Friday, 30 November 2012

St Andrew's Day 2012

Here we see fireworks lighting up the night sky over St Andrew's Cathedral, Inverness.

Jesus calls us over the tumult
Of our life’s wild, restless, sea;
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth,
Saying, “Christian, follow Me!”

As of old Saint Andrew heard it
By the Galilean lake,
Turned from home and toil and kindred,
Leaving all for Jesus’ sake.

Jesus calls us from the worship
Of the vain world’s golden store,
From each idol that would keep us,
Saying, “Christian, love Me more!”

In our joys and in our sorrows,
Days of toil and hours of ease,
Still He calls, in cares and pleasures,
“Christian, love Me more than these!”

Jesus calls us! By Thy mercies,
Saviour may we hear Thy call,
Give our hearts to Thine obedience,
Serve and love Thee best of all.

Happy Feast!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Papa Stronsay Calendar 2013

No doubt you will soon be thinking about buying Christmas presents. I would like to suggest that you purchase some of the wonderful calendars published by the Transalpine Redemptorists who live on the Holy Island of Papa Stronsay - which is one of the Orkney Islands off the north coast of Scotland.

Our photo shows the brothers in their Chapel on the Feast of the Assumption 2012.They remind us of the truth that:

"Next to grace TIME is the most precious gift of God. Yet how much of both we waste. We say that TIME does many things. It teaches us many lessons, weans us from many follies, strengthens us in good resolves, and heals many wounds. And yet it does none of these things. TIME does nothing. But TIME is the conductor of all these things which God does in TIME. TIME is full of eternity."

For those living in the UK, the cost of the calendar is £5 each (plus postage and packing). In order to purchase, click the link on this blog to the Transalpine Redemptorists and then you will be able to purchase direct from their blog site. But be quick before they all go - I have just ordered 5!

This is the fourth year I have purchased these wonderful calendars. They have some lovely photos and provide useful liturgical information. You will soon find yourself celebrating Christmas twelve times a year - not just once!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Bloggers Dinner

I was in London for a few days at the weekend and attended a bloggers dinner.

I joined John and Liz Woodhouse (of The Organist Librarian fame) at Il Posto in Victoria. We enjoyed a delicious supper and discussed other blogs, in particular The Hermeneutic of Continuity.

They were both in great form. John and Liz are both altar servers at Westminster Cathedral and are studying at Heythrop College, London. Their second grandson was Baptised on the Feast of Christ the King and John was due to be in court all this week - on jury duty - or so he claims!

I have happy memories of them staying with me in Inverness in June 2009.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Taste of Scotland - 37

I am completing this brief series of posts on Tunnock's with an independent review of their milk chocolate teacakes for you to view.

Our reviewer hadn't had a Tunnock product in rather a long time, but was glad that he picked some tea cakes up again today, even if they aren't actual tea cakes, as they really are very nice.

One of their ways of standing out among biscuits with marshmallow in them, is that they use fresh egg whites rather than gelatine, making for a much creamier and less jelly like consistency and taste. They come individually wrapped in foil, and come in packs of 6 in Asda at least. He bought his for 90p, but prices will vary depending on where you buy them.

Nutritional content per tea cake is as follows;

106 calories
1.2g of protein
14.9g of carbohydrates
Of which sugars 8.6g
4.6g of fat
Of which saturates 2.5g
0.6g of fibre
0.05g of sodium
0.12g salt equivalent

Perhaps you would like to try this Taste of Scotland!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Taste of Scotland - 36

Here is a fine Tunnock's van!

You can purchase a model of the Bespoke Tunnock's Van for £9.99

The limited edition Tunnock's Morris LD Van is based on the 1950 and 1960s edition used to service shops and cash and carries throughout the central belt of Scotland. The sales men would sell boards of pies, cakes, teabread and strawberry tarts to corner shops and also deliver biscuits to the wholesalers and supermarkets. The vans were fitted with racks at the back to accomodate the boards and space at the front for cases biscuits. The LD was a loyal servant to the company.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Feast of Christ the King

We keep this final Sunday of the Church's Year as the Feast of Christ the King.

At the Name of Jesus, every knee shall bow,
Every tongue confess Him King of glory now;
’Tis the Father’s pleasure we should call Him Lord,
Who from the beginning was the mighty Word.

