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Sunset over Grobust

Sunset over Grobust #2

Grobust is a place I could (and do) go back to again and again. Being up before dawn and going to bed …

Sunset over Grobust

Sunset over Grobust #4

For a grey, windy, desolate place of long winter nights Westray really knows how to do spectacular natural sights.

Balfour Castle - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

The Islands of Orkney

Orkney is a plural. It’s acceptable to say ‘the Islands of Orkney’. It’s fine to say ‘Orkney’. Saying ‘the Orkney Islands’ won’t …

The first glimpse of Kirkwall - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

The first glimpse of Kirkwall

The ferry from Westray to Orkney takes over an hour to make the journey to the Mainland of Orkney. It’s easy for …

Always remove woodlice from the USB ports of your laptop before attaching USB peripheral devices.

→ 26 August, 2010

Always zip up your washbag at night if you want to avoid getting woodlice on the bristles of your toothbrush.

→ 25 August, 2010

The Hall of Einar

Moving to Orkney

It’s sunny this afternoon, so it’s out into the garden to catch a rare photograph of the back of Einar in the …

A Useful Range of Outbuildings

A useful range of outbuildings

Whenever you look at property details in Orkney there’s one phrase that keeps on being repeated. Yes, the word ‘ruinous’ is used …

Fly Trap

Death to Drosophila #2

Isn’t technology wonderful? The advancement of science never ceases to amaze me. Instead of bashing fruit flies with my precious copy of …

Mobile Madness

Teenagers. A month away with no cooker, fridge or washing machine is fine for the three of them. But a month without …


Lady Kirk

In 1136, Earl Rognvald went to church at Pierowall in Westray at the start of his campaign to subjugate Orkney. Or at …

Wheeling Steen

Wheeling Steen

A morning trip out on [[Westray]] leads me to the Wheeling Steen gallery and tea rooms. It’s hard to believe quite how …



It seems that in every field of valuable cattle is a magnificent beast – the even more valuable bull. Strange fellows, with …

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

Knowe o' Skea

The Knowe o’ Skea

Looking out from the Knowe o’ Skea Iron age burial ground across the skerries towards Rousay in the distance.