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September 2016

Biting Stonecrop - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Biting Stonecrop

The Biting Stonecrop on the walls at Einar is obviously confused. There’s one solitary flower left when it’s meant to flower in …

Carved egg - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Serpentine egg

A trip through the Orkney Museum in Tankerness House in Kirkwall is an essential part of any visit to Orkney. There are …

Dog Whelk - photograph by David Bailey (not the)

We need to talk about Dog Whelks

‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’ is the actual name of the book and the movie. Kevin, however, has been talked about enough. What we really need to talk about is Dog Whelks, because despite the fact that there isn’t a bestselling psychological thriller written about them, their story is just as interesting.

Moss - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)


This moss is so beautiful in a tight pincushion on Westray’s rocky shores. Mosses have been around since before plants evolved flowers …

Orkney Seal Rescue - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Practical help for Orkney seals

Orkney Seal Rescue works to protect seals: they rescue sick, injured and abandoned animals. Here’s one: Orkney Seal Rescue founded their registered …

Peeling paint - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Peeling paint

Sometimes I think there’s more paint on the floor than there is left on the walls.

Groatie Buckies - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Love and Groatie Buckies

There are many Groatie Buckies on Westray’s beaches. It takes real dedication to find them, though.

Baby Butler Sink - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

Baby Butler

The Hall of my house used to be a school and the entrance to it has the places for lots of small …

Fiat Lux - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Let there be light

The stained glass windows in St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall are beautifully done. This is one of them, Fiat lux, or ‘Let …

Fast Fulmar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Fast Fulmar

This Fulmar was so fast without even flapping that it was nearly out of the frame before I captured it.

Diesel Generator - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Better days

The diesel generator at Einar has seen better days. Have you still got one like this in your outbuilding?

Pave your roof - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

In Orkney, you pave your roof

I love the beautiful pattern and texture of this perfect flagstone roof on Westray. The chimney pot, however, may need a little …

Fulmar at sunset - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Fulmar at sunset

The sun is already half-way down past the horizon when this Fulmar flies past, lit up with glorious low golden light.

Mud cracks, mud cracks everywhere! - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Mud cracks, mud cracks everywhere!

Orkney is full of stone which shows fossilised wave patterns and mud cracks. Orkney’s geological history has been a complex one involving …

Ezekiel in St Magnus Cathedral - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Ezekiel in St Magnus Cathedral

In St Magnus Cathedral they have a beautiful stained glass window dedicated to Ezekiel. Nowadays he would probably have a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a psychiatric nurse and a social worker on his team and be treated with antipsychotic medication to control his symptoms.

Guano - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

More guano than Peru

Fortunes were built on the stuff. Entire estates and magnificent country houses like Tyntesfield near Bristol were funded by it. People are …

The whites of their eyes - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The whites of their eyes

Humans have evolved as social animals and we pick up on incredibly subtle non-verbal cues from each other. Unlike most other primates …

Yesnaby Castle - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Yesnaby Castle

Yesnaby Castle is a proper sea stack. Many people seem to think that Yesnaby Castle is a smaller version of the Old …

Old and new carvings at St Magnus Cathedral - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)
Old and new carvings at St Magnus Cathedral - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)
Old and new carvings at St Magnus Cathedral - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Old and new

St Magnus Cathedral is slowly weathering away. Beautiful new carvings have been inserted to replace some of the most weathered parts. Their …