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The island next door

Our next-door island, Burray, has St Lawrence as patron saint. (I have no idea who our South Ronaldsay patron saint is, but I rather assume it must be St Margaret.)

Anyway, St Lawrence church is somewhat ruined, yet its churchyard is still the active cemetery for the folk of Burray. I have heard that weddings can be arranged there, but one had better pray for no rain.

Here's the church itself on a bright and warm day.

And here's the interior, well-lit by its 100% open skylight:

I love the way grass grown along the tops of the walls, cutting sharp little lines against the Orkney sky.

My business at St Lawrence's was twofold: to take little Afina for a walk and also for a first serious play with my new 50mm Voigtländer APO lens. Everything looks so sharp in Orkney light that the sights scream out for a sharp lens. The Voigtländer did well in this respect, I think.

St Lawrence is down by the shore with a typical Orkney view over the cemetery wall. I peeped over it

and then stood a bit taller to take this

Afina wandered around the graveyard, exclaiming at the softness of the grass underfoot. In some places it really felt like a trampoline.

Here the war memorial:

Little children always manage to look wicked.

Here, Afina is just suspicious. (I had to throw away a number of photos because at first she seemed to think it necessary to make silly faces for snaps. But I was having none of it.)

All the while, I just wandered, enjoying the warm sun

The vestry, shall we say?

Sharp lines against the sky:

A rare view with no sea!:

The cemetery has one of the most touching little graves I have ever seen...

...of a still-born child 'who ne'er wept nor smiled'. It brings tears to my eyes.


After a pleasant wander, we took the road back up the hill and headed home:


Location: I usually put a little map as a location guide. Today, however, I'll use What3Words, as I think it's such a clever invention – just three words takes you to a unique 3x3 metre square anywhere on the surface of the globe. In these digital days, it's by far the best way to tell someone where somewhere is.

Click here:

The map will open right on the church and you can zoom out to get an impression of the location.

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