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Saturday, 23 February 2008

Gales continue....

The gale continued well into the night. Some of the gusts were really strong and I could feel the old stone house shudder. I hate the gales through the night – somehow it always feels more scary than in the day time. I feel quite secure in the house – and am glad I saw the construction of the roof in every detail as I’m confident it is securely fastened to the house! Although sometimes the wind gets through the vents in the roof and rattles around noisily in the loft space. But my greatest fear is some loose debris flying through the windows.

Although in general, anything that wasn’t tied down back in October disappeared in the first autumn gusts. I’ve become attuned to the weather much more since living in Orkney. There is nothing between our wee island and the East coast of Canada. Westerly winds tend to be the prevailing direction. The North winds aim directly at the conservatory windows and I hate those.

Most cars in Orkney end up with what are known as “Orkney doors” – that is the wind has at some point caught them and bent them back on their hinges and slightly out of shape. On the island as we are so exposed to the wind I try and work out wind direction and then decide which way to park the car and whether to park at the front or back of the house.

The majority of houses in Orkney only seem to have one external door. To someone from the South of England this seems odd – all the places I knew had front and back doors (well some had side doors). But in Orkney only one external door is traditional. Usually where possible (and before statutory planning regulations) a house would be positioned with the external door on the most sheltered side of the house. When my house was built back in the 1860s it only had one front door – actually the house was built as a two flats within the house, both with external doors at the front (one upstairs accessed by a long gone stone staircase and one downstairs). A rear porch was added at some point and when the house was renovated both a front and rear external doors were kept. Plus a slightly excessive three doors in the conservatory. The cat is very astute – if it’s windy when I open one door to let him out he retreats and goes to find another door which is hopefully sheltered from the wind. If none suit he gives me a very indignant look and retreats into the warmth of the sitting room again.

And today’s culinary note – the Italian herb bread turned out well and is delicious! I may venture to bake a cake again tomorrow……..


  1. Glad your baking has turned out well. It sounds like nice and cozy to stay "hunkered down" in the warm sturdy house, baking bread, while the gales rage.

  2. Yes it's cosy indoors, but oh I am fed up with the noise of the wind now! Forecast says it is to continue for some days yet though.

  3. Talking about wind... I've never experienced such winds ever as I did in Orkney once. But I will probably read about it when I get a few years further into your blog :))