Guest photo blogger – Joyce –

I am now presenting the last guest photo blogger in my summer series. It is a pleasure to introduce Joyce.

I have known Joyce a few years. Once again, it was the internet that brought us together. Chance has been kind with me by allowing me to become friends with this gentle and good-humored lady.

Several years ago, I was a participant in an expat chat room. I first crossed paths with her French daughter in-law. This led me eventually to peek at  Joyce’s astrology blog and I have been coming since. We have been following each other’s blogs. We met each other twice, in Paris and in Amiens, for the greatest pleasure for Joyce and I and our families that were present.

Joyce’s son, daughter-in-law and her granddaughter live in Scotland. This has made for many a  family trip and of course,  gorgeous photo opportunities. I would just love to visit Scotland one day! My Celtic roots are calling me to experience Ireland and Scotland. I am already very touched by these beautiful Scottish scenes that Joyce has so lovingly photographed.

Here is Joyce:

A Taste of Scotland

I take holidays travelling in my motor caravan, along with husband and dog, and one place we’ve visited several times now is Scotland. There’s a lot to see – coast and mountains, rugged spaces empty of human life but with plenty of wild life and, of course, the islands.

This trip started on the mainland, on the way to get the ferry which would take us to the islands of the Outer Hebrides. An overnight stop just north of Glasgow found us at the southernmost tip of Loch Lomond. By sheer luck we were at the right place at the right time, just as the sun was going down, the colours of the fading light were reflected on the still water of the loch and the hills were different shades of blue.

Loch Lomond.

Once on the Outer Hebrides, a chain of islands off the west coast, we travelled from the southern to northern tip, visiting all of them along the way. Some are accessible via a connecting causeway; for others you have to take another ferry. The people are friendly and retain many of their traditional crafts, but they depend largely on being self-sufficient and on the supplementary income that tourism brings.

South Uist Old graveyard photo

The island of South Uist has a ridge of mountains. The remote houses and farming crofts are surrounded by grazing fields edged with dry stone walls. This graveyard has some old headstones, like this one with a Celtic cross.

Traditional Croft, South Uist.

Traditional farmer’s crofting cottages, like this one, are often seen. Made of stone, their walls are thick to keep in the heat, and the roof is a mixture of thatch and vegetation. What fascinated me were the huge stones hanging along the edge of the thatch to keep it in place, like a giant hairnet. And believe me, they are needed! The winds and gale force storms which hit the islands in the winter months, and come straight off the North Atlantic, are not to be argued with. Even in June, when I’ve been there, it can be hard to stand up straight if it’s windy.

So why are these islands so fascinating? What draws me there? What is the attraction? For me it’s the very remoteness of the place, the seabirds, the wildlife, sighting dolphins, nature surviving against quite demanding odds, and of course, the scenery.

Cnip beach, Lewis photo

You’d be forgiven for thinking, at a glance, that this was a south sea beach until you noticed there were no palm trees. But this is typical of the fantastic beaches and turquoise seas of the islands. This one is at Cnip (you pronounce the “C”) on the island of Lewis, which is the northernmost island in the chain. We stayed right by this beach, yards away from it on the grass, and as you can see, it was a stunning place to be.

Wow… I am almost speechless. I love your pictures, Joyce. Thank you so much for taking the time to share!

Please enjoy these pictures. I will be back Wednesday for my photo gift for you all, my guest photo bloggers and kind commenters.

It has been a marvelous experience! For what we did not have in quantity, we made up for in quality. You cannot imagine how much I appreciated your participation.

Have a great day and see you very soon.

14 thoughts on “Guest photo blogger – Joyce –

  1. Hi Valerie,
    You are very welcome 🙂 I loved them, too! There is a simple beauty present. that composes a beautiful scene. Those crofts look sturdy. It sounds like they are built to stand bad weather and I am sure would make a rustic lodging.

  2. What a treat! I’ve never seen anything like that croft. Thank you for sharing something so unique and new to me.

    The graveyard is pristine and bucolic.
    I’ve often wondered, for those in Europe, what is the oldest gravestone that you’ve ever seen?

  3. The first picture won me over right away!

    And the beach… wow, who would have known this kind of paradise setting was in Scotland? Reminds me of New Zealand in a way.

