a Boxing day walk.

It was pretty chilly today but Boxing day is the perfect day for a long walk on the Whiterocks beach, on the north Antrim coast. The rain cut the walk short or at least encouraged us to turn back towards the car park. At its best it was grey but there was just the hint of a distant sun on the horizon.


There was a scattering of people jogging or walking their dog or just walking off the excesses of yesterday.


Even on a day like today if you look for it you can find something which catches your eye. Layers of sand left by the tide or a stranded shell with a channel in the sand.



its nearly Christmas

The Sunday before Christmas is a busy one in any church – this morning I got this shot just before our Sunday school carol service.  Its a beautiful window – to know Christ and make him known, is the message at the bottom.



At the front of the church are the advent candles and of course one of them has been lit each Sunday for the last 4 weeks.   Its not quite Christmas yet – its all about the anticipation and looking forward to the day.



over the pulpit in a central place is the very core of the message.  Its deliberately not quite in focus here – lets face it, the way we celebrate Christmas doesn’t exactly bring the real meaning of Christmas into sharp focus.

God with us.






Castle gardens.

Walking up the hill towards these wrought iron gates you can see across the gardens towards the Cathedral and Linen centre.


as you walk through the gates themselves there is a large flower bed to the right hand side. There are still some flowers hanging on in this sheltered spot despite the onset of winter. Mainly rhododendrons. You can pick out blooms which are surprisingly fresh right next door to petals which have completely lost their colour and are reduced to what looks like their skeletal remains.



Spent the day last Monday in Harrogate at a meeting. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon although pretty chilly. Mid afternoon I had a spare hour and went for a walk with my camera. Its a beautiful town.


I have visited a number of times before and usually find my way to Betty’s tea room at some point. Usually with a group of friends or colleagues. Its a great place for breakfast, but this time I had to settle for a coffee with an iPhone for company. Just across the road is the town’s war memorial with fresh wreaths like every town in the country.


Belfast City Hall

This week I had the chance to go to a work event at Belfast City Hall. Everyone I know seems to have been inside the building before but this was my very first time.


As Halloween is over they felt obliged to have a Christmas tree. I restricted myself to the star on the main tree in the central hall visible from the top storey.


Inside and out its a fantastic public building, clad in marble with dramatic sweeping staircases, chandeliers, flags, great ceiling domes and stained glass windows.


All very opulent and very much from another age.


the toadstool

I have thought about getting a few shots of a toadstool recently – seems to be the obvious time of year for it. I had a cooked breakfast yesterday and the mushrooms on the side did not look that picturesque so I resisted taking out my mobile phone camera. This morning on my usual Sunday morning stroll I could only find a single cluster of toadstools anywhere, all around just one tree. Not quite sure just why that should be, there were dozens of other trees around with lots of dying leaves everywhere.




Whiterocks beach

I spent last night on the north coast with my 10 year old son. It was pretty wet yesterday and we were all “DVDed” out. This morning was such a contrast – about 10 degrees and almost un-interrupted sunshine. I fancied going back to the Strand where I took some shots last weekend on a very windy, cloudy afternoon but as we drove along the coast road we stopped at Whiterocks. There were lots of walkers, dogs, the odd horse and the inevitable surfers.

That part of the coast is such a beautiful place – with the backdrop of the cliffs, Dunluce castle in the distance, miles of golden sand and the constant crashing of the waves. Its amazing if you think of all this as reflecting our God.



Finally I thought I would try something a little different taking this shot as the water flowed back out to sea trying to catch the ripples and turbulence caused by a pebble. Managed to avoid getting wet feet.


The Strand

A grey windy day on the north coast. The waves were impressive with long streams of spray in the wind. Lunch was at Harry’s Shack overlooking the beach. (www.facebook.com/HarrysShack). Intend to go back!

Then we walked along the beach as far as the stakes driven into the sand stopping the traffic! This is the beach that my son refers to as the driving beach. It was just the sort of day that blows the cobwebs away. A perfect way to spend half term break.


Sir Richard Wallace


Sir Richard Wallace lived in this house in Lisburn – at least for some of the time. He was the illegitimate son of the 4th Marquess of Hertford but unlike any previous generation he spent some time on his Irish estate. As a result his name which was his mothers maiden name appears repeatedly around Lisburn – Wallace High School (he paid for the original building) and Wallace Park.


There is an impressive Wallace monument as well in the public gardens in front of the house, erected by the people of Lisburn after his death.


Known for his philanthropy these pictures also show an example of a water fountain which he donated to the town – there is another example in Wallace Park. Clean safe water provision in the 1800s, so he must have been interested in public health.
The family are best known for their extensive art collection which can be seen at Hertford House, Manchester Square, London (www.wallacecollection.org)