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!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Christmas Shopping....

OK I admit I fall into the "Bah Humbug!" category of Christmas grouch. I don't begrudge anyone their fun at Christmas, just don't expect me to join in. Well unless there is mulled wine on offer... Anyway even I had to concede I needed to start shopping for Christmas gifts so last week ventured into Kirkwall. My first port of call was my favourite shop - Shearer's.  This is an old family firm which sells everything from seeds for farm crops, hardware, kitchen utensils, pet food, to groceries and cake. Yes all in one shop.  In the Spring time the upstairs is full of different seeds which are mixed by hand to suit the individual farm or field.  I had my walled garden grass seed mixed here with advice from Richard Shearer himself on which grasses and what density to go for.  I'd asked for something that didn't need lots of mowing ;-)  He said he had the solution - spray the grass with beer twice a week and it will grow half-cut.  Boom Boom! (as the slightly faded Basil Brush would say, sorry that joke will be lost on anyone outside the UK...).

Anyway, at this time of year the upstairs of the shop is turned into a Christmas wonderland - as you can see in the photo above.  The fire is lit (yes real fire!), and Christmas tree and chair ready for Santa, old lamps, tins and other oddments adorn the high shelves, while tables and cupboard are laden with all sorts of food goodies from far and wide.  I managed to not dribble all over the chocolate and this time just bought some bird seed and "fat balls" from the department downstairs.  (Why is it OK to feed fat balls to birds but I can't live off chips and bacon rolls?  Don't birds suffer from high cholesterol??!)

Then it was onto a well known Supermarket for more groceries. While I was browsing along the non-food items the clothes rails caught my eye and I was drawn to a rather fine pair of pyjamas.  Now in Orkney when one is looking at anything in a shop, if there is someone else looking too, well you strike up a conversation.  So there was this other lady also looking at these rather fine pyjamas and we were commenting on style, material, quality etc.  Then I said "But I don't know how practical they will be outdoors."  Small silence in the conversation (I swear the lady took a step back....).  "Um..." she said "you do know these are pyjamas..... for wearing in bed...?"  "Yes" I replied "it's" at this point I realised I could not go on and say what was in my head given the look on her face so far, so just finished lamely saying something about needing to put the cat out etc.... Instead what I had been about to say was "well sometimes I need to go out to let out the mice the cat has brought in. Or to take a photo of the sun rising behind the cows from the corner of the road. But it's OK cos I do often put my wellington boots (rubber boots) on over my 'jamas, and a fleece too depending on the weather..... Some things are best left unsaid.....


  1. Love this post! Shearers looks like my favourite sort of shop, the kind where you go in for a tin-opener, say, and come out with half a dozen essentials that you didn't know you needed. Hand-mixed seed makes it very special indeed, though. And that dreadfully corny joke did make me laugh!
    What do you think the lady in the supermarket would have said when she got home? Mutterings about that mad wee wifey from Graemsay in the cat's pyjamas...! ;)

  2. Louise from Seattle25 November 2010 at 03:32

    How did I manage to miss Shearer's when I was in Kirkwall? It sounds divine. "Next time," she said! As for the pyjamas episode, it's enough to make you laugh when you're in that bah humbug mood. Some people just don't appreciate the versatility of a good pair of pyjamas... By the way, note that I'm spelling them in the British way!
    Happy holiday shopping!

  3. Dancing beastie - When I get odd looks I usually just say "I'm from Graemsay" as folk from the "isles" are regarded as quite odd - tee hee! And no the Orkney Mainland is NOT regarded by the inhabitants as an island ;-)

    Louise - Shearer's isn't in the main shopping street so that's probably how you missed it. Next visit I shall direct you to it. I just love it!