Click on pictures to see them enlarged in a photo stream. Comments: word verification on to allow anyone to comment but try and deter excessive amounts of spam! I LOVE getting comments!

Friday 2 January 2009

Another glorious day.....

So still and calm. I've been watching the pattern of the current on the still water around the shore next to the house. The waves have hardly the strength to break on the shore! We are very sheltered in Sandside Bay (well apart from the westerly gales!) and although the rollers still break at the west end of the island (Hoy Low lighthouse end) the sea can be very gentle around the bay here. That's one thing I love - sometimes the waves are crashing so loudly I can hear them in the house, and at other times the air is so still you just hear ripples on the beach.

Today I heard the lapwings and some of the shore ducks calling. The hens were glad of more scraps as were the sparrows. Though I saw a couple of hooded crows hovering over the hen house as I came indoors so I hope the smaller birds got their fill quickly!

The island is fairly quiet this morning. As I am still fighting off the virus I am not participating in the usual "first-footing" activities around the island. As they go on for days I may appear for the tail end!

Yesterday in Kirkwall (on the Orkney Mainland) was the annual New Year Ba Game. This is a kind of street football (though feet rarely touch the ball!) which takes place on Christmas Day and at New Year. I've never witnessed the event myself, nor have any real desire to do so! However it is quite a local phenomenon. Here is a site with some photos taken yesterday so you can get the flavour of the event. If you click further down the page you will get a link to some explanation of the "rules" - such as they are!! :

I remember my first Christmas visit to Kirkwall in 1999 I was startled to see shops putting stout panels and boards along shop fronts. I wondered what sort of place I had come to that needed such robust defence against - who? Vandals? Ram raiders? Looters?? No..... it was just the annual preparations to protect property from the enthusiastic Ba participants!


  1. Tell us about "shore ducks" - not a term we know.
    Are they eiders?
    Love walrus

  2. "Shore ducks" is my own phrase - they were too far away for me to differentiate what they were. LOL! They would have been either shell ducks or eider ducks as we have both around the shore-line here.