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the HALL of EINAR

Renovating an old school on a remote island

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

Scenes from the sea

It’s all about perspective. Looking at familiar scenes from a different place always makes you think more deeply about them. Similarly, seeing …

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

Life

There’s a hard surface at the back of my house. That doesn’t stop the plants from growing there, though. There are Northern …

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

The Bay of Tafts

The Bay of Tafts is not quite, but almost, my nearest beach. It’s a five minute cycle ride away, although the time …

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

Feather bed

The encyclopaedia says there are four seasons in temperate latitudes. Billy Connolly, however, said, “There are two seasons in Scotland; June and winter”. …

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

Absolute scenes

Absolute scenes here today at Einar as the Wrens fledged. I’ve been watching the parents bringing invertebrates into one of my ‘useful …

Short-Eared Owl - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The shock of an Owl

I’m standing in the garden of Einar, against a stone wall, taking photographs of Swallows. They’re great to practise on because they’re …

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

Kitchen drawer wildlife

Woodlice. There are 3,500 species in the world and between 35 and 40 in the UK. They’re animals which many children know. …

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

The bottle in the wall

I’m looking for nests in my garden. I’ve found two occupied ones and an abandoned one with an egg still in it, …

Dead Rabbit - The Hall of Einar

A welcome mat whodunnit

Arriving back in Orkney is always a pleasure. This time it’s different. Out of respect for those who always live on Westray …

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

Circles within circles

Do you ever feel that your life is a series of endlessly repeating circles-within-circles going nowhere? I’ve just had a shave, washed …

Barbed wire - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey

Barbed wire

There’s a letter pushed under my door. It says I may have power lines crossing my land and be eligible for compensation. …

Wren - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey

Something’s moving

There’s something moving in the field next to Einar. I can see flower stalks trembling. It’s moving along behind the wall. All …

Starlings - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey

Neighbours

Not everyone can get on. Conflict is inevitable. When we are all packed in too close to one another then tempers are …

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

Patterns

The Starlings at Einar make incredible abstract patterns on the wires.

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

Mice nibble #15

When arriving back at Einar I go through the same routine. It involves turning the electricity on: That wiring looks safe, doesn’t …

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

Swallow over the rainbow

I’ve seen some spectacular rainbows on Westray. Some have been fleeting. Some have been intense. Some have been full arcs which split …

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

Location of injury

Walking in the garden at the back of Einar I can see a mess of rotten wood painted green, tangled with chicken …

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

Mice nibble… #14

Mice. Yes, mice. They really will nibble anything. Anything. This used to be a nice bar of soap. It’s perhaps the last …

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

Tentative

Arriving at Einar, the cattle are always keen to see what’s happening. They approach me with tentative noses:

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 …