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Monday, 13 February 2017

A dusting of snow!



At the end of last week we awoke on Graemsay to a light dusting of snow. It was definitely a "wow!" moment when opening the blinds in the morning!  It was so pretty. Cold, but pretty.  It didn't stay too long which is just as well.  Although pretty it's hard for those that need to work outdoors, and for the wildlife too.

Anyway while feeding the hens I took a few photos in the morning sunshine.  Button came too, of course. Above was after the sun had risen above Windbreck hill.  The photo below was taken when the sun was still below the hill.


Here comes the sun!


Looking towards Garson.....


The Hoy hills....


I love seeing snow on the beach!


And looking down to the old Sandside Pier and over to Stromness


The pier and Stromness....


And a panorama!  The panorama feature does conflate the image but I still like the effect.


Looking towards Hoy High Lighthouse.....


Ahem, I said Button came too.  She's doing her "I'm Queen of the Castle" act...again...


Not for sitting on today!


These miniature daffs have been out for a week or so.  Brrr poor things!


Don't think I'll hang my washing on the line just now.....


And looking back down the "main road" (which was gritted before traffic going to the pier!).


Hamnavoe ferry sailing into Stromness harbour....


I headed in for tea. No sign of Button until about 30 minutes later.... Awww so sweet....


"Never mind "sweet - I've got cold paws, open the *#£$%" door, you just can't get the staff nowadays!"


And for a different perspective...... Graemsay from across the water in Orphir (can you see Hoy High Lighthouse and Sandside?)  Photo courtesy of Caroline Hogarth-Dodge.  She & Mac were here for the Burns Night Supper and are now spending some time on Mainland before heading South.




Thursday, 9 February 2017

Deliveries to the island



As Graemsay only has a "lift-on/lift-off" ferry getting large items delivered can be a bit of a challenge.  Last week I had a new door arriving.  It's the same design as has been on the house since at the very least the 1950s and maybe longer.  But the one that was put on 16 years ago, when the house was renovated, has rotted already and is quite draughty so is being replaced.  This one is a hardwood door so should last longer. I hope!  Anyway here are a series of photos of the said door getting off the boat at Graemsay.  It was a bit of a blustery day, as Winnie The Pooh would say.....

It's a very heavy door (apparently!).


Several folk needed to steady the door as it was lifted onto the back of the trailer.


Safely on the back and secured....


Looking good.


There are no photos of it being taken OFF the trailer and into the house.  Nor has a record been kept of the swear words used.  As I say it was a VERY blustery day and the door is heavy.....

Anyway..... along with feed supplies (propping up the door), there was also straw delivered for cattle currently kept in byres.  The bales are always inspected for holes where rats might have made a home.  Apparently these seemed OK. No rats on the island for many years and we don't want them back!  Nor stoats which are proving a problem on Orkney Mainland and with no natural predators are creating havoc with eating ground nesting eggs and chicks, birds etc.


You will notice I took these photos at a distance!  Despite the sunshine it was a COLD and blustery day so I didn't venture down the pier.  I'd only have been in the way anyway....ahem.....

Ah well Spring is in the air..... she says optimistically..... These daffs have no doubt been grown indoors but they help with my illusion that Spring is on the way!




Wednesday, 8 February 2017

A wander along the shore......



As I said in yesterday's blog post, these photos were taken back in January a couple of days after a gale.  But too good not to share the lovely blue skies, so here they are at the beginning of February! Above photo is of one of the Hoy Hills behind Graemsay.  It's a very low tide as you can see by the rocks.

Down on the shell beach, the natural pool is quite low by the pier.....


And of course Button has to photo bomb most of my photos.....


Wispy clouds over the old buildings.....


Blue sky over the Hoy Hills


The tide is a loooong way out.  I could almost walk to Stromness!


The Hoy High light poking it's head above the shoreline


The remains of a sea urchin shell among the seaweed


Button scans the horizon for things of interest to HER!


Nice pose Button....


I love the highlighted buildings and old farm machinery.  Interesting clouds too...


So still and calm


The old sail shed above the boat noust (where the old boats were pulled up above the tide).


Blue sky above "home"


Button decides she'd rather go for a wander on the other beach instead of coming home with me!


Cloud rolling down the Hoy Hills, behind the old school.  The green building is our Community Hall, the scene of many a party!


And in the garden the miniature daffodils are blooming already!


Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Windy days....



A normal winter gale is battering the house again today, which reminded me of some photos I took during and after the last gale in January.  So thought I'd share them with you here.  We get dramatic skies any time of the year, but the winter ones have a special drama.  Photo above taken at the pier at about 4pm looking towards Stromness with the Hoy High light shining. Very atmospheric I think.

And a sunrise.....




With the house being so close to the shore the windows get blasted with salt carried by the wind..


Eventually it gets SO bad that one can't see what the neighbours are doing. Ha!


And so even *I* go out with a bucket of water to clean them.....


During the worst of the storm Button snuggles down on the sofa to snooze, apart from when she has to go out for her evening constitutional - whatever wind speed!


I hunker down too, usually doing something around the house, or reading, or even a jigsaw!


Oh and then the joy when the wind finally dies down and we can venture forth again.  Those first few breaths of fresh air are wonderful.  If only they could be bottled and sent to city folk!  Button of course enjoys the chance to have a wander round the garden again and check out her territory.


In the last storm my trusty, rusty wheelbarrow finally bit the dust!  Time for another one this Spring methinks!


And I get a chance to fill up the bird feeders for the wild birds.  You'll notice an absence of hens....they have been under curfew since 6th December due to the Defra Avian Flu restrictions. We are all hoping they are liberated on 28 February.

I'd been sitting on a garden bench - Button thought I shouldn't be wasting time idling away on a bench, it was time to go to the beach!  More of that in another post!!