Click on pictures to see them enlarged in a photo stream. Comments: word verification on to allow anyone to comment but try and deter excessive amounts of spam! I LOVE getting comments!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Blogging Adventures Part I



One of the fun sides of blogging is you get to know all sorts of people from around the world and sometimes get to meet them too!  I've met several in the past, including Dancing Beastie and her family, and of course Orkney Flowers. This week it was the turn of Perpetually in Transit to come for a short visit. Oh we had a wonderful time! Lots and lots of conversations about rural communities, books, archaeology, Orkney, ourselves, bread makers and many other topics.  We were both saying that having read someone's blog regularly for a while, the first meeting face-to-face meeting isn't like meeting someone for the very first time. Over many blog posts you can learn a lot about someone. OK it might be an edited version, but you can still get a strong impression of the person. So it was with "Perpetua".  We could get right into conversations based on things we knew about each other.

The weather wasn't at it's best and Perpetua braved the high seas (literally) to get here. Having got off the large ferry from Scrabster and saying it was a "lively" sail I had to introduce her to our very wee replacement ferry. However I assured her it WAS sea-worthy, and the journey would only take 15 minutes.  After a brief walk down the street and a reviving cup of tea we boarded the ferry. This being the school run, most of the Graemsay children were on board so there were many hands to be shaken and exchanges of greetings.


We had a brief tour around Graemsay and popped in to see Irene who used to be the teacher on the island in the "one teacher/head teacher" school, until it closed. We had a lovely blether (chat) with her, while she recounted tales of her days at the school and the children she taught.

Here is a photo of the side of Graemsay that looks towards the island of Hoy with the lovely sandstone cliffs glowing as the sun sets.



The old Kirk and Burra Sound with Hoy in the background


On Friday the weather had fortunately cheered up with blue skies and sun (though a chill wind) and Perpetua and I headed off for Skara Brae, the Neolithic village, and the Ring of Brodgar, a Neolithic stone circle. These are "must sees" on any visit to Orkney.  I love showing visitors around because it reminds me how lucky I am to live here. Also it's interesting seeing my "home" through other people's eyes.  Perpetua went around the interpretation centre at Skara Brae while I sneaked off for a cup of tea and cake!  Then we wandered around the neolithic village together. We were very fortunate to be the only people there at the time and had the place to ourselves for some minutes. This enabled some nice photo opportunities without getting other people's heads in the way!!

This photo was taken with my feet in Skara Brae. You can see how close it is to the shore now, though at one time it was much farther inland. There is a beautiful sweep of Skaill Bay to wander along after a walk around the village.


One of the houses with the hearth clearly visible. Skaill House is in the background.


This is the famous stone "dresser", with the hearth just in front of it. You can see how close to the shore the village is now.


Here you can see openings which lead into the underground passage-ways that link the houses. Excellent for this climate - good protection from weather and attack. Though no weapons have been found at the site. At the back of this house you can see the stone beds. It is thought that the people at that time slept in a crouched position, sitting up.



We then wandered up to Skaill House which is inextricably linked to Skara Brae. This is the home of the Scarth/Macrae family and is a large "laird's" residence but with comfortable and well appointed family rooms. The views from the "drawing room" are stunning!


It was then time to head off to the Ring of Brodgar as Perpetua had an afternoon ferry to catch. But more of that in another post in a couple of days.  Meanwhile I hope you enjoy the photos on this post. We had a lovely time wandering around, chatting over tea and exchanging stories!


22 comments:

  1. Oh, we did indeed, Sian. :-) Your photos have turned out beautifully, as have mine, but you're a long way ahead of me in getting a post out. I've been really busy since getting back, but hope to make a start on the chronicle of our adventures tomorrow. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had a bit of time to "put my feet up" today so took the opportunity for a quick "post". Look forward to seeing your photos too when you have time!

      Delete
  2. Mostly, Sian, I simply sigh when I look at and read your blog. I see a life I can barely imagine, yet it somehow touches something inside beyond words. I love the raw nature of life on your islands.

    I treasure your blog. I hope you know that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jeannette what a lovely thing to say. Thank you. I'm so glad I am able to share this wonderful landscape. Wish I could "telephort" you here to visit too!

      Delete
  3. Great story and photos.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I know what you mean Sian about getting to know other bloggers. There are several, including you, that I would love to visit, and I know we'd have a marvellous time.

    BTW, I love all the interesting place names in the Orkneys.

    Skara Brae looks like a fascinating place to visit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah if only we could all teleport! Most of the Orkney placenames are derived from Norse. Some lovely ones around.

      Delete
  5. I so envy your visit, Perpetua. I would dearly love to visit Skara Brae and Brodgar again, this time with Sian to make it doubly good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh wouldn't it be wonderful if you could visit too!

      Delete
  6. Oh what fabulous photographs, they brought back reminders of our two previous holidays on Orkney and gave a little taster for our forthcoming summer holiday when once again we shall head up to your magical isles, staying for a week in Stromness. Linda xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fingers crossed for lovely weather for you. Do get in touch when you are here - and maybe we could meet for tea or coffee (if you don't have time to visit Graemsay - always lots to do and isles hopping can take a while I know).

      Delete
  7. Thank you for the update ...it sounds wonderful. Love your pictures too. I occasionally use one for my screen-hope you don't mind. Sue

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoy the pictures, and yes you are more than welcome to use one on your screen!

      Delete
  8. his is such a beautiful end of the world that you live in. I hope one day you can share it with me too (before Skara Brae falls into the sea!!!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well on the bright side they are working on keeping the sea wall repaired to prevent that so you have time yet ;-)

      Delete
  9. I'm with JeannetteLS - there's something archetypal about your island life Sian. I pine for life in a small, distant community under big skies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did for many years too. Eventually the dream came true :-) beyond my expectations actually...... clearly I don't dream big enough. LOL!

      Delete
  10. Oh, what happy memories of our holiday you evoke for me! I'm glad that you had such a lovely time with Perpetua. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We spoke about you of course :-) If only you could have shared in this too....

      Delete