At His voice creation sprang at once to sight,
All the angel faces, all the hosts of light,
Thrones and dominations, stars upon their way,
All the heavenly orders, in their great array.

Humbled for a season, to receive a name
From the lips of sinners unto whom He came,
Faithfully He bore it, spotless to the last,
Brought it back victorious when from death He passed.

Bore it up triumphant with its human light,
Through all ranks of creatures, to the central height,
To the throne of Godhead, to the Father’s breast;
Filled it with the glory of that perfect rest.

Name Him, brothers, name Him, with love strong as death
But with awe and wonder, and with bated breath!
He is God the Savior, He is Christ the Lord,
Ever to be worshipped, trusted and adored.

In your hearts enthrone Him; there let Him subdue
All that is not holy, all that is not true;
Crown Him as your Captain in temptation’s hour;
Let His will enfold you in its light and power.

Brothers, this Lord Jesus shall return again,
With His Father’s glory, with His angel train;
For all wreaths of empire meet upon His brow,
And our hearts confess Him King of glory now.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Taste of Scotland - 35

We have plenty of snowballs in the Highlands of Scotland! 2010 was a great year for Tunnock's - their 120th Anniversary Year.

The 120th anniversary coincides with Scotland’s 2010 Year of Food and Drink, which celebrates the Scotland’s larder with a 12 month programme of events. First Minister Alex Salmond visited Scottish biscuit maker Tunnock’s to help staff mark the 120th anniversary of the family-run firm. Mr Salmond toured the factory, met staff and viewed the production lines that makes Scotland’s favourite Tunnock's teacakes, caramel wafers, and snowballs.

Mr Salmond said: “This year the family business celebrates its 120th anniversary and I am delighted to help mark this milestone in Tunnock’s long and proud history. The company employs more than 550 people, produces more than 10 million biscuits each week, and exports its products to more than 30 countries. This year marks Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink and Tunnock’s is one of the many brands that have helped to secure Scotland’s international reputation as a land of delicious, quality produce.”

Tunnock’s managing director, Boyd Tunnock ,said: “I am delighted that the First Minister is visiting our factory. This year we have installed a new caramel wafer wrapping line and a robot packing line for teacakes at a cost of £4 million, all to satisfy our customers worldwide.”

And to celebrate … well, it has to be a cup of tea and a Tunnock's Teacake.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Taste of Scotland - 34

Here we see a Tunnock's teacake.

Tunnock's biscuit products are more than a Scottish phenomenon. They're in demand both over the border and overseas. They were first exported from Uddingston to Newfoundland, Canada, back in 1957.

Nowadays container loads of product are shipped to destinations as far apart as the Caribbean, Kuwait, Canada and Japan. No matter the climate - hot or cold - Tunnock products have a universal appeal. Thirty plus countries across 6 continents just can't resist their enduring flavour.

The future aim is to convert even more countries to these Scottish delights, giving a greater number of Scots abroad these special reminders of home.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Taste of Scotland - 33

Here we see the bakery at nigh-time.

Progressing from local nibbles to national institutions, Tunnock's biscuit products have acquired the proud status of genuine Scottish icons.

To many, the Tunnock's name evokes pleasant memories of their youth...that longed-for snack straight after school...that Granny treat on Sundays...and the desire not to waste a single crumb. On walks down memory lane, Scots often encounter a wafer, a snowball, a log or a teacake.

It's a nostalgic taste of Scotland that not only thrills contemporary appetites, but industry judges, too. Winning Europe's prestigious Candy Kettle Award recently was proof that Tunnock's popularity is as potent as ever.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Taste of Scotland - 32

Here we see Tunnock's milk chocolate coated caramel wafer biscuit.

Equipped with cutting edge machinery, the Tunnock factory occupies around 250,000 sq ft. It produces all the quality elements required to create the famous Tunnock taste - the wafers, the caramel, the marshmallow and even the distinctive rich creamy chocolate. Today, this factory still stands 100 yards away from the site where Thomas Tunnock opened his first shop in 1890.

