'm a bit jealous of the winners. It just ain't FAIR!!
    Hope you had a beautiful Christmas, and that you'll have a blessed year i 2014!

  2. Totally stunning photographs... you live in such beautiful spot!!!

  3. Your Calendar is just as beautiful as the one you sent me two years ago. Some of those photos are just haunting. Tell me about those standing stones or do a post. They are magnificent. St. Kilda makes me sad too.
    I love that castle. Gosh I wish I could sit down with you over a cup of tea and have you tell me about each and every photograph. They are lovely.

  4. Beautiful photos-I need to visit one day and would love to see St Kilda-the stuff of dreams.

  5. Beautiful, so beautiful! And the lambs picture is very dear to my heart, as I have been listening to Philip DeCourcy's series of sermons from the 23rd Psalm. Learning so many beautiful truths about our good Shepherd, and why we are called sheep.

    1. Not at all flattering that we are called sheep, once you learn about them. I'm sure you all know exactly what that means, with all your sheep-keeping. Makes me realize the huge significance of learning and knowing my Shepherd's voice, through His Word.

  6. Oh my goodness, your photos are just breath-taking. What beauty!! God's splendor revealed in the majesty of His creation there! I wanted to take a minute to thank you for all the encouragement you send my way on my FB page. You are such a blessing and I just wanted you to know that I appreciate you and praise God for you! What a beautiful site you have! Truly lovely! So happy the Lord crossed our paths!

  7. What a beautiful series of photographs and post. I agree with you about cemeteries. I enjoy visiting them, too. There are so many stories hidden beneath those stones and I would love to learn them, especially the stories of my family, but the others as well. Some will never be learned this side of Heaven. There is a cemetery back home with a section called "Baby Hill". It is the saddest part of that cemetery. So many were lost to the flu pandemic in 1918-1919.

    My favorite of your photos above is the photo for August...just breathtaking!

    Have a wonderful New Year!


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