Pussy cat, pussy cat

Where have you been?

Parked up in the small car park/picnic site at Point of Ayre. Newark Bay
Parked up in the small car park/picnic site at Point of Ayre. Newark Bay

Teddy and Mr L and I have been away for the weekend, coming home late on Sunday evening. I failed to catch up yesterday as I had a great mound of laundry to do – and all the rest of the work involved in turning the van around for its next trip.

It had been such a glorious day on Thursday, really hot and so sunny that we were enticed into fleeing these shores and heading for parts Foreign. We went to the East Mainland of Orkney for a few nights. I could have taken a hundred photographs before we ever left Sanday – the approaching cloud cover and resulting interesting light made for some stunning landscapes but as we had left home the moment that Mr L finished work at 4pm and had a 4:35 pm ferry departure, we just kept on going.

Ships passing, not night
Ships passing, not night

The sky grew ever more ominous until finally we were driven off the deck and under cover as the heavy rain and hail struck.

Looking bad over Mainland
Looking bad over Mainland

Luckily the rain had passed by the time that we reached Tesco, where we stocked up and then drove off to see if Brunhilde would fit into the car park at Inganess Bay. There were a couple of cars parked when we arrived but still room for Brunhilde to tuck herself in.

In the car park at Inganess Bay
In the car park at Inganess Bay

Inganess Bay is just on the edge of town and the car park is skirted on one side by the sea, on another by a small area of loch and wild ground, and the the third rubs up against Kirkwall Airport. Fear not though – there is no night flying! During the day the noise levels are not high either. The planes are small and flights no more than occasional throughout the day. The bird-scaring Land Rover makes more noise than anything else.

Dog walkers come and go constantly but other wise it is a peaceful spot. Very well kempt too, though no toilet facilities available.

Another view of the wreck in Inganess Bay
 Inganess Bay from the cliff path

Another hot and sunny day ensued and we took the opportunity to explore the footpaths that are available from the car park, taking all morning over it. We left for Dearness with the intention of lunching at the Geo slipway, where in the event we elected to stop overnight because we simply enjoy being there.

It rained considerably at the Geo but cleared sufficiently for the full moon to show when it rose and I was able to take (very poor) photos before bed time.

Moonlight on the slip
Moonlight on the slip

Saturday saw us heading for our original destination of Mull Head, where we now spent one night instead of two. On Saturday afternoon we set off to do the circular walk to the Covenanter’s Memorial – a hike of  5 miles or a little more.

We did the outer loop

I left my camera behind, so there are no photographs. Some of the views were simply stunning and made me wish that I had brought the camera but overall I was pleased to have had the sense to leave it behind. What should have been a nice easy stroll over pleasantly springy turf was after our long wet summer unpleasantly wet and a continuous battle against mud, puddle and bog, causing very careful foot placement and often extraordinarily long steps. In short, it was very hard work indeed. Had I been carrying the weight of the camera and lens on one side I should have been thoroughly worn out.

We were both agreed that we should have liked to say “I enjoyed that” when we got back to the van but neither one of us could do so in honesty. It was not a very pleasant walk overall but I am glad that we did it and Nell certainly was too.

Sunday morning we took slowly and simply ambled down the road to St Ninian’s kirk where I played with my camera in the kirkyard.

kirkyard (1 of 1)

We’d had a good cooked breakfast, intending to skip lunch in favour of a late afternoon meal at Helgi’s and took our time getting back to Kirkwall by stopping off to investigate the car park and picnic site at Point of Ayre. We liked it there and  just sat for ages, watching the view and a creel boat working while we simply chilled out.

Copinsay from Point of Ayre
Copinsay from Point of Ayre

Back in Kirkwall we did a spot of shopping and mooched around the cathedral until it was time to eat.

window (1 of 1)

Helgi’s was a little disappointing. My starter was good, though small but my Haddock and Chips was very poor indeed – the batter was not fully cooked but yet the fish was dry and over-cooked. How could they manage that one? The Tartare sauce was tasteless and the so-called Mushy Peas were vile; so sweetened and heavily-minted that they were inedible even if the texture of the mashed ordinary peas alone had not been so unpleasant as to make them uninviting. For future reference, Helgi’s: dried marrowfat peas, no mint. No poncing about. Got it? Mushy Peas are a simple dish and completely divine when left to their own devices.

Teddy seemed to have a smashing time and we might be forgiven if we assumed he had always been brought up to a nomadic life. Just as when we took him up the island for a dry run he was very cool about the whole thing. He travelled mainly on my lap on his leash, though sometimes just sleeping on our bed in the sunshine. The first night at Inganess, he left us alone and slept, we think, on the front passenger seat but thereafter he settled on a mix of sleeping alone at first and then climbing in with us. He ate normally and used his tray with great success, wherever we chose to place it (in the shower when on the move and under the table when we were in bed) and he thoroughly enjoyed all the attention that he got from people who spotted him.

Next time we plan an extended trip, to see how it works out before we plan a long holiday but first I have a small matter of my Jury Service to get out of the way. Contrary to expectations, there are two cases in the Criminal Court next Monday and thus no cancellation letter awaiting me when we arrived home.

What was awaiting me were two packages of yarn and Teddy had a new bed and a collapsible travel cage waiting for his delight.

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