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Saturday, 11 March 2023

Let it snow!


For the last week we have had snow, ice, sleet, as well as sunshine, fluffy clouds and blue skies!  So here are a few photos from around the house.  My lungs don't like the cold air so I didn't wander far but it was glorious to be out even if for just a few minutes.   Well apart from Tuesday when I had to take Button for a vet appointment, driving Freda (the van) in a blizzard with icy roads!  Button is doing OK for an elderly cat (17 years old), but needed additional pain management and also regular check on an emerging condition.  We were both glad to get home again!  At least it was a shorter journey than from Graemsay!

Anyway, here are some snow photos.

Through the front window onto the garden - road just outside looking icy

Button enjoying the view but not wanting to get cold paws.

Loosely referred to as the north facing "garden"

Looking East to the farm up the hill and the cliffs of Dingieshowe

Ronnie, one of the garage cats eager for breakfast.  They have cosy beds in the garage, plenty of food and water too.

Boot scraper - or Bill & Ben (as in Flowerpot men) have abandoned their shovels!

The farm up the hill

Looking South West (ish)

Milk doorstep delivery still appeared at 6.30am!

Looking South - sun blazing down on the solar panels- yay!

The track across the garden up to the dunes...

Up on the dunes....

Crocus and narcissi blooming.  Spring is coming!!

And a short video of the waves on the shore.

Tuesday, 28 February 2023

Around the Parish - Part 2

 There are a number of beaches in Orkney called Sandside.  Of course my favourite is the Graemsay one!  However there is a lovely Sandside beach in Deerness too.  

The gate above looks out from the kirkyard St Ninian's, which has a fascinating history (click here for info)

It's on the edge of Sandside bay with beautiful views too as you can see.

At the far end are a group of buildings for the former fish farm.  Locals worked here and talk of grading halibut to move from one tank to another.  The site closed many years ago and is under new ownership but nothing much seems to be going on at the moment.  

Looking over to Copinsay.  As you can see it's a lovely sandy beach.  It has lots of shells, including the much sought after groatie buckies. 

Looking back to St Ninian's kirk. 

Click on the picture below to enlarge.  The white blob is the lighthouse on the tiny island of Auskerry.  

One family have lived on the island for 35 years.  They have a family business selling sheep fleeces and wool.  Do take a look at their website and browse the blog (not updated recently but still fascinating). Link here

Rory Auskerry (surname from the island) is a journalist and broadcaster and has made several videos of the island.  Take a look at this YouTube one of a summer on the island.

And Rory has other videos on his youtube page here

Monday, 20 February 2023

Around the parish - part 1


My new home is in the parish of Deerness.  It's very much a farming community, has a Community Hall where various events are held, and a shop.  There are a few special sites of interest around but it's a quieter part of the Orkney Mainland, not frequented much by the various holiday bus tours, or visitors.  It's a great place if you love walks, natural history etc.

So - this is Newark Bay.  It's a lovely sweeping bay with an easily walkable footpath around it's edge as well as easy to get onto the sandy beach.  Popular with wild swimmers whatever the season!

At one end of the bay is some archaeology that is in danger of falling into the sea.  It includes an early medieval burial ground, a 10th Century chapel, a 16th Century Laird's house, a prehistoric Souterrain, and a Pictish carved stone was found (link to info about the stone).

Thursday, 9 February 2023

February update - new home!



I moved into my new wee hoose towards the end of January.  Still getting a few things unpacked, rearranged etc but very happy with my new home.  The scenery here in the East Mainland of Orkney is glorious - different from the West and Graemsay but still lovely.  Unfortunately the weather has been pretty grim since I moved in.  We've had ice and snow, gales, heavy rain.  Still gales and heavy rain this week!  So not much in the way of out and about to explore.  However here are a few pix from recent weeks.

Clouds over St Peter's Pool.  I love the light on the grasses and the way they echo the waves in the wind.

I have found a sandy beach with shells on - no groatie buckies though.  The tide goes right out here and provides mud flats for lots of wading birds.  Can't wait till Spring!.

While Dingieshowe is mainly shingle but there are sandy areas, also a wonderful dune system.

Ronnie, one of the garage cats, and some of the other neighbours!

Yes Button is aware of Ronnie and Reggie and not impressed.  Especially as she is having to remain a house cat for the time being.

There is a "catio" (cat patio) but she keeps escaping!  However she does enjoy taking the air from the windowsill.  It's when she gets off the windowsill the trouble starts!

And the views from the windows are spectacular!  Big skies and cloudscapes.

And facing North - a pastoral scene - plus my wind turbine!

The garden around the house is laid to gravel with wild flowers growing among it.  Also some whalebones!  And gorgeous gabion walls created by previous owners.  As you can see we are close to the road - hence Button and the catio...

And this looks East  - the edge of the cliffs there.

Hopefully as Spring returns there will be more opportunities to be out and about!  I'm reading a book about the parish so can share some of the history too.

Friday, 6 January 2023

Happy 2023!


Apologies for gross dereliction of blogging in recent weeks.  I struggle with low energy in Winter and with the impending move to my new home later this month I have been concentrating on packing - again!  I also managed to pick up a virus despite still not mixing very much.  Fortunately a course of steroids and antibiotics kicked it into touch, though I am still weary and am croaking away!

Anyway as it is a very blustery day today (50mph winds this morning) I decided to stay in my cosy rental place in Kirkwall for the day and do some catching up.  So here are a few photos taken over the last month.

The weather has been mixed as ever, we even had a bit of snow and a lot of ice for a while.  I'm hoping for benign weather on moving day.

Button is less than impressed with more packing.... Bless her she has settled into town life remarkably well - though confined to a small garden and no cat flap.  

But she will get underfloor heating again and windows with views like this!

The snow covered hills of the island of Rousay in the distance!

Meanwhile a short walk away....

My new home has a history too which I want to explore.  It was a former Coastguard shed....

Meanwhile back in Kirkwall over Christmas..... snow!

Wishing everyone a good 2023......