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Monday 26 December 2011


This was the view from the house up towards Windbreck this morning as the sun rose (Sunrise 09.04 and sunset 15.18). The "hydro poles" (electricity poles) rather appropriately silhouetted against the rising sun. I was still anxiously awaiting the return of electricity at this point!

The electric came back on about 11.30. Apparently  some houses in Stenness and Orphir, across the water on Orkney Mainland, were also without power. The island of Shapinsay had a power cut this morning too. It seems that hydro poles were catching fire around the county due to the high winds. (Shetland recorded winds of 101 mph last night! Not heard what our highest recorded wind speed was here).

Let's hope the power remains on now - more high winds are forecast for later in the week and it's still a bit breezy out there - gusting to about 50-60 mph.

I have plenty of food (and if the power goes off for any length of time I may need to eat it all pretty quickly!) and can keep cosy under blankets and with hot-water bottles (Hotties) if need be, but it does get a little boring. Fortunately I have a battery radio for company, but it's been so cloudy that it was very dull and dark indoors and not easy to see to do things without carrying a lantern around.

I was thinking of the families who had lived in the house in the 19th Century, with just candles and Tilley Lamps (oil lamps) for light. And the light of a real fire too of course - which I no longer have.

As it was the gas ran out while I was cooking my Christmas dinner yesterday! There is no "mains" gas in Orkney, so everyone uses bottled gas. I have two cylinders outside so when one runs out I just need to turn a switch to put the next one on. However, it always runs out when it's dark and wet!  But fortunately the wind had died down a bit so it wasn't too bad going out to sort it out. Though I did manage to skin my knuckles trying to turn the rather stiff switch. But all was well and I got Christmas dinner!  But poor Button managed to get shut out for about half an hour in the wind. I didn't hear her yelling and it was only when I sat down and wondered where she was that I missed her. She was jolly glad to be let in and told me off in no uncertain terms - she has a mouth like a fish-wife ;-)  She was still sulking during the night and didn't come up to bed at all. Mind you, given another half an hour I'm sure she would have moved the bricks blocking up the cat flap and fought her way in!!


  1. Glad you have your electricity back!

  2. Lol, you hard woman, leaving poor Button out in the cold.
    We too had a power cut yesterday; so frustrating as I had washing to do, and when it came on the temperatures were into the mid 30's ... bad temper temperature for me.
    Wow, those winds are of cyclone standard!

  3. I have a friend on Lewis who had no elec. for 48 hours so I felt for her and also for you too. We were not affected by high winds at all which is unusual.

  4. Mary Z - so am I! I was afraid it might go off again but so far so good. Though with more storms forecast, who knows....sigh...

    Shirlwin - Well I did feel mortified, not that Button was convinced! Mid 30s.... is that CENTIGRADE?? Oh I can but dream

    CP - We were fortunate to only be without for about 12 hours. I know some folk in Shetland were off far longer, and as you say in the West folk were without electricity too. Bad enough at any time, but at Christmas it's such a shame.