Click on pictures to see them enlarged in a photo stream. Comments: word verification on to allow anyone to comment but try and deter excessive amounts of spam! I LOVE getting comments!

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Sunset and mist....

A sunset from last week as the mist rolled in.  I love the big sky.

Just as the sun was setting.... the land across the water looks magical and ethereal. I bet they have unicorns.... and dragons.....

Friday, 15 June 2018

Misty days (again)

These pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago when we had several misty days between gorgeous warm sunny ones. I just love the ethereal sea mists, so sharing a few more pictures. (Click on the pictures to see larger versions).

The mist is descending on our community hall!

Hoy hills disappearing into the mist.

Looking across the sea to Mainland Orkney (Stromness)

And a panorama! Click to see a larger version - yes the land slopes!

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Home delivery.....

On Graemsay "home delivery" has a whole new meaning.  Any furniture, building supplies, fuel, animal feed etc has to be craned on and off our passenger ferry. It can make it a nerve wracking experience seeing a new washing machine swinging from the cable over a trailer!

Above is a photo of some fuel being delivered, which is put onto the back of a trailer and taken to the farm or house.

Anything that is winched off the ferry is carefully guided (we hope!) to the trailer by the skipper on the boat.

And with assistance from a crew member....

Various household appliances have arrived this way.  I always hope for a calm, windless day with no rain!!  But it is all part of island living!

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Walled garden

Ornamental Alliums

I love gardening, though it is certainly a challenge doing so near the coast, with the salt air, and high winds.  I mostly grow perennials in the walled garden as they just disappear in the winter safely underground while the weather rages above.  I still lose some plants especially if the weather is particularly cold, or wet, but they stand a better chance than trees and shrubs.

When I first moved into Sandside the garden was used as a sheep pen for newly lambed ewes. It's change a bit since then, though will always, like any garden, be a work in progress.

As there is a gale forecast for this week which will no doubt wreck havoc in the garden I took this short video (8 mins) to remind myself what my garden can look like in early summer! The sound of my voice on this recording is very faint - probably for the best!  Madam Button joined in for a brief period, but once she realised the film wasn't all about her she wandered off again!

My garden, via YouTube!

Here are some of the flowers in the garden.....

Fluffy headed thalictrum

Aquilegia (Granny's bonnets) and lovely Welsh poppies that self seed everywhere!

The browny/bronze is a geranium I think.  Not sure what the lovely yellow flower is, but it's another one that self seeds wonderfully!


And blurry aquilegia!

And borders that are coming along slowly

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Old machinery

This piece of old machinery is in one of the old byres at Sandside.  I *think* it was part of a milling or threshing process.  There was a mill dam across from the house which would drive a water wheel for a short time which then powered this machine.  I took some photos and used some filters for "atmosphere".

Incidentally Charlie, the barn cat uses this machine to gain access to the loft upstairs where he sleeps sometimes.

Manufacturer label?

Made by J R Aim of Holm, on the Orkney Mainland.

Sun shining through the slats

This is probably where the shaft of the water wheel came through

Looking towards the house

Monday, 11 June 2018

Pesky lambs!

Regular blog readers will know I often have trouble with escaped sheep, errant sheep, or erratic sheep, or evasive sheep! None of which I own!  But recently I had four rascals around the house who had escaped from the field across from me.  They were old enough they didn't really need milk from their mothers, and could happily graze.  They were like a bunch of teenagers hanging around, getting into scrapes.

And one was so bold as to come through the front door into the hall to have a sniff of my boots!  Imagine!  Hee hee!

Button came scuttling in where she had been laying on the mat saying "We're not getting a dog!".  Lamby shoon ran off to be with his/her friends

And at coffee time I had to choose an appropriate mug to have "elevenses"!

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Misty days....

At the end of May we had some very misty days, yet blue skies and sunshine.  Above is a photo looking over to Stromness.

And here is a short time-laps of the mist. Not quite as dynamic as I'd hoped!

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

A wander to the old kirk

With such lovely weather last week it was a great opportunity to wander down to the old kirk with a friend who was visiting from south.

The kirk is in a sad state now with the roof falling in and a fence around it warning people it is a dangerous structure.  The vestry door was missing and covered by an old wooden pallet so with some judicious leaning in and camera pointing it was possible to get some pictures of the interior.

Here you can see the old slate was laid on wooden rafters, with wooden panelling covering it - no insulation!  Mmmm. pink.....

The old organ or harmonium (I'm no musicain!!) in a corner with a football on top!!

Detail from the organ with old livestock feed bags underneath.

Outside all the glass in the windows has gone..... Shafts of light break through the gaps in the roof.

I love the shape of the windows....

Er, no the kirk isn't subsiding, I think it was me!

Outside a shed covers the main entrance, but you can see the wood panelling that would have covered the walls.

Meanwhile the kirkyard is kept in good order.  While the kirk itself is in private ownership, the kirkyard is still in use and well maintained.  The inhabitants have stunning views over to Hoy!

This is the family grave of  some of the Sutherland family, of Sandside.

The inscription reads:

In Memory Of
Henry Sutherland
Who died 29th July 1871 aged 78 years
Also of James, his son, who died 9th January 1837, aged 11 months
Also Betsy Sutherland, his wife, who died 1st May, 1884, aged 84 years
Also Captain Henry Sutherland, Ship Captain of Liverpool and son of the above
who died in Mobile, Alabama, 3rd November, 1885 aged 58 years

and their son, Samuel Sutherland, who died 1920 aged 71 years,
Also his wife Mary, S Lyon 1933 aged 77 years.

Family members of the Wilson's and Lyons are among those buried in the 19th and early 20th Century.

I love the furry lichen on the old stones

It covers the walls too.

And primroses grow in the grass by the graves

An oystercatcher has laid eggs and raised young in the kirk yard for some years.  An egg shell from this year, hopefully a successful hatch.

And this is the breast bone of a herring gull found nestling by the wall inside the kirk yard, appropriately enough!

And a panoramic view from the gate, looking from one end of Hoy to the other

And the road up from the kirkyard..... quite steep as hills go on Graemsay.

But with lovely wildflowers along the verges.  This is a low horizontal growing willow, and crowberry is growing among it.

This is called "Ladie's Smock" - not that I know any ladies that wear smocks these days!

The old quarry..... you can't see them well in this picture but the bank is full of tiny dog violets

At the top of the hill looking across an old croft, towards the farm of Fillets

And home under blue skies..... and Mare's tails clouds