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Sunday 6 February 2011

A calm day...

Today was just glorious, probably all the more so after the recent storms. The sun was shining, there was NO wind, not even a breeze and the waves were lapping the shore. Just beautiful.  Button and I went for two walks along the shore today.

The "shell beach" has been stripped of almost all the shells and coral after the storm force tides. However I *know* it will be back again - built up by successive tides and I will find "groatie buckies" among the shells again... but it may be a while.

The shore line continues to be eroded. I have a few acres behind the house which lead down to the shore but each winter chunks disappear.  At one point you could easily walk around the outside of the fence on the shore side. Not any more.  This year I'm hoping to get the field re-fenced and I suspect the new fence will have to be moved back a few feet to protect from erosion for a few short years anyway.
Lots of seaweed has been washed ashore so I shall be scooping this up in a few weeks to fertilise the vegetable patch once again. Below is Button assessing the seaweed for quality.....!


  1. How do you use the seaweed for fertiliser - I was thinking about collecting some for the veg patch? Do you just dig it in or compost if first?

  2. I found your lovely blog purely by chance the other week and put it on follow, so pleased to read an update :-)

    Your post has filled me with hope - I'm coming to Orkney to paint in a week or so and always knew it would be a hit and miss afair about how much work I can get done with the weather. My heart lifted at your opening blue sky shot though! Long may it continue.

    Looking forward to reading more (as a island life wannabe)...


  3. Rosie - seaweed can be used either way but I just put it on fresh and dig it in. (That's how it's used on potato farms in Guernsey - so I copied it!). Last year I put it on as a mulch to stop weeds growing and dug it in over a couple of weeks. It's great stuff!

    Nicki - thanks for dropping by. If you are in Orkney do get in touch. My email is

  4. NO wind??? Waves lapping the shore?? Not at Yesnaby or Skaill today!! Great waves there, and 2 kite surfers at Skaill. I'll get them added to my blog in a few days so you can see.

    That's worrying that the land is eroding so fast around your field - is there anything you can do to stop it? Stanchions maybe (if that's what they're called - those 'cages' filled with stones) - I've seen them used in several places.

  5. Hi Sian! I read last night the stormy post, but was just too tired to write my comment.It is about my amazement that you are there alone when the wind has hurrican force.
    Obvious your house is a mighty strong construction, but never ever go outside in a storm!You see the fallen debrie, that is what causes mostly the death of people when they get hit. the best wishes and calm weather: Julia/bb :)

  6. I just love how Button seems to be always with you...when I think you almost didn't tae he.

  7. Not knowing what a "groatie buckie" is, I'll look forward to a posting of this rare and timorous beastie in a future posting Sian :-)

  8. What an amazing life you lead! So glad to have run across your blog and looking forward to following your adventures. As wildlife field biologists, we too are about to embark on life on very very tiny islands!

    -Carrie and Ben

  9. Fiona - well yes "out west" the sea was quite lively! Some steps have been taken by OIC to prevent sea erosion along the "main road" but it's too costly for me to do - there's still a long way to go before the house is teetering on the edge though!

    Blue Bird - Normally I love the sound of the wind battering the house, but now I know the tiles can come off I might not enjoy it so much in future! There are always folk around on the island to help out, though in the worst of the storm one just has to stay put and let it pass.

    Bev - I know - she is such great company!

  10. Wessex Reiver - yes it was sloppy of me NOT to explain what a "Groatie Buckie" is! Take a look at this posting:

    Hopefully that explains it!

  11. Ben & Carrie - thanks for stopping by. I'll put a link to your blog on my blog too. I *love* hearing and seeing all about other islands. Have a brilliant trip and I look forward to "sharing" it with you! And if you are ever in Orkney stop by!