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Sunday 29 March 2020

What a difference a week makes....

So the UK is now in lockdown.... only "essential" shops open eg supermarkets, grocery shops, pharmacies and all with restrictions on number of customers inside, and lots of "social distancing" signs abound.

Only out for one hour of exercise a day, only essential "key workers" to continue working (though some lack of clarity who that affects).

Food supplies are getting through and now that supermarkets are rationing items to two of anything per person there is more to go round.  There are also special shopping slots for NHS & care workers, and those in the "vulnerable" category.

I'm officially in the "shielding" group, which are those who are particularly vulnerable with compromised immune systems due to a variety of treatments or conditions, severe respiratory conditions etc. The advice is to stay indoors for at least 12 weeks - not even the daily walks etc.  However on Graemsay with a small population I am going out to the garden, and down to the shore when no one else is around.

Several households are in isolation as folk are over 70 or have medical conditions. 

But fear not!  Many local shops are providing deliveries and deliver to our ferry (which now only runs twice a day for "the duration").  A neighbour has volunteered to be the person to collect all the boxes and deliver them around the island.  Mine go into my island car which I treat as a "contaminated area". Shopping is washed as I bring it inside. 

I'm a solitary person anyway so am doing OK.  I'm working from home anyway so am busy Monday to Friday.  I can video call friends and keep in touch by phone as ever.  I miss my trips to the Orkney Mainland for tea and cake, or lunches with friends, but it's a small price to pay to stay safe!

Oh and the clocks went forward in the UK last night so we are on "British Summer Time" - though the weather hasn't been told, as we had hail showers earlier!  So now not only have I not got a clue what day of the week it is but no idea what the time is!

The weather has been changeable this week so I've not been outside much but here are a few photos taken over the week.

Stay safe everyone!!

The sun has now moved from behind the Hoy hills and is peeking out over Graemsay.  Spring is on the way!

And one day I woke up to blue sky! Sunrise today was 04.47 and sunset will be at 19.50...

Button had a play date the other day but declined!  This wee lamb was born in the byre at Sandside.  The farmer was sorting out separating those that had lambed etc and those that might need a bit of extra support - like an extra bottle feed.  So he dropped this wee lamb off while he sorted something out.  We keep our social distance!  Button really didn't like it!  She wasn't sure WHAT it was I think!  Far too bouncy and loud for her...  Clearly Button has no maternal instincts...

One day this week was lovely and warm, well for the time of year!  Sunshine and blue sky and sea... the tarmac is the "main road" on Graemsay....  The buildings to the right are the old byres where some sheep are in lambing.

Another day another sunset - from the back of the house this time...

Charlie the barn cat, soaking up the rays!!  He's very shy so I rarely get to take a photo of him...

And the hens were enjoying the sun on their backs too

So let's see what the next week brings for us.  Stay safe, keep your distance and WASH YOUR HANDS!!!


  1. Charlie's a handsome cat, years ago I had a cat that colour, is it Russian Blue? Do you feed the lamb, he might become a permanent fixture. A few years ago there was someone who lived in a Cardiff suburb and he had a pet sheep which he took for walks. You will have no trouble getting your daily exercise in isolation. Take care.

    1. Charlie is a regular feral mix, and although no relation to Button does have similar markings. Ha no I don't feed the lamb! The farmer took him away to feed and put in a pen with mum. The novelty of bottle feeding a demanding lamb wore off after year one when I first helped out. Hee hee! In theory I'm supposed to stay in the house and garden (shielding)but as long as I don't go out when the farmer and his children are in the byres tending to the sheep I should be OK.

  2. Much the same here on the Isle of Lewis, restrictions on travel so reduced ferries. The local shop is doing well and providing a wonderful service. The prescriptions are now been delivered. Lambs are born daily, life goes on. Glad you are safe and well.

    1. Life goes on as you say! Lots of lambs around and calves arriving too. Yes our local shops are really rising to the occasion. I can get deliveries to our ferry from two in the town which is great.

  3. I was wondering what you did re getting your shopping from the ferry to the house, with all the potential contamination. I'm shielding too and finding it hard to be motivated to walk for more than 30 minutes a day as being on my own, I don't like to walk across commons and heath land. No such problems where you live! This situation is going to hit the tourist industry so hard and obviously all the associated businesses. Will there be a made rush to the islands in 2021??

    1. The system is working well in week 2 with parcels arriving in the car outside (my "contaminated zone") and various messages going back and forth via text so that works well. I have to stay near the house but at least i can wander to the shore and around the garden, and even my field at the back too. Though the weather hasn't been conducive to much walking! We had snow showers Friady..

  4. That should have been "mad rush"!

  5. Your spring sounds like ours about in the middle of North America (Northfield, Minnesota, USA). Rain and snow yesterday; 40°F and snow vanishing today. Since I let my book go out of print in May, I've been spending a lot of my time in my recliner watching the neighborhood and reading a dozen online newspapers. Now I can feel righteous about my self-imposed isolation. Take care and stay well.

    1. Thanks for commenting Ken. Hee hee I think a lot of people are quite enjoying "self isolation" - for now anyway. And no guilt tripping either!! STay well!