What have I been doing for the past nine days, you may well ask. Last Wednesday we took off after work and loaded Brunhilde on to the evening ferry for Kirkwall. It was a fairly late sailing, going via Stronsay, meaning that had we been on time we would land at 8 pm. We were not on time. That being so, and me being very tired after the rush job to prepare the van, I elected not to go to the camera club meeting and we headed straight out to Inganess, with only a small detour due to being lost in the dark.
It was a cold night (very) and we woke to find everything covered in ice on Thursday morning. This did not deter Teddy from exploration.
It was a very still morning and the sea flat calm – such a change after all the recent stormy weather.
We walked Nell along the cliff path for an hour and a half, being very grateful for the frost helping to keep the mire at bay.
After our walk we went in to town to buy supplies for the weekend. We also visited the Pickaquoy Centre for lunch and to scout out the car park for later. I had my hair cut in town and then met up with Mr L for a cup of coffee before going to buy cheese at Kirkness & Gorie. A little more scouting followed, in order to find a Chinese Takeaway. Nell had a run at Weyland Bay and then we collected our supper, parking at Ayre Mills to eat it before going off to the Picky Centre to the Phoenix Film Club’s presentation of 45 Years.
It was late when we left, the film showing had started at 8:45 pm, and it was raining heavily. We were both very tired and so we scrapped our plans to go directly to South Ron, returning instead to Inganess for a second night. Thankfully it was much less cold, especially as the van now seemed so much less well insulated than I had thought – the heater is very efficient and warms us up nicely but once it was turned off, the chill seemed to strike quickly.
On Friday morning we set off for the Sands ‘o Wright, calling in on the way at the #4 Churchill Barrier at Burray, where Nell had a fine time playing in the sand dunes.
I did not take many photographs as there was a strong wind and it had a bitter edge. I paused to snap some interesting textures
and of course had to try and grab the beautiful light
It was after we had parked at Hoxa and I was cooking lunch that I felt it. Rain. On my head, on my neck, on the backs of my hands. Mr L said it was condensation dripping but I could not see how that could be – I was not standing underneath the vent but well to one side of it. Further investigation showed that we had lost the dome from the centre roof vent. Poof! Gone! We were open to the elements.
Thank heaven for Duct Tape, and for the foresight that caused it to be packed.
Saturday saw an improvement in the weather and we took a walk around Hoxa Dam, using the extension of the loop by road that we had not previously walked. It gave me a new perspective on the landscape and found me a ruin.
I spent some time at the dam pondering that wonderful house. Should it ever come up for sale – it’s mine, I tell you!
On Sunday we set off back to Kirkwall in readiness for the ferry. Tesco was calling but we still had a couple of hours in hand with which to explore Scapa and we went for a stroll along the Crantit Trail.
I had packed my knitting – the pink shawl came with me, as did two sock kits, the hexapuff blanket kit and even the Warriston for finishing. I did no knitting at all. We did play an awful lot of Trivial Pursuit – sufficient for the questions to come around a second time – and I actually read half of a book, the one that I had picked up at the Lyness ferry terminal last year.
Since coming home I seem to have had little or no time for myself. Due to the lack of water-tight and also the fact that it is remains essentially winter, I have done a complete unload of the van. The washing machine has been going all day long every day as there were many muddy dog towels and wet pairs of trousers etcetera to deal with. I have however been cooking – and with that great sense of joy that comes from having done a big shop in town – there is great variety and an abundance of fresh veg and salad to choose between. It has been fun.
Last night we ate Basa – a fish that I had not previously heard of. It was delicious, served simply with new potatoes, steamed broccoli and baked tomatoes. We followed with caramelised clementines with black rum and spices and a dollop of crème fraîche.
Today is for Chicken Satay, with spiced sweetcorn, rice and Thai Pickles – washed down with…
I picked this up in Tesco on Sunday with a view to a Blip for Chinese New Year. Such a pretty bottle.
That’s about it – all caught up, I think. Tai Chi starts 22nd February. Contemporary Drawing today was cancelled and is to be rescheduled for not-Fridays. Mr L is spending his weekend doing running repairs on Brunhilde. I am still trying to finish the laundry, putting away and general house tidying needed.
45 Years, by the way, is a most excellent film and it was a real treat to see it on a large screen (in relative terms) at the decidedly bijou New Phoenix Theatre (seats a little over 200 cinemagoers). We plan to return to the film club showings – it will be made easier when the camp site opens in March and we can stop on site, maybe throwing in an all day breakfast at the café after an early morning swim? Something that we can really look forward to every month. March sees a showing of Slow West and one of Carol, both films that we have been hoping to see.