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Friday, 19 March 2010

Not quite Spring then.....

We are currently in the teeth of a gale - sigh. It could get as strong as a Force 9 later! At the moment the gusts for the Graemsay area are 67 knots that's about 76 mph! (according to the Orkney Harbour web site).

Below is a view from the back door!

I had planned a day in town, but it's just too wild out there and so I've ordered some supplies from Flett's the Butcher, in Stromness, which will come out on the lunch time boat (if it goes!) and a neighbour has kindly offered to deliver the box to the house as I'm not sure I can stand up on the pier in this wind!

I did make it out to feed the hens - they are sheltered from the worst of the West wind by their stone henny hoose so can be outdoors a bit or roost indoors. They came rushing towards me gleefully as I threw scraps for them (bread and rice soaked overnight). I still have George the cockerel (he has lost his "gorgeous" title due to his behaviour!). I couldn't managed to hold the vinegar spray (cockerel attack deterrent) , the scraps for the chickens AND Charlie's cat food so I just yelled at George whenever he came near me. I may be small but there's not many that will argue when I'm cross!

Charlie was very vocal, clearly wanting breakfast NOW - presumably he'd not been out hunting in the wind and the rain. It was a bit breezy in the barn so I threw the food down and made a run for home. A large gust of wind caught me as I walked through the yard and rather than be blown over I made my legs go faster - first time I've run in years! Though wind power rather than lung power meant I quite enjoyed the experience! But I had to hang onto a gate to stop myself.

Button was fretting and wanting to go out and in the end I got fed up with her grumping and threw her out the front door. She was not at all pleased at this. After a few minutes I relented and opened the door and yelled - she'd been sheltering among the willow trees out of the worst of the wind but was very pleased to come indoors again. I got a real telling off from her after she was safely indoors (and she'd watched me shut the door in case there was danger she would be thrown out again!). She is now recovering in her favourite warm spot below the sofa, with the underfloor heating warming her paws......

The ferry service to the Scottish Mainland is under review and some sailings cancelled. The Churchill Barriers (cause-way that links South isles of Burray and South Ronaldsay) have been closed. The tide is also expected to be high so some of the houses in Stromness may be under threat from flooding. The floodwater doesn't necessarily come along the street, in some of the old stone houses on the old stone piers it just seeps up through the floor and the first you know about it is your carpet is floating! Thankfully I'm far enough from the shore that I'm not threatened by *that*!

Weather is forecast to be like this for weekend. I feel sorry for the farmers who are trying to work in this. The sheep are in the field but lambing doesn't start on Graemsay until April, so it's just the ewes sheltering where they can. Most of the island cattle are still indoors in the byres, but I pity the poor farmers driving around on tractors with silage bales in this gale!


  1. I noticed last night that gales were heading your way. We're just getting the tail end. Don't get blown away!

  2. Have things quietened down now? We had much needed rain today but no wind thank goodness. We had enough strong north winds last week to last us for a quite while thank you!

    Rosie x

  3. DancingBeastie - Thankfully it only lasted the day. In the winter somtimes the gales scream like bansees for days on end. Today all is calm and I can get outside again.

    Rosie - Strong winds just make life so difficult - especially for folk like you with stock to take care of. I can stay safe and cosy indoors, but I know you need to get out to feed and tend to livestock AND make sure they are safe!