Barcelona film

April 28, 2016 — Leave a comment

Barcelona provided the perfect opportunity to shoot some black and white film on an old Canon AE1-P camera. Shoot on Illford HP-5 ISO400 Black & White film.

La Pedrera

La Pedrera La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia Park Güell

Park Güell

Park Güell

Barcelona

April 21, 2016 — Leave a comment

A few phone snaps from our trip to Barcelona in March.

La Pedrera

La Pedrera

La Pedrera

Barcelona Casa Batlló

Park Güell

Park Güell

Park Güell

Park Güell

La Sagrada Familia

April 12, 2016 — Leave a comment

I’ve been in a whole lot of old church buildings on my travels, but I have never experienced awe and wonder like I did while in Sagrada Familia. I feel like I could spend days on end in the building quite happily.

The Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia The Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia

Success is not forever and failure isn’t fatal.

The Heart of a Leader – Ken Blanchard

Generosity is what keeps the things I own from owning me. In other words, the point of my generosity isn’t just to bless others; it’s also to liberate me.

“I work with college students, helping them to strive after Christ and his kingdom, especially within communities scarred by poverty, hopelessness and exclusion. One of my most daunting challenges is not helping students see that they can make a difference in these complicated situations; it is helping them to confront the messianic complex which convinces them that they are the solution.”

Overrated – Eugene Cho

Pierre Huyghe—a French artist—believed that “being an artist means asking questions about the reality of existence.” Huyghe’s work has followed this line, which led Time magazine to call him a “question maker.”

Let’s be the sort of people who, in the words of Stanley Hauerwas, “can risk being peaceful in a violent world, risk being kind in a competitive society, risk being faithful in an age of cynicism, risk being gentle among those who admire the tough, risk love when it may not be returned, because we have the confidence that in Christ we have been reborn into a new reality.”

Better: How Jesus Satisfies the Search for Meaning – Tim Chaddick and Craig Borlase

The Cobbler

God answers sharp and sudden on some prayers,
And thrusts the thing we have prayed
For in our face,
A gauntlet with a gift in it.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

February was the month we were walking the West Island Way, a 40km way marked trail around Bute. The bags were packed, ferry taken, campsite checked in to. Unfortunately, the weather had other ideas. We trudged through massively boggy ground for the first 8km, the Kilchattan Bay circular, before deciding to spend the rest of the weekend drinking coffee and reading books.

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The danger goes beyond authority figures silencing female voices. Young women internalize societal cues about what defines “appropriate” behaviour and, in turn, silence themselves.

It wasn’t until I heard the Phi Beta Kappa speech about self-doubt that it struck me: the real issue was not that I felt like a fraud, but that I could feel something deeply and profoundly and be completely wrong.

I realised that searching for a mentor has become the professional equivalent of waiting for Prince Charming.

Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg

The very meaning of food is being transformed: food cultures that once treated cooking and eating as central elements in maintaining social stricter and tradition are slowly being usurped by a global food culture, where cost and convenience are dominant, the social meal is obsolete, and the art of cooking fetishised in coffee-table cookbooks and on television shows.

Just as we long ago broke farming into its constituent pieces and are now suffering the consequences, our solutions have tended to follow a pattern that is no less reductionist, in which each problem (for example, synthetic farm chemicals) is met with its own discreet solution (organics). Yet just as most of our food challenges are now understood to be interrelated and evolving, our solutions, too, must be both comprehensive and capable of constantly adapting.

The End of Food – Paul Roberts

The French writer and filmmaker Alain Robbe-Grillet recalls his friend the literary theorist Roland Barthes musing, ‘In a restaurant it is the menu that people enjoy consuming – not the dishes, but their description.’ The words, the bright names of ingredients, the voluptuous-sounding dishes are all part of the experience of the food.

“We don’t sit around a table as a distraction from the travails of daily life. We do everything else in order to sit around the table. What you share when you eat in the Caribbean isn’t just food, it’s stories. Words become a condiment to the food.” Oscar Guardiola-Rivera

The Edible Atlas – Mina Holland

Brave enough to begin

February 23, 2016 — 2 Comments

About a month ago, I listened to a podcast interview with Alastair Humphreys, adventurer extraordinaire. In the closing moments, he uttered a phrase that has held me absolutely captivated:

“I’m obsessed with the idea of trying to make myself brave enough to begin things.”

