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!

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

October beach....


I've borrowed a "bridge" camera from Mr Tense Towers.  A "bridge" camera, for those that are wondering, is a bit of a hybrid, it's "better" than a small compact camera, but not quite as versatile as a SLR camera.  Having said that, I had an SLR Olympus OM-10 back in the 1980s and got fed up lugging a camera bag full of lenses around.  So I like the lightness of a bridge camera, with some buttons to play with to take a range of photos, zooming and and macro.  Not as great as swapping lenses, but a much lighter camerabag!

Anyway, I was out on the shore a couple of weeks ago at the end of October and used the opportunity to take some snaps.  These are all on "authomatic" at the moment..... 

The old "Lighthouse pier" at Sandside


Looking over to Garson....


Coastal erosion.... year on year the sea claws back the land....



The old reaper/binder tettering on the edge!


Looking over to Stromness


Ahem, Madam Button!


Looking across Graemsay to Hoy


Button considering going paddling.....


The community hall in the foreground and the old school up the hill in the background.  The dark Hoy Hills as a backdrop....




The seaweend in a bank along the shore after a storm the week before


Neither Button nor I like walking on seaweed, too slippery - so we always head back once we reach the bank


Kye (cattle) up on the hill

AAAAGGGGHHH! Don't look down! Life on the edge with Button....


Rooftops...and a lighthouse....


And sunrise on the Hoy Hills  (about 07:53 in the morning)




And sunset... (about 15:57)


And the moon hiding behind a cloud (she's shy...)


Hope you enjoyed the wander around Sandside and environs!

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Halloween Party....



Yes I know, Halloween was weeks ago!  But had to share the effort made by the parents and kids as well as by Irene Mathieson who organises the games.  So.... Halloween 2018 Graemsay style

Above, the parade of the younger monsters, ghouls and vampires..... Below - Head Witch, Irene, asks for James to lend a hand...not quite what she meant!



Waiting for the games to begin...


Scooby Doo is hopeful of some scooby snacks!


Head witch Irene pops into the kitchen to check on the cauldron stirring...



Right, ready for the games to begin...



The eyeball race.... naturally...



Heat two!


Heat three!

The very popular donut eating competition!


A wee vampire needs a helping hand from - er - a ghoul....


No help needed here!! Joe wins in a nano second....!


Ah now onto the "Mummy game".....



The vampire needing a hand from Great Uncle Ghoul again!


All ghouls, ghosties and vampires gather round to do their party piece before they are let loose to scavange sweeties!


What the well dressed vampire is wearing this year, complete with pocket eye-ball....


So it was another fun filled ghoulish night on Graemsay!

Monday, 12 November 2018

Bald hens! Oh and more sunshine...



Panic not - nothing horrendous has happened to them, just their autumn moult.  Or as they say in Orkney - they were in Ossigar.  When my neighbour first told me her hens were in Ossigar, I replied no they're in the garden as usual.  She explained it's the Orkney term used for moult. Hahaha!

The shorter days trigger them to lose feathers.  Not sure it's the best time for them but they seem to manage.  But this year two of the older hens looked awful.  I did fear for their health and wellbeing. I always give a supplement once the hens start moulting and I did consider keeping these two separate but they desperately wanted to stay with their pals, and when the weather was poor they had the sense to stay in the hen house.  Fortunately all are looking a lot healthier and featherier now a couple of weeks later!


Pecky hen (black Marran hen below) has grown most of her feathers back, just a few on her wing missing and her tail.


A panoramic view from the top of Windbreck brae looking down to Sandside.


The old croft of Moan...



Button being bashful....



Button being less bashful and enjoying the sun!



Sunday, 11 November 2018

Armistice commemoration



Across Europe there have been Armistice commemorations this weekend to mark the end of WWI.  As part of Orkney's contribution local businesses, council and school children worked together to produce this beautiful animation that has been projected onto the wall of the St Magnus Cathedral for the last couple of weeks.  Local photographer, Graham Campbell, took these photos and kindly gave me permission to share them on my blog.






And on beaches around the UK and Northern Ireland a series of portraits will be drawn on the sand, to be slowly washed away as the tide comes in. A poem by Carol Ann Duffy writtend especially for the event will be read by individuals.

Orkney/s portrait is of Lieutenant Robert William Taylor of the wee island of Flotta in Scapa Flow.  He was awarded the Military Cross for his bravery.  Seriously injured in 1917 he was 24 when he died of his injuries. He will represent the many lives lost during WWI. Not all were awarded medals, but their deaths will be remembered.


A good friend, Fran Flett Holinrake has written a poignant piece about the loss to one family in Orkney. Click here to read

My Dad was 3 when WW1 began. He served in the RAF during WWII. He never spoke of his war, but he watched the TV commemorations at the Cenotaph and quietly wept.  

And this is my message.....