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Monday, 23 December 2013

Christmas shopping .....

As I've said before, I don't really celebrate Christmas, but there are always gifts to buy for folk, and some lovely food to indulge in so a jaunt to Kirkwall was required last week (as well as Stromness of course - food coming over toda, boats providing, from Flett's the local butcher, to see me into the new year).

Above is a fire burning in the grate at one of the most popular shops in Kirkwall - Shearer's.  Everything you could ever want in any season really, in the front of the shop are groceries, fresh foods, exotic spices, cooking pots and utensils, luxury goods, and at the back are household cleaning materials, coal scuttles, pet food, bird food, fishing supplies, even guns for wildfowl shooting, in the Spring and Summer there are garden supplies, at this time of year the air is redolent with the smell of Christmas trees.  Upstairs is turned into a wonderful cosy space with luxurious food, sweets, and gifts, while in the Spring and summer it's the seed store and where most farmers go for their supplies of grass and crops.  The most wonderful family run shop..... and this year, as well as the usual "old things" on display.....

There were also reindeer! A young one.....

And an older chap (um think he was a chap?)

They were very friendly and pleased to see folk.....

The reindeer are part of the Cairngorm herd and are used to people and often used in parades around Christmas. The rest of the year they roam free across the Cairngorms. The animals were well looked after at Shearer's and the welfare of the animals was clearly paramount.

Back in another part of the shed where some unloading of supplies was going on, the Shearer's cat was a little miffed (annoyed) at being upstaged by reindeer!

This puss was warm and cosy in a local florist's shop window and was watching the birdies in the street. He was a bit cross I think as the birdies moved away as I moved in to take his picture.

Then it was onto Tesco for the final bit of shopping and the "Kirkwall Tesco" cat was making himself comfortable in Santa's sleigh!  He has a proper home locally and is a well cared for cat, but he enjoys the company and fuss at Tesco so is often in evidence throughout the year.  He even has his own Facebook page....

It was then onto Stromness to meet friends for lunch before returning home and preparing to batten hatches for the onslaught of gales and storm force winds predicted over the next few days..... hope the power stays on!!


  1. What a fun shopping trip. Shearer's sounds like a great place to poke around. And I love that there are cats welcomed in the shops :)
    We're having a bit of an ice storm here, but so far my power has stayed on.

    1. I love the town cats! Cafes and food shops obviously have to be careful and stick to regs but some of the other shops can welcome them in.

      Hope your power stayed on?? Weather sounds horrific in most parts of the Northern Hemisphere right now....sigh.

  2. Love the window cat that just moved in. So sweet.

    That store reminds me of what "general stores" once were. So much more interesting that some damn WalMart store.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours. Sybil

    1. There are still a few stores like that in Orkney and other rural areas. As you say MUCH more interesting than larger "modern" stores.