I cannot tell you how often I’ve been turning that over (and over, and over) in my mind this last month or so.

There are dreams that have lain silent in my heart for some time. Dreams I thought long dead are making rumblings again, like a dormant volcano reminding the environment not to get too settled.



Eight years ago, I did a gap year that changed my life. I got to spend twelve months telling stories about the devastation poverty causes, and walking alongside people to show them how they could bring change into those situations. One of the great privileges of that year was the friendships I made.

One of those women, Jen, has played the role of confidant, encourager and mischief-maker in my life since then. Over the last few years her job has taken her to places well off the beaten track, and she’s discovered that her unique gifts line up perfectly with a job we could never have imagined of as kids – the kind that seems so tailor made you’d think we dreamt it up.

It has brought me great joy to see her discover that what she has to offer is not only enough, it is essential.

She was brave enough to begin, and she makes me braver by her inspiration.



Bravery is a strange word. Just the mention of it conjures up images of warriors and windswept landscapes. I am more interested, though, in the silent, unseen kind of bravery. The kind that of bravery that notices a change in a friend and points it out in love. The kind that sees an opportunity and doesn’t shrink back from it, even if it might unbalance the scales. I want to be more like that kind of person; to have the kind of bravery Jen exhibits. I want to be brave enough to begin.

I finally realised that my fear was boring.

I made a decision a long time ago that if I want creativity in my life – and I do – then I will have to make space for fear, too. Plenty of space.

It has taken me years to learn this, but it does seem to be the case that if I am not actively creating something, then I am probably actively destroying something (myself, a relationship, or my own peace of mind).

What do you love doing so much that the words failure and success essentially become irrelevant? What do you love even more than you love your own ego?

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear – Elizabeth Gilbert

“A bookshop is not like a railway booking-office which one approaches knowing what one wants. One should enter it vaguely, almost in a dream, and allow what is there freely to attract and influence the eye. To walk the rounds of the bookshops, dipping in as curiosity dictates, should be an afternoon’s entertainment.” John Maynard Keynes

The title of Ward’s blog is borrowed from a saying of Andy Warhol’s: ‘I like boring things’. Warhol took he most boring and ubiquitous object he could think of – a tin of soup – and made millions of people see it anew. Ward says that when he refers to boring things he is thinking of things that only seem boring, because we’re not paying attention to them… “The transformative power of attention”.

Curiosity is a life force. If depression involves a turning inwards, a feeling that there’s nothing in the world that is worthy of our attention (or that nothing we pay attention to is worthy) then it is curiosity which takes us the other way, that reminds us that the world is an inexhaustibly diverting, inspiring, fascinating place.

Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends on It – Ian Leslie

The climax of God’s creative work is not the creation of humanity (or the satisfaction of human desires exclusively defined) but the experience of Sabbath. Sabbath is not an optional reprieve in the midst of an otherwise frantic or obsessive life. It is the goal of all existence because it is in Sabbath, creation becomes what it fully ought to be.

God the gardener is a striking image. It helps us understand that the divine creative activity is fundamentally about ‘making room’ for others to be and to flourish.

All along the way decisions have to be made about how people relate to the land (agriculture) and each other (culture). These decisions reflect more or less appropriate forms of abiding: bread can be consumed in ways that respect and honour fields, farm workers, and bakers, but it can also be consumed as a produce in which relations to land and others have been degraded. Food production and consumption, in other words, embody a logos. What we eat and how we eat it reflect whether or not we think we need to abide with others at all.

Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating – Norman Wirzba

Sand & Snow

January 30, 2016 — Leave a comment

A weekend in Aviemore isn’t complete with a trip to Loch Morlich and up to Cairn Gorm.

Aviemore

Aviemore

Aviemore

Aviemore Aviemore

Aviemore

Aviemore