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Wednesday 1 January 2014

Happy New Year!

Yesterday the weather was cold, wet and windy but I still made it over to Stromness for lunch with friends. A lovely way to end 2013.  Then last night it was up to the farm where A. and C. were hosting the Hogmanay party.  All the folk on the island that were fit and well, plus their visitors, were gathered for Midnight and wishing each other a Happy New Year.  Lots of lovely food (mince, clapshot, plus a lovely buffet, mulled wine and lots of other alcohol) made for a lovely evening.  I'm not a night owl these days so headed for home at 12.30 while the party was still in full swing.

Today I did one of my favourite things - headed to the beaches with Button.  It's been a glorious day, chilly, with a light breeze, but brilliant sunshine.  So do join me on my new year walk!

The beach is strewn with tangles and seaweed from the recent storms....

And oystercatcher's were feeding among the seaweed and along the shoreline.

I love the sun glinting on the wet sand....

This old pier was built around 1860 when the lighthouses were built - it was used to bring the stone for the lighthouses over from the Point of Ness in Stromness.The old buildings are part of the "steading" of Sandside (farm buildings) which were once homes too - low croft houses.

Button is not too keen on wet paws....

And eventually sits somewhere dry and waits....

Meanwhile I was fascinated watched the gentle ripples on the shore - so different to the crashing waves during the storms....

See "home" is quite close to the shore..... did I mention I live next door to a lighthouse? ;-)

Then it's a scramble up the dunes to head to the shell beach.... Um... Button has to wait patiently while I scramble up - she, of course, just needed two bounds to get to the top.....sigh....

The old steading..... note to self to take more pix of these lovely old buildings.....

And onto the shell beach..... Button not caring about the finer points of "artistic" photography and gets in every shot....

The old pier wears the seaweed like a skirt....

It hangs on through all the little crevices....

An artistic shot of an old winch.... had to edit Button out of this one too!

Lots of shells strewn across the beach!

And then back to the house for tea and cake..... meanwhile the hens are having a dust bath just outside the garden!

Happy New Year to everyone and may 2014 turn out to be one of the best for us all!  I'll leave you with a short video taken down at the shore this afternoon, with the sound of the gentle waves, the breeze, a curlew and a grumpy Button meowing because I'm taking too much time doing "arty" stuff *again*!


  1. we had a sunny day today :) Happy new year to you too :)

    1. Glad you are getting sunshine too. It really recharges the batteries doesn't it!

  2. Hello Sian & Happy New Year to you & yours from Canada. My name is Sherri-Ellen & I & my cat have a blog called Nylablue & Sherri-Ellen's Purrfect Pad on
    I was 'DJ'ing' a cyber birthday party for a friend's cat named Sammy there & I went looking for pix of a cake with alot of candles on it.....I found a few & ended up posting the link for a beautiful cake with flames....which led me to your blog....which I read about all the cakes. In all the confusion of posts I was doing for thte party I lost the post about your birthday cakes & decided I should find your blog & apologize for using the piciture w/out permission & ask for forgiveness....I was looking for a cake with lots of candles so that the next song played was Jim Morrison's "Light My Fire" hope you will not be angry with me...the neat part of all this is I have happy to meet you & have subscribed to your blog...I see you are an animal lover like me & Button is adorable!!! Once again I apologize for using your photo & I hope we can become friends via our blog sites...
    Sincerely, Sherri-Ellen

    1. Hee hee you're welcome to share any of my virtual cakes! Love your blog. Hope you enjoy reading my blog..... You might also like Squeak's blog - she's a black and white cat who lives up the hill from me ;-)

    2. Hello Sian...I am so releived I did not upset you!! That irtual cake afire was fabulous!
      Thanks for stopping by our blog. You are welcome anytime.
      Oh I shall have to check out Squeek's blog also.
      I love animal blogs ;)

  3. Thank you for the New Year's walk. Perhaps Button is a bit like Squeak, and thinks he deserves to be in each picture. Looking forward to your 2014 posts, and more pictures.

    1. I suspect most cats think they should be the subject of ALL pictures ;-) Hoping 2014 is a little less crazy than 2013 and I have more time to blog! (And some good things to blog about too!).

    2. And I've been wondering how you are doing in Nova Scotia with all the snow and "weather". We even heard on UK news how bad it is with you. Hope you are safe and warm with POWER!

    3. We were safely in Oxford while all the storms were raging, thanks. We came home yesterday to find the house still standing, as well as all the trees, and we have power. :-)

  4. My, the ocean is quiet with that gentle lap, lap, lapping sound. (video)

    Clapshot sounds yummy. I love your little island.

    Happy New Year from the other side of the "pond".

    1. We are more sheltered here in the Flow - well except in a gale! So the waves are often gentle at this side of the island. On the other side, nearer the Atlantic they make a bit more noise :-)

  5. Have a great year. Please keep blogging!!!!

  6. Happy New Year, Sian. What a gorgeous series of photos, all taken on a day when it was absolutely pouring with rain down here. Sigh....

    1. I've been wondering how you have been doing. I see Aberystwyth has taken a battering again. Are you OK? Do you have power? And not flooded? The West coast of the UK seems to be having horrific weather. We've had some bad storms (and scary ones) but fortunately, though high tides, not much of a tidal surge or flooding. Take care!