Burns Night…….

January 25th 

The Birthday of Robert “Rabbie” Burns.  Born in Ayrshire Scotland in 1759 he became know variously as the Ploughman Poet, The Bard of Ayrshire and proclaimed by many as the Poet of Scotland.  Always close to his country life heritage much of his work reflected the love of nature and country life.  A short life as Burns died in 1796 but a life packed with literary achievements, achievements still recognised today with lines such as…

Love is like a Red, Red Rose

and of course the words everyone knows…. Auld Lang Syne. 

(Burns Birthplace and the Burns Memorial Garden, Alloway, Ayrshire)

Rabbie Burns Life is celebrated tonight, the 25th of January known also as Burns Night, not just in Scotland but in Scottish communities far across the World. Celebrations that often centred around a Burns Night Supper…. with of course Haggis, tatties and neaps.

So I lift a glass, a wee dram to all my Scottish friends far and wide….

Burns Dram

Amang the trees, where humming bees,
At buds and flowers were hinging,

R. Burns

25th January

(C) David Oakes 2020

Silent Sunday….. So off to Church


Arbroath Abbey, Angus, Scotland

There isn’t that much left of what was once one of, if not THE most important Abbeys in Scotland’s history.  What is left is certainly worth a visit and a chance to stand where real Scottish history was written.

It was 1178 that King William The Lion of Scotland commanded, and funded, the building of the Abbey on a headland above the town and overlooking the North Sea.  It was a Benedictine Abbey and its consecration took place in 1197.  Throughout his life King William kept faith with the community and provided funds for its upkeep. On his Death he was buried in the body of the Church, a memorial stone marking his grave.

The next important date  for Arbroath was 1320 when the Declaration of Scottish Independence was drawn up by Abbot Bernard, the Chancellor of Scotland.

But all this history was nearly lost for ever, like all such religious Abbeys and Monasteries, it suffered on the orders King Henry VIII when he declared action against such establishments with the Dissolution Act of 1540.

Thankfully there is still enough of the red sandstone Abbey remaining to give you an impression of its size, even the Chancellors Offices remain in one of the towers.

19th January

(C) David Oakes 2020

Storms are a Brewing…..



Storm Clouds over the Torridons.  With Storm Brendan and its followers sweeping across the UK this week I guess it will be even wilder over these Scottish Highlands than when we captured these storm clouds.

14th January

Wordless Wednesday…… Another Favourite Place

Disc One

Scourie Bay, North West Highlands, Scotland

A very Happy New Year to you all…..  and forgive me for breaking the ‘wordless’ rule just this once but it is New Year.

As is the custom, as well as looking forward to what lies ahead of us in this New Year, it is also a time for reflection.  Time to recall events and in this case, place of importance that have left a lasting impression on my memory.

My Wordless Wednesday series has always feature one of my Favourite Places. There are many such special places…..indeed it was quite hard to isolate  one special place.  But Scourie Bay, looking out towards Handa Island has to be the location at the very top of my list. Numerous visits over the years, each one has left a lasting memory.  Maybe it is the magnificent Sunsets that help make it extra special, everyone different, each one evolving as you stand and watch, each one leaving you awe struck by natures beauty. Everyone memorable.

Happy New Year…Lets go and make some more memories

1st January

(C) David Oakes 2020