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Sunday 15 January 2012

The joy of sunshine....

....and NO WIND! Oh my goodness yesterday was just glorious. There was even WARMTH in the sun! It was such a joy to be able to walk about outdoors with little effort. Open and close doors without bracing myself. To stand still without leaning into the wind.

And the quietness - silence isn't the right word. But instead of the roaring of the wind I could hear the oyster catchers calling down on the shore, lapwings and other birds. I could even hear the waves lapping the shore instead of tearing chunks out of it. The sea was so still and calm. The day was like a balm for the soul.

Folk "south" speak of the bad winds they've had, and yes lots of areas have been struck by storm force winds. But few places have to tolerate the *constant* wind in winter. In Orkney nobody even mentions it being windy unless it's gets over Force 6 (25 to 30 mph)! Wind is a fact of life in Orkney in Winter, and often in summer too. So it is just so special when you get a quiet spell. This one has lasted three whole days so far.

So of course I was out with my camera.  The photo at the top of the post is of Burra Sound, the water between Graemsay and the island of Hoy. The cliffs/hills you see are of Hoy. I love how the light shimmers on the water.

In Sandside Bay all was quiet and calm.

Here you can see the entrance to Scapa Flow.  I watch the sun setting here in the West in the summer. The next land-fall out of here due west is Canada! Not a lot to stop the Westerly wind as you can see.

And sun shone into the house - Henry & George here soaking up the rays (You can see the thick walls of this lovely old house - they at least deaden some of the noise of the wind!)


  1. Love that sun streaming in the window!

  2. So glad you too have been enjoying this lovely quiet spell, Sian. Here it has brought frost and, in the valleys, fog, but up on our hilltop it has been crisp and cold and sunny and still! Wonderful. Your photos are gorgeous.

  3. It looks lovely. We keep meaning to get ourselves up there.

  4. Louise from Seattle15 January 2012 at 22:46

    Which one is Henry and which one is George?

  5. Whenever the wind is up now, I think of Orkney. When we visited, I only lasted a day or two before having to buy a nice knitted beanie hat in South Ronaldsay to keep my hair out my eyes! I love a bit of wild weather (what a Yorkshire friend calls 'wuthering' weather) but I really don't think I could live with near constant wind as you hardy folk in the Northern Isles do. Hope you get a few more days as still and lovely as this over the rest of the winter.
    P.S. I think George and Henry are beautiful!

  6. Seeing that view of the window made me remember what the walls of your house looked like when I was there, just the bare stone, and how thick they were. You should post more pictures from inside, what it looks like now!

  7. love the light on the windowsill! I remember the wind only too well - no point attempting a 'city girl hairstyle' if you're going outdoors in Orkney...

  8. From Connecticut, USA... I want to curl up like a cat with Henry and George. Something in those last two pictures made me long to be at Cape Cod, in Massachusetts. The bleak beauty. I love visiting your island, Sian.