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Saturday 28 March 2009

British Summer Time begins tomorrow ......

..... and so today we have snow showers...... I do think that whoever dreamed up the title "British Summer Time" for the time when our clocks move forward was maybe being ironic?

But whatever, I shall dance when the clocks go forward (2am tomorrow morning) - OK I'll save my dance for a reasonable time, probably 11am! But I LOVE LOVE LOVE the longer days and the lighter evenings. Although I work from home I still do a fairly conventional working day from 10am to 6pm so it is a joy to have light in the evening to go for a walk or potter outdoors. Or just sit in the conservatory and watch the birds and the waves on the shore.

But as I say..... today we have snow showers and white horses cresting the waves, and with outdoor temperatures lower than I want to think about.

But Spring is definitely here. The photo at the top of the page are the rooks beginning to build nests in the trees in Stromness. The air is filled with their cawing, which at this time of year is several decibels louder than the gulls who usually frequent the harbour area.

Graemsay has no tall trees, lots of short ones and lots of shrubs, but no tall trees. So it is lovely to get off the ferry in the middle of the town and hear the rooks with their Spring calls - though it has to be said they are unpopular with a number of households. They make a real mess with their nesting and droppings in the tightly packed gardens of the town. Some folk have been known to go out with long poles and destroy the nests as they are being built to discourage the rooks. But others rejoice in the return of nests.

The nests are all higgeldy piggeldy and look as though a puff of wind will destroy them, never mind a well aimed pole. However the town around the harbour area is fairly sheltered and leaves are beginning to appear on the trees again, so hopefully that will afford them some protection. (Photo of spring leaves appearing on trees in one of the lanes in town).

The town has different bird cries echoing around during the seasons. During the autumn and winter months you can hear the starlings massing to roost. The summer months the young gulls roam around the piers trying to get scraps of fish or partans (crab) from the boats, or chips or ice cream from the visitors. Spring is the time of the rooks and crows.

For those who are interested in seeing a bit more of Stromness, the local business forum commissioned a video a year or two ago, which is available on YouTube : click on Stromness to see (approx 8 minutes). The narrator has a real Orcadian accent - for those who haven't visited ORkney, you may notice it's very unlike traditional Scottish accents. I think it has the cadence of the Welsh accent - particularly South Wales where my family originally hail from.


  1. I, too, love our "daylight saving time". Our started the first Sunday in March. At the solstice, it'll still be light at 10 p.m. Of course, we're at a much lower latitude than you.

    You had left a message on my blog about the watercolor. It's for sale. I put a reply to you on my blog - didn't know if you got that automatically or not.

  2. Thanks Mary Z I shall check out your blog shortly for details!

  3. I don't think I really ever change time with the clocks - it's more with the actual living time. I'm constantly amazed that 3pm winter I'm feeding stock, getting ready to come inside, light fires, draw curtains, yet 3pm in the summer feels as if it's still around lunch time. I'm still a bit of a wild animal not too domesticated I guess.