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Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Betty's Reading Room



One of my favourite places to visit on the Orkney Mainland is Betty's Reading Room. It's in Tingwall, near the ferry terminal to the island of Rousay. It was put together by two friends who wanted to create a tribute to their friend, Betty Pricter, after her death.  Betty was a much loved teacher and friend and I cannot think of a better tribute than this beautiful and atmospheric reading room.  Folk passing by can pop in and sit on one of the sofas, browse the books, take one away, or bring others in their place.  There's a fire on often in the winter to keep warm by.  Several TV programmes have used the location as have the Orkney Storytelling Festival.

I took Irene from Graemsay there for her first visit last week and she was as entranced as I was with the place when I first saw it some four years ago.  So here are a few pictures.

Betty in happier times.....


And the story how the reading room came about.....



In summer there are flowers on the fire....


A stained glass window made especially for the door, with light flooding through it.


Betty must have loved hares as they are all over the place.



Oil lamps for lighting....


And lanterns as well as books....


Did I mention books?


Erm.... more books


And a rocking chair and sofas to sit on while..... you look at more books!


And a memory of another lassie gone too soon?


And lots of lovely touches.... Teddies feature too....


As well as hares....


Another Ted....



Oooh a coo!


Trouser!  Lovely name for a dog!! (there is even a dog basket in the corner for your canine companion)


Looking back towards the hearth


And what a hearth!


And one of my favourite poems!!  Oh I so love a good book! Then I am sad when it is finished....


Meanwhile outside, where the sun was shining  and the air was warm...... something to help you forecast the weather. Heehee!


A glimpse of other old buildings and past lives....


And through the old doorway, to the present, with the wind turbines on Burgar Hill.


And facing the sea, a selkie woman?  Beautiful wood carving by Frances Pelly.


Hope you enjoyed your trip to Betty's Reading Room, sorry we couldn't stay longer.

And then when I got home, my very own peedie (small) hare was waiting for me.  Made by a clever Crafty Lady, Krris Perry.  He has sparkly whiskers!




Saturday, 16 June 2018

Sunset and mist....




A sunset from last week as the mist rolled in.  I love the big sky.



Just as the sun was setting.... the land across the water looks magical and ethereal. I bet they have unicorns.... and dragons.....




Friday, 15 June 2018

Misty days (again)



These pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago when we had several misty days between gorgeous warm sunny ones. I just love the ethereal sea mists, so sharing a few more pictures. (Click on the pictures to see larger versions).

The mist is descending on our community hall!


Hoy hills disappearing into the mist.


Looking across the sea to Mainland Orkney (Stromness)


And a panorama! Click to see a larger version - yes the land slopes!



Thursday, 14 June 2018

Home delivery.....


On Graemsay "home delivery" has a whole new meaning.  Any furniture, building supplies, fuel, animal feed etc has to be craned on and off our passenger ferry. It can make it a nerve wracking experience seeing a new washing machine swinging from the cable over a trailer!

Above is a photo of some fuel being delivered, which is put onto the back of a trailer and taken to the farm or house.

Anything that is winched off the ferry is carefully guided (we hope!) to the trailer by the skipper on the boat.


And with assistance from a crew member....





Various household appliances have arrived this way.  I always hope for a calm, windless day with no rain!!  But it is all part of island living!


Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Walled garden

Ornamental Alliums

I love gardening, though it is certainly a challenge doing so near the coast, with the salt air, and high winds.  I mostly grow perennials in the walled garden as they just disappear in the winter safely underground while the weather rages above.  I still lose some plants especially if the weather is particularly cold, or wet, but they stand a better chance than trees and shrubs.

When I first moved into Sandside the garden was used as a sheep pen for newly lambed ewes. It's change a bit since then, though will always, like any garden, be a work in progress.


As there is a gale forecast for this week which will no doubt wreck havoc in the garden I took this short video (8 mins) to remind myself what my garden can look like in early summer! The sound of my voice on this recording is very faint - probably for the best!  Madam Button joined in for a brief period, but once she realised the film wasn't all about her she wandered off again!

My garden, via YouTube!


Here are some of the flowers in the garden.....

Fluffy headed thalictrum


Aquilegia (Granny's bonnets) and lovely Welsh poppies that self seed everywhere!


The browny/bronze is a geranium I think.  Not sure what the lovely yellow flower is, but it's another one that self seeds wonderfully!


Chives!!


And blurry aquilegia!


And borders that are coming along slowly




Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Old machinery



This piece of old machinery is in one of the old byres at Sandside.  I *think* it was part of a milling or threshing process.  There was a mill dam across from the house which would drive a water wheel for a short time which then powered this machine.  I took some photos and used some filters for "atmosphere".


Incidentally Charlie, the barn cat uses this machine to gain access to the loft upstairs where he sleeps sometimes.


Manufacturer label?


Made by J R Aim of Holm, on the Orkney Mainland.












Sun shining through the slats


This is probably where the shaft of the water wheel came through


Looking towards the house