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May 2016

Pulcinella di Mare - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

Pulcinella di Mare

I love Puffins or, as the Italians have it Pulcinella di Mare; Punch of the Sea. We’re wandering along the cliffs at …

Banana and Custard Yoghurt

Banana and Custard

One thing is for certain on Westray and that is there will be one flavour of yoghurt stocked in surprising depth in …

Red Champion

Red Champion

The Red Campion is out in bloom again near the Mill on the route to the Castle o’ Burrian. That reminds me; I must remember to take a magnifying glass with me so I can try to tell the difference between the male and female plants next time.

Safe Zephyrus


The Safe Zephyrus is a floating hotel in Orkney’s Scapa Flow. I wonder if i can find it on AirBnB? According to …

Flotta from the air

Is it just me?

Is it just me or does the Orkney island of Flotta look quite barren from the air?

North Ronaldsay

North Ronaldsay

The island of North Ronaldsay is famous for its sheep who live on seaweed and are kept off the fields by dry …

Midhowe Broch from the air - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

Midhowe Broch from the air

Midhowe Broch on the Orkney island of Rousay looks amazing as we fly above it. There are 4.5 metre wide walls which …



Stronsay looks beautiful and green from the air. Strjónsey: Old Norse for “Good fishing and farming island”

North Gaulton Castle - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

North Gaulton Castle

North Gaulton Castle is an amazing rock stack – especially from the air. It was used as a car advert in 1994: …

Rackwick Burn, Hoy - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

Rackwick Burn

Rackwick Burn sounds like an unfortunate little rash but is actually the name of a small stream on the Orkney Island of …

The Old Man of Hoy

The Old Man of Hoy

The reason most climbers come to Orkney is The Old Man of Hoy. In fact he isn’t a very old man at …


Flying over Flotta

I was amazed to find out that anyone lives on Flotta. I thought the entire Island had been evacuated to build one …



Will is my oldest friend, and by that I don’t mean that I’ve known him the longest; but that is also true. …

A Raven circles

A Raven circles

A Raven circles over Marwick Head looking for carrion. I’m not carrion yet, not while I still have a pulse to make …

Lamb Holm

Light Aircraft

I didn’t realise until today that the best way to see the Orkney Islands is by light aircraft. Lamb Holm is a …

Fraser Anderson - Orkney Handcrafted Furniture - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

Handcrafted Orkney chairs

I’ve always loved the work of Orkney craftsman Fraser Anderson. I had a beautiful ‘creepie’, an Orkney milking stool, made by him for many years, but I’ve never had the chance to visit his workshop. It was a stroke of luck when I saw the sign for his Orkney Handcrafted Furniture when driving past late one afternoon and realised he would still be open. Thankfully, he was and proved as charming as his craftwork.

Palace Stores, Birsay - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Palace Stores

The shop in Birsay, Palace Stores, was a source of great relief today. The Orkney Ice Cream was delicious (I recommend Raspberry), …

Weeping Window

Mobilisation by Shame

Looking at the mass of poppies outside St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall, it’s hard to comprehend the sheer scale of the death and destruction.

Weeping Window

Weeping Window

I prefer the story “The fabulously wealthy rob us of our rightful taxes and expect us to be grateful to them when they abuse shell charities to fund their own self-indulgent and self-aggrandising projects.” That’s not how the story of Lady Susie Sainsbury’s benevolence gets told.