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Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Rather late with today’s entry having been over in the town all day. The weather gave us some respite from the wind and I managed to buy goodies in town, plus meet up with several friends. In fact I had a two-course lunch in different locations with different friends – and managed to avoid indigestion!

I was delighted to see that a café in Stromness has taken over the stock from the Deli store which closed last week. So I came home with sunflower seeds, coconut milk and various ingredients and I have no idea what I shall use them for – but I wanted to encourage the new owners to continue buying interesting goodies! I bought some sweet potatoes today too so hopefully the coconut milk will combine into a soup. And the seeds can be used to decorate my loaves!!

However I failed in my endeavour to buy cream coloured spray paint……. When I first moved into the house I sprayed a tired old wicker chair turquoise to bring some bold colour into a house that had been painted magnolia in every room. I like magnolia – I chose it – but in every room gets um – a little bland. Anyway I needed to rebel against magnolia I think. Now I have other vibrant colours in the room the chair needs to be more muted I feel. However clearly the local population have a preference for psychedelic colours as all I could find were fluorescent greens, oranges and yellows. Back to the drawing board.

And while the wind had dropped I managed to put my rubbish out for collection today. We have a weekly island collection – households can put their black plastic sacks full of rubbish (no green “wheelie bins” like the townies have) out by the roadside. The local council then employ one of my neighbours to go round with his van and collect them and deposit them in large containers (similar to those used by restaurants etc) down at the pier. These are then winched onto the ferry and taken to the Mainland.

Orkney actually ships a large proportion of its household refuse up to the Shetland islands where the council use it in some sort of bio-converter to fuel heating in a number of public buildings (including I think their new museum). Orkney is slowly getting into the way of recycling refuse – we obviously have a limit for landfill so need to find innovative ways of dealing with the rubbish. However on Graemsay we have no recycling facility as yet, though we are lobbying for one, so currently rubbish either gets burned on household fires or bonfires, or shipped off Graemsay.

Hmm.... clearly it's time for bed as I can't even think of a title for this entry. Well - apart from "rubbish"..... which kind of leaves myself open to all sorts of comments really :-)


  1. Those of us in cities where garbage miraculously disappears from our curbs rarely think of island living - where there's really no place to put it. I'm glad someone is recycling the heat from the burning of the garbage, though. I hope you get some recycling done there on Graemsey soon.

    I meant to leave a comment on your last entry about your work. Our daughter, Jean, and I were wondering what you did for a living. I suggested that Jean write and ask. Then, lo and behold, you answered the unasked question. Thanks.

  2. Interesting about the trash collection on your island, Sian. We city folk don't think much about that, except when the bill comes. In our small city, we have a big recycling center. We get three bins of different colors and we separate our refuse into regular household trash, "green waste" (grass, leaves, etc.) and recyclables, which includes plastic, glass, and paper, which all gets lumped together in one bin. I have felt much better about all the stupid catalogs and junk mail I receive since they started recycling paper.

  3. Being a town-dweller all my life I hadn't really thought about what happened to my rubbish either! Some of the islands in Orkney are starting up projects that will recycle rubbish on the individual islands, rather than needing it to be transported to the Orkney Mainland for disposal. There are recycle bins on the Orkney Mainland but logistics prevent them being located on Graemsay - we're working on it though!