Catafalques and Crowns

I learned a new word this week – catafalque.

In all my (almost) 59 years on this planet it’s never occurred to me to wonder what is the proper name of the thing-the-coffin-sits-on during a funeral service or a lying in state. And this week I found out I found out by watching TV as the Queen’s coffin was borne into St Giles cathedral in Edinburgh and laid on a beautiful light Scottish oak catafalque.

There was something so deeply dignified in the beautifully carved but bare wooden stand, the Queen’s coffin draped with the Scottish version of the Royal Standard, adorned with a gorgeous wreath of white flowers and all of it crowned so reverently with the Honours of Scotland – the ancient crown of James VI of Scotland, who later became James I of England.

Through the Queen’s final journey from her summer home at Balmoral to the Palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh, from there to St Giles Cathedral, and then on to Edinburgh airport for her last ever flight, I’m just so proud that due to the time and place of her death, everyday Scottish people too were able to pay their respects in person, to a beloved monarch on their home soil.

I know the Queen has returned to London now and will remain lying in state in the traditional historic splendour of Westminster Hall until her funeral next Monday, but I remain quietly grateful that the people of Scotland have so solemnly and dutifully played their part in the formal, national process of laying our beloved monarch to rest.

And now I know what a catafalque is… 🙂

Weekly Smile: 16 May 2022

Yesterday was my youngest grandson’s 7th birthday, so I took a bus trip 10 miles out of town to join him for his birthday party. My Weekly Smile is me sharing some of my day with you:-

  • The first pic is me with a big smile sitting on the bus on my way out
  • We passed a sprayer spraying come unidentified crop in a field
  • We also passed the ‘Cloud Factory’ – it’s actually a wood-chip processing plant making pressed fibre-board, and the billowing steam funnel gives it its fun nick-name locally
  • Once we’ve passed through the airport, the bus empties out for the last bit of the journey
  • We drive along the coast to the village where my grandson lives – the water is looking nice and blue today!

I’m not sharing any pics of the party itself, but we all had great fun and ate plenty of yummy party food. The drawing I’ve shared here is my grandson’s version of the Mona Lisa with her enigmatic smile, which his mum has put up on the wall, and the final image is my grandson wearing his new velociraptor mask – he’s a huge dinosaur fan so his big brother bought him the mask which has a chin strap (like a bicycle helmet) internally so that when you open your mouth wide the dinosaur mouth opens too, and it actually roars – what fun, and of course it looks as though the velociraptor is smiling too!

So there you have it, three smiles for the price of one today! 🙂

Review of 2021 in Pictures

Although 2021 didn’t turn out to be my best year, and inevitably the ongoing pandemic kept me close to home throughout, I see looking back through my blog posts over the last twelve months that I still managed regularly to capture some beauty in the world around me. I’ve chosen one image I particularly liked from each month of the year to showcase here, as a kind of pictorial representation or personal review of 2021.

Apart from going to work and occasionally seeing my family when possible, I effectively spent most of last year either relaxing in my garden or going out for a walk locally, and I can see my necessarily constrained photographic subjects accurately represent my reality. I can’t help but wonder what 2022 will have in store for me… Will I venture further afield, or will this year simply be more of the same? No doubt I’ll find out as I go along! 🙂

Ben Wyvis

We were walking across the Greig Street foot-bridge the other day, where my husband stopped half way along to capture a softly snow-capped Ben Wyvis with only one narrow ribbon of afternoon sunshine lifting the view.

Ben Wyvis is about 35 miles north of Inverness so is not always visible from the city – I really love the way everything looks dull blue-grey in this image apart from the highlighted mountain range itself 🙂

View from the Bus

I found myself on a double decker bus the other day rather than the usual single decker, so I sat right at the front for the 30-minute journey and took some images of the views outside on my phone camera. Not the brightest weather, but then it is autumn in the the North of Scotland, so here I am on the bus (wearing my mask, as is still legally required on public transport here in Scotland) and the best of my rural landscape shots taken along the A96 main road travelling from Ardersier to Inverness 🙂