The coveted reputation acquired down through the years is still enjoyed by Tunnock's today. Thanks to the efforts of 550 dedicated staff, who are determined to maintain the company's enviable high standards. All this in a friendly family enviroment. No wonder the brand is sold internationally and nationwide by all the main supermarkets and cash & carry outlets.

The family-owned company is currently headed by Boyd Tunnock CBE, the founder's grandson. This connection with the past is strengthened by the presence of Boyd's daughters and son-in-law who all play a crucial role in managing the business.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Taste of Scotland - 31

We return to our occasional series on great Scottish food and drink producers. This week it is the turn of Tunnock's - biscuit and confectionery producer.

How do you create ever-popular biscuit products? Well, start with excellent ingredients. Add layers of ownership by the same, caring family. Then cover with a generous sprinkling of attention to detail and personal service.

This winning formula was initiated by Thomas Tunnock in 1890, after he paid £80 for a shop in Uddingston. Under the guidance of Thomas (and later his son, Archie), Tunnock's operated only as bakers and purveyors of quality flour confectionery until the 1950s. This decade saw the emergence of four original speciality items: Caramel Wafers, Snowballs, Caramel Logs and Teacakes. Consequently, business boomed and factory extensions followed, the latest as recent as 2002.

The innovative management has always remained true to the original principles and is close to the local community.

This blog congratulates the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh on their 65th wedding anniversary.

Monday, 19 November 2012

The Garden of Westhill - 53

Well, in case you cannot wait for Christmas, I thought I had better let you see the conservatory in its winter snug style!

During the summer months the conservatory is very much a centre of horticultural activity, but with the cold nights we get in the Highlands, I move all my plants into the main house for the winter months. Whilst during the summer I do quite a lot of work in the conservatory, during winter I use it more as a place to relax. Yes, the geranium is artificial!

I really enjoy the different seasons of the year both in nature and in church.

Advent tells us Christ is near;
Christmas tells us Christ is here!
In Epiphany we trace
all the glory of his grace.

Those three Sundays before Lent
will prepare us to repent;
that in Lent we may begin
earnestly to mourn for sin.

Holy Week and Easter, then,
tell who died and rose again;
O that happy Easter Day!
"Christ is risen indeed," we say.

Yes, and Christ ascended, too,
to prepare a place for you;
so, we give him special praise,
after those great Forty Days.

Then, he sent the Holy Ghost,
on the Day of Pentecost,
with us ever to abide;
well may we keep Whitsuntide!

Last of all, we humbly sing
glory to our God and King,
glory to the One in Three,
on the Feast of Trinity.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

In the gospel today, Jesus tells his disciples that although heaven and earth will pass away, his words will not pass away.

Temple falling down!

All my hope on God is founded;
he doth still my trust renew,
me through change and chance he guideth,
only good and only true.
God unknown,
he alone
calls my heart to be his own.

Pride of man and earthly glory,
sword and crown betray his trust;
what with care and toil he buildeth,
tower and temple fall to dust.
But God's power,
hour by hour,
is my temple and my tower.

God's great goodness aye endureth,
deep his wisdom, passing thought:
splendour, light and life attend him,
beauty springeth out of naught.
from his store
newborn worlds rise and adore.

Daily doth the almighty Giver
bounteous gifts on us bestow;
his desire our soul delighteth,
pleasure leads us where we go.
Love doth stand
at his hand;
joy doth wait on his command.

Still from man to God eternal
sacrifice of praise be done,
high above all praises praising
for the gift of Christ, his Son.
Christ doth call
one and all:
ye who follow shall not fall.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 17 November 2012

The Garden of Westhill - 52

The deed is done! The slate hearth has been treated with virgin olive oil and the oak floor has been polished. It is now time to furnish the conservatory for the winter months and light the stove.

I was a bit in the dumps during midsummer with my broken leg and so it was suggested that I should get on with a project that I would otherwise have put off. The idea was that one day, when the project was complete, I would look back at the summer and think it wasn't so bad after all.

Well, we are not yet in the bleak midwinter, but it is not all that far away. Hopefully I will soon be warming myself at the fire and thinking someone is smiling on me!

