Tag Archives: scotland

Day 18: A song that you wish you heard on the radio #30dsc

The Draymin are a brilliant band from Rosyth, not a million miles from where I grew up. The reason I wish I heard their songs on the radio should be obvious, they’re brilliant and extremely hardworking, and deserve every success in the industry. We Will Fall is an excellent song, but please also check out their Biz Session for the Sun and their website for more.


London is a roost for every bird

A little while ago I posted some pictures of the goldfinches which were nesting opposite my living room window, and the show-off neighbourhood squirrel. I also mentioned the local parakeets, and promised Freda I would try to get a picture. Well, it took a while, but a few weeks ago I finally managed it! They really are hard to spot, as they sit very high up in the trees and are pretty well camouflaged. I only got this picture because I pointed, clicked a few times and hoped for the best.

I was also lucky enough to get this shot of the friendly neighbourhood fox the other day, it’s a little blurry as I took it with one hand while I was on the phone to Mum.

I’ve made a few trips to Scotland recently as well, and obviously the camera came too. When I stayed in Dunfermline prior to the Cup Final (have I mentioned that already?), Mum showed me the pansies which have somehow managed to grow through the paving slabs in the back garden, and Nala decided to join us and do the whole attention-seeking kitty thing she does so well.

We were also lucky enough to have our Glenalmond leaders training weekend in Arpafeelie, with Bishop Mark. I was incredibly excited as we were walking through the woods to see a magnificent red kite flying out of the trees straight in front of us. It was the first time I’d ever seen a kite, other than in pictures, and they really are amazing birds. Again, as with the parakeets, I got one lucky shot, and it’s more credit to the camera than me that I got the shot at all.

One last bonus picture, taken when I was in Edinburgh recently for a PYN meeting, just to counteract all the wildlife photies!

(Translation for the English: “It would be rather good if you could speed up those fancy new trams good sir.”)

Happy Burns Night

Holy Willie’s Prayer

O Thou, who in the heavens does dwell,
Who, as it pleases best Thysel’,
Sends ane to heaven an’ ten to hell,
A’ for Thy glory,
And no for ony gude or ill
They’ve done afore Thee!

I bless and praise Thy matchless might,
When thousands Thou hast left in night,
That I am here afore Thy sight,
For gifts an’ grace
A burning and a shining light
To a’ this place.

What was I, or my generation,
That I should get sic exaltation,
I wha deserve most just damnation
For broken laws,
Five thousand years ere my creation,
Thro’ Adam’s cause?

When frae my mither’s womb I fell,
Thou might hae plunged me in hell,
To gnash my gums, to weep and wail,
In burnin lakes,
Where damned devils roar and yell,
Chain’d to their stakes.

Yet I am here a chosen sample,
To show thy grace is great and ample;
I’m here a pillar o’ Thy temple,
Strong as a rock,
A guide, a buckler, and example,
To a’ Thy flock.

O Lord, Thou kens what zeal I bear,
When drinkers drink, an’ swearers swear,
An’ singin there, an’ dancin here,
Wi’ great and sma’;
For I am keepit by Thy fear
Free frae them a’.

But yet, O Lord! confess I must,
At times I’m fash’d wi’ fleshly lust:
An’ sometimes, too, in wardly trust,
Vile self gets in:
But Thou remembers we are dust,
Defil’d wi’ sin.

O Lord! yestreen, Thou kens, wi’ Meg –
Thy pardon I sincerely beg,
O! may’t ne’er be a livin plague
To my dishonour,
An’ I’ll ne’er lift a lawless leg
Again upon her.

Besides, I farther maun avow,
Wi’ Leezie’s lass, three times I trow –
But Lord, that Friday I was fou,
When I cam near her;
Or else, Thou kens, Thy servant true
Wad never steer her.

Maybe Thou lets this fleshly thorn
Buffet Thy servant e’en and morn,
Lest he owre proud and high shou’d turn,
That he’s sae gifted:
If sae, Thy han’ maun e’en be borne,
Until Thou lift it.

Lord, bless Thy chosen in this place,
For here Thou hast a chosen race:
But God confound their stubborn face,
An’ blast their name,
Wha bring Thy elders to disgrace
An’ public shame.

Lord, mind Gaw’n Hamilton’s deserts;
He drinks, an’ swears, an’ plays at cartes,
Yet has sae mony takin arts,
Wi’ great and sma’,
Frae God’s ain priest the people’s hearts
He steals awa.

An’ when we chasten’d him therefor,
Thou kens how he bred sic a splore,
An’ set the warld in a roar
O’ laughing at us; –
Curse Thou his basket and his store,
Kail an’ potatoes.

Lord, hear my earnest cry and pray’r,
Against that Presbyt’ry o’ Ayr;
Thy strong right hand, Lord, make it bare
Upo’ their heads;
Lord visit them, an’ dinna spare,
For their misdeeds.

O Lord, my God! that glib-tongu’d Aiken,
My vera heart and flesh are quakin,
To think how we stood sweatin’, shakin,
An’ piss’d wi’ dread,
While he, wi’ hingin lip an’ snakin,
Held up his head.

Lord, in Thy day o’ vengeance try him,
Lord, visit them wha did employ him,
And pass not in Thy mercy by ’em,
Nor hear their pray’r,
But for Thy people’s sake, destroy ’em,
An’ dinna spare.

But, Lord, remember me an’ mine
Wi’ mercies temp’ral an’ divine,
That I for grace an’ gear may shine,
Excell’d by nane,
And a’ the glory shall be thine,
Amen, Amen!

As an attack on hypocrisy and complacency, it’s hard to beat. Happy Burns night!