The Back End is here….

We do not have autumn, nor even Fall, in Orkney.  We have the back end.  The back end of the year.  You know it is the back end when there is a different chill to the wind, and the leaves from the non-existent trees blow all about…

This year the back end has started early.  We usually have gales in September, but the winds are not usually this cold.  It is definitely hat, scarf and gloves weather.

Mind you, it has been a lousy summer.  There has been the odd good day, but they have been few and far between.  If it has been sunny, it has been cold;  if it has been warm it has been wet!

The saying up here is that the weather always changes after the County Show, on the second Saturday of August, and it is amazing how often the does happen.  If the weather has been wet, it becomes dry and if it has been warm and sunny it becomes cold and wet.  This year it stayed what the forecasters call ‘changeable’.

Although the evenings are drawing in by our standards, it is till good light until about 8.30 pm.  But the weather means I have started to wear my sexy hi-viz jacket again to make sure I can be seen.  Scottie refuses to wear his, and I don’t insist until we are actually walking in darkness.  We walk along the Pier Road to the old (Medieval) slipway, known as the Viking slip, where Scottie rolls in the seaweed and I have a look to see what the tide has brought in or uncovered.

Yesterday I noticed an old horseshoe, half buried in the sand.  It was covered in barnacles and thick rust – it had obviously been in the water a long time.  And it had obviously come off a large beast – it is over 7.5 ins across, far bigger than those of my Highland (whose feet were big enough!).  The big, heavy horses used round here were mainly Clydesdales, and I suspect this came off one of them – who knows how long ago….

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7 thoughts on “The Back End is here….

  1. I love reading your posts if only because I feel that I am there. Over here in southern Quebec the weather is changing fast too with colder wind and hints of the winter to come. Still, I have just finished a small wool lace shawl which might get put to use soon. And you know – it has taken me all these years to salute the wisdom of making and wearing triangle shawls to ward off the chill. I just used to think they were something old people wore !!

  2. Despite your description of your weather I would still love to live in Orkney – at least for a while. Ireland is not renown for its good weather but I got used to it. Now Seattle, which statistically has about the same annual rainfall as Dublin, is quite different – at least so far. Many clear blue skies over the past few months as opposed to perpetual overcast. And what has amazed me the most is – no wind. I am puzzled.

  3. Your weather is much different than the middle of America where I’m at. Yesterday the temperature was nearly 90 degrees and I was sweating fiercely! A bit of cool weather would make me happy now and I know it will come soon enough. Liz, have you posted for Faroese shawl for sale yet? I would love to try it for those cool and cold days yet to come.

  4. Our weather is much milder than yours, but it often switches over just as abruptly. This year it went from highs in the 90s F (32+ C) down to 60s and 70s during the day.

    I like my cooler days much better.

  5. It seems like we have not had summer this year, a very cold and wet June, a few hot days in July and August, now there is that “fall” feeling in the air. Shawl weather, for sure. I am grateful for my Orkney wool shawl.

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