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Saturday, 26 April 2008

Visiting town again

Thursday evening I was over in Stromness again, at an event where a local author, Yvonne Gray was reading from her recently published book of poems (in the Hanging Garden) and her contributions to the new Orkney Anthology. The event was held in the upper gallery of the Pier Arts Centre and the view over the harbour made a lovely backdrop to Yvonne’s gentle quiet voice.

A trip to town in the evening from Graemsay means an overnight stay so to make the most of my time “across” I decided to spend the morning doing some shopping. First though I had breakfast overlooking a field where hares were lolloping about. I love watching hares (known as “long lugs” in Orkney) though I missed most of their “Mad March Hare” antics this year.

I then paid a quick visit to Kirkwall to get some pictures framed, and pick up some shopping at Somerfields before it closes for 6 weeks before becoming Tescos. And of course despite having already eaten breakfast I had to call in at Trenabies for a bacon butty and mug of tea. They were having a special “cake break” day to raise funds for charity, so of course it was also necessary for me to participate in this. The caramel and banana gateau was both gooey and lovely!

Time then to browse round a couple of shops. The local phrase “Whit like the day?” (meaning how are you) is a frequent greeting from folk in town as you walk through the street. Then it was back to Stromness to unpack the shopping onto the boat and park the car. Thankfully our own “Graemsay” ferry will be returning soon as I hate having to scramble on and off the Golden Marianna. Though it was a beautiful sunny day with a calm sea so it wasn’t too bad after all.

I had a chat on the boat to Fiona, the local minister of the Stromness Kirk, who was making her monthly visit to Graemsay. She drops in to see island folk before the service. The congregation is small but enthusiastic – or so I believe as I don’t attend myself.


  1. I never thought about the origin of the expression "mad as a March hare". Thanks.

  2. Yes you really get a sense for the meaning when you see them racing around the field and boxing (usually because the males are competing for the female who has the sense to stay out of it). Sian