Praise to the Lord, the almighty, the King of creation;
O my soul, praise him, for he is thy health and salvation:
All ye who hear,
Brothers and sisters draw near,
Joining in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, who o'er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shieldeth thee gently from harm, or when fainting sustaineth:
Hast thou not seen
How thy heart's wishes have been
Granted in what he ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely his goodness and mercy shall daily attend thee:
Ponder anew
What the Almighty can do,
If to the end he befriend thee.

Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before him!
Let the Amen
Sound from his people again:
Gladly for ay we adore him.

The next time you see the conservatory it will be decked out in festal array for the Christmas season.

Friday, 16 November 2012

The Garden of Westhill - 51

Here is a rare sight. The conservatory is completely empty!

The decorating is complete and all that remains is to polish the floor and oil the slate hearth.

I am delighted with the new colour scheme of dairy farm and woodland fern emulsion for the walls and brilliant white gloss for the woodwork.

It is now 4 years since I moved to Westhill and this is the first bit of redecorating that has been done. The conservatory gets quite heavy use, but the work was really necessitated by the installation of the woodburning stove in August.

I must not take any credit for the high standard of craftsmanship! The decorating was undertaken by Des Baker - Head Verger at St Andrew's Cathedral, Inverness.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

The Garden of Westhill - 50

Here we see part of this years tomato crop. I had to harvest the remainder of the tomatoes on 14 November, as the conservatory is being decorated at present and the vines were in the way.

The few green tomatoes will ripen nicely on a window ledge and thus provide fruit until the end of the month.

I am very popular with my neighbours at present - I wonder why!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Garden of Westhill - 49

It is quite some time now since we visited my tomatoes!

Well, I am pleased to say that they are ripening very nicely - thanks to the new woodburning stove - and that I have a very abundant harvest of large, juicy, sweet tomatoes. All I have to do now is pick them and eat them!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Walk in Rothiemurchus - 7

It was starting get dark by the time I had finished my walk. It was time to get home and to bed!

I had enjoyed a wonderful day in Rothiemurchus - and one hymn came to mind as I made my thanksgiving.

Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
whose trust, ever childlike, no cares could destroy,
be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe,
be there at our labours, and give us, we pray,
your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.

Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace,
be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.

Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.

Not sure I would appreciate all those bells at bedtime!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Walk in Rothiemurchus - 6

By the time I had walked round Loch an Eilein it was time for the evening hymn.

The day Thou gavest, Lord, is ended,
The darkness falls at Thy behest;
To Thee our morning hymns ascended,
Thy praise shall sanctify our rest.

We thank Thee that Thy church, unsleeping,
While earth rolls onward into light,
Through all the world her watch is keeping,
And rests not now by day or night.

As o’er each continent and island
The dawn leads on another day,
The voice of prayer is never silent,
Nor dies the strain of praise away.

The sun that bids us rest is waking
Our brethren ’neath the western sky,
And hour by hour fresh lips are making
Thy wondrous doings heard on high.

So be it, Lord; Thy throne shall never,
Like earth’s proud empires, pass away:
Thy kingdom stands, and grows forever,
Till all Thy creatures own Thy sway.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Remembrance Sunday

Here we see Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Sunday.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

O valiant hearts who to your glory came
Through dust of conflict and through battle flame;
Tranquil you lie, your knightly virtue proved,
Your memory hallowed in the land you loved.

Proudly you gathered, rank on rank, to war
As who had heard God’s message from afar;
All you had hoped for, all you had, you gave,
To save mankind—yourselves you scorned to save.

Splendid you passed, the great surrender made;
Into the light that nevermore shall fade;
Deep your contentment in that blest abode,
Who wait the last clear trumpet call of God.

Long years ago, as earth lay dark and still,
Rose a loud cry upon a lonely hill,
While in the frailty of our human clay,
Christ, our Redeemer, passed the self same way.

Still stands His Cross from that dread hour to this,
Like some bright star above the dark abyss;
Still, through the veil, the Victor’s pitying eyes
Look down to bless our lesser Calvaries.

These were His servants, in His steps they trod,
Following through death the martyred Son of God:
Victor, He rose; victorious too shall rise
They who have drunk His cup of sacrifice.

O risen Lord, O Shepherd of our dead,
Whose cross has bought them and Whose staff has led,
In glorious hope their proud and sorrowing land
Commits her children to Thy gracious hand.

