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Tuesday, 17 March 2009

A lovely Spring morning!

The sun is shining and the sea is calm. It's a little chilly outdoors and still very squelchy underfoot, but I just love the brightness. Button is also enjoying the warming of the sun and spends hours outdoors each day. When she greeted me this morning as I emerged from sleep I thought - she smells like "Comfort" fabric conditioner, hmmm weird.... and then dismissed the thought as being the ramblings of a half-awake women. However I've just sorted the laundry and realise that dear Button has been asleep among the towels and freshly washed fleeces in the basket! I must remember to explain that to anyone who comments in case they think I stick her into the washing machine at regular intervals!

On a more sombre note, today is the 40th Anniversary of the Longhope Lifeboat disaster. The lifeboat was stationed on Hoy among a small community at Brims, and on the night of the 17th March 1969, the boat was lost with all eight crew including two fathers, each with their two sons on board. You can read about it here. The memorial in the Osmandwall Kirkyard in Longhope is one of the most poignant I have ever seen. It is a bronze statue of a lifeboatman gazing forever out to sea, sculpted by Ian Scott, an artist from North Ronaldsay in Orkney.

It's so easy to forget on a beautiful calm Spring day today that there are men and women around our shores who put their lives at risk to rescue people from all sorts of sea craft in the foulest of weather. Only last year a local doctor was winched onto a large ship in the Pentland Firth in the most appalling conditions to assist some injured crewman. The Lifeboat Guild in Orkney is very strong, with lots of fundraisers and events to support the service which is run by volunteers, "ordinary" people doing extraordinary deeds to rescue anyone at sea needing help.

Picture from the Orcadian website of the memorial:


  1. It must be very sobering, especially for the families, to have the sea as a constant reminder of their loss. That was a very detailed story you included, thank you for that.

    On a lighter note, my cat can often be found sleeping in the dryer if I've forgotten to close the door properly!

  2. Thanks for letting us know about this tragedy. How wonderful for those crews to risk life and limb for others.

  3. VioletSky: I only found out yesterday that the current Coxswain of the Longhope Lifeboat is the grandson of the Coxswain lost in the tragedy. The latest boats are fitted with all sorts of self-righting protection and other safety aids, but it is still one heck of a dangerous job - which local men and women do as volunteers.

    MaryZ - yes the crews are true heroes in my opinion.

    Hope your cold is better now?

    I no longer use a dryer as I expect Button would have worked out how to operate it herself by now!