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Friday 31 March 2017

A trip to Stromness.....

I usually go over to Stromness or Kirkwall about once a week. Sometimes more often in the summer and sometimes less in the winter when the weather is bad and I don't fancy the sail on the boat! Anyway Monday this week was a bonny day so I took some photos at the pier and as we approached Stromness and thought you might enjoy them.....

Above, Hoy High lighthouse, with Stromness in the background.  Highish tide as I wait for the boat....

Meanwhile on the "cliff" - er a very low cliff, a Fulmar is having a bit of a snooze.

The Fulmar equivalent of high rise flats!

This pair were having a bit of a domestic I think!

A closer look at Hoy High. The Yellow Diamond marks the spot where our electricity cable comes over from the Orkney Mainland. The little hut that looks like a dog kennel was actually where the dynamite was stored when the pier was built, with the detonators being stored in the little "kennel" bit apparently!

Spring is definitely here as the primroses are out on the bank at the pier.

And a view of Hoy High from the boat as we sail past. The roof of Sandside just to the left.

And now sailing into Stromness.  The Red Shed which used to be the old Lifeboat station and is now home to a company that provides trips for divers among the wrecks of Scapa Flow.

Houses and shops with their backs to the shore, and their front doors onto the main street in Stromness. Most have piers or access to one as in the past each house would have had a boat. The shops and houses on the other side of the street would have been granted access to the piers too.

One of the vessels that is doing a survey in Scapa Flow.

And finally, coming into the harbour with the blue glass fronted building being the old primary school and above it the very top of Brinkies Brae - where I took the photos of yesterday's post!  I did NOT go up the steep route in the photo!  I traversed along from the road!

Thursday 30 March 2017

On top of the world.....!

Well actually on top of Brinkies Brae in Stromness!  It's somewhere I've wanted to go for years but not having good lungs didn't think I'd get there.  Then I discovered I could drive most of the way, and take my time walking up a track and over some heather to the trig point (highest point).  Oh what a view!  Hope you enjoy these photos though they really do not do the view justice.

In the photo above - the town of Stromness; to the left two small linked islands called The Holms (for sale if you are interested!). Just below the horizon - the island of Graemsay and behind the hills of Hoy.

Looking down the hill to the harbour and the Hamnavoe Ferry, with the Holms behind.

Looking down on the wee town of Stromness, you can see how the old town nestles into the hillside for shelter.  To the right, mid photo the Point of Ness (there's a camp site there if you fancy it!) and behind, Graemsay.

Looking down to Scapa Flow

Behind me land stretching to the West Mainland via the old Waterworks.

Looking over the lochs to Stenness (Ring of Brodgar etc) and Orphir

Again looking over to Stenness and Orphir but a bit further East.

The trig point, and cairn in which someone had kindly made a wee sit. I was very grateful for that!

A wee ruin of a cottage set among the hills. In the "old" days they didn't bother about the view. The crucial point was to get your house as sheltered from the gales as possible!

And one of my favourite photos.... The island on the left is Graemsay, behind are the hills of Hoy, and to the right of them, on a clear day you can look South to Scotland! (It wasn't that clear).

Now I know the way up there I want to go some more this year.  As long as I take my time and my walking poles I can manage fine. And I just LOVE being high up!

And to finish off - Graemsay of course - the Hoy High Lighthouse, Sandside to the right of that, then Sandside bay.  And to the left a fishing boat coming home.

Tuesday 28 March 2017

An evening wander on the beach....

A short wander along the shore after a day out in town again......

Old ruined building and farm machinery.....

Looking across Graemsay....

And.....drum roll...... here comes Button!  It actually wasn't as windy as it sounds.  However there was a breeze - right up Button's tail which is why I think she kept turning round to look!

Monday 27 March 2017

A trip to Birsay for Cake.....

Last Friday I was meeting up with Imperfect and Tense and family (well some of them!) for afternoon tea at Birsay Tea Room on the Orkney Mainland.  The day before had been lovely and sunny so I set forth hoping for lovely bright photos at the Brough of Birsay...... there was a gale blowing.....  But undaunted I sat and watched the waves for a while.  No sign of Mainland Scotland in the distance. Nor of the island of Westray - usually visible.  But there were still big skies, and waves so I wasn't complaining...much.  And then later there was Cake!  So a few photos from my visit to Birsay.

Looking over to the tidal island of the Brough of Birsay....

A few waves below a grey sky

And more...

The cliffs misty with sea spray.....

And the Earl's Palace (well the ruin of it!) in Birsay village....

And then....drum roll..... to the Birsay Tea Room (booking essential!).

A gorgeous view from the table....

And even better in the room!!!

What more can I say...... nom, nom....

Sunday 26 March 2017

British Summer Time!

Yes it's that time of year when the clocks "Spring" forward an hour. Whoo Hooo! Sunrise at 06.56 and sunset at 19.39.   And the sun came out and the wind dropped and I was a very happy bunny today!

Here are a selection of photos from the day.....  above - a lovely sunset.... the sun has moved from behind the Hoy hills and is now setting behind the Graemsay hill (erm, OK only a small hill, but still).

While in the garden the increased light and warmth is encouraging all sorts of perennials to emerge.... Not bad for end of March, at 59 degrees North/3 degrees W.

Pulmonaria (lungwort) in flower...

Some tiny blue flowers from a Spring bulb I can't remember the name of!

Hardy geranium ( a lovely pink flower on this one eventually)




The willows have fluffy buds,

Really fluffy and leaves appearing too.

More narcissus

Meanwhile Charlie the barn cat was basking in the sunshine in the old barn.

And that sunset again.....

Hoy High shimmering in the pink glow....

And across the West of Graemsay.....

One of my favourite days of the year so far!

Wednesday 22 March 2017

A very low tide!

Around the Spring Equinox (or Equilux as apparently it is sometimes now called! Sounds like a detergent) we get very high tides and very low tides.  I could almost walk to Stromness a few days ago!  Um... I didn't try though.  Anyway here are a few photos of my walk *without* Button who was too busy snoozing to come with me.  Above - Stromness in the distance.

See, a hop, skip and a jump and I could be over in Stromness Harbour.

But fortunately the MV Graemsay is on it's way to transport passengers to ensure our feet stay dry.

Lots of sand at Sandside Bay....

And on the way home a chance to chat to the seep in the field opposite the house.

And I did really try and encourage Button to come too but she gave a rather sleepy response of "No! Go away! I have more important things to do!"