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August 2010

According to the Orkneyinga Saga, detailing the lives of the Earls of Orkney from the 9th to 12th Centuries, King Harald’s sons were real troublemakers. Gudron Gleam and Halfdan Long-Leg caused lots of trouble in Norway … → 30 August, 2010

Big pig excitement

Big pig excitement

There’s big excitement at Einar as Mr Pig arrives with news of the piglets. Little Kim has produced in the night. There …

Links to our past

Links to our past

Coastal erosion at the Links of Noltland leaves scattered stones over a neolithic settlement quicky disappearing with the wind.

Wind Swept Away

Wind Swept Away

The dunes at the Links of Noltland show their erosion by the wind – the grass tufts left are six feet above …

A 5000 year old necklace

A 5000 year old necklace

I’m standing next to a 5000 year old house looking at a bead from a 5000 year old necklace. It was made …

Einar. It’s a great name. It’s an Old Norse name for ‘One Warrior’. It’s a fantastic name for our house. As soon as I saw Einar advertised in the Solicitor’s window I was fascinated by the … → 29 August, 2010

Pierowall is the name of the only village on the Orkney island of [[Westray]]. The problem I had was how to pronounce it. The Westray accent is beautiful and soft and difficult to understand without extreme … → 29 August, 2010

Urban Dictionary: dreek
It means bad weather. The kind of weather which makes you miserable: dull, grey and wet. If it rains hard and water runs down your neck it’s dreek.

→ 29 August, 2010

Competition Cabbage

Competition Cabbage

Today is an important day in the social calendar of Westray. It’s the day of the 75th Annual Westray Industrial Show. Entries …

I have a life driven by time. The time on my watch, the time on my phone and the time on my computer. Time to meet, time to arrive, time to leave, time to eat. Time, … → 28 August, 2010

Not Boaring

Not Boaring

A quick trip out this afternoon to visit Mr and Mrs Pig the neighbours, their boar Alfie and their heavily pregnant sow …

Petrol and Diesel

Filling Up

There’s now only one source of petrol and diesel on the Island – and this is it. We’re on bicycles for a …

Cattle at Inga Ness

Cattle at Inga Ness

This afternoon there was time to cycle to East Kirbest and walk to Inga Ness, skirting Skea Hill and to look out …

The deserted village

The deserted village

Cycling to the Westside of Westray I can see the Netherhouse in silhouette. A series of dwellings built up the hill, the …

St Magnus Cathedral

Stripes and checks

The Cathedral of St Magnus in Kirkwall, Orkney uses red sandstone quarried near Kirkwall and yellow sandstone from the island of Eday …

Westray Wife

Second place is nowhere

The most important archaeological find of last year was found on the remote Orkney island of Westray; or at least it was …

Sunset over Grobust

Sunset over Grobust #2

Grobust is a place I could (and do) go back to again and again. Being up before dawn and going to bed …

Sunset over Grobust

Sunset over Grobust #4

For a grey, windy, desolate place of long winter nights Westray really knows how to do spectacular natural sights.

Balfour Castle - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

The Islands of Orkney

Orkney is a plural. It’s acceptable to say ‘the Islands of Orkney’. It’s fine to say ‘Orkney’. Saying ‘the Orkney Islands’ won’t …

The first glimpse of Kirkwall - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

The first glimpse of Kirkwall

The ferry from Westray to Orkney takes over an hour to make the journey to the Mainland of Orkney. It’s easy for …

Always remove woodlice from the USB ports of your laptop before attaching USB peripheral devices.

→ 26 August, 2010

Always zip up your washbag at night if you want to avoid getting woodlice on the bristles of your toothbrush.

→ 25 August, 2010

The Hall of Einar

Moving to Orkney

It’s sunny this afternoon, so it’s out into the garden to catch a rare photograph of the back of Einar in the …