Thursday, 6 August 2009
The sun is shining....
...... sorry for all those of you suffering from excessive heatwaves, rain, winter or other weather, but I am rejoicing in the SUN!! This week has been glorious, and apart from the fact I *love* it, the dry weather and sunshine also benefit all the folk who have been preparing for the various shows around the county. Yes this is Show Week, where parishes and islands have agricultural shows full of cattle, sheep, ponies, dogs, chickens, ducks and maybe the odd llama or two, which have been shampooed and primped from the tips of their ears to the tips of their tails (if they have one....). And of course as well as prime livestock and pets there will be craft stalls and flower and vegetable judging.
Today was "Dounby Show Day" - the West Mainland (of Orkney) show. Banks, the council offices and some shops still close for "Dounby Show Day", though with increased tourists visiting I think closure is less frequent now. And it all culminates on Saturday in "County Show Day" - the main show taking place on the outskirts of Kirkwall. In recent years the shows have been plagued by bad weather and of course the infamous "foot and mouth". So it is great that the weather is so glorious for this week, when everyone's hard work can be on show.
Quite a few folk from the island go over for the "County Show" but this year I have visitors, so we shall be touring around on Saturday instead - I'm hoping the "hot spots" of Skara Brae etc are a little quieter with folk attending the Show but who knows?!
There has also been a sea angling competition based in Stromness and organised by the European Federation of Sea Anglers, with anglers from all over the world attending. The picture at the top of today's blog entry is part of the flotilla of small boats that have been sailing in and out of the harbour all this week. The town has also been very buzzy with families and friends of the anglers taking time to enjoy Orkney in the sun (sorry - did I mention it was sunny?!). I think one of the rules of the competition is that all the fish caught has to be thrown back into the sea, but some does seem to have found it's way ashore. Plus there have been one or two fresh fish stalls at the harbour. It's surprisingly difficult to get hold of fresh fish in Orkney - well unless you go and catch it yourself! I was really surprised as South we had the "fish van" visit the town market weekly. OK maybe the fish wasn't *that* fresh but still - it was recognisable as a fish rather than something vacuum packed into anonymity!
Better get ready for my visitors who arrive tomorrow. The island seems quite busy at the moment as various folk have summer visitors. Meanwhile the farmers are trying to gather in the hay, silage and other winter crops. So..... let's hope we can keep the dry sunny weather till next week at least - then we'll pass it on to somebody else...... maybe....... but don't begrudge us the sun - remember in the winter we only get about 6 hours of daylight!
(Photos kindly provided by a friend who wishes to remain anonymous)