  4. Hi Bijoux,

    I agree with you; Joyce’s pictures were a treat 🙂

    My Dad was 3/4 Irish, which gives me lots of Celtic roots. When I see scenes like these in Scotland or Ireland, I am very attracted to these countries.
    I will try and answer your question about the oldest gravestone that I have seen. The oldest gravestones in France that I have seen were from the 1800s. But, I have seen gravestones in Philadelphia from the Revolutionary war era.

    If you scroll back in my “archives”, to May 2011, you will see a mini tour that I did of a Parisian cemetery. The gravestones are not the oldest, but among some of the most unusual.


  5. Hi Zhu,
    That photo was very special, n’est-ce pas?
    I had previously seen other pictures of the beach from Joyce or her DIL, taken on this coast. Everyone marvels at how “South seas islands” it looks like. A big surprise for many!!

  6. Hi Joyce!

    I’ve been so anxiously awaiting your photo post because Barbara introduced me to your You Tube astrology videos last month and I LOVED them! I so enjoy learning about astrology.

    OMG…GORGEOUS photos, Joyce! And what’s really magical about them is that you get a clear idea of not only what Scotland looks like , but also FEELS like. I’ve never been there, but would love to visit.

    I’m especially drawn to the first two photos. I adore graveyards!

    Anyway, it’s been so nice having you on Barb’s blog. It’s been a pleasure to finally meet you!

    @Barb….wonderful post, my friend!


  7. Hi Ron, Bijoux, Zhu, Valerie, and of course, Barbara!

    Thank you all SO much for your kind and perceptive comments. Much appreciated and it was my pleasure to share a few views of Scotland with you – thanks to Barbara’s “guesting” slot inspiration!

    It sounds as if some of you people are inspired to find out more about Scotland and maybe travel there yourselves. If so, be prepared for 4 seasons in one day (!), fantastic scenery, friendly people and superb food.

    Ron – how nice to have you keeping an eye on my YouTube Channel too. You’re very welcome! I only record a video when the mood moves me and when I feel inspired, and I try to keep the quality up as there can be a lot of dross flying around there!

    Thanks again to you all,

    Joyce 🙂

  8. Hi Ron,
    I know how much you have been looking forward to having Joyce on the blog. I shared Joyce’s astrological videos with Ron(because we are both astrology fans).
    I fell in awe with the first two pics, also. I am a “sucker ” for a beautiful sunset. And show me anything Celtic(like these crosses) and I am all eyes and ears.

    Thank you for stopping by, Ron. And, I hope to see you soon, Joyce. I think that you have a few new fans!


  9. Incredible pictures, thanks for sharing those. Some day (as if?) I plan on making a trip to Scotland as that is where some of my ancestors hailed from in the 1800’s. What a beautiful land

  10. Ohhhhh….they’re BEAUTIFUL. I love the first one. And since I’m a lover of old cemeteries, I’m in love with that one as well.

    And I had to ask ‘he-who-is-English’ what a crofting cottage was–he likened it to our rustic old log cabins, sitting in the middle of nowhere. That description just endeared me even more to the photo–which is awesome!

    Thanks so much for letting me have a peek! (albeit a late one!)

  11. Xavier-
    Hi there.
    I think that Joyce’s Scotland made a hit. I wish for you to make it one day to the place your ancestor’s called home. And, if you happen to know the village of origin, then it is indeed a real homecoming 🙂
    Have a great weekend.

    Mel- It’s nice to see you. I never heard of a “crofting cottage” before Joyce’s text. So, we all win by learning something new. I would truly love to discover some of Scotland one day, too.

    Thanks for coming! No problem at for the peek; the more, the merrier!

  12. I’m so happy to find this site. I love the picture of the croft. It looks large. How many rooms? I’m trying to get a sense of what it’s like inside. I’m a writer and currently imagining a scene inside a croft. I was especially excited to see that it still had its thatched roof. Thanks, Margie

    1. Hi Margie,
      I am very happy to have helped you. I will ask the photographer, my friend Joyce , the details on the croft. How exciting your project sounds! Do you have a wensite? I would be interested in finding out about your future work. Best wishes!.

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