Tuesday, 26 May 2009

A week in Lewis

We went to Lewis in the Outer Hebrides as I have wanted to return since I was there when I was 3! I knew I had family roots on my Mum's side and had a thought that I might look up the family history if it was too wet to do anything else.

In fact, after a couple of hours in the genealogy centre, I found my grandfather's cousin and was able to visit the family's house and the site of the croft (now part of Stornoway airport). I met such lovely people who were so accommodating and friendly that it was quite an emotional journey. Click Here to find these and some more photos from the trip set to a piece of music I wrote for the occasion.

Dailbeag bay, one on many beautiful spots on the West coast

One phrase I will never forget from the trip. "the sky is darker than the land"

Siabost bay (Shawbost)

Trooper loved the beaches - Trooper loves all beaches

Sunset over Siabost crofting community where we were staying

The stones at Calanais early one morning. A very impressive ancient monument.

Inside the walls of the broch at Carlabhagh (Carloway)

The colours in the sea are very special around the strands at Harris.

Life moves at its own pace on the island.

This painting belonged to my Grandfather's cousin's wife Isabella and was painted by her brother. It represents her grandmother's Blackhouse. The islanders lived in such houses until the 20th century, as late as the 1970s in some cases and maintained a subsistence lifestyle crofting and fishing. Isabella could remember visiting her Grandmother's house and was a great story-teller. We could have stayed for hours.

Gearrannan is a village of reconstructed blackhouses.

The lighthouse at An Rubha on the East of the island.

Changeable weather looking towards Berneray and North Uist from Harris.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Fiona & David

Fiona and David were married at The Hub near the top of The Royal Mile in Edinburgh. This is an arts centre converted from a beautiful gothic church. The outside is as it was, the inside has been boldly decorated and is stunning.

Fiona and David were surrounded by their closest friends and families and it made for a very relaxed and friendly day.

David, Colin and Graham looking good considering some only got finished dressing a few minutes previously!

Gillian and her Mum await the bride

Fiona arrives in the middle of a shower - it's an all indoor venue so let it rain!

A few last minute touches...

The ceremony was on the balcony above the superbly decorated main hall.

So, we did get to outside briefly onto the roof terrace. There are some shots of the Edinburgh skyline coming soon but I liked the simple wall - a bit of sunshine when the weather's dull.

Just before the meal, a quiet moment for the happy couple.

The speeches were great. Fiona was certainly kept entertained by the proceedings.

Congratulations Fiaona and David and thanks to you both and all your guests for making my day so enjoyable.

If you know Fiona and David and want to leave a message for them via my blog, please use the "COMMENTS" button below.


Friday, 8 May 2009

Martin Stephenson & The Daintees, The Sage

I was invited to the Sage by Adrian Nation and Vicki Guillory who were providing support for Martin Stephenson & The Daintees last night at The Sage, Gateshead.

Obviously, I stayed for the whole gig as I used to play The Daintee's "Boat to Bolivia" album until the tape wore out!

The gig was a fund raiser for cancer charity and was very well supported by the good folk of the NE. It was sold out while the orchestra playing in the Big Hall next door was half empty.

All involved put on a great show and I was very pleased to be able to document the evening for Adrian and Vicki.

More photos here.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Pippa & Jonathan

Pippa and Jonathan live in Melbourne and travelled with a group of friends and family back to Pippa's home city of Edinburgh for their wedding.

First off I met the Boys at Calton Hill for a few shots of Jonathan and his Groomsmen Reece, Tim and Ed. The weather was great and the boys were very cooperative with every daft idea I came up with!

Calton Hill has a great view back down Princes Street and Edinburgh's famous spires.

On top of Calton Hill are a number of monuments. Edinburgh was referred to as "The Athens of The North" due to its academic stature and one man decided to take this to an extreme and build the Parthenon on Edinburgh's skyline. So I got the guys to climb up for a photo! Not easy when you've never worn the kilt before so a good team effort.

Once up there we got several good shots of which this is one of my favourites.

...and so on to the house for the rest of the day. Pippa's family home is a beautiful house with a very well kept garden that was ideal for the wedding.

Here's Jake, Pippa and Jonathan's wee lad. He was very well behaved all day and looked good in his kilt outfit too.

Pippa doesn't look very nervous beforehand, and everything was so well organised that there was no reason to be worried.

During the humanist ceremony, Jonathan's sisters Zeta and Hannah, happily gave their approval of the marriage.

Everyone was smiling all the way through the ceremony; the sun shone, there was beautiful singing and a very happy couple.

Reece, with Jenn, Luci, Tamsin and Jessie the flowergirl prepare to meet the guests at the champagne reception.

Jake sat and played with the confetti on the grass - what a contented lad - he's a grand wee boy.

Some last-minute practice for the Scottish country dancing coming up later in the evening.

Luci, Jenn and Tamsin in their glamorous trio pose. Atomic Kittens or Charlie's Angels?

What a great day. The weather was fantastic, the venue was perfect and everyone was friendly and happy. I was delighted to be there and really enjoyed the day.

Congratulations to Pippa and Jonathan and thanks to you both and all your family and friends for being so welcoming and helpful to me on the day.

If you know Pippa and Jonathan and want to send them a message viw my blog, please use the "COMMENTS" button below.