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Friday 9 September 2011


Just a selection of photos taken over the last few days. Above the cockerel and one of the hens enjoying the last of the summer sun.  Below - feeding time for the chooks..... I began the summer with one cockerel and eight hens. Most of the hens successfully hatched chicks so now I have a flock of about 40! Oops!  Some "thining out" needs to take place soon I think.

Meanwhile last Friday the ladies on Graemsay (of which I am not one....) also known as the "Fat Cats Craft Club" (there's the clue - I don't do craft...!) had a sale of craft, bric-a-brac, home bakes and plants. A grand total of over £500 was raised for community funds (theirs and the hall).  Amazing! Well done ladies!  Some folk came over from the Orkney Mainland and some from Hoy too. There was a light shower of rain but most of the time folk could sit oudoors when they weren't in perusing the goods on sale, or wandering along the shore.

I grew borage in the garden for the first time. It did really well despite some windy day. The bees just loved it.

This summer the swallows have had a very good breeding season here in the barn. There have been about a dozen or so swallows at least flying around in the evening catching insects and midges. They would daily sit on the guttering (rain water pipe) above my study window, or sit on the window ledge too. I loved hearing them screaming around and seeing their wonderful acrobatics.  Sadly all is silent now, so I wish them well on their long journey south and bid them "Haste ye back"!

OK these are VERY blurry shots, but trust me, these are swallows!


  1. I'm a Portuguese girl that has just discovered your blog! I have a more or less planned trip to Scotland, where my main aim is to visit the Orkney Islands. I'm delighted with your blog, which has the power to make me belive that I would love to live in a place like that :)

  2. Glad that community funds were swelled by the Fay Cats Craft Club.
    What do you use borage for/with?
    The swallows have gone from Cornwall now too always sad to see them fly.

  3. Ok if you turn up here for a cuppa, I'm frisking you for hen 'thinnings', I think I'd notice if u snuck a few in!

  4. Sorry to read about your cat, hope
    all is well. Just watched the
    film, Life on a small Island by
    the Orkney film group, can see
    why you love it.

  5. Strange fact isn't it ... creatures tend to breed! 'Thinning' your chooks might not be easy, I know I would have serious problems.
    Aaaahhh, borage ... memories. My nephew [when aged about 10[ presented me with a packet of borage seeds that I scattered in a garden near the back door. They proliferated, attracted huge numbers of bees, and generally made a wonderful show. Two years later they need 'thinning', so I uprooted most of the plants and tossed them in a back wilderness corner. Result? A blue heaven every following year.

  6. Hellooo up there! Is it as windy there as it is here this week? I always think of you when the wind gets up - hmm, why should the wind make me think of Orkney, I wonder...?!

    I noticed our swallows all screaming about in confusion yesterday afternoon. Perhaps they suddenly realised that it was high time they left. No sign of them today.

    Hope poor Button is on the mend!

  7. Your shot of borage has almost tempted me to try growing it again. Not that it wasn't successful first time round - that was the problem. I am still finding self-seeded plants about 6 years later!

    It is sad to see the swallows and swifts go. The silence of the skies is a very poignant thing.

  8. Vanessa - when will you be visiting Orkney? Do get in touch.

    CubPoet - Borage flowers are wonderful in gin ;-) they tinge it light blue. I planted Borage mostly for the bees and insects, but must now find some use for it for me too.

    OrkneyFlowers.....drat, you discovered my dastardly plan ;-)

    Pat - Glad you enjoyed it!

    Shirlwin - Have to confess I can't do the chook "thinning" myself...sigh.... Borage - ooh it is a most wonderful plant!

    DB - a friend has done a wind survey and apparently there are generally only 10 days a year when it isn't windy - though not always a gale!! Just "breezy".

    Linda - I'm looking forward to my borage self seeding. There is plenty of space for it! Yes the silence of the skies is sad. No swallow calls, or oystercatcher, curlew or "peewits". Roll on Spring!