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Sunday 2 November 2008


Er – no I haven’t been covered in ice or snow during the recent “arctic spell”, nor have I been blown away by the gales….. You will notice a pattern to my blog postings during the winter…… when the weather is good I’m outdoors and not posting so much. When the weather is bad – you will ALL know about it…..

But since Weds we have had terrific weather, the most glorious autumnal sun, with loooong shadows (and I can pretend I’m tall) and no wind. Today is more of the same, beautiful blue skies. I’ve posted some photos taken over the last few days.

I’ve also been busy collecting cats! Jasper arrived on Wednesday from his Shelter fosterer in Kirkwall. He has settled in well, though is a little timid. But he is very friendly and should probably be called Jaspurrrrrrrr. Then on Friday I collected Button who was being fostered on Hoy. She is quite a sassy cat! Beautiful but sassy….. She too is settling down well. Neither have yet met – that will be the challenge later this week. Also both need to be kept in for a couple of weeks which is proving OK at the moment. I think Jasper might be a home-buddy, whereas I think Button will enjoy exploring the barns and field nearby.

We also had our island annual Harvest Home on Friday night which was combined with the kids Halloween event. The Harvest Home in Orkney is a traditional celebration of the end of the Harvest – it’s usually held at the end of October/beginning of November and is non-religious (Unlike English Harvest Suppers). On Graemsay folk are all seated round one big table, and a three course meal provided, prepared by various of the island ladies. This year it was followed by music provided by Fran and Hamish (accordion, concertina, penny whisles, banjo etc) and the children also did their Halloween “turns”. We don’t do trick-or-treat but all the kids dress up in Halloween costumes and have to tell a joke, or do a “turn”. Photos of the event can be found on Mick of Hoy High’s web site: ( and then select "Harvest Home 2008" from menu). After the kids had done their bit they were given sweets and treats – this year Sandra gave me a bag of sweeties too, I think it was to stop my usual attempts to steal from the kids! There was also dancing, with the Graemsay version of “Strip the Willow” – a more stately version than in years past, due to the increasing age and injury of the inhabitants!! I left about midnight but I gather there was tea and homebakes later too. Rats – I missed CAKE!

(Photos: Top of page: from Graemsay looking to Stromness on the Orkney Mainland; below left: Hoy High Lighthouse and Rainbow - yes I was a little on the slant there.... below top right - From Graemsay looking across Scapa Flow to Orphir; below bottom right - Graemsay looking towards West Hill across Sandside Bay.


  1. Great photos, Sian! I can see why you'd rather be outside.

    How about some photos of your new housemates? You say they haven't "met" yet. Are you temporarily keeping them in carriers?

  2. Thanks Mary Z. Photos of kitties coming soon - have been taking some today so will upload for tomorrow. Each is free to roam a separate part of the house - Button upstairs, and Jasper downstairs - I'm having to remember to close doors! Will be glad once they can meet and get acquainted so I don't have to fret about who is where.....

  3. Extraordinary photos. the one and only time I went to Orkney I never saw the sky, never mind the sea!