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the HALL of EINAR

Renovating an old school on a remote island

Orkney Door Handle - the Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Orkney door handle

In Orkney wood rots and metal rusts. Door handles fall off. A piece of twine through a hole though? A piece of …

Grass Roots - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Tangled roots

Grass looks so unremarkable and is so ever-present in Orkney that it takes something special to shock me into considering it from …

Blackening Waxcap on the A9 - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

As rare as Witches’ Hats

On the endless A9 as I travel north from Devon to Orkney the lay-by numbers help denote the passing of a day …

Red Clover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Wildflower meadow

It’s no wonder the field at Einar is a literal hive of activity with bees. The Red Clover Trifolium pratense is here …

Mice Nibble - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Mice nibble… anything!

Mice. They’ll nibble anything. Anything. Any. Thing. There was the time they nibbled my sleeping bag: Mice nibble… #8 That wasn’t very …

Great Yellow Bumblebee - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Blonde Bombshell

I’m buzzing with excitement. There are big blonde bees in the garden at Einar. I suspect they are Great Yellow Bumblebees. I …

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

The Wren who hasn’t been told

It’s been an emotional journey over the last few days with the birds here at Einar. We always have Swallows and Blackbirds …

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

Puffins in the air

I’m lying down on the grassy clifftop looking across at the Puffins on the Castle o’ Burrian when I realise I can …

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

The hours before sunset

We’re on Westray and only have a few hours before sunset to see some wildlife at the Castle o’ Burrian. At least …

Mice Nibble - The Hall of Einar

Mice nibble… anything!

What won’t mice chew? I’m currently carrying out an experiment, whether I like it or not. Every time I come back to …

Raven over rooftops - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Raven over rooftops

There’s a Raven over my roof. Here it is with the top of my capped-off chimney below it. Its wingtips are lit …

Guano bicycle - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Guano bicycle

All it takes is one broken window and the birds get in. When the birds get in they need a perch. And when the birds perch they leave fertiliser.

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

This light

The wall at the top of Einar looks beautiful in this light.

Mushrooms in the field - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Mushrooms in the field

There’s something otherworldly about mushrooms. They’re more closely related to animals than they are to plants. A very different kind of life …

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 …

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.

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 …

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?

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 …

Einar and the Northern Lights - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Einar and the Northern Lights

There’s a fluorescent green ring encircling the Earth tonight made by charged particles from a solar wind. As if the milky way …

County Library - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

County Library

Einar used to be a school, the Skelwick Academy School, or at least the Hall used to be a school, while the …

Raven over Einar - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

Raven over Einar

There’s a Raven perched at the back of Einar. By the time I get my camera it is already in flight. I …

Sunset over Einar - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

Westray Sunsets

Tonight we chased the sunset over Westray. First there was a walk along the Bay of Tafts. Then a view of high …

Mice nibble - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

Mice nibble… #13

In the past, the mice at Einar have eaten my air bed, my slippers, my rubber gloves, bicycle inner tubes and even a roll of draught excluder. They have eaten ear defenders, knee protectors, sleeping bags and walking boots. Every time I arrive I wonder what will have been chewed this time.

Sunset over Einar - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

Sunset over Einar

If I’m being pedantic, it’s actually sunset next to Einar, rather than sunset over Einar, but I’m hoping you’ll forgive me.