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Saturday 22 January 2011


Yes I'm still here, and no I haven't posted for a while.  All's well but I'm just very busy with work at the moment and have little free time.  Plus because I spend most of my work time at the computer I'm trying *not* to spend free time here too. Anyway some randomness......

Above is a photo that, for me anyway, holds the promise of spring, with some daffodil bulbs just peeking through the earth, and the cockerel, a symbol of fertility of course.  I have mixed feelings about "daffs" or narcissi, they are reminiscent of municipal planting and surbuban gardens, but in Orkney Spring is late and the daffs are a bright cheerful flower after the dark days of winter.

And here is a photo taken today of a bright brave primula in the walled garden.  I can see various of the perennials beginning to green up again so I'm hopeful of lots of wonderful flowers in the summer to attract the birds, insects, butterflies (are they insects?) and to gladden the heart!

January - I struggle in January. I'm never exactly a "high-energy person" anyway and have never "done" winter well.  Even when I lived in the South-East of England.  But although there is less light in Orkney in Winter than "south" I can at least live my life more in tune with the rhythms of nature. Working from home I can get up later, and work later etc.  But my energy is low in January. So I search eagerly for signs of Spring even though, for Orkney, it is several months away yet!

But - the days are slowly lengthening. Not much difference in the mornings yet, but yesterday coming back from shopping in town I was able to comfortably drive home without lights, and get into the house without a torch at 4.30.  Sunrise here is 8.42 (London 0753) and sunset is 1602 (London 1632). 

Button is on a diet - well not that she really needs to lose weight but am trying not to let her gain any more. So nobody tell her the new food in her bowl is *diet food*!  Last time I tried cutting down her food she just brought in several LIVE mice and released them in protest....... so this time she should get the same amount and not notice..... no doesn't work for me either but it's worth a try......

Right- back to work!


  1. Love seeing your harbingers of spring. Will the next photos show them peeking out of the snow? They would around here.

  2. Oh my Sian! It is a shame that we are at the Latitude of Rome in Italy, but here is raging a most distressing Arctic Blast and right after a big snow coming again. Simply nerve racking winter no memories for this behavior of the weather! Lucky you with the friendly environment there. :-)

  3. It's great to see photos of where you live -- indoors and out. Quite different from here, where there are two or three feet of snow on the ground and the temperature today was 18C-below -- having warmed up from 33C-below earlier this week. I'm envious of you with your daffodil shoots!

  4. Gorgeous photo of Button - I take it that food container isn't her bowl, lol! Button looks slim and trim compared to my heffalump, Zebby.

    I've noticed that our sun is setting a little earlier each day again.

  5. How nice to hear from you, and how lovely to see daffodil shoots and a primula! Nothing so exciting to be seen here yet - I am making do with snowdrop shoots and trying not to be impatient. I find it helps to keep reminding myself that we are still in winter and it is weeks and weeks until spring really gets going: to 'live in the now' in other words. I'd actually quite like some more snow to help me with that! There is still old stuff lying here but it's grubby and icy now.

    Isn't it a lift to the spirits to realise that the afternoon daylight is unmistakably stretching a little. And I am sure that, as you say, it's healthier to work with the natural daylight rhythms if possible. I used to really struggle in the rigid and artificial constraints of office work, and I'm sure that a lot of Seasonal Affective Disorder can be put down to people having to ignore the natural rhythms to earn their bread.

    Poor Button, I do sympathise! It seems very counter-intuitive to diet in January. I have not resorted to live mice yet, though.

    Anyway, not long to February now!

  6. Ahh yes, but in a few short weeks, your part of the world will ramp away with ever increasing daylight until come May it's light until late evening. I love being in Scotland when the nights never get dark..... hope February brings increased energy for you

  7. A few sweet and cheery images. I understand what you are experiencing - until the days start to lengthen I'm like an old cat napping the days away. A rhythm that I'm sure made sense when we all lived an agrarian life with little artificial light.
    The sap will soon be flowing here in Nova Scotia, but it will be a while before even the affodils awaken.

  8. Mary - well as you can see from latest post it was gales! We've had some snow showers but nothing to speak of. I gather there have been blizzards and storms across the US this week too. Hope you are OK?

    Bluebird -Hope you are managing OK and the icy blast has passed over now! Bring on Spring I say!

    Katie - Yes we make quite a big deal of "weather" in the UK which is really very moderate compared to other parts of the world! Hope you are keeping warm!

    Mickle - Um.. in her dreams that is Button's food bowl! Sorry that you are losing the sun, but I hope you don't begrudge us some now. Also hope you had a reasonable summer??

  9. Dancer - yes I'm trying to "live in the now" and accept whatever the season has. This winter hasn't felt too bad for me as I've been distracted with work. But am feeling weary now and would like to top up my batteries with some sun! You folk further south in Scotland have really hard winters - hope you are surviving OK. It's february now! More daylight - yes!! Actually I can tolerate quite bad weather if I just have a little more daylight......

    Janet - thanks for dropping by. I'm sure your winter has been much harsher than ours. Have you had lots of snow? I did look at a web cam in Nova Scotia and there seemed to be less snow than expected earlier in the year. I love the image of an old cat napping. Yes - that describes me!