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Wednesday 21 January 2009

Winter day in Kirkwall

(Photo - a door leading into the St Magnus Cathedral (built in the 14th Century) in Kirkwall. I love the juxtaposition of straight lines and curves, and the embellishments on the door)

Yesterday I escaped to Kirkwall. First time I have been to the town since before Christmas! The main street looked sad with Woolworths closed - sigh. And I see a shoe shop has closed since I was last there too. I cheered myself up with hot chocolate, whipped cream and marshmallows at Glue's coffee shop!

I only had a little shopping to do and was meeting friends for lunch and "afternoon tea". I'd also hoped to do a little photography around the Mainland. However, despite Graemsay being virtually frost free, I found some of the roads on the way to Kirkwall covered in snow or thick ice. It was *not* a pleasant drive into the town I can tell you.

Then after parking the car I found that some of the pavements were still quite slippery. However I thought I'd venture up to the Cathedral to take some photos. I boldly crossed the street, up the steps - and then did a Bambi impersonation on the flagstones outside the Cathedral! I managed to keep my balance but was then in a bit of a predicament - I didn't want to go backwards as that was downhill - in fact whichever direction I took was sheet ice and slithery. Given my fragile bones I didn't want to risk a fall so......... if you hear reports of a "bag lady" crawling on her hands and knees apparently in penance up the flagstones to the steps of the Cathedral - don't tell them it was me!

I did manage to crawl onto the grass which was much easier to walk on and got back down to street level using a different but only slightly less slippery route. I wasn't able to take many photos as it necessitated moving around a lot and that didn't seem wise. I also went along to the Kirkwall harbour but a) there were hardly any boats in and b) I had to cling onto a lamp-post to stop myself sliding about so again it was difficult to get good angles!

In the end I gave up on the photography and went and had more hot chocolate.... I took quite a few photos but you know how it is - once you get home and download them you're disappointed! Oh well I got a few supplies in and had a good chat catching up with friends so it was a good day nonetheless.

Below - some rather gothic winter pictures in the Kirkyard:


  1. Thanks Walrus - I'm enjoying being creative - even if the results aren't quite what I expect!

  2. I remember St. Magnus well! We took lots of photos of that door - loved the brick work! Of course, we were there in September. My photos from Scotland are no longer in the computer (I have them on disc), or I'd send you one.

  3. another piece of useless info fae effin granny, always carry an old pair of socks in you bag during winter...find and icy surface...whip them over your shoes.. ultra grip and no crawling around to get to the grass!!
    Photos are great by the way

  4. Mary Z - St Magnus is a wonderful photographic subject. Though sometimes it's hard to get the right shot given it's in the town centre - you can't quite step back far enough or buildings get in the way. I must go back when I have more time.

    Anonymous - well given I wear boots with semi-walking-boot type treads I'd probably need fishermen's socks to go over them! Might be worth a try though.... now THAT would make an interesting photo - Woman walking up to cathedral wearing so socks on the OUTSIDE.... well it worked for Superman - sort of.....