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Wednesday 14 May 2008

Did the earth move for you?

I was minding my own business quietly working away at my computer this afternoon when I felt the house shake, followed by a muffled bang! I stuck my head out the window thinking a tractor had maybe run into the house or something….. however it seems it was the result of a Royal Naval ordnance disposal unit from Faslane (mainland Scotland) who were called upon to explode a suspected World War II mine which was found yesterday in the Clestrain Sound between Graemsay and Orhpir. The mine had to be towed from it’s original site as it was rather too close to the main electricity cable that supplies Graemsay. Now that WOULD have made a loud bang…… According to The Orcadian website it was believed to be a parachute mine, dropped in Scapa Flow in 1944. Fortunately the only disturbance this time was the noise and the house shuddering. It certainly startled the birds and set the local dogs barking. Fitzi-cat stirred from his afternoon slumber long enough to glare at me for the interruption then went back to sleep.

The other interesting piece I saw on the Orcadian website was that an extreme sports athlete, Tim Emmett, was going to be climbing the Old Man of Hoy today before jumping off the top and parachuting down. I’ve read about this guy and seen him on TV - He loves to climb rock faces over deep water as he can then climb just by finding hand and foot-holds with no ropes or protective head gear. If he falls off he just plummets into the water! He has said he loves the freedom of climbing without ropes etc. Fairly deeply bonkers then - but I admire his craziness! However the water isn't very deep around the "Old Man", hence the parachute.

I’ve just been sitting trying to catch up on some paperwork in the conservatory but I was distracted by the swallows again. Two of them have been sweeping over the field at the back of the house and then landing on the guttering with insects in their mouths – dinner time clearly! So, without the aid of a safety net, I shall now return downstairs and carry on working and watching swallows.

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