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glasgow street art

Glasgow - Girl with magnifying glass

Glasgow - Balloon-floating taxi

Glasgow - Take what you need

Some great street art spotted in Glasgow... 'Girl with magnifying glass' by Smug (note the girl's necklace - more visible here) and 'Balloon-floating taxi' by Rogue-One. 'Take what you need' fittingly anonymous.

scotland: ullapool

Around Ullapool, Scotland - 1

Around Ullapool, Scotland - 2

Around Ullapool, Scotland - 3

Around Ullapool, Scotland - 4

Around Ullapool, Scotland - 5

The highland country surrounding Ullapool. The rainbow over Loch Achall was unfortunately too large and valley-arching to fit on my camera...

scotland: skye

Isle of Skye, Scotland - 1

Isle of Skye, Scotland - 2

Isle of Skye, Scotland - 3

Isle of Skye, Scotland - 4

Isle of Skye, Scotland - 5

On the Isle of Skye, skirting the invisible Cuillin, and back in the town of Portree.

scotland: ben nevis

Ben Nevis, Scotland - 1

Ben Nevis, Scotland - 2

Ben Nevis, Scotland - 3

Ben Nevis, Scotland - 4

After Snowdon (Wales) and Carrauntoohil (Ireland), Ben Nevis had to be next - at 1344m Scotland's and the UK's highest mountain.

scotland: iona

Iona, Scotland - 1

Iona, Scotland - 2

Iona, Scotland - 3

Iona, Scotland - 4

Iona, Scotland - 5

The Isle of Iona lies just off the coast of Mull, in Scotland's Inner Hebrides. Iona Abbey, founded by St Columba in the 6th century, is one of the oldest centers of Christianity in Scotland. St Columba came from Ireland, and so interestingly Christianity was introduced in Scotland from the west (instead of from the south or east as you might expect).

Its monastery is also where the Book of Kells, now in Dublin's Trinity College Library, was created.

clachan

Pit de haund doon
an whit's dere? Stons.
Stons i da aest, stons
i da wast, stons
as faur as du kin see
an whit's dis? Here
i da heart o aa dis stons
me an de, a drummin
laek clods bein shovelled
atil a Frytol bucket
athin wir kjists, stuck
wi dis ston a mine
as saft as da moss
at's growin a ower
at'll turn intae paet
an burn.

- Christie Williamson

This poem is in the Shetlandic variety of Scots (not to be confused with Scottish Gaelic), which in spoken form is probably all but unintelligible to outsiders, but when written down shows the linguistic affinity of English, Scots, Norse and Dutch. Here the terse, grunted language fits beautifully with the poem's theme. Up in the North it's not dust to dust but peat to peat, and stones looking on.

The title 'Clachan', by the way, has an interesting double meaning of hamlet (singular) and stones (plural, in Scottish Gaelic). They're pronounced slightly differently, though both with the guttural g that Dutch speakers will recognize.

Stumbled on this poem in Northwords Now, a literary magazine from the Highlands. You can download the complete Summer issue (pdf).

See also Williamson's poem 'Truth'.

water gallery

Water - 1

Water - 2

Water - 3

I've started a new photo gallery called Water, collecting, well, self-explanatory reflections. Some have shown up before as backgrounds or travel pix.

The photos above were taken near Lummen, Delden and Soest, respectively.