NIFA on Papay

We were again lucky with the weather for our flight over to Papay.  The colours in the sea beneath us were spectacular…

Once settled in School Place, our first trip was to the Post Office.  Val needed to post some cards – but the real reason was for the fibre.  Margit who runs the Post Office is a keen knitter and sells yarn as well as making and selling socks and scarves.  I had instructions to buy more Artesano alpaca 4 ply or a friend, so that was my excuse!  My bit plus Val’s purchases came to one big bag’s worth!

We walked on down to the old pier in glorious sun.  I then had the job of carrying the yarn home while Val walked along the beach to visit the seals at the north end.  That also gave me the chance to pop back in to the yarn shop to buy a birthday present for Val!

Wednesday morning was bright but getting cloudy.  That didn’t stop us walking over the island  and down to the Knap of Howar. Unfortunately the thrift (sea pink) was over, so a lot of the colour had gone but the place is magical in any season.  In the afternoon Val went on a guided walk of North Hill, led by the RSPB warden, while I did some serious yarn shopping.

As it was Val’s birthday, we had a little cake with our coffee after the evening meal!  There were five of us there – a typical mix of the sort of folk who need accommodation on a small island:  a lady on holiday from England and a couple from Kirkwall doing business with some of the farms.

We were going to go over to Westray on Thursday morning, but the weather was awful – wind, fog, heavy rain.  So while others had to go out and work in it, we took the option of knitting in the dry!  By lunchtime the rain had almost stopped, so Jim very kindly took us down to the ferry over to Westray.

In the village of Pierowall we hit the shops!  Hume Sweet Hume is always good to look in.  Last time I thought I would buy my mother a broach  for her birthday, but couldn’t decide what colour.  This time I knew the colours I wanted so was able to choose one.  After visiting the Heritage Centre we explored the other main shop, then went down to see Carrie at Edenweave. Val is a weaver, so they were able to talk looms while I looked on and nodded!!

Val still had  yarn shopping to do, so that took up Friday morning.  The weather was dodgy – fine drizzle and very low cloud coming in and back.  The earlier planes were cancelled, and we had plans B and C in place (involving two ferries and a bus) but as we ate our lunch the weather visibly cleared, and our flight was OK.

Now we are back at The Old Harbour Master’s House.  More about that later…!


One thought on “NIFA on Papay

  1. I may have mentioned before I have JimHewitson’s book Far off in Sunlight Places a history of the Scots in Australia and New Zealand. I did correspond with him many years ago when he advertised in New Zealand papers for information re Scottish settlers.

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