Sunday, 1 April 2012
One of those weeks.....
The week started off with the most stunning weather for Spring, breaking all records back to 1870-something with the high temperatures. Even in Orkney the temperature was up to 19 degrees - we don't get that heat in summer never mind MARCH! It was two or three days of pure bliss. Although working, I found time to wander down to the shore and lie on the pier (photo below) listening to the waves gently lap the shore. This is one of my favourite spots on Graemsay. The old pier was built at the time of the construction of the lighthouses and was used to ship all the materials over from Stromness.
It splits the two beaches at Sandside into one very sandy beach with few shells and one beach with lots of shells and cold water coral but not so much sand.
I found the remains of a poor crab (I assume?) with beautiful intricate markings
It was sheer bliss listening to the waves and all the bird calls that are filling the air now Spring is here. I could hear:
Skylark (dwindling numbers in the UK)
Lapwing (sometimes called pee-wits because that's what their calls sounds like!)
Blackbird (one of my favourite calls, so melodic)
Sparrows (again dwindling in numbers)
Geese (oh far too many here)
Fulmars (chatting to each other on the cliffs)
It filled my heart with joy and soothed my spirit.
Of course other folk were busy making the most of the weather. One of my neighbours was moving some sheep. While "Mum" was up ahead leading the flock to new grazing, the "younger generation" were helping one of the slower members to move along!
Lambing has begun in Orkney and the "Lamb Bank" is open for business again. No, not a new financial institution, but a much older one that works well in the farming community. The word goes out if someone is in need of a lamb to put to a ewe that has lost hers, and a farmer with a "spare" can help out where needed. Excellent system!
Anyway after a beautiful taste of summer, my week went downhill from thereon.
a) The temperature plummeted to more normal for this time of year - from 19 degrees to 9 degrees.
b) My kettle broke (it's been wonky for a while but still worked) - and as every tea lover knows you MUST have boiling water for a decent cup of tea!
c) My island car is out of action so I'm hitching lifts to and from the pier (fortunately I'm on the main route to the pier so that's not too bad and neighbours are kind!). And
d) ....my central heating broke..... WAH! WAH! WAH! And in fairly spectacular fashion with a pipe bursting and water leaking through the kitchen ceiling....sigh..... The pipe has probably been drip leaking for some time and I thought it was winter rain through the kitchen window staining the plasterboard. Unfortunately the plumber who installed the pipes during renovation did not choose the best route with this particular pipe and it has corroded due to it's proximity to the outer stone wall, hence the leak. But to find the problem meant pulling up some floorboards and will take some intricate fixing to get round the old floor-board joists and existing pipework. Hopefully it can get fixed this week. None of this activity by ME but a helpful neighbour! Meantime Button and I are glued to a portable heater I carry around with me....... PLEASE can we have some sunshine!! (It is, of course, lovely weather in the rest of Scotland....not to mention the rest of the UK -harumph!).