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Fitty Hill

Orange Glow

The side of Fitty Hill is bathed in the orange glow of sunset as I reach the summit at 169m.

Fitty Hill

Climbing Fitty Hill

A miserable grey day of rain and more rain. The Met. Office say it will clear later. What do they know? I’d …

In order to increase the light in your living room, get one person to tip the bowl-shaped lamp-shade to one side whilst the other uses the extension tube on the vacuum cleaner to clear the layer of dead woodlice from the bottom. It’s worth at least 5 watts of low-energy bulb.

→ 22 August, 2010

The Bank

Cash Pointless

Westray is small and remote but not that small and remote. It has hotels, B&Bs, restaurants (in the hotels) a takeaway (twice …

Always tip the woodlice gently from your slippers out of an open window to avoid a messy situation between your toes in the morning.

→ 21 August, 2010

Remember to always replace the lid of your slow cooker fully to avoid woodlice falling into your Orkney Beef casserole when the steam from below overcomes them. Although nutritious, their presence is an acquired taste for youngsters.

→ 20 August, 2010

Pitter patter on the window

It’s late at night and I’m sitting on the wide window ledge in the kitchen. The light is on and the curtains …

Emptying woodlice from your underpants before putting them on in the early morning leads to much greater comfort on the bicycle saddle by mid-morning.

→ 19 August, 2010

Running away to the circus

No, not that kind of circus. I mean Circus cyaneus, the Hen Harrier. Sitting in the window seat looking over the fields …

Always buy a toilet seat that contrasts in colour and tone with woodlice in order to avoid sitting on them unexpectedly.

→ 18 August, 2010

Making Hay

Making Hay

Yesterday was a wonderful sunny day so farmers were busy cutting the grass to make hay whilst flocks of gulls followed. The …

Noup Head Panorama

Noup Head Panorama

Noup Head is my destination by bicycle today, as it was yesterday. The crushed stone path is so rough that my bicycle …



Gannets have started breeding on the Noup Head cliffs and are taking over many of the narrow ledges and expanding the number …

Dirty Washing

Washing by hand

I’m not someone who likes to air his dirty laundry in public. That’s why I bring you only my cleanest pants and …


The smell of fresh bread

“Would you like some eggs?” our [[Westray]] neighbour asks. She’s very kind. She’s a real life faerie princess (“The UK’s leading exponent …


They call it flagstone…

… because it’s stone and breaks naturally into flags. The whole Island of [[Westray]] is made of it. Perfect flagstone paving everytime. …

Slugs and Fine China

Slugs and Fine China

When you move to an abandoned house there are always inhabitants who need to be evicted. Some are simply guests. Some are …

Dirt on

With the dirt on…

Fresh veg. With the dirt on. Straight out of the garden and onto the rack at Pierowall Fish. I’ll have some of …

Fungus Fairy Rings

Fungus Fairy Rings

In the disabled parking area of the 124th Orkney County Show at Bignold Park I spot a fairy ring. I’m always distracted …

Orkney Chair

Form Follows Function

The making of traditional furniture has nearly died out in mainland Britain. There are few master craftsmen, little knowledge of natural materials …


Sign on the Westray Ferry

I love workplace signs. There’s something about working in close quarters with people that can really wind you up. The office kitchen …