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Saturday 25 October 2008

A Very Blustery Day….

….. as Winnie the Pooh once said. Today still a North Easterly wind blowing with gusts up to 57 mph. Though yesterday was far worse. We had torrential downpours of rain and a thunderstorm. First clap of thunder and I dived under my desk – not because I was scared but in haste to unplug my broadband connection, and power down the computer. I do have a power-surge protector plugged in but never totally convinced it will work so unplug power plugs to be on safe side!

The electricity came on and off during the afternoon so I gave up restarting the computer. Fortunately I had some work I could do without using computer or internet access, though I still need to complete a report for Monday so I’m hoping things calm down over the next day or two so I can catch up with work.

Several of the island phones are off and I have friends in Stromness also without telephones – clearly the lightning struck something vital.

All was well here during the storm – though I found a couple of keyholes that had wind whistling through them so stuck tape over those! I don’t have a traditional “letter box” in my front door either as most houses south have, as these rattle and are draughty in the wind.

I managed to get out to feed the hens sheltered by the garden dyke (wall) but only Finlay and the White Hen were in evidence. I’m hoping Brown Hen is safely tucked up in the barn, but I’ll not be investigating till the wind dies down a bit more!

I need to go prospecting for eggs too – I’ve run out of cake which is a near calamity. However hopefully tomorrow the winds will ease and I can gather up the eggs.

Tonight the clocks go back an hour – it’s the end of British Summer Time – sigh. I find the dark early evenings (which will soon be with us) take a bit of getting used to. However I do enjoy drawing the curtains in the evening and settling down to read or watch TV or a DVD – I’ve been gathering a collection of old Hollywood movies and musicals to help me through the Winter!

Unfortunately Orkney winters tend to be very dark, very wet, very windy and very long. I forget just how wet and windy during the long daylight hours of the summer months and it always comes as a surprise when the first gales hit. Sometimes they rage for days, screaming like banshees around the house. I was worried that my new door knocker might rattle in the wind – it’s so blooming noisy with the wind I wouldn’t hear it if it did!!

I haven’t been outdoors, apart from feeding the hens, since Wednesday. Though I do trot up and down stairs regularly and have a treadmill in a store room in the conservatory for additional exercise! I get really bored using the treadmill, even with music blasting in my ears – and before you start thinking I’m some kind of exercise freak – exercise is not really a concept I understand. However I am told that walking is good for the health of my bones, lungs and wellbeing so I try and walk at least a mile on the treadmill each day in the winter – the distance is determined by boredom, not effort……. Ho hum……

And I just received the news that my two new rescued kitties will be arriving this week. Hopefully Jasper comes home on Weds and Buttons on Friday – weather and boats permitting. Though our ferry often manages to run even when the North Isles boats don’t due to more sheltered waters, but it does depend on the wind direction at the pier.

I see the Hamnavoe ferry which sails from Stromness to Scrabster (North of Scotland) has altered its sailings again today due to high wind – though I think that might have more to do with problems with one of its stabilisers than the wind. Ah no I see the Kirkwall to Aberdeen ferry sailings are under review so clearly wind is making its mark.


  1. Obviously, you have learned to at least live with the winds. At your latitude, there are very many hours of darkness during the winter. But then you get all that extra sunshine in the summertime. Our clocks change at midnight 1-2 November. We don't mind the early "darks" as much as we appreciate the earlier "lights".

    Personally, I love daylight-savings-time.

    Can't wait to hear and see your new housemates!

  2. I hibernate in winter wherever I am - even when I lived in Kent (just outside London) I pulled the curtains and curled up for the evening declining invitations in preference of the sofa and a purring cat! And yes I just LOVE the summer days here with the loooong daylight. I'm quite happy to forgo some daylight in Winter for the summer days. But would swap the wind for something a little less fierce. But then we don't get tornados or hurricanes like you so maybe we're not so badly off after all! :-)