Fair and Foul

First the Fair – we had a small Christmas craft fair last night.  Simone Kirk from Stronsay had her new Star Island Soaps…

Rhoda and Lindie brought Traidcraft gifts and food from the Mustard Seed in Kirkwall….

and I had my Northern Lace Too jewellery etc  (more of that soon!).

Phyllis did the home bakes, helped by Marina on the teas.

As the day drew on the weather worsened.  It was blowing a gales and pelting down with rain at 7.30 pm when things were due to start, and we expected no one to turn up.  However, this being Flotta, a huge percentage of the population came out to buy.

We decided that they should have their tea for free as a thank you for coming, and the room was well full all evening.

It was a good evening, and round a bottle of Orkney wine after we had cleared up, we were all talking about Next Year.

HOWEVER… Twelve hours later, in the middle of a power cut, in a cold house and with even stronger winds plus hail, things did not loo so good. The power came back on and we had coffee, checked that the boats were running etc, and at 10.30 I waved the three of them off to catch the boat, while I took my neighbour Christine down to the shop. On the way we noticed that one of the large sheds at Lurdy had lost a lot of its roof, and there was a trail of bits of corrugated iron and wood across the forecourt and against the fencing. This is going to mean a lot of work for various folk.

We had done our shopping and were getting in to the car when Davie came down in his car and waved me over. He told me that the Hoy Head was not running, and would not be going again until Monday morning. That meant I needed more food, so went back in and bought extra.

I got back to the house to find that the other three had come back and were making themselves at home. There was 15 minutes of intense phone calls, accompanied by coffee, and then we settled down to wait until 4.30 when they hoped to be able to get off on the Talisman work boat. Simone was soon spinning on my Orkney wheel….

…. while Rhoda and Lindie started a Wentworth jigsaw.

I was spindling some qiviut.

And that is when the lights went out again..

Fortunately the Hydro men had not got off the island on the Hoy Head, so they were on site to deal with the problem. I have no idea of what it was, but it took them three hours to get it going again. So we sat and spun and did jigsaws in the dark…

As soon as the power came on, it was straight on to the computer to see the weather and shipping updates. By this time the next link in the chain began to break – Rhoda and Lindie live on Burray, which is over the Churchill Barriers. The high seas and wind meant that the Barriers were being shut round high tide, sometimes for several hours. And at 3.30 they shut the Barriers…

More phone calls.

At 4.20 they left my house for the boat, and at 6 pm I heard from Rhoda that she and Lindie had got home safely. Simone is in Kirkwall for the night, as there is no boat to Stronsay until tomorrow afternoon.
Today there has been no talk of Next Year….!!

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5 thoughts on “Fair and Foul

  1. Och aye – life on an island is like that! You do not even have to live that far north. We had similar experiences living on Kangaroo Island. It makes for resourceful citizens doesn’t it?

  2. Aieee! time to check the stock of flashlights and gas for the stove, get out the cap with the little lights on the brim, and be sure the knitting is where it can be grabbed in the dark. Winter is upon us.

  3. We had teh first snow of the winter last night, and it’s alternately snowing, sleeting, and hailing with wind this morning, but not lying. And it’s not your sort of wind at all. Keep warm and snug – at least you have lots of wool.

  4. It’s good to see people dressed sensibly for the weather. The crafts look elegant and the tea looks delicious. Here, flashlights are handy, all over the house, and I keep a fair supply of food that doesn’t require cooking or refrigeration. I rarely lose electricity but I like to be prepared. But how do you do jigsaws in the dark?

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