Currently browsing

August 2011

School in again all this week. As usual, lessons given in usual order but progress not so satisfactory. Seemingly the scholars are longing for the vacation.

→ 29 August, 2011

St Magnus

St Magnus

St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall is magnificent. It’s origins are in Viking times, when Orkney was ruled by Viking Earls. It’s the …

Memento Mori

Memento Mori

Memento Mori – “Remember Death.” How could I forget death, as I walk around St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall on Orkney. I’m …

A riddle

A Riddle

Here’s a double ladder in St Magnus Cathedral that two men last went up in Kirkwall in 1722, yet only one man ever came down it. Explain.

Last Breath

Last Breath

It’s a steep climb up the tower of St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall. The gravestones are so perfectly preserved, even those from …

Earl Thorfinn
Earl Thorfinn
Earl Thorfinn

Earl Thorfinn

It’s time for a trip to the Mainland. No, not the mainland of Scotland, the Mainland of Orkney. Mainland is an hour …

Cattle at Noltland

Cattle on Noltland

The bones of wind and wave washed cattle litter the sand dunes of the Links of Noltland. Here are a couple I …

Tiny, ginger and blonde

Tiny, ginger and blonde

She’s tiny, ginger and blonde and everyone refers to her as ‘Lady.’ Yes, it’s the new Shetland pony in the field at …

Competitive Cabbages

Competitive Cabbages

The Westray Industrial Show is nearly upon us. It’s when folks here get competitive over cabbages, but not Tommy. He says more …

Malc tends to the pigs

Under the weather

With this kind of treatment, Malcolm’s Steenyha’ pigs will never be under the weather, whether it rains or shines.

Nine and a half pigs

Nine and a half pigs

A quick trip down the road to see Mr Pig today where Molly has produced 10 piglets, or nine and a half …

Needing a shave

Needing a shave

Several days into my Westray trip and I need a shave. Molly the pedigree saddleback pig is nice and bristly this morning. …

Watching paint peel

The Hall has seen better days. The wind and the weather have been allowed to encroach through a leaking roof and broken …

With the grain

With the grain

Orkney has precious few trees. And I mean precious. Perhaps I should say Orkney has a few precious trees. Windswept, almost barren …

Drink it in

To sit and marvel at the sky

There’s just time for some rough cycling down to the nearest beach at Taftend before sunset. It’s a chance to get off …

Sun

Sun

I’ve seen the sun rise, orange and luminous over the ocean from my bedroom window and now it’s time for me to …

Watching the world turn

Watching the world turn

There’s just time to wander down to Taftend on my bike to watch the sun set behind Fitty Hill.

Slate

Slate

On the roof two slates have cracked and fallen. I have a box of replacements ready, because on Westray one slate missing …

Rough grazing

Rough grazing

Wind and weather conspire together to make Westray’s grass rough and tough. That’s essential for the ponies in my field. When the …

Driftwood and whalebone

Driftwood and whalebone

The lack of trees on Orkney has meant that generations of people have relied upon driftwood and whalebone for building materials. Orkney’s …

Rusting metal buoy

Rusting metal buoy

Westray’s beaches are full of interesting finds. Whether it’s a groatie buckie (or Cowrie) on the tideline or the skeleton of the …