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Saturday, 19 April 2008

Films, shopping and wandering

Well time flies – hadn’t realised I’d missed several days since my last entry. I’ve mainly been working and I suppose I don’t have much to say about that. Last night however I went over to Stromness as it was the Film Club – this month we were showing “The Inaccessible Pinnacle” which is a Gaelic film set in Skye (we watched with subtitles obviously!).

The scenery is stunning and the music haunting. The story revolves around Angus, seen as a boy and a young man, who seeks the truth behind the death of his parents on the “inaccessible pinnacle”. The story is interweaved with his Grandfather’s ancient stories from Gaelic history of poisoned lovers, revenge, water-horses and Spanish gold.

We had a good turnout of about 30 folk and the film seemed to have been enjoyed by all. Several people said how moving they found the story, though I have to say it didn’t do it for me! But that’s one of the interesting thing about our film club – we show a variety of films and each affects people differently. My favourite so far is still the German film “The Lives of Others” an incredibly powerful film.

Having stayed in town overnight I decided to go into Kirkwall to do some shopping this morning. The drive on the main Stromness to Kirkwall road was very colourful as the daffodils are still out, though most are just going over. Also the fields are being populated by wee lambs, so it feels like Spring has *finally* arrived.

One of my favourite activities when I am in town is to go to Trenabies café in Kirkwall for a crispy bacon roll and coffee. I often bump into someone I know in there and have a blether at the same time. That’s one thing I notice when I go south – in Orkney I am so used to walking down the street in either Kirkwall or Stromness and saying hello to almost every person I see as most are familiar faces. So when I’m in Glasgow or London it takes a while to stop searching every face in a crowd for someone I know!

I also stocked up on groceries from Somerfield as the store is closing in a couple of weeks having just been taken over by Tesco. Apparently Tesco will be ripping out the interior and re-fitting and the shop will be closed for between six and ten weeks! Eeek! There will still be the Co-op and Lidls to do grocery shopping as well as the smaller local shops, but there are some brands I can only get at Somerfield – so I stocked up while I could! The staff were also giving away various Christmas items like wrapping paper, ribbon etc so there was quite a mêlée around the milk counter as people scrambled for things – hope all that activity didn’t curdle the milk!

Then it was on to the Skara Brae Café to collect a photo from the Manager there. She had taken a panoramic photo of Hoy from Warbeth beach at Stromness which just happened to have Graemsay in it and I’d asked if I could buy a copy. It’s a lovely photo taken in high summer, now I just need to get it framed.

I’d met a friend for lunch and on the way back to Stromness we stopped at Barnhouse in Stenness for a walk. Barnhouse is the remains of a Neolithic settlement, about 15 small houses have been revealed, it’s not as elaborate as Skara Brae but it is interesting – and visiting is free!

Unfortunately it was very low tide on the way home so I had a lot of steps to climb to and from the boat, though John the Crewman kindly carried my bags up the steps for me.

Now I need to go and put some of the plants I collected in Kirkwall into the newly dug border – I am ever optimistic that we have seen the last frost……


  1. The Orkneys are so beautiful, but what I loved best was the prehistory - the Neolithic villages and the standing stones - the knowledge that others had been walking there for eons before. I loved just standing and touching the stones.

  2. What I love about reading your entries is that I can picture almost every place you describe, having been there. I'm trying to convince Walt to go SOMEWHERE this year, so I don't feel so guilty about spending $$ on the Italy/France trip next year. He wants to go back to Ireland and I suggested he come up and check out Sandside now that it is now longer an empty shell.

  3. Mary Z - yes they say about Orkney that scratch the surface and it bleeds archeology.

    Bev - oooh that would be kewl if Walt visited!