Rest eternal grant to them, O Lord,
and let light perpetual shine upon them.

May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Her Majesty visited the Poppy Factory on 7 November and even made a poppy herself - it is not the one I am wearing. However, check whether yours has the Royal Insignia on it!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Walk in Rothiemurchus - 5

As I arrived at Loch an Eilein the sun was setting and my thoughts turned to the eventide of life.

Loch an Eilein is a small loch on the Rothiemurchus estate about 5 km south of Aviemore. The name Loch an Eilein comes from the gaelic 'loch of the island'.

In the late 18th century and early 19th century, the loch was used mainly for two things. On the banks of the loch there is a limestone kiln where the lime stone was collected from a rockface looking over the loch. Also loggers used the connecting river to float logs down to the wood treating factories down stream. Rob Roy and other cattle rustlers used the loch and one side of the loch is called 'Robbers Way'. There are only three remaining houses on the loch side and they are used by forestry officers now.

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
Earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word,
But as Thou dwell'st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.

Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings;
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea.
Come, Friend of sinners, thus abide with me.

Thou on my head in early youth didst smile,
And though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee.
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter's power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Perhaps these words will be sung tonight at the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance in the Royal Albert Hall in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen.

Indeed they were!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

Although most Christians know that Pope Benedict XVI is Bishop of Rome, many seem to think that St Peter's is his cathedral church - the home of his bishop's seat. This of course is not the case - it is the Lateran Basilica which is his cathedral church. Here we see him standing at his chair in the basilica.

Today is the Feast of Dedication of the Lateran Basilica - a suitable day to pray for Christian Unity.

Here we see the Holy Father attending Choral Evensong at Westminster Abbey. The processional hymn (which happens to be the Office Hymn for today's feast) is one of his favourites!

Christ is made the sure foundation,
Christ the head and cornerstone,
chosen of the Lord, and precious,
binding all the Church in one;
holy Zion's help for ever,
and her confidence alone.

All that dedicated city,
dearly loved of God on high,
in exultant jubilation
pours perpetual melody;
God the One in Three adoring
in glad hymns eternally.

To this temple, where we call thee,
come, O Lord of Hosts, today;
with thy wonted loving-kindness
hear thy servants as they pray,
and thy fullest benediction
shed within its walls alway.

Here vouchsafe to all thy servants
what they ask of thee of gain;
what they gain from thee, for ever
with the bless├Ęd to retain,
and hereafter in thy glory
evermore with thee to reign.

Laud and honour to the Father,
laud and honour to the Son,
laud and honour to the Spirit,
ever Three, and ever One,
consubstantial, co-eternal,
while unending ages run. Amen.

Of course we see the present Archbishop of Canterbury (Dr Rowan Williams) standing next to the Holy Father.

Our prayers are now asked for his successor, The Rt Rev Justin Welby, whose appointment to the See of Canterbury has been confirmed this morning. He is to be enthroned in Canterbury Cathedral on 21 March 2013.

Happy Feast!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Walk in Rothiemurchus - 4

I did my walk on All Souls' Day, and as you can see there was already snow on the tops of the mountains.

There are few destinations in the world more beautiful than the Cairngorms National Park during winter. Not only does tourism peak as the snow falls, but the range of activities to enjoy becomes all the more extensive.

Top of the list for most winter visitors are the snow sports on offer – and particularly skiing and snowboarding. The snow sports take place between December and April, depending on snowfall; with winter operating hours usually between 9am and 4pm depending on daylight. There are more than 30km of ski runs as well as a fully maintained snowboard park; with cross country skiing also popular and Disability Snowsports UK offering snow sports tuition for the disabled.

Of course whether you plan to ski down the Cairn Gorm Mountain or not, you’ll still want to scale its heights to enjoy the incredible views across Aviemore, Strathspey and further afield in Scotland. You could reach the peak via the mountain railway, which allows you to travel in comfort from the Base Station to the Ptarmigan Top Station.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Walk in Rothiemurchus - 3

Help! Which way do I go?

One more step along the world I go, 
one more step along the world I go;
from the old things to the new 
keep me travelling along with you:
And it's from the old I travel to the new; 
keep me travelling along with you.

