Kirkwall

Ah, poor neglected blog! I seem to be constantly trailing behind at the moment. No idea where the time goes, or what I am doing with that time. Except… it is fairly obvious where my time went last week.. .

On Monday I went across the water to Kirkwall, just to do a little fresh food shopping. I didn’t really want to go but the alternative of Wednesday would mean missing spinning. I girded my loins and hopped a seat on the ferry. It was a glorious day and I was pleased to see the Varagen waiting for me.  The Varagen has seating out on the deck in the good fresh air and daylight. I made the most of it, got my knitting out and sat and chatted with friends.

Glossing over the mechanics of a day trip to Kirkwall, the only points of note are: firstly that I failed to buy net curtaining for my forthcoming felting project and secondly that I kicked myself for NOT going on Wednesday.  Why? because I spotted the banner advertising the forthcoming Continental Market. What a treat!  Missed!

On the felting front, I was sold some nylon netting, the stuff for making stiff petticoats. That should work, shouldn’t it? Well, if it doesn’t, it is bound to come in handy for something.

The trip home was on the Varagen again and a repeat performance of chatting and knitting in the sun. If it were not for the shopping part of shopping trips, they really would be rather good fun.

I told Mr L about the market and we were both very sorry not to have known about it previously and to have missed it. We spoke of previous markets, south. We recalled great trusses of fragrant tomatoes; strings of fresh garlic; mounds of glossy fresh olives; wheels of unpasteurised soft cheese from Normandy. . .

So Mr L booked half a day’s leave and we planned a quick market raid for Friday afternoon!

We spent much of the week fretting that the market must be a disappointment. How many stall holders would make the effort to come so far North. Should we bother. We hummed. We haahed. We decided we would rather not egg our faces if the market turned out to be worthwhile but we hadn’t gone. We went.

Friday’s noon boat was the Varagen again, but the weather was not so kind. There were few hardy souls on deck and little to keep me from my knitting…

Knitting on the boat
Knitting on the boat

… except perhaps my camera. . .

I was fascinated by the half link painted red
I was fascinated by the half link painted red
Clearly more fascinated than the average blog reader would be, sorry
Clearly more fascinated than the average blog reader would be, sorry
What can l say? I like abstracting portions of boat!
What can l say? I like abstracting portions of boat!

When we berthed at Kirkwall we spotted the NG Explorer, and l bagged my “yellow” shot for the day.

National Geographic Yellow
National Geographic Yellow

She’s a handsome ship. We wasted a few daydreams, considering the interesting cruises we might take on her if we had the means…

NG Explorer 1
NG Explorer 1
NG Explorer 2
NG Explorer 2

But you want pictures of the market, don’t you? I don’t have any!  The market was busy. I had the outer islander’s trademark shopping trolley to deal with. It began to rain. More importantly, there was shopping to be done! I wish that there had been time and space for photos, but not this time. Sorry.

We did spend frightening sums of money, as one does at these things, but not sufficient to take home all the tasty treats that we might have wished to. None of the honey-roasted nuts, for instance. What financial resolve we exhibited there! It was tough, we love those nuts…

We did make sure that we purchased the things that we went for though.  Olives were first on our list and we chose: marinated Queen olives; almond-stuffed; piri-piri stuffed; plus two kinds of dressed sweet garlic cloves, and sun-dried tomatoes AND a slab of fresh creamy Feta.  French cheese was our next target and we spent ages deciding before we picked an unpasteurised Brie, some Chaumes, a chunk of Bleu d’ Auvergne, and some Black Pyrenees.

There was much that remained on the stalls – French bread, nougat, reindeer hides (!) and New Zealand burgers… but one or two more items slid into the shopping trolley – some saucisson, and a huge tub of Turkish Delight.

I popped into Judith Glue for some RAK items before we trotted off to Tesco in search of sherry, good bread and red wine before hitting the ferry for the return journey.

We spent the weekend eating bread, cheese and olives. What could be finer than that?

I think we should start saving now, in the hope that the market returns next year 🙂

It’s paella today (of a sort) utilising the delicious spicy Chorizo that we brought home on Friday. Yummy. maybe spanokoppita (sp?) tomorrow, to use up the Feta.  What? me, having fun? Oh, yes! It is sooooo good to have good ingredients to hand!

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Petunias always make me think of Dinghies

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2 Comments

  1. SpinningGill
    June 22, 2009

    Did you ask anyone what the red-painted link was for?

    • June 22, 2009

      No. But l did notice that there was a half-painted link on the chains suspending the lifeboat at each end on the starboard side. Didn’t look at the Port side lifeboat.

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