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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.

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

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