Round the corner of the world I turn, 
more and more about the world I learn;
all the new things that I see 
you'll be looking at along with me: Refrain

As I travel through the bad and good, 
keep me traveling the way I should;
where I see no way to go 
you'll be telling me the way, I know: Refrain

Give me courage when the world is rough, 
keep me loving though the world is tough;
leap and sing in all I do, 
keep me travelling along with you: Refrain

You are older than the world can be, 
you are younger than the life in me;
ever old and ever new, 
keep me traveling along with you: Refrain

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Walk in Rothiemurchus - 2

Here we se the mountain track that runs due south from Coylumbridge to Achnagoichan.

I will leave you to decide whether I actually sang during my walk along the mountain tracks - I did have a daysac on my back!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Walk in Rothiemurchus - 1

Nothing odd about a walk in the countryside you may think, but as I broke my leg on 28 June it was marvellous being able to go for a reasonable length walk once more!

"Rothiemurchus, gateway to the Cairngorms, has become a name which is etched deep in the consciousness of Scotland and which holds an exceptional place in the natural history of the nation.” (Magnus Magnusson KBE)

For centuries nature and people have lived in harmony in Rothiemurchus. At its heart lies one of the largest areas of natural forest in Britain with an extraordinary variety of wildlife that depends on it for survival. We can enjoy this unique environment today, because of the dedication and love of eighteen generations of Grants of Rothiemurchus and the other caring families whose livelihood it has provided for over four hundred and fifty years.

By enjoying Rothiemurchus you can help: profits from activities, car parking, shops and other commercial activities are ploughed back into the care of this family owned estate to enable sustainable stewardship of the forest and for wildlife to thrive.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

31st Sunday of Ordinary Time

Today we hear Jesus tell us which is the greatest commandment.

King of glory, King of peace,
I will love thee;
and that love may never cease,
I will move thee.
Thou hast granted my request,
thou hast heard me;
thou didst note my working breast,
thou hast spared me.

Wherefore with my utmost art
I will sing thee,
and the cream of all my heart
I will bring thee.
Though my sins against me cried,
thou didst clear me;
and alone, when they replied,
thou didst hear me.

Seven whole days, not one in seven,
I will praise thee;
in my heart, though not in heaven,
I can raise thee.
Small it is, in this poor sort
to enroll thee:
e'en eternity's too short
to extol thee.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Loch Ness - 4

Here we see Loch Ness Lodge.

In 1933, construction began on the A82 – the road that runs along the north shore of the Loch. The work involved considerable drilling and blasting and it is believed that the disruption forced the monster from the depths and into the open. Around this time, there were numerous independent sightings and, in 1934, London surgeon R. K. Wilson managed to take a photograph that appeared to show a slender head and neck rising above the surface of the water. Nessie hit the headlines and has remained the topic of fierce debate ever since.

In the 1960s, the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau conducted a ten-year observational survey – recording an average of 20 sightings per year. And, by the end of the decade, mini-submarines were being used for the first time to explore the depths of the Loch using sophisticated sonar equipment. New public interest was generated in the mid 1970s when underwater photographs of what appeared to be a ‘flipper’ were made public.
To this day, there is no conclusive proof to suggest that the monster is a reality. However, many respectable and responsible observers have been utterly convinced they have seen a huge creature in the water.

Friday, 2 November 2012

All Souls' Day

Here we see a procession to the cemetery on All Souls' Day.

Let saints on earth in concert sing
With those whose work is done;
For all the servants of our King
In Heav’n and earth are one.

One family, we dwell in Him,
One Church, above, beneath;
Though now divided by the stream,
The narrow stream of death.

One army of the living God,
To His command we bow;
Part of the host have crossed the flood,
And part are crossing now.

E’en now to their eternal home
There pass some spirits blest;
While others to the margin come,
Waiting their call to rest.

Jesu, be Thou our constant Guide;
Then, when the word is given,
Bid Jordan’s narrow stream divide,
And bring us safe to Heav’n.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

All Saints' Day

Here we see the Papal Altar in St Peter's Basilica in Rome adorned with the relics of many saints on this glorious feast day.

For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
All are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

O may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
And win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
Sweet is the calm of paradise the blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of glory passes on His way.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
And singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost:
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Happy Feast!