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: