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Monday 23 January 2012

Last weekend....

....will probably go down in history as the only few days without wind and with sun for the whole of January. Such is winter in Orkney!  But here are some photos to remind me of the lovely still days.

The above photo is of a bank of cloud coming in over the water. The buildings in the foreground are (on the left) the old steading (family house), and (to the right) my henny house! The henny house entrance is sheltered from the worst of the West wind, and the hens can get round to the old farmyard and buildings. The view is taken from just outside my "back-door".

Here is one of my young hens "taking the air" - she has very pretty feathers - it looks like she has been painting them! Or is wearing a lacy shawl.

Meanwhile the other hens are also enjoying scratching about or preening their feathers in the sun. The hens that are mainly white with black "points" are an old English breed - Light Sussex. The one on the right is a young cockerel.

Meanwhile the starlings are also doing a spot of sunbathing on the chimney of the house. (Known in Orkney as the "lum" - there's an old Scottish saying "Lang may yer lum always reek"! Translated - long may your chimney smoke - meaning live long and happily (eg you always have fuel for your hearth and warmth for your house - not easy with current fuel prices!). Sandside used to have eight fireplaces, but all have been appropriately blocked off now - the house has underfloor heating and radiators.

Some more of the old buildings at Sandside. Both used to be homes for families. Both are now suffering from coastal erosion and about to slip onto the beach! The end of the building on the right used to be a forge and it's gable end wall is already on the shore. The west coast of the Orkney Mainland is in the background, the hill is Black Craig.

And here is a winter shot of the main picture on my blog! Looks a little bleaker now, though the grass is still green.


  1. Hmm - this was supposed to come up tomorrow morning! It's not Monday yet!!

  2. What a stunningly bleak and beautiful location.

    I am looking forward to spending virtual time on your lovely, small island.

    Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia

  3. Really super photos, Sian and I do love your hens. I kept large fowl too, mine were Barnevelders, like very overgrown pheasants as far as plumage is concerned. :-)

    Sybil is right, your location is stunning and bleakness has never worried me. I do hope DH and I can manage to visit before too long.

  4. The grass is still unusually green here too. I guess that's our compensation for the woeful lack of snow this winter! I do like your pretty lacy hen.