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Thursday 20 March 2008

Weather, daylight and walking

Well it seems Spring has retreated again! Today has been cold with blustery showers and a strong Northerly wind. I watched the Hamnavoe ferry come up Scapa Flow today which is the route it chooses when it’s particularly rough in the Pentland Firth. And tomorrow it seems Northlink have cancelled some sailings due to high tides and strong Northerly winds.

I am due to go over to town tomorrow as I have some appointments I need to keep. However I shall just see how it is at the pier in the morning, and it may be necessary to come home at lunch time if it looks like the weather will get worse throughout the day. We don’t have any ferry services this weekend so I don’t want to be stuck in town for the weekend.

Tomorrow is Good Friday but for some reason Orkney doesn’t really observe the day as a holiday. The banks may (or may not) be closed, but most businesses are operating as usual, shops open etc. However “Easter Monday” *is* a public holiday and most shops, businesses and all banks will be closed. The schools will have the day off too, but I don’t think the kids get their “Easter holiday” break for another couple of weeks.

At least the days are lengthening now. The clocks will go forward at the end of the month, but currently sunrise is at 06.13 and sunset at 18.27. In Orkney we begin March with about 30 mins less daylight per day than London in the South East of England and end the month with a whole 15 minutes per day MORE than London, and it gets better till mid-summer it hardly gets dark at all in Orkney. I just love the daylight in the evening. It often means I can potter about outdoors in the garden or go for a walk to get some fresh air.

At the moment most of my walking is done on the treadmill I acquired this winter. As it gets so windy in Orkney and the days are short I found I was not getting very much exercise – particularly now I work from home. I was beginning to feel like one of the characters in a Jane Austen novel – taking a turn around the conservatory to get some exercise. So the treadmill has been a good investment. If weather permits I like to go outdoors for exercise, but in bad weather or in the evening when it’s too dark to go outdoors (without falling over that is!) I like to “take a turn on the treadmill”! Unfortunately I have not persuaded Fitz that this is acceptable exercise for an obese cat……

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