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Sunday, 18 March 2018


For a few days last week we had a glimpse of Spring.  It didn't last long but was lovely while it lasted!  I took a drive up to Brinkies Brae, one of the highest points above Stromness.  I only had my phone camera so these aren't the best quality but give you a feel for the landscape!

Above from the single track road up "Brinkies" looking down to the harbour, the marina, the Hamnavoe Ferry which sails to mainland Scotland, over to the Holms (pronounced like homes) where there is a house for sale (with the tidal islands!), and then over to Graemsay, with Hoy in the background.

A zoomed in picture on the Hamnavoe ferry, Coplands Dock and the Holms. Beyond Hoy High lighthouse and next to it Sandside.

Not as picturesque but an important view of the town. This looks over to Garson Industrial estate and also a new housing estate.  This is also where the new Care home for elderly folk is being built.  The hills of Orphir in the background.

In the same direction as above but a bit to the left. The new Primary school by the roundabout, and behind is the Stromness Academy, the senior school in the town.  The children from Graemsay and some from Hoy go to these schools, travelling over on the ferry daily.

Then sailing home again.

Sailing past Hoy High light.  Sandside roof and chimneys to the right.

And coming into the Graemsay pier....

And home again....

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Snowy landscape

Actually this was a couple of weeks ago and although it feels "cold enough for snow" today and we have had windy days for several days, there is little snow about now.  But as many of you in the UK are experiencing the white stuff again, and many in the Northern hemisphere are snow/frost bound for many months, I thought I'd share these pictures anyway!

Above looking from the "back door" across my field and Hoy Sound towards Stromness where a large snow cloud is about to dump a lot more snow!

Here a view from the front door looking over the front grass, garden and towards the Hoy Hills.

And the Hoy hills disappear as a snow shower comes in....

Down at the pier the sea looks awfully cold! The Orphir hills on the Orkney Mainland in the background.

I was waiting for the lunchtime ferry to come in with some groceries from a shop in Stromness.  More snow being dumped over Stromness! 

Hoy High lighthouse, snow clouds and snow on the shore.

In the garden the dwarf daffs (Narcissus - Tete-a-Tete) are valiantly blooming.

Despite being mostly buried in snow!

For the first time in 15 years the hens water froze IN the hen house!  I gave them extra rations and veggies (you can see the remains of a neep (swede) by the nesting box.  I kept them shut in for a couple of days with extra food and bedding.  Mostly they snuggled together on perches and seemed fine. 

After a few days they rushed me at the door as I went in to feed them.  Snow or no snow they were going out! As you can see much of the snow had gone and the girls were happy to be out scratching about again.

Meanwhile Madam Button stayed resolutely indoors, just going out to do "the necessary".

And then a windowsill companion arrived.....

Hee hee a cheeky neighbour thought we needed a wee snowman!

He stayed there overnight and then the wind blew his head off.  He looked a bit eerie glowing in the dark, headless so I'm afraid he was "dispatched/!

I love the bright days when there is snow, but this time it was particularly cold and didn't help my sinuses or lungs so I stayed indoors apart from feeding the hens! At least working from home I don't have to commute far!

Friday, 16 March 2018

A different perspective on Graemsay

Copyright Bruce Flett
Here are some alternative views of the island of Graemsay taken by friends in recent times. The photo above was taken by Bruce Flett, over on the Orkney Mainland, among the Orphir hills and shows Graemsay, with Hoy High lighthouse (and Sandside behind) and the island merging into the Hoy Hills.

While this photo was taken by Trish Avis at Scad Head on the island of Hoy.  Scad Head was used as a WWII army battery for protecting the fleet that was sheltering in Scapa Flow during the war.  Hoy High Lighthouse on Graemsay, and then Stromness and Orkney Mainland behind.
Copyright Trish Avis

This photo was also taken on Hoy, from the top of Ward Hill, the highest point in Orkney.  It was taken by my lovely bonkers friend, Leslye Budge, who tragically died suddenly in January this year. She loved walking and often walked the hills of Hoy.

Copyright Leslye Budge

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

A film around Orkney

This film was made by Ewan Dunsmuir, an Orcadian originally from Stromness, but now living in New Zealand.  He came home last year for the sad occasion of saying a last goodbye to his mother.  While he was here he made this poignant film and is happy for me to share it.  As he said "Orkney is for sharing".

The film is about 18 minutes long, so make a cuppa and enjoy.....

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

From the island of Sanday....

This quirky film (only 6 mins) was filmed on the island of Sanday by Tony Mills on one of his visits to his home island, Sanday, one of the more northerly islands.

Hope you enjoy it!  Click here

Monday, 26 February 2018

A night "at the pictures"!

When I was a kid we always said we were "going to the pictures" (cinema). Last Friday the "pictures" came to us!  Mark Jenkins of West Side Cinema, a community cinema in Stromness, had some funding and has been able to bring a film out to two or three islands that have no cinema and don't have easy access to one.

Our main cinema is in Kirkwall, known as the "Picky" but really the Pickaquoy Centre.  Often films don't fit in with boat times so it means an overnight stay making it a rare occurrence to go to the pictures.

Many folk on the island use film streaming sites such as Netflix and have big tvs with all the bells and whistles.  But it's still nice to go along and communally watch a film.

The film that West Side Cinema had chosen for us was "Hunt for the Wilderpeople"  A New Zealand film from 2016.  It was an ideal film that appealed to old and young alike.  I had to look away at a couple of gory bits but still thoroughly enjoyed the film.

It was a short night as the folk from West Side Cinema had to get the 9.45pm boat back to Stromness, but it was fun and something a bit different for the island.

We have a projector, laptop and screen ourselves so we might look at trying to find a way to be able to show films - cost is the main stumbling block as films and licenses can cost quite a bit and with so few folk it's just not feasible.  But maybe we can sort something out.

Meanwhile a jolly good night was had by all on the island - again!

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Lost in the mist.......

No not Brigadoon, but Graemsay in the mist.  Hoy High lighthouse and Sandside looking very ethereal or "Turneresque" in the mist. 

The above photo was taken about 5 years ago by neighbour, Sue, at Gardon. I probably shared it back then too but I think it's worth re-sharing and there are quire a few new folk to my blog so I hope you all enjoy it.

Life is a bit full on at the moment so apologies for not responding to comments.  I will try and